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4301  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Was the first global warming scientist the most accurate? Guy Callendar 1938 on: August 06, 2013, 08:27:46 AM

Guy Callendar was a superb scientist and an expert on the physics of steam. He wrote a seminal article in 1938 on the potential for increasing levels of CO2 to warm the atmosphere:

Callendar posited a logarithmic relationship between concentration of CO2 and global temperatures, as shown in this graph:

By Callendar’s calculation, a doubling in CO2 from 300 ppm to 600 ppm would cause about a 1.7 degree C increase in atmospheric temperature. What is interesting about this is that Callender’s calculations track much more closely with actual temperatures than the formulas that are used by alarmists today. The reason is that the alarmists’ models build in hypothetical positive feedback effects in order to generate greater temperature impacts. Steve McIntyre explains:  (

    It is completely bizarre that a simple reconstruction from Callendar out-performs the CMIP5 GCMs – and, for most of them, by a lot. … Even if the Callendar parameters had been calculated using the observed temperature history, it is surely surprising that such a simple formula can out-perform the GCMs, especially given the enormous amount of time, resources and effort expended in these GCMs. And, yes, I recognize that GCMs provide much more information than GLB temperature, but GLB temperature is surely the most important single statistic yielded by these models and it is disquieting that the GCMs have no skill relative to a reconstruction using only the Callendar 1938 formula. As Mosher observed in a comment on the predecessor post, a more complicated model ought to be able to advance beyond the simple model and, if there is a deterioration in performance, there’s something wrong with the model.

Emphasis added. The modest temperature increase suggested by Callendar, and validated so far by observation, poses no threat, and won’t bring about any of the catastrophic consequences that the alarmists are paid to predict. Callendar himself thought the effect of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere would be salutary:

    It may be said that the combustion of fossil fuel, whether it be peat from the surface or oil from 10,000 feet below, is likely to prove beneficial to mankind in several ways, besides the provision of heat and power. For instance the above mentioned small increases of mean temperature would be important at the northern margin of cultivation, and the growth of favourably situated plants is directly proportional to the carbon dioxide pressure (Brown and Escombe, 1905): In any case the return of the deadly glaciers should be delayed indefinitely.

It is somewhat ironic that the “science” of global warming has regressed since 1938.
4302  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Victor Davis Hanson, Obama's Watergates on: August 06, 2013, 08:17:57 AM
The scandals will not end until the truth sets us free.

 August 6, 2013 3:00 AM
Obama’s Watergates
Denial, evasion, “Let me be perfectly clear” — is this 2013 or 1973?
By Victor Davis Hanson,  National Review

The truth about Benghazi, the Associated Press/James Rosen monitoring, the IRS corruption, the NSA octopus, and Fast and Furious is still not exactly known. Almost a year after the attacks on our Benghazi facilities, we are only now learning details of CIA gun-running, military stand-down orders, aliases of those involved who are still hard to locate, massaged talking points, and the weird jailing of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.

We still do not quite know why Eric Holder’s Justice Department went after the Associated Press or Fox News’s James Rosen — given that members of the administration were themselves illegally leaking classified information about the Stuxnet virus, the Yemeni double agent, the drone program, and the bin Laden document trove, apparently to further the narrative of an underappreciated Pattonesque commander-in-chief up for reelection.

Almost everything the administration has assured us about the IRS scandal has proven false: It was not confined to rogue Cincinnati agents; liberal and conservative groups were not equally targeted; and there were political appointees who were involved in or knew of the misdeeds.

The NSA debacle can so far best be summed up by citing Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who has now confessed that he lied under oath (“clearly erroneous”) to the U.S. Congress. Even his earlier mea culpa of providing the “least untruthful” statement was an untruth.

Yet the truth does come out. None of these scandals so far has been as ignored as the initial Watergate break-in and associated Nixon-administration misdeeds. If the doctrinaire press is now leading from behind, instead of launching a full-scale attack as it did in the Watergate years, the media as a whole are far more diverse than in 1973, with so many different venues and agendas that it’s difficult to suppress the truth for long.

Remember, between when the Nixon operatives drew up their initial plans to commit illegal acts in early 1972 and when the media furor over cover-ups and lying forced Nixon out of office in late summer 1974, the time elapsed was over 30 months — a period as long as or longer than the gestation of the present scandals. Recall also that no one died in Watergate; that the IRS resisted, not abetted, calls to go after critics of the president; and that Attorney General John Mitchell did not lie under oath to Congress. Scandals wax and wane, but until the truth is told, they never quite end.

There is also nothing new in administration denials. Both President Obama and his press secretary, Jay Carney, characterized the Benghazi, IRS, AP, and NSA allegations as “phony.” So too Nixon’s press secretary, Ron Ziegler, characterized the Watergate break-in as “a third-rate burglary attempt” and insisted that “Certain elements may try to stretch the Watergate burglary beyond what it is.” In August 1972, when news of the break-in first got out, Nixon himself assured the nation, “I can say categorically that . . . no one in the White House staff, no one in this Administration, presently employed, was involved in this very bizarre incident.” The Obama administration’s variation on outright denial is “What difference, at this point, does it make?” And when Jay Carney declares, “I accept that ‘stylistic’ might not precisely describe a change of one word to another,”  I am reminded of Ron Ziegler’s quip, “This is the operative statement. The others are inoperative.”

By the summer of 1974, Richard Nixon was almost alone. His attorney general, John Mitchell; his closest two advisers, Bob Haldeman and John Ehrlichman; his White House counsel, John Dean; and a score of others — some of them directly involved, others only tangentially mentioned — had resigned, had been fired, or had been indicted. Those not involved simply wanted out of the administration, lest they suffer from guilt by association.

Less than a year after Benghazi, all the chief participants in reacting to the attack are gone from their positions: Susan Rice left the U.N. ambassadorship and is now a very quiet national-security adviser; Hillary Clinton is no longer secretary of state; we have both a new defense secretary and a new CIA director; the ranking military officer responsible for the area around Benghazi, General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, has retired.

Likewise there have been several resignations and suspensions from the IRS. I don’t think James Clapper will last long as director of national intelligence — such a high-ranking official simply cannot confess to lying under oath to a congressional committee and expect ever again to be taken seriously. Eric Holder may prove to be Obama’s version of a steadfast-to-the-very-last General Haig; yet, like the mostly silent Susan Rice, he has been so tainted with scandal as to have little reputation left other than for being loyal to the president, and is thus irrelevant.

I think it is a fair guess that had the public learned the truth about the Benghazi deaths — that a videomaker had no role in the violence and that the administration was paranoid about drawing attention to an ascendant al-Qaeda, U.S. missile-running, and lax diplomatic security — or about the IRS targeting or the NSA surveillance or the AP/Rosen monitoring, Barack Obama would have lost a close election. All these scandals had their geneses before the 2012 election, and all were adroitly hushed up until after Obama’s second inauguration.

That too is in accord with the Watergate pattern. The Nixon administration covered up in Machiavellian fashion the June 1972 Watergate break-in, almost five months before the president’s landslide win. At least six weeks before the election, the nation knew that there were members of the Nixon administration or the Nixon reelection committee involved in Watergate-related misdeeds — but they found that in comparison to Vietnam, the Chinese initiatives, or the economy, the Watergate news was boring. Again, that the Obama scandals were successfully kept hushed up before the 2012 election is not unusual.

Whereas Nixon suppressed the truth and won big in 1972, by the 1974 midterm elections there had been enough blowback from the Watergate scandals that the Democrats picked up four Senate seats and 49 House seats. In other words, 2014 is still a long time away.

The Obama administration’s methods and aims — going after political opponents, monitoring a supposedly leaking press, fingering fall guys, soiling the IRS — are likewise Nixonian to the core.

Nixon tried to use the IRS to punish his enemies, although Lois Lerner and William Wilkins appear to have had far less integrity than did Nixon’s IRS chief, Johnnie Walters, who resisted rather than abetted Nixon’s illegal efforts. As in the case of doctoring CIA talking points and pressuring CIA operatives, so too Nixon tried to cloak misdeeds as “national security” operations. Nixon went after members of the press; Obama had the communications of James Rosen of Fox News — and even those of Rosen’s parents — monitored. Mr. Nakoula was the poor soul the authorities almost immediately jailed for his supposedly right-wing, Islamophobic film. He proved a sort of updated version of the caricatured crazy Cuban burglars and the unhinged Gordon Liddy, whose freelancing zeal allegedly caused the Watergate problem in the first place. The only difference is that the latter really did commit relevant illegal acts, while Nakoula’s videomaking was uncouth, not criminal — and irrelevant to the Benghazi deaths.

Lois Lerner’s resort to the Fifth Amendment is not new and will not be successful in covering up her record at the IRS. During the Watergate scandals, almost everyone from Charles Colson to John Dean took the Fifth at one point or another while under oath in front of various committees and grand juries. Such stonewalling delayed but did not stop the investigations. I expect more participants in the Obama-administration misdeeds will invoke the Fifth, and the dodges will ultimately have little effect, other than to remind us that many in the administration have lots to hide.

Nixon left office with historic low poll numbers and the economy a wreck. His successful feat of Vietnamization was undone by Congress’s refusal to make good on American promises of aid. His foreign trips were seen as failed efforts to regain political stature back home.

So too already with the unraveling of Obama. Cap-and-trade, green energy, and the idea of global warming are politically dead. So is a new gun-control initiative. The president, not his critics, is dismantling key elements of Obamacare, his signature achievement. Cabinet posts resemble musical chairs. About all we can expect is a new Nixonesque war on someone — post–Trayvon Martin “bigots,” conservatives supposedly waging a “war on women,” “nativists” who sabotaged “comprehensive immigration reform.” In other words, there will be no positive initiatives, just attacks on Them.

The president’s poll numbers are tanking, and even some of the liberal press feels increasingly betrayed. The Middle East is a mess: Syria a charnel house, Egypt pure chaos, Libya the new Somalia, Iraq abandoned, Afghanistan ignored. Al-Qaeda is on the run — toward Westerners everywhere.

The common denominators are perceived presidential weakness, and inattention. But whereas Richard Nixon was seen as a brilliant foreign-policy realist, Obama prior to his scandals was already struggling to overcome the reputation of being a naïf about foreign policy and cool, distant, and inept at home.

Because something terribly wrong occurred in Benghazi, with the IRS, with the treatment of the Associated Press and James Rosen, and perhaps with Edward Snowden and the NSA, and those involved are seeking to mask their culpability, the scandals grind on. They will not end until the truth sets us all free. So expect a long-drawn-out and sordid saga.

If the administration continues to stonewall and taunt its critics, there will soon appear updated Obama versions of diehard Nixon defenders like Rabbi Korff and Representative Sandman — with plenty of the same old “Let me be perfectly clear” and “Make no mistake about it” presidential denials.

— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. His latest book is The Savior Generals, published this spring by Bloomsbury Books.
4303  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: August 06, 2013, 12:09:39 AM
An author Walter pointed us to made a point that there is no such thing as black on black crime.  Though the numbers seem to prove him wrong, I believe he is right.  Those crimes were about crime, not about race.  It is analysts and people with an agenda who inject race into that crime statistic, not the criminal or the victim.  Race may correlate but race is not the cause or any part of those crimes in my view.

Within America there is an underclass that feels a sense of worthlessness.  My grandfather used to say that poor people have poor ways.  The converse is that to succeed one should emulate the good and productive qualities of successful people.  For example, go as far as you can with your education, work hard, work smart, marry for life, marry before you start a family, save, invest, pay your bills, keep your promises, take pride in your home and your neighborhood, take responsibility for yourself and your family, etc.  There is a culture in the underclass of America that is doing exactly the opposite.  My view is this is perpetuated and exacerbated by the enormity of the welfare state.

Within America's inner city and in plenty of other locations this underclass lives outside of our productive economy.  When responsibility and self-worth are absent, idle time and a propensity to be broke, commit crimes, be evicted etc take the place of productive and healthy activities.

The problems in 'black America' are not racial.  Too many people happen to be black within the underclass, but it is quite easy to show that these problems are cultural, not racial.  Just look at the exceptions.  Any black who follows the path of success is successful, while any person of any race who follows the path of failure, realizes failure.

We need to tell people at every step along the way that they have choices.  These so-called black leaders are doing exactly the opposite in my view.
4304  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: August 05, 2013, 11:17:40 PM
A nice job of balance and presenting both sides on the forum.  As always, Wesbury makes some valid and worthwhile points.  I like his honesty admitting that he missed the last crash, consistently over-estimates growth in the slow cycles and as an investment house economist he fully intends to miss the next crash when it again rears its ugly head.  He cherry picks an S&P rise of 177% as if anyone including himself ever called the exact bottom or top of any market swing.  Without stating explicitly that the S&P is a collection of established companies that operate globally and mostly benefit from the over-regulaiton that freezes out competition, he hints around at the fact that this economy is currently producing virtually no startups capable of continuing our economic growth.

I agree with Wesbury that if you have the benefit of looking at your investments in the rear view mirror, you should have been fully invested during upswings.  Implied is to also be all-out of long positions during downswings.  Good luck with that.

FYI to Wesbury: "Fracking, the Cloud, Smartphone, Tablet, and 3-D printing" are NOT new ideas.  Fear of a no-growth, declining workforce, capital punished economy collapsing under the weight of liabilities of $70 trillion, rapidly increasing tax rates and 174,545 pages of federal regulations is not "wanting a recession to prove that government is too big".

Wesbury inadvertently nails the whole question:  "The real drivers of growth, the real creators of wealth ... it’s about Entrepreneurs versus government."  Who does a reasonable person think is winning the battle of entrepreneurs versus government?  Hint at the answer is above, liabilities of $70 trillion, rapidly increasing tax rates and 174,545 pages of federal regulations, while the rate of real startups is at an all time low.

Paraphrasing the WSJ, the President doesn't know or won't admit that the private sector has to create wealth before government can redistribute it.
4305  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Dems looking to use voter registration to turn red states blue on: August 05, 2013, 10:33:17 PM
Re: Dems looking to use voter registration fraud and amnesty for illegal aliens to turn red states blue.
Fixed it!

Vote fraud, aiding and abetting vote fraud, and conspiracy to commit vote fraud are crimes that undermine and attack our republic on a par equivalent to treason.  The penalty for these crimes should be severe enough that an illegal would face certain deportation and a citizen would never again vote after serving his or her felony level sentence. Vote fraud committed on a large scale is comparable to an act of war against the United States.

Somewhere near the start of this thread I posted a story of ACORN block workers telling me they had neighbors ready to vouch for me to vote on election day in a neighborhood in which I did not live.  While some want to make it easier and easier and easier to vote and harder and harder and harder to detect vote fraud, reasonable people I think should favor far greater enforcement and far stiffer penalties for subverting any basic founding principle of our nation.

Right to vote, right to bear arms, and the right of law abiding tea party leaning people to form political associations are all similar constitutional rights.  Maybe the restrictions and waiting periods for all of these should defined in law as exactly the same.
4306  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, The Wesbury Plowhorse economy pictured on: August 04, 2013, 09:42:28 AM
The Wesbury Plowhorse economy
4307  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: August 04, 2013, 09:25:55 AM
I liked the emotional balance of that piece as well as the nuts and bolts of its analysis.

Yes.  I have noticed Walter Russell Mead in only the last year or so and he has come to be my favorite Democrat - knowledgeable, wise and insightful on a wide range of topics.  I haven't figured out where I disagree with yet.  He has a nice way of pointing out problems with administration policies without ripping them personally the way the partisans tend to do to each other.
4308  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: August 03, 2013, 07:10:14 AM
"Despite that, entrepreneurs and workers are gritting out a recovery and the Plow Horse economy keeps moving forward."

Good grief.  Entrepreneur is a noun in need of a past tense form for proper usage.  How does pure spin hold up to facts?

"Over the past year, real GDP has grown by only 1.4 percent, with inflation at 1.5 percent, according to revised GDP reports. Nominal GDP growing at only 2.9 percent is virtually a post-WWII low. It’s a rate that’s more appropriate for recessions than recoveries."

1.4% real growth when breakeven growth used to be considered 3.1% means economic decline.  Real startup rates are at all time lows.
4309  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Walter Russell Mead: White House Losing Its Grip on the Middle East? on: August 03, 2013, 07:01:30 AM

Secretary of State John Kerry went uncomfortably off-message yesterday in Pakistan, voicing a surprising level of support for Egypt’s military to journalists in Islamabad:

    “In effect, they were restoring democracy,” Mr. Kerry said of Egypt’s military to Pakistan’s Geo News during a South Asia tour on Thursday. “The military did not take over, to the best of our judgment—so far, so far—to run the country. There’s a civilian government.”

Obama administration officials tried to walk back the remarks—”He didn’t stick to the script,” an unnamed source growled to the WSJ—but it was too late. The media pounced, the remarks were quickly torn apart on Twitter, and Team Obama is again struggling to regain its balance on Egypt, trying not to call what happened a coup while hoping that the military doesn’t get too much more blood on its hands in restoring order to Cairo and Alexandria.

Let’s get the obvious parts out of the way: No, the Egyptian military is not restoring democracy in Egypt. You can’t “restore” something that never existed, and it takes a lot more than a couple of elections to make a democracy. Democracy requires a host of institutions, tacit agreements, and social norms most of which don’t exist in Egypt. It also depends on a certain basic level of economic progress and prosperity, also not exactly likely to sprout up on the banks of the Nile anytime soon.

The army wasn’t trying to build democracy, either; it was restoring order and protecting the deep state, more or less in accordance with the will of a large number of middle class and urban Egyptians. That’s the beginning and end of it. Americans desperately want somebody to be the pro-democracy good guys. But right now at least, democracy doesn’t seem to be on the menu at the Egypt café.

We don’t want to be too hard on Secretary Kerry. Foreign policy is never easy to do in real time, and the world is in a good deal of disarray at this very moment. But his remarks do point to a deeper problem with the Obama administration’s foreign policy approach—a problem that’s finally starting to bite.

The Obama administration has made a fundamental strategic choice that hasn’t worked out well. Officials decided to support the Muslim Brotherhood in the hope of detoxifying US relations in the Middle East and promoting moderation among Islamists across the world. Between Prime Minister Erdogan’s surging authoritarianism in Turkey and the unmitigated Morsi disaster in Egypt, that policy is pretty much a smoking ruin these days, and a shell-shocked administration is stumbling back to the drawing board with, it appears, few ideas about what to try next.

Adding insult to injury, the Obama administration has conducted itself erratically enough to have lost everyone’s respect in the process. It hastily and indecorously ditched long time ally Mubarak and embraced the Muslim Brotherhood only to drop the Brothers when the going got tough. It’s hard to blame anyone in Egypt right now for thinking that the Americans are worthless friends whose assurances are hollow and who will abandon you the minute you get into trouble. At every point along the way, the administration made the choices it did out of good motives, but it would be difficult to design a line of policy more calculated to undermine American prestige and influence than the one we chose.

Rarely has an administration looked as inconsequential and trifling as the Obama administration did this week as it tried to square the circle. It isn’t using the c-word because it doesn’t want to offend the military, but it bleats ineffectually about human rights in hopes of retaining a few shreds of credibility among the supporters of the ousted President. The armed forces appear to be treating the United States with indifference; our support won’t help and our scolding won’t hurt.

It’s very hard to see how all this has won us friends or influenced people. The kerfuffle with Kerry’s remarks in Pakistan wouldn’t normally amount to much. Even Secretaries of State are human, it is hard to explain complicated ideas in short television interviews, and all of us get our feet in our mouths sometime. But as one more misstep in a long series, it has had more impact than usual.

We’ve said from the beginning that the Arab Spring was going to present the administration with some horrible headaches and impossible choices. George Washington was the first US President to learn just how much trouble a long and complicated revolutionary process in an allied nation could cause. The French revolution split his cabinet, caused him huge political and diplomatic headaches, and so embittered American politics that he felt and feared that he had failed. Those who criticize the President should never forget just how difficult these challenges really are. Flip and vain talking heads are always sure that there are simple, easy alternatives that would make everything work out okay. That is almost never the case, and it certainly isn’t now.

All that said, it’s unlikely that the President and his team can be anything but unhappy with the view as they look across the Atlantic: Edward Snowden is sitting pretty in Moscow with Putin humiliating the administration (once again) by failing to give it advance notice of the decision, Assad is still holding court in Damascus and even predicting victory, there appear no easy outs in Afghanistan, Iran is surging in Iraq, and the promise of the Arab Spring has mostly evaporated. The recent jailbreaks in Iraq, Libya and Pakistan, along with Thursday’s announcement that the US would be temporarily closing its embassies across the Middle East due to an unspecified terrorist threat, suggest al-Qaeda and other fanatical terror organizations are on a roll. Meanwhile, the US is farther than ever from the kind of partnership with relatively liberal and democratic Muslim parties and movements that the Obama administration sees as the best way to tame terror and build a better future. Success in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks would have a large impact, but that prospect, sadly, still seems unlikely.

Fortunately for the administration, the public seems to want to think about the Middle East as little as possible. Yet the President’s poll numbers on foreign policy continue to decline, and much of the foreign policy establishment seems to be tip toeing away from the administration as quickly as it can.

Failure in the Middle East has the potential to wreck the President’s foreign policy world wide. The “pivot to Asia” was predicated on a shift of American attention and resources away from the Middle East. That seems less likely now; many in Asia are wondering what happens to the pivot when the Secretary of State has clearly put the peace process at the center of his priorities. It is not easy to discern a commitment to humanitarian values or human rights in an administration that has passively watched the Syrian bloodbath metastasize and that has put together global surveillance programs that have angered many human rights groups as well as some allied powers.

President Obama still has more than three years left in the White House, but many of the policies that he brought with him or developed early in his tenure have now passed their sell-by dates. Abandoning Iraq, the surge in Afghanistan, intensification of the drone war in Pakistan, alliances with moderate Islamists, and a democracy agenda in the Middle East: sadly, those dogs won’t hunt anymore.

Many in the State Department and the broader foreign policy establishment believe that the relatively small group of trusted aides with whom the President has worked most closely don’t have the depth or experience to manage the country’s international portfolio well. We aren’t going to arbitrate that issue here; such criticisms are often self-serving. But whether he relies on the same aides or reaches out to more and different advisers, the President is going to have to change his approach to the Middle East and, one suspects, to Russia.
4310  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues: Firing at Chatanooga Times 'Free' Press on: August 02, 2013, 11:50:13 PM
"I just became the first person in the history of newspapers to be fired for writing a paper's most-read article."
    Free Press editor Drew Johnson has been terminated after placing a headline on an editorial outside of normal editing procedures.

    Johnson's headline, "Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough," appeared on the Free Press page Tuesday, the day President Barack Obama visited the city.

    Soon after his dismissal, Mr. Johnson sent out this tweet, "I just became the first person in the history of newspapers to be fired for writing a paper's most-read article." . . .

    He also wrote, "The policy I 'broke' did not exist when I 'broke' it. It was created after people complained about the headline & was applied retroactively. Any time the paper wanted to change the headline online (which is how most people read the editorial), they could've.
4311  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues, Detroit on: August 02, 2013, 11:38:57 PM
What caused Detroit's demise?  How is it that everybody here seems to understand exactly  what policies caused the demise of Detroit and no one in a position of policy making power anywhere in the economy seems to understand it at all?

Photo currently showing with the headlines on the Drudge Report:

Perfectly good or repairable buildings serving absolutely no economic purpose.
4312  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance Glibness: 953,000 Jobs Created 2013, 731,000 Are Part-Time on: August 02, 2013, 11:32:32 PM
Of 953,000 Jobs Created In 2013, 77%, Or 731,000 Are Part-Time

Obamacare discourages full time employment.
Posted in Race, black teenage unemployment rate is now 42%.

What the hell is wrong with us that we want a sputtering economy?  How do we help people's long term chances for affordable health care by killing off real jobs?  The growth rate coming out of a hole this deep should be >8% IMHO.
4313  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, discrimination? Black teen unemployment rate 42% on: August 02, 2013, 11:23:21 PM
This isn't a numbers trick. This isn't a rate based on the whole black teen population in the country. This is the proportion of the black teen population that is looking for work but can't find a job.

I would like to know what part of this is because of our bad economic policies and what part of this is from perceptions portrayed in the video.

My only data point is the teenager in this family who is making more than twice the minimum wage at her day job, added an evening job, has all the hours she can handle and turned down other job offers this summer.
4314  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Paul v. Christie on: August 01, 2013, 10:59:36 PM

Beer summit.  smiley    Further commentary: 

DENNIS MILLER: "Rand Paul and Chris Christie, I hate to see Fat Man and Little Boy quibble like this. I mean, as Roger Ailes says, you can not shoot inside the tent. And when the 400 pound guy is telling you you bring home too much bacon, you know it's gone absolutely mad. And yeah, if they're going to keep shooting inside the tent like this, you ought to just get the fur-like pantsuit ready for Hillary, because Big Mama is going to be in that inaugural parade, and Huma Abedin is going to be the next chief of staff. And ironically, chief of staff is the name her old man is using on the internet this week."
4315  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Congress/Senate: Rep Tom Cotton running in Arkansas on: July 31, 2013, 11:46:51 PM
Republicans just picked up a seat in my read of this.  Besides helping the partisan chase the majority in the Senate, this is a big break for America and the survival of the republic IMHO.  Arkansans already know who Tom Cotton is.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Republican Rep. Tom Cotton plans to announce his bid next week to challenge two-term incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in next year's elections, according to a person familiar with the congressman's plans.

Cotton was elected to the U.S. House in 2012, ... Cotton, 36, is a former management consultant who served in the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Pryor is viewed by many Republicans as the most vulnerable Senate incumbent next year, especially after recent GOP gains in Arkansas. Republicans in November took over the state Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction and swept all four of the state's U.S. House seats.

Republicans are trying to unseat Pryor and three other Democratic incumbents who represent states that Republican Mitt Romney won in last year's presidential race: Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.  Democrats need to defend 21 seats, including seven in largely rural states that Obama lost in 2012.  Republicans need to pick up six seats to regain Senate control.

Since taking office in January, Cotton has enjoyed a high profile with multiple appearances on national programs such as Meet the Press. Cotton in July wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal opposing Senate immigration legislation.

Cotton's appeal to conservative activists stems from his resume as a Harvard-educated veteran who's known for his rhetorical flourishes.

4316  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Free MIT course materials! Bears repeating. ) on: July 31, 2013, 11:28:03 PM   wink
Education: College degree or equivalent: MIT OCW
« Reply #128 on: December 13, 2011, 10:00:34 AM »

2000 courses online, free.  No tuition, no admissions screening, no degrees.  Just courses, syllabuses, tests, lecture notes, etc. from one of the greatest technical institutions in the world on an amazing array of topics.

Google: 'MIT OCW' (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Open Course Ware)
4317  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: FEC part of IRS Scandal? on: July 31, 2013, 11:17:27 PM

Good for Eliana Johnson to keep the reporting of this going and thanks to Crafty for posting.  My belief is that this is still barely the tip of the iceberg of the RICO level, reelection conspiracy scandal.  I believe the 'data mining' operation was using government program recipient data and contact information in the campaign.
4318  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: July 31, 2013, 11:10:02 PM
Walter,  Welcome!  Very interesting video.  Even though it is a dramatization on the part of the 3 actors, it is quite remarkable.  It raises a number of different questions.  GM hit one; how many takes or different looks did it take to get that footage.  I assume there is truth potrayed here even though the show was very possibly fishing for this result.  It is interesting that the black woman makes the most race pre-judging comment, saying it isn't common that a white guy would be carrying burglary tools.  

To me, the woman stealing and the white guy looked like actors in a joke or stunt.  None of it looked much like a real crime in process although the black actor seemed to be the most convincing.  Was that because of race only?  I don't know.  What is strange is not people discovering and confronting him for stealing in broad daylight; everything he says and does indicates he is stealing the bike.  The strange part is the disbelief that the other actors could be stealing.

Of course there is a race perception element in this, and people pre-judge based on how each looks.  From there, then what?  Does that stereotype fit real data, is it imagined or is it both?  Is it fair?  My guess is that most bike thieves are white, that most black guys are not thieves of any kind and judging them on looks is totally unfair, but the likelihood of a young black man going into crime in America I would guess is higher than for other races, based on circumstances in my opinion, not based on race.

Walter, what are your comments on what we saw in the video?

Here is a different test:
They go further into measuring age and gender.  In both cases, these are not large sample sizes or impressive or sufficient controls on the experiment.
4319  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed: No one has ever had as deep a grounding... on: July 30, 2013, 11:48:11 AM
(from US Economics)
As the U.S. emerged from recession in the summer of 2009, Janet Yellen, then president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, took a grim view of the economy's prospects.

A WSJ analysis of more than 700 economic predictions between 2009 and 2012 by Fed policymakers shows doves, particularly Janet Yellen, have been the most prescient, while inflation hawks lagged the pack. Jon Hilsenrath explains. Photo: AP.

"I expect the pace of the recovery will be frustratingly slow," she said in a San Francisco speech. A month later, addressing fears that money flooding into the economy from the Federal Reserve would stoke inflation, Ms. Yellen said not to worry in a speech to Idaho bankers: High unemployment and the weak economy would tamp wages and prices.

Others at the Fed spoke forcefully in the other direction. Unless the central bank reversed the easy money course, Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser warned in December 2009, "the inflation rate is likely to rise to levels that most would consider unacceptable."

Ms. Yellen was proved right. ...

Last week Alan Binder endorsed Yellen for new Fed chief.  Today, NYT endorsed her:

Both are contrary indicators.  Run from them and run from her is my advice.  She is a current Fed insider.  Forecasting is far different than getting policy right.

NY Times Editorial Board, link above:  "no one else can match Janet Yellen’s combination of academic credentials and policy-making experience. And no one ever confirmed to the job has come to it with as deep a grounding in both the theory and practice of monetary and regulatory policy as Ms. Yellen would bring."

Yeah, dilute the currency by $85 billion a month - these are great policies... 
4320  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: July 30, 2013, 11:31:28 AM
So why wasn't/isn't this being applied to Hillary?

Yes, why not?

John Hinderacker at Powerline has a lengthy piece on the Hillary media wave today. 
The funny thing about Hillary Clinton is how vastly her reputation exceeds her accomplishments. In reality, the only reason anyone has heard of her is that she married Bill Clinton. Otherwise, she would have toiled away as an obscure, reasonably competent if obnoxious lawyer. She was a relatively unpopular First Lady who is best remembered for being embarrassed by her husband’s serial infidelities. She served a brief term as a Senator from New York, a role in which she achieved nothing. Then she lost the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama, and punched her ticket during a singularly unsuccessful stint as Secretary of State. Never has she had an original thought, formulated a successful strategy, or stepped out of the shadow of her singular husband." 

He wonders which actress under consideration for the two big jobs coming up looks most like her. 

4321  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy, Obama offers 'grand bargain' on corporate taxes on: July 30, 2013, 11:16:16 AM
Midway through year five he discovers or admits that having the highest tax rates in the developed world is a bad thing for the economy?  Say it isn't so!  If it is so, why does he have to offer a grand bargain to get what the opposition has said we needed all along?  What a complete, economic moron.  And duplicitous politician.

"Obama wants to cut the corporate tax rate of 35 percent down to 28 percent and give manufacturers a preferred rate of 25 percent."

And then he will spend the money on infrastructure?!  Who knew that lowering tax rates down from punitive levels will generate new revenues??  It kind of defeats the whole purpose of the Pelosi-Reid-Obama, post-2007 economic nightmare.  It makes me think we lost 10 trillion dollars, 10 million workers and one decade of our nation's history we will never get back for no reason. 

What next?  Will they discover that punitive individual tax rates, raised just this year, are killing jobs, industries and cities too?
4322  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Laffer, Detroit is Detroit Is Patient Zero In High-Tax, Sluggish America on: July 30, 2013, 10:55:36 AM
I can't figure out why these economic questions aren't obvious to everyone at this point in the experiment!

According to Larry Gatlin of the legendary country group the Gatlin Brothers, the definition of bankruptcy is: "When your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall." And boy, does Detroit fit that definition.

But the origins of Detroit's bankruptcy are far from unique or exclusively Detroit's fault.

And while Detroit's corruption-ridden city government and unfunded pension-fund liabilities are the proximate cause of the Michigan city's bankruptcy, the root causes are far deeper.  Detroit is the first of a number of triple witching events.

First of all, Motown is part of the American economy, which is experiencing the slowest recovery from the second worst recession/depression in the past century.  The prolonged downturn and its depth are consequences of the massive expansion of stimulus spending during Bush's second term and Obama's first term.

Milton Friedman was quick to remind people that government stimulus spending is taxation and a prosperity killer. Governments don't create resources; they redistribute resources.  While tax rates were raised during the Great Recession, they were raised a lot more during the Great Depression, which explains the difference in severity between the Great Depression of the 1930s and the modern Great Recession.  To push this point home, the highest marginal income-tax rate in 1931 was 25% and by 1938 it was 83%. Whoever heard of an economy being taxed into prosperity?

Obama Tax Hikes

President Obama raised the highest personal income-tax rate to 42%, raised the federal estate tax, upped the payroll tax — and now we have the prospects of greatly increased taxes as a result of ObamaCare.  The U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the OECD at 35%, which is the only corporate tax levied on global income, meaning that profits earned abroad by U.S. corporations have to pay the full U.S. tax upon repatriation after a credit for foreign taxes paid.  As a consequence, total employment as a share of the U.S. population has hovered in the 58.5% range for four years now with no sign of improvement, down from well over 63% in 2006.  Real GDP growth over the past four years since the economy troughed has averaged only 1.8%, well below the 2.5% rate needed for the economy to show improvement.

Steering The Motor City Wrong

The U.S. corporate tax structure is especially important for Detroit because the auto industry is global.  German, Japanese, Korean, Italian and French autos sold in countries other than the U.S. pay at most the highest corporate tax in those countries, while U.S. companies are always liable for their U.S. 35% corporate tax rate plus city and state corporate taxes, which in Detroit are serious. 

No real solution for Detroit's bankruptcy is possible without a solution to our nation's stagnation.

Secondly, Detroit is part of Michigan, which over the past decade (2001 through 2011) has had the lowest growth, bar none, in population of all the 50 states: -1.2% vs. the U.S. average of 9.5%.  Michigan's labor force growth, employment growth, productivity growth, gross state product growth, state and local tax revenue growth and income per capita growth are all the very lowest in the nation. Yikes!

In 1967, under Gov. George Romney's leadership, Michigan initiated a state income tax, initially setting the highest rate at 2.6% using federal adjusted gross income (AGI) as its tax base. The state's income tax rate peaked in 1983 at 6.35% and is now down to 4.25%.  Even though a 4.25% maximum tax rate is a lot better than a 6.35% tax rate, those towering tax rates have surely damaged today's Michigan economy.  The state's corporate tax rate stands at 6%.  These unwarranted burdensome taxes on business surely have added to Detroit and Michigan's decline.  Again, there's no real solution for Detroit that doesn't include tax reform in Michigan.

High Labor Cost, Little Labor

If all of this weren't enough to doom Detroit, add to it that Michigan and Detroit are highly unionized and have a minimum wage above the federal minimum wage. Gov. Rick Snyder and the state's legislature recently passed right-to-work legislation, so there is progress.

Worst of all, hear this: Using full-time equivalent employees per 10,000 of population in state and local governments as a way to measure such public services as education, police protection, fire protection, public welfare, hospitals, corrections and highways, Michigan — and thereby Detroit — ranks third lowest in the nation and 12% below the national average.  In police protection personnel per 10,000 population alone, Michigan is dead last in the nation.  Is it any wonder that Detroit is No. 1 for violent crime among any U.S. city with over 200,000 people?  In spite of being right at the bottom of the public service ladder, Michigan pays its state and local government employees 5% above the U.S. pay average and has enormously generous retirement and health benefits.  It's another double whammy: overpaid public servants and too few of them. In order to pay for poor service, by the end of 2013 Detroit will have closed 260, or over 80%, of its parks.

SOS For Positive Legislation

The high cost and lack of benefits of being located in Michigan, and especially in Detroit, incentivize people and businesses to locate elsewhere. Again, no Detroit cure is possible without total reform in state and local government spending.

Then we come to Detroit itself. In 1962, Motown adopted a 1% net income tax for residents and 0.5% for nonresident income earners. In 1964, the city initiated a 1% corporate tax as well.  Detroit's income tax stands at 2.4% today, and the corporate tax is 2%.  Businesses that can locate outside Detroit do. In 1950, 1.85 million people lived in Detroit.  Today the population of Detroit would be lucky to top 700,000. You can't balance a budget on people who leave or are unemployed.

Imagine a boiler's heat is turned way up, its safety valves are shut off and you tap the boiler every five minutes with a little brass tap hammer.  By turning the boiler's heat way up and shutting off the safety valves, you have guaranteed the boiler will explode.  By tapping the boiler every five minutes with a little brass tap hammer, you're guaranteed you'll be there when the explosion occurs. Such is the case with Detroit.  But let us assure you: While Detroit is the worst and the first, it won't be the last or the biggest.
4323  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Krauthammer: It's his economy on: July 30, 2013, 10:46:08 AM
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I find it astonishing that he goes around making speeches in which he deplores the state of the economy, the growing income inequality, chronic unemployment, staggering middle class income, and it's as if he has been a bystander, as if he's been out of the country for the last five years. It's his economy; he's the president.

He's talking as if this is the Bush economy, I don't know, the Eisenhower economy, and he just arrived in a boat and he discovers how bad the economy is. This is a result of the policies he instituted. He gave us the biggest stimulus in the history of the milky way, and he said it would jump start the economy. The result has been the slowest recovery, the worst recovery since World War II, and that is the root of all of the problems he's talking about, the income inequality -- the median income of the middle class of Americans has declined by 5% in his one term. So who's responsible for that? Those were his policies. He talks about this in the abstract and he actually gets away with it in a way that I find absolutely astonishing, it's magical. This is his economy and he's pretending he's just stumbled upon it. And the policies he proposes are exactly the ones he proposed and implemented in the first term. (Special Report, July 29, 2013)
4324  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: July 30, 2013, 10:42:32 AM
Wesbury, eating crow so artfully:

"Wednesday is the initial report on Q2 GDP and we expect a pretty tepid growth rate of 1.2%, which is down slightly from last week when we thought 1.5%...

Over the past few years of recovery, real economic growth has often lagged our expectations, in large part due to shortfalls in business investment and inventories. This quarter could be similar."

Brian Wesbury, this economy sucks.  Real growth 'lagged your expectations' because you underestimated the accumulated damage done by anti-growth policies, not because of one line item here or there on a balance sheet.

When investment is punished, one will see 'shortfalls' of it.  Labor requires capital and capital requires labor.  In a free country, each person can provide either or both.  In a sinking ship, you will see opportunities to provide neither.
4325  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 4th trimester abortions on: July 30, 2013, 10:32:00 AM

Anything protecting the kid before reaching 18 is an infringement on the woman's right of reproductive freedom, why stop at 4th trimester?

It is so odd in this debate that it is conservatives who want to protect the weakest, most innocent and most vulnerable and unproductive among us and the liberals who stop and judge their value to society so harshly.  What about age discrimination and hate crimes?  They couldn't care less.
4326  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: July 30, 2013, 10:22:26 AM
"Huma for mayor"   rolleyes
Must be the same crowd that keeps telling us how beautiful she is.  cheesy

She is unfit to pick a mayor and unfit to pick a husband.  MSM now turning on her:

Standing by her husband teaches her baby boy it is okay to do what to your family, when he grows up and looks back.  Her husband knows the line he cannot cross with her is nowhere. 

Sham marriage, sham people.  I can only think that in the confidence of their arranged relationship he has plenty on her too, and it all has to do with Hillary.

It is a waste of time thinking about this.  He would be a terrible mayor without these problems and the people will choose the policies of Detroit no matter who is left running.  Too bad for America.
4327  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi and related matters on: July 26, 2013, 12:57:17 AM
What good faith reason is there for Boener to be blocking true investigations?

It's a good question.  Maybe timing or waiting for information coming that we don't know about.  I agree he is a lousy point man but I don't believe he doesn't get the depth of the scandal or is part of a conspiracy or coverup.
4328  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science, Sun’s bizarre activity may trigger another ice age on: July 25, 2013, 05:21:15 PM
Sun’s bizarre activity may trigger another ice age

Illustration mapping the steady decline in sunspot activity over the last two solar cycles with predicted figures for the current cycle 24

The sun is acting bizarrely and scientists have no idea why. Solar activity is in gradual decline, a change from the norm which in the past triggered a 300-year-long mini ice age.

Three leading solar scientists presented the very latest data about the weakening solar activity at a teleconference yesterday in Boulder, Colorado, organised by the American Astronomical Society. It featured experts from Nasa, the High Altitude Observatory and the National Solar Observatory who described how solar activity, as measured by the formation of sunspots and by massive explosions on the sun’s surface, has been falling steadily since the mid-1940s.
“It is the smallest solar maximum we have seen in 100 years,” said Dr David Hathaway of Nasa.
4329  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Use RICO to prosecute IRS targeting and election corruption scandal on: July 25, 2013, 05:15:25 PM
Yes, the IRS targeting scandal road leads to Lerner and Wilkins which ties it to the President, his political handlers andto the campaign.  Sitting out here one might ask how you can tie all these small, illegal acts to swing the election together to expose the wider corruption and criminal enterprise that it embodies.  The answer is RICO, the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act.

RICO: The real way to hold the IRS accountable

If you are looking for a political-judicial solution, such as congress, impeachment, or a special prosecutor to hold accountable the unlawful acts coming out of the Obama administration, beginning with the Internal Revenue Service’s abuse and targeting of conservatives, Tea Party groups, and Christians, you are looking in the wrong place. What the IRS did tilted President Barack Obama’s re-election in his favor.

The IRS targeting reportedly began as early as 2010. Three years later, no one has been held accountable and the facts continue to drip out in slow motion.

Last week, for instance, as the Daily Caller reported, retiring IRS lawyer Carter C. Hull testified before California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and implicated Obama appointee, IRS Chief Counsel William J. Wilkin, in addition to the Washington-based head of the IRS’s exempt organizations office, Lois Lerner, in the IRS targeting scandal. Lerner already has pled the Fifth. Hull made it clear that the targeting of conservatives and Tea Party groups started in Washington.
Ads by Google

Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department declined to prosecute a government employee who apparently knowingly improperly accessed former Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell tax records.  Does anyone really believe they will see justice from the Obama administration in these cases?

The bottom line is this. You can’t get justice within the political system in America anymore because the politicians own it. What ultimately stopped the mafia? The Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). What can stop the Obama administration, starting with holding corruption at the IRS accountable? RICO.

For years, as documented in The Whistleblower: How the Clinton White House Stayed in Power to Reemerge in the Obama White House & World Stage, Washington’s ruling elite have comprised a protected class, with rules that don’t apply to everyday Americans. If you or I lied before Congress or to federal investigators we would have been charged with perjury long ago.

In Washington, Attorney General Holder and National Security Director James Clapper can lie to Congress and hold onto their powerful positions without consequence.

People forget how the Office of Independent Counsel Special Prosecutor Robert Ray used his prosecutorial discretion when he declined in the 1990’s to charge Hillary Clinton with perjury and obstruction of justice. Others might not know that additional potential crimes were not included in the articles of impeachment during former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment hearings which might have prevented the Clintons and the Clintonistas from re-emerging in the Obama administration and on the world stage. People have failed to recall how the Bush administration declined to prosecute quid-pro Pardongate in which Eric Holder was knee deep in.

Aside from the occasional PR-savvy fall-guy resignations the federal justice system has been dead for decades.

This is why RICO — the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act is the solution for Americans to use to see some long overdue justice in Washington. RICO provides a peaceful way to hold corruption accountable.

Successful cases against organized crime have been built around RICO, which was enacted in 1970 to target the mafia. What is needed is to use RICO to specifically hold corrupt politicians and federal officials accountable.

RICO has already held corrupt politicians like former mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick, and his childhood friend Bobby Ferguson, accountable. Under the RICO statute, they were convicted on March 11, 2013 of using Kilpatrick’s office to run a criminal organization to extort bribes in exchange for city contracts. It can be done.

According to 18 USC § 1961, crimes under RICO include everything from extortion, obstruction of justice, obstruction of a criminal investigation, and witness tampering, to kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter and financial institution fraud. RICO also permits a private individual harmed by the actions of an enterprise to file a civil suit, and if successful, to collect treble damages (damages in triple the amount of actual/compensatory damages).

In the U.S. the act of engaging in criminal activity as a structured group is referred to as “racketeering.” In short, RICO requires at least two acts of racketeering activity, establishing a pattern which occurred within ten years after the commission of a prior act of racketeering activity. It’s clear based on the number of conservatives and Tea Party groups that were targeted by the IRS that a pattern exists. It’s also clear from the testimony before Congress and in the Inspector General report that a number of officials were involved who were following orders from above. The evidence of a pattern and conspiracy already has been established. It’s time to use it.

Americans who have been targeted by the IRS or deprived of their rights by other government agencies should consider filing civil RICO suit under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 – Civil Remedy for Deprivation of Rights and RICO: Civil Remedies for Conspiracies to Deprive Rights. Civil RICO does not rely on the politicized criminal justice system to work. This is especially critical considering those politics appear to have corrupted justice within AG Holder’s own department.

This American University Law Review report called, Using the Master’s Tools: Fighting Persistent Police Misconduct with Civil RICO, by Steven P. Ragland, could serve as a blueprint. This case shows how civil RICO was successfully used to root out corrupt policemen in the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and can be applied to corrupt officials at the IRS and other agencies where corruption exists. Substitute the bad cops with the individual corrupt government workers, LAPD with the government agency in question and off you go.

Remember, the beauty of RICO is it can begin at the local and state level, and be brought as a civil RICO action first that doesn’t require the federal government to participate. It “provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization.” That means state and local lawyers, sheriffs, attorney generals, and prosecutors can bypass the corrupted Federal justice system. From there, as these civil RICO suits evolve and new potential criminal information is brought to light through the discovery process, these suits can merge and potentially become criminal actions that can be brought before a grand jury and spread to D.C. But victims of IRS targeting can and should start throwing down the gauntlet now.

4330  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Boener boning us? on: July 25, 2013, 04:58:09 PM
Mark Levin: Boehner and Obama ‘Cut Some Kind of Deal’ on Benghazi
Mark Levin dropped a bombshell on John Boehner. ...

Levin is an accomplished lawyer who served in the Reagan administration as high as chief of staff to the Attorney General, yet thinks presume guilty and then prove yourself innocent is good enough for flame throwing.  If Boehner 'cut some kind of deal' wouldn't he already know that?  The President and former Secretary must love seeing Benghazi turn into a circus of conservatives blaming Republicans for mis-handling the scandal. 

Wouldn't it suffice to oppose the policy or call on him to do more, instead going after the person?  Speaker Boehner didn't order anyone to stand down or spread a false story afterward.  How about blaming those who did?
Continuing on Benghazi...

Still no Benghazi answers
A promise for action betrayed

Ten months after the horrific tragedy in Benghazi, Libya, when terrorists attacked the U.S. Consulate and killed four Americans, the administration has given no credible answer to persistent questioning about why units such as the Foreign Emergency Support Team were not activated to save the lives of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, information officer Sean Smith and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. 
4331  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: July 25, 2013, 09:41:54 AM
The WSJ gets back into stride after a short, illegal immigration diversion.  First my question and answer key to reading their chart:

What changed in America triggering the economy nosedive in employment and income?  The end of 2006 and the beginning of 2007 marked the election and swearing in of the Pelosi-Reid-Obama-Hillary-Biden majorities in congress, signaling the end of what few pro-growth policies this nation had left.  The main economic impetus was to end the unfair inequities of a growth economy.  How is that working out?

"If only Mr. Obama (and his voters!) understood that before a government can redistribute wealth, the private economy has to create it."

The Inequality President
The rich have done fine under Obamanomics, not so the middle class.

President Obama made his fourth or fifth, or maybe it's the seventh or eighth, pivot to the economy on Wednesday, and a revealing speech it was. We counted four mentions of "growth" but "inequality" got five. This goes a long way to explaining why Mr. Obama is still bemoaning thestate of the economy five years into his Presidency.

The President summed up his economic priorities close to the top of his hour-long address. "This growing inequality isn't just morally wrong; it's bad economics," he told his Galesburg, Illinois audience. "When middle-class families have less to spend, businesses have fewer customers. When wealth concentrates at the very top, it can inflate unstable bubbles that threaten the economy. When the rungs on the ladder of opportunity grow farther apart, it undermines the very essence of this country."

Then the heart of the matter: "That's why reversing these trends must be Washington's highest priority. It's certainly my highest priority."

Which is the problem. For four and a half years, Mr. Obama has focused his policies on reducing inequality rather than increasing growth. The predictable result has been more inequality and less growth. As even Mr. Obama conceded in his speech, the rich have done well in the last few years thanks to a rising stock market, but the middle class and poor have not. The President called his speech "A Better Bargain for the Middle Class," but no President has done worse by the middle class in modern times.

By now the lackluster growth figures are well known. The recovery that began four years ago has been one of the weakest on record, averaging a little more than 2%. And it has not gained speed. Growth in the fourth quarter of 2012 was 0.4%. It rose to a still anemic 1.8% in the first quarter but most economists are predicting even slower growth in the second quarter.

We hope the predictions of a faster growth in the second half will be right, but the Obama Treasury and Federal Reserve have been predicting for four years that takeoff was just around the corner. Stocks are doing great, and housing prices are rising, but job growth remains lackluster. What has never arrived is the 3%-4% growth spurt during typical expansions.

The official excuse is that recoveries coming out of recessions caused by financial crises are always slow. But then why have we been told every few months for five years that faster growth would soon be coming? Perhaps readers recall former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's famous 2010 op-ed, "Welcome to the Recovery." Mr. Obama wants it both ways: Take credit for recovering from recession, but blame that recession ad infinitum for the slow pace of the recovery.

What about the middle class that is the focus of Mr. Obama's rhetoric? Each month the consultants at Sentier Research crunch the numbers from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey and estimate the trend in median annual household income adjusted for inflation. In its May 2013 report, Sentier put the figure at $51,500, essentially unchanged from $51,671 a year earlier.

And that's the good news. The bad news is that median real household income is $2,718, or 5%, lower than the $54,218 median in June 2009 when the recession officially ended. Median incomes typically fall during recessions. But the striking fact of the Obama economy is that median real household income has fallen even during the recovery.

While the declines have stabilized over the last two years, incomes are still far below the previous peak located by Sentier of $56,280 in January 2008. No wonder Mr. Obama is now turning once again to his familiar political narrative assailing inequality and blaming everyone else for it. He wants to change the subject from the results on his watch.

The core problem has been Mr. Obama's focus on spreading the wealth rather than creating it. ObamaCare will soon hook more Americans on government subsidies, but its mandates and taxes have hurt job creation, especially at small businesses. Mr. Obama's record tax increases have grabbed a bigger chunk of affluent incomes, but they created uncertainty for business throughout 2012 and have dampened growth so far this year.

The food stamp and disability rolls have exploded, which reduces inequality but also reduces the incentive to work and rise on the economic ladder. This has contributed to a plunge in the share of Americans who are working—the labor participation rate—to 63.5% in June from 65.7% in June 2009. And don't forget the Fed's extraordinary monetary policy, which has done well by the rich who have assets but left the thrifty middle class and retirees earning pennies on their savings.

Mr. Obama would have done far better by the poor, the middle class and the wealthy if he had focused on growing the economy first. The difference between the Obama 2% recovery and the Reagan-Clinton 3%-4% growth rates is rising incomes for nearly everybody.

House Republicans have put a check on Mr. Obama's most destructive economic policies, but the President could do more to help growth if he crossed party lines to pass tax reform the way Reagan did in his second term, or to work out a budget deal as Bill Clinton did in his fifth year.

Mr. Obama's only pro-growth proposal is immigration reform, and we're not sure he wants even that to pass. Judging by the partisan tenor of his Wednesday speech, he may be setting it up to use as a campaign wedge in 2014. If only Mr. Obama understood that before a government can redistribute wealth, the private economy has to create it.
4332  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: July 25, 2013, 09:22:37 AM
I very much appreciate Marc bringing in these discussions and I have learned to value the wisdom and knowledge that pp is bringing us on housing.  One important point I would make that Pat already nailed:

"Existing Home Sales is much more important than New Home Sales."

When new home construction rebounds it is a positive factor in employment, in the the context that these increases come from a level of near zero during the crisis.  In housing values, more new homes means more supply so it is actually a negative factor for existing home values.  If construction is up based on artificially and temporarily low interest rates, that makes the so-called general recovery even more suspect.

A key point both Rick and Pat agree on: foreclosure blockage is a bad thing for the market. Posted by Pat previously, "If government would get out of the way and let "natural actions" clear the market, housing recovery would be shortened considerably."

Politically, it sounds so caring for the government to step in and stop the big bank lender from taking back the collateral that was offered as security on a defaulted loan.  But for a free market to exist for housing, intervention tears down the foundation.  Lending on housing happens because the loan is 'secured'.  But when we demonstrate willingness to void the terms of a valid, private contract using a boldly, interventionist government based on economic conditions and political whim, up goes the risk and down goes the desirability of making those loans in the future.

Ask yourself, what was the difference between the US economy in its greatness and a third world country with no investment and zero growth and I think the answer is consistency in the rule of law.  People could enter into long term contracts and investments with the expectation that money will still be money years later, and contracts will be enforceable.  We keep chipping away at the cornerstones of our success without noticing the consequences.
4333  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness speaks on economics, The Inequality President on: July 25, 2013, 08:42:31 AM
Forbes writes today,'The President Doubles Down on Moving Left - More of the Same':

I like this from the WSJ this morning:

"before a government can redistribute wealth, the private economy has to create it"

Too bad the Romney campaign, with a billion in the bank, couldn't resonate one sentence of economics to a suffering nation.
4334  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Japan - Deregulation? WSJ on: July 25, 2013, 08:34:00 AM
I recall the same publication, WSJ editorial page, writing at the beginning of this 20 year funk that what Japan needed was bold economic reforms and what Japan's political system was totally incapable of was bold reform, hence the 20 years of stagnation.  One thing that makes the current situation more interesting is the trouble in China, since China only very recently surpassed Japan as the world's second largest economy (using cooked books).  Also interesting to me is that Japan lowered its corporate income tax rate, a pro-growth move, making the US rate the highest in the developed world.

The Prime Minister's party and allies just won a majority in the upper house, in addition to the lower house, now they need to carry out unspecified reforms that he promised.  They already are doing the easy part, more spending and monetary devaluation - dubious strategies.

The third leg is deregulation.

"Now the question is how strongly Mr. Abe will move on what he calls the "third arrow" of Japanese reform. These include deregulatory changes that go beyond the free-lunch appeal of more spending and easy money. That means opening up Japan's economy to more competition with free trade, making it easier to fire and thus also hire workers, busting up domestic cartels such as in retailing, reforming laws on land use to allow more development, and cutting corporate taxes.  Mr. Abe was circumspect on most of these fronts during the campaign, no doubt because they challenge powerful domestic constituencies. One exception was Mr. Abe's endorsement of Japan's entry into the trans-Pacific free trade talks, for which he now has a clear mandate. Such a trade opening could be precisely the foreign shock Japan needs to stimulate more domestic animal spirits. That assumes Mr. Abe won't now try to limit how far the pact goes on agriculture, among other protected parts of Japan's economy. He should consider trade to be his political ally in driving reform."
4335  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: July 24, 2013, 02:35:11 PM
"Seeing Krugman's take on China must be a big relief to the Chinese leadership. The fact that GF treats Krugman with anything but contempt makes me question GF."

"As good/great as Stratfor often is on geo-politics in equal measure it can be quite the Keynesian mediocrity on economics."

That was my reaction too.  I assume there is a serious, Princeton economist / Nobel Laureate residing somewhere in Krugman's brain, not just the partisan shill, caricature of a columnist that he plays over at the NYTimes.  I just haven't seen any evidence of it.  It detracts from the piece to quote Krugman but what Friedman is saying - Crafty had it in his title - is that even these people are now admitting what we have been saying for quite a while.
4336  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obamacare losing support - with Democrats on: July 23, 2013, 10:45:30 PM
Moderate Democrats are quitting on Obamacare

By Scott Clement, Published: July 23 2013  Washington Post:

The landmark health-reform law passed in 2010 has never been very popular and always highly partisan, but a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that a group of once loyal Democrats has been steadily turning against Obamacare: Democrats who are ideologically moderate  or conservative.

74 percent of moderate and conservative Democrats supported the federal law making changes to the health-care system. But just 46 percent express support in the new poll. 

Just 58 percent of Democrats now support the law

Stated the other way, 42% of Democrats don't support the agenda.

4337  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: July 23, 2013, 04:27:21 PM
Part of China is 3rd. world, part of it is first world, kind of like California.

You are right of course, but the number of people living a third world existence there is astounding. 

From the Stratfor link, "more than a billion people live in deep poverty"

"the overwhelming poverty of China, where 900 million people have an annual per capita income around the same level as Guatemala, Georgia, Indonesia or Mongolia ($3,000-$3,500 a year), while around 500 million of those have an annual per capita income around the same level as India, Nicaragua, Ghana, Uzbekistan or Nigeria ($1,500-$1,700). China's overall per capita GDP is around the same level as the Dominican Republic, Serbia, Thailand or Jamaica.

Median household income in the US, pre-Obama, was $55,438.
4338  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rand Paul’s dangerous demagoguery, By Jennifer Rubin on: July 23, 2013, 04:17:24 PM
Rand Paul is the anti-neo-con of our time and he has made some good points in that regard.  One point he made that I liked was pointing out that Reagan saying 'Peace through Strength' meant peace through deterrence, not (necessarily) peace through war. 

This tough critique of Rand Paul, link below, is from the Washington Post, but it is written by Jennifer Rubin who is their resident conservative.  She brings up quite a few points, one is his use of Eisenhower as a model:

"Ironically, Paul cites President Dwight D. Eisenhower as a model. His knowledge must be tissue-paper thin. Let’s skip over Ike’s leadership in WWII and NATO for the moment. (I don’t know whether Paul was in favor of WWII, but someone should ask.) Eisenhower wasn’t shy about using the CIA to further our national interests, including attempting to subvert governments. He kept the defense budget at about half of the federal budget. He funded Middle East allies as part of his Cold War strategy. He sent troops to Lebanon.  He maintained our defense of Taiwan and amply funded NATO. If this is Paul’s model, perhaps he isn’t so bad, you say. But in fact Eisenhower is good for a quote, as far as Paul is concerned, but the strategy that kept the peace and advanced U.S. interests is of little interest to him."
4339  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: July 23, 2013, 03:39:41 PM
GM's point [Don't underestimate China] has considerable merit in our mix.  War is a common solution for fascist regimes to their problems and the reality and perception of American military decline makes for mighty temptations, e.g. as has been well-covered in this forum, in the South China Sea.

Absolutely.  My interest in the fall of China, as a human and a libertarian, is that I would like to see the people freed from the regime.  I receive no pleasure or benefit from having them remain a poor, smoggy, polluted third world country.
4340  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: McCain on: July 23, 2013, 12:10:07 PM
McLame would still be a better president than Buraq. The key factor being that McLame doesn't hate this country.

A Middle of the Road friend told me Hillary would have been better than Obama.  My opinion is that better than Obama is not the standard to judge Presidential excellence.

Yes, McCain better than Buraq, I voted for him, but having another failed Republican presidency in some ways is worse than watching your opponents prove that their ideology doesn't work.  For one thing we wouldn't have won back the House; the resurgence of 2010 would have been the occupy-left.  And who knows what Pelosi-Reid writings McCain would have signed.
4341  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: No Sh*t Sherlock on: July 23, 2013, 11:56:09 AM

Very funny title.  Fox News should read the forum and they wouldn't be so surprised.

News at the link below from the global warming crowd, they are now explaining the lack of warming over the last 15 years before they have admitted the lack of warming over the last 15 years.  The explanation was that it all went into the oceans.  But the models said warming is LINKED to CO2.  The 'scientists' said the earth has no mechanism to handle 400 ppm or more and warming would spiral upward until civilization was flooded over.  Oh well.  Keep the research money coming nonetheless.  Lack of global warming means we have even more to fear.
4342  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Vote fraud, corruption etc.: Getting ballots to Obamacare recipients on: July 23, 2013, 11:47:39 AM
I have been arguing lately that the magic 'data mining - turnout operation' of the Obama reelection effort was focused on sharing government program recipient data with campaign targeting, while shutting down tea party opposition.

John Fund exposes the connection between program recipients and ballots:

Obamacare’s Branch of the NSA
Community organizers will use a Federal Data Hub to sign up people for subsidies — and even ballots.
By John Fund

President Obama has had a poor record of job creation, but at least one small economic sector is doing well: community organizing.

The Department of Health and Human Services is about to hire an army of “patient navigators” to inform Americans about the subsidized insurance promised by Obamacare and assist them in enrolling. These organizers will be guided by the new Federal Data Hub, which will give them access to reams of personal information compiled by federal agencies ranging from the IRS to the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration. “The federal government is planning to quietly enact what could be the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic,” Paul Howard of the Manhattan Institute and Stephen T. Parente, a University of Minnesota finance professor, wrote in USA Today. No wonder that there are concerns about everything from identity theft to the ability of navigators to use the system to register Obamacare participants to vote.
Indeed, voter registration is among the goals of the folks hawking Obamacare. The People’s World newspaper reports: “California’s Secretary of State Debra Bowen is designating the state’s new Health Benefit Exchange, Covered California, as a voter registration agency under the National Voter Registration Act. That means Covered California will be incorporating voter registration into every transaction — online, in-person and by phone — it has with consumers.” It seems as if some Obama supporters have found a new way to fill the void left by the bankruptcy of ACORN, the notorious left-wing voter-registration group that saw dozens of its employees in multiple states convicted of fraud.

...if Obamacare isn’t repealed, the government can, with enough effort and money, get the Data Hub up and running. That concerns many members of Congress.

“Giving community organizers access to the Federal Data Hub is bad policy and potentially a danger to civil liberties,” House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan told me recently. “But it’s one of the most under-reported stories I’ve seen. If people only knew about this Data Hub program, it would touch off a huge public outcry.”
4343  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The End of the Chinese Economic Miracle By George Friedman Stratfor on: July 23, 2013, 11:38:53 AM
About a minute ago we were discussing when the Chinese currency would take over the dollar and euro and the global standard.  The answer is no time soon.  China's problems are well covered in the forum.  George Friedman does a nice job of putting them in historical and global context.

 "Many have asked when China would find itself in an economic crisis, to which we have answered that China has been there for awhile..."

"the vast majority of Chinese cannot afford the products produced in China, and therefore, stimulus will not increase consumption of those products.  ...Stimulating demand so that inefficient factories can sell products is not only inflationary, it is suicidal. The task is to increase consumption, not to subsidize inefficiency."

"The Chinese are thus in a trap. If they continue aggressive lending to failing businesses, they get inflation. That increases costs and makes the Chinese less competitive in exports, which are also falling due to the recession in Europe and weakness in the United States. Allowing businesses to fail brings unemployment, a massive social and political problem. The Chinese have zigzagged from cracking down on lending by regulating informal lending and raising interbank rates to loosening restrictions on lending by removing the floor on the benchmark lending rate and by increasing lending to small- and medium-sized businesses. Both policies are problematic."
"[China will] no longer be the low-wage, high-growth center of the world. Like Japan before it, it will play a different role."
4344  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Feinstein writes Crafty Dog on: July 23, 2013, 11:02:29 AM
"I understand your concern that these bills could lead to increased voter fraud..." [Yet I support the bills and the heroic efforts of these newly enfranchised, fraudulent, Democratic voters.  Thanks for writing.]
  Dianne Feinstein
         United States Senator
4345  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Glibness, racial stirring and hate on: July 23, 2013, 10:56:48 AM
Every once in a long while someone uses 'tweeting' for what it was designed - to send out a profound thought in a concise, repeatable format.  This one is from 'Kathy in SC':

The most famous white Hispanic helped rescue 4 Americans. The most famous black Caucasian refused to rescue 4 Americans! Who’s A HATER?


George Zimmerman grabs fire extinguisher, pulls family from overturned SUV

Pres. Obama for the first time in American history ordered rescue efforts to "Stand Down" while Americans were under siege in Benghazi.

If President Obama had a son, he would not look like Ambassador Chris Stevens.  After freeing the slaves 150 years ago and empowering women to vote nearly 100 years ago, when did we start caring, aloud from the bully pulpit, what Americans look like?
4346  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: McCain on: July 23, 2013, 10:45:02 AM
Just a quick yip to express the notion that McCain would have been a rather poor president in his own right.
Most recently, I gather he has joined the president in calling for dialing back Stand Your Ground laws.
Then there is the matter of his wanting full intervention in Syria.  Anybody here up for that?
Etc, etc.

Agree.  He is a good and decent man who went through an amazing ordeal during his military service.  His political career, however, was a net negative for the country.

Within the conservative, libertarian, tea party, limited government movement, broadly named Republicans, there are a certain number of people who would rather stand with the other side than stand on principle.  RINO became the term and McCain became the face of it.  Sitting in Barry Goldwater's seat for parts of 4 decades, what has he done to make government smaller or individual liberty greater?  Did he build and lead a limited government movement in his home state or in the Senate over that time?  No, no.  Instead his siding with Democrats on key issues over the years helped to give Democrats cover for their votes and secure their own reelections so they all could continue to grow government, grow their own power, and erode our liberty.  MHO.
4347  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / America's Inner City: If President Obama Had A City, It Would Look like Detroit on: July 21, 2013, 08:50:16 PM
If Obama Had A City, It Would Look like Detroit

    40% of its street lamps don't work.

    210 of its 317 public parks have been closed.

    It takes an hour for police to respond to a 911 call.

    Only a third of its ambulances are drivable.

    One-third of the city has been abandoned.

    Forty-seven percent of adults are functionally illiterate

Evidently 50 years of governance by compassionate Obama community organizer types have driven out the business class and now there is no one left to rail against.

To top it off, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina declared Detroit's bankruptcy "unconstitutional." Evidently, as Mark Stein puts it, in Michigan," reality is unconstitutional."
4348  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Michael Yon: 'Danger Close', Bill Whittle: 'the lynching' on: July 21, 2013, 03:27:46 PM
Perhaps the best thing he's ever written. I say that having greatly appreciated his work.

Yes.  That was a great read.  Also Chapter One of his own book describing his own incident:

A link to the Bill Whittle piece referred to by Michael Yon:
4349  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: July 21, 2013, 03:11:55 PM
"China has two things going for it.
Their leadership knows Marxism doesn't work, and it has a greater tolerance for political dissent than ours."
"I get the attitude behind the second half of what you say, but I really would not want to be posting this forum in China.   You and I would never be seen again."

True, but the differences between the country pursuing Marxism while shutting down political dissent and China are subtle.
4350  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: FEd study: no contamination from fracking in PA on: July 21, 2013, 03:09:06 PM

I will be waiting on Letterman's apology.

Readers of the forum knew this 2 1/2 years sooner:

DOE, CBS, AP now picking it up the story:
A landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a western Pennsylvania drilling site, the Department of Energy told The Associated Press.

What would the result of the study be if the nation followed NY or Calif law?  Result inconclusive. Insufficient data.  Leave clean burning natural gas in the ground.  Meanwhile China and India are building 4 new coal plants per week:

Forget about natural gas, the US govt restricts the use of unpowered sailboats while India and China are building 4 new coal plants per week.
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