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4301  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Wesbury: Back to normal on: June 24, 2013, 01:51:59 PM
This is the new normal?  Trillions of wealth lost never recovered?  New growth line far below the old growth line?  Approaching a majority of adults who won't participate in the workforce.  Combined tax rates jumping past the 50% mark.  Regulations worse than ever.  Industries nationalized.  Downgraded credit rating.  Other countries looking for a new, world currency.  We are unable to sell our own bonds.  America's interests in foreign Policy ignored around the world.  Wesbury is right.  This IS the new normal.

Wesbury: "...fearing an end to QE is giving QE too much credit in the first place."

An injection rate of $85 BILLION A MONTH is not a serious drug habit?  If it wasn't having an effect, why are they doing it?

"we don’t think QE actually works. Yes, the monetary base has jumped dramatically, but the M2 measure of money is still growing along its long-term 6% trend."

Money expansion HAS hit the money supply, apologies for the redundancy, but it has not hit velocity, because money shortage, since at least 2009, has had nothing to do with why this economy is stuck with its parking brake on.

"Everyone knew the Fed would say it, then slow it, then stop it,…and only then raise interest rates and unwind it. And each will only happen when the Fed thinks the economy can handle it."

In other words this Plowhorse-strength economy cannot stand on its own hoofed feet, according to the top decision makers today, with the market concurring.

I am stuck with my conclusion that the ability of big companies to continue to make big money in collusion with big government keeping out under-financed startups through over-regulation tells us shockingly little about where the US economy is heading.

If Republicans were in charge, people would be furious about these high profits of established companies thinning their workforces that he refers to.
4302  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 24, 2013, 01:16:07 PM
We now live in the age of "pass it to find out what's in it".
We really are living in insane times.

That's right.  This didn't need to turn into an Obamacare-style, tax code-style, Dodd-Frank-style, 1200 page attack on forests that no one will read, full of special treatment, provisions and exceptions for special groups, along with misprints and stupidity:  I hope the proponents of it will hold up the vote and allow debate and amendments before passing what they intend to be the law of the land.

The WSJ ran an editorial today again belittling the opponents for their petty concern over border security.  As I pointed out previously, their own characterization of the security status was already quite misleading.  They are entitled to their opinion, but mis-characterizing facts, cheapening the motives of the opponents, showing reverence to Chuck Schumer and dividing the conservative movement are not ways to build a coalition of any value.

"At least the Corker-Hoeven plan has the virtue of smoking out the politicians who have been using the "border security first" demand as cover for their real objection, which is to immigration per se."

Good grief. Did they forget about 1986 and 2006 or do they really not know the Lucy holding the ball for Charlie Brown history of this?  They are confusing legal and illegal immigration, just as they accuse opponents of doing so.  If the security is so certain, why not security first - just this once?  If the bill is so good, why not let us read it before demanding support or calling us all anti-immigrant? 

To WSJ: Taking cheap shots at your readership is not how you will get immigration reform or subscriptions renewed.
4303  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Dubois: Race, A crisis of Black Men Left Behind on: June 24, 2013, 10:45:18 AM
"there are more African-Americans in the corrections system today—in prison or on probation or parole—than there were enslaved in 1850. As of 2004, more black men were denied the right to vote because of a criminal record than in 1870, when the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified, giving blacks the right to vote."

Posted under race because he makes that his focus.  My view is that America's underclass and inner city problems disproportionately hit people of color but are not uniquely racial problems.

This a long and very interesting article written by a former spiritual adviser to President Obama.  His observations, awareness of the problem and historical data are quite good.  This is perhaps the biggest problems in America, tied to so many other challenges.  Imagine our economy if America's underclass suddenly got up and participated full time in the economy.  His keen insights, including failure of the war on drugs, however completely ignore the number one cause of the problem.
4304  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs - The 'Farm Bill' failed in the House on: June 24, 2013, 10:28:11 AM
The opponents included most Democrats, because there is a "$1 billion cut" in the food stamp program (readers here know a cut is not a cut), along with some Republicans that doesn't believe a welfare program belongs in the farm bill.  The urban Democrat - rural Republican, big government coalition has been fractured.

Separate the two and let them stand on their own merits, says Stephen Moore, WSJ

Maybe someone can tell me what states in this union cannot afford to feed their own people in 2012, requiring a federal program, and how a monstrous bill like this is justified by a simple mention in the constitution of regulating interstate commerce. 
4305  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The IRS's Best Friend in Congress - on: June 24, 2013, 10:10:58 AM
Young journalist Eliana Johnson keeps some coverage of this story alive as our attention disorder mainstream keeps moving on to other topics.  At the moment this is a lead opinion piece at WSJ, Powerline, Real Clear Politics and National Review.

The IRS's Best Friend in Congress
Rep. Elijah Cummings says the House investigation is a 'witch hunt.' Yet revealing evidence keeps coming.


The House Oversight Committee's investigation into the Internal Revenue Service's discrimination against conservative groups continues—but at least one unenthusiastic member seems to think the committee's work is done.

Over the objections of Chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D., Md.) last week released online the full, 205-page transcript of an interview that committee investigators conducted with an IRS employee in Cincinnati named John Shafer. Mr. Cummings explained that he was compelled to release the Shafer transcript because it explodes Mr. Issa's "conspiracy theories"—chiefly, that the White House played a role in the targeting of conservative groups, and that it was orchestrated out of IRS headquarters in Washington, D.C. In fact, Mr. Issa has never said the former, and much that is known so far about the IRS scandal suggests that the Washington connection is substantial.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (right) and Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, June 6.

Mr. Cummings's enthusiasm for defending the IRS may make him a lonely figure among the 22 Republicans and 16 Democrats on the House Oversight Committee, but he is likely to find an ally in his chief counsel on the committee. She is Susanne Sachsman Grooms, who worked for the IRS between 2008 and 2011 as an adviser to the deputy commissioner for services and enforcement and then as a senior counselor to the chief of criminal investigations. At the time, the deputy commissioner for services and enforcement—her boss—was none other than Steven Miller, who held the post of IRS commissioner from November 2012 until his resignation in May after the scandal broke. Mr. Cummings also has a strong tie to the Obama administration: His staff director on the Oversight Committee, David Rapallo, is a former White House lawyer.

The release of the Shafer transcript came after a June 12 interview with Politico in which Mr. Cummings labeled the Oversight Committee's investigation a "witch hunt"—in other words, something that should end immediately. A few days before that, in a June 9 CNN interview, he said, "The IG made some recommendations, those recommendations are being adopted by the IRS . . . I think we're in great shape."

As it happens, the revelation of Mr. Shafer's testimony isn't likely to discourage the investigation.

Mr. Shafer, the manager of an IRS screening group in the Cincinnati office, told committee investigators that in February 2010 one of his employees brought a tea-party application for nonprofit designation to his attention.

Given the media coverage that the tea party was receiving, Mr. Shafer deemed the application a "high profile" matter and alerted his managers to its existence. Shortly thereafter, according to his testimony, lawyers in the IRS's Washington, D.C., office said, "We want to look at the case." On the evidence of the Washington office's interest in that initial case, Mr. Shafer said IRS agents in Cincinnati then held the applications of tea-party groups until they were given "further direction" from D.C.

Case closed, according to Mr. Cummings, who wrote in a letter to Mr. Issa: "These statements by the screening group manager appear to directly contradict your allegations of political motivation."

If Mr. Shafer or Mr. Cummings could read the minds of IRS officials in Washington, that might be true. In reality, Mr. Shafer was unable to say why officials in Washington were so interested in the tea-party cases or whether the officials' interest was politically motivated.

"Did you have an understanding at the time about what the reason was for sending the cases [to Washington] for review?" investigators asked him. "No," he responded. They pressed further. "Do you have personal knowledge of the motivations of Washington and how they worked the tea party cases?" "I do not," Mr. Shafer said.

The testimony offered by other Cincinnati IRS employees—which I have reviewed in full, un-redacted form—contradicts Mr. Cummings's claims and those of Obama administration officials, such as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who has pointed the finger at "line employees" in Cincinnati. The IRS interviews suggest that the agency's officials in Washington closely controlled the review of tea-party cases.

Consider Gary Muthert, the Cincinnati IRS screener who told investigators that he began singling out tea-party applications at the request of Mr. Shafer, who told him "Washington, D.C., wanted some cases."

And there is Elizabeth Hofacre, the Cincinnati IRS agent who for several months in 2010 was charged with handling all tea-party applications. She told the committee that she understood the "lookout list" used to flag the applications of tea-party groups was also intended to flag those of Republican and conservative groups. When the applications of liberal groups came in, she sent them along for general processing.

Ms. Hofacre also told the committee's investigators that IRS lawyers in Washington were controlling her every move. "I was taking all my direction from EO Technical," she told investigators, referring to the group of IRS tax lawyers in Washington that handles tax-exempt organizations. She went on to say that she had "no autonomy" in her handling of the cases, and she termed the behavior of IRS officials in Washington in the matter "very unusual."

Mr. Cummings's efforts have drawn attention away from these troubling accounts, which have been partially released by the House Oversight Committee—and instead bogged the committee down with questions of whether to release full interview transcripts.

Mr. Issa opposes releasing the full transcripts. Disclosing them, he says, threatens to compromise the investigation by providing future witnesses a "road map" of the scope and content of likely questions. It also provides them with time to formulate their answers and to ensure that their testimony corroborates that of other witnesses. Mr. Cummings, who has already made his position clear by unilaterally releasing the Shafer transcript, has called the committee chairman's position on the matter "bulls---."

Many questions remain for the committee to address, even if Mr. Cummings might disagree. Who at the IRS, for instance, developed the intrusive and exhaustive questions that were sent to the tea-party groups? Why did so many of those groups have to wait years for their applications to be processed, and why are many more still waiting? Who specifically were the IRS officials in Washington directing the Cincinnati agents targeting the tea-party organizations?

If the House Oversight Committee can overlook the distractions thrown up by one of its members, the answers may prove illuminating about the way Washington has worked during the Obama administration.
4306  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Senate Immigration Bill, 1187 pages, Released late Friday, Vote Monday, Read it! on: June 23, 2013, 11:54:36 AM

Has every Senator read it and thought through all implications and consequences, intended and unintended, before they cast their vote?

I don't think so.
4307  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues: 650 miles of fencing? Or 36.3 miles? on: June 22, 2013, 12:36:05 PM
Depends on what the meaning of is is.  Or 'fence' in this case...

Most often I agree with WSJ editorials, but must rip them here:

WSJ editorial, 6/19/2013:

"For some Republicans, border security has become a ruse to kill reform. The border could be defended by the 10th Mountain Division and Claymore antipersonnel mines and it wouldn't be secure enough."
[Fewer crossings] "Some of this decline is surely due to the lousy U.S. job market"

    - 'ya think?

"... but some results from the border security mobilization that began in the 1990s and really got going after 2006. Today more than 21,000 agents patrol the border. Enforcement spending is up more than 50% in a decade for everything from 650 miles of fencing to military aircraft, marine vessels, drones, surveillance equipment, infrared camera towers and detention centers."

    - 650 miles of fencing?  Is it a fence or a BARRIER?

Pres. Obama made a similar claim and PolitiFact judged it "Mostly False":

 "The (border) fence is now basically complete."
Barack Obama on Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 in a speech in El Paso

Others maintain (accurately) that only 36.3 miles of the 700 miles called for in the 2006 law have been built.

"legislation was passed [2006] to build a 700-mile double-layer border fence along the southwest border. This is a promise that has not been kept.  Today, according to staff at the Department of Homeland Security, just 5 percent of the double-layer fencing is complete, only 36.3 miles."

This is true, but the law was amended after the change in congress to give DHS discretion on what fence to build and their discretion was to stop building the double layer fence that was called for in the 2006 law.

'We won't get fooled again.'  - George W. Bush

4308  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness Faceplant Edition - in photos on: June 22, 2013, 11:42:00 AM

"And then Obama compared himself to me. . ."
4309  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left - “negative feedback loop from hell” on: June 22, 2013, 10:56:52 AM
This observation from Crafty's post in US Economics is too good to leave in just one thread:

... a “negative feedback loop from hell,” where states that are suffering with large debt overhangs and dwindling tax revenues don’t have the money to pay or invest in things like infrastructure, education, and public safety. As those services begin to deteriorate over time, states will be forced to raise taxes, which only reinforces the decline.

The concept applies to nations as well.
4310  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Still More Evidence That ObamaCare Is Costing Jobs, Gallup / IBD on: June 22, 2013, 10:44:26 AM
Gallup found that more than four in 10 companies have frozen hiring because of Obama-Care, and almost one in five have cut workers to minimize the cost of the law.

Another 38% said they'd "pulled back on their plans to grow their business."

The biggest job growth categories are now temp and part time.

"local governments across the country have been cutting part-time hours to 29 or fewer a week so they can avoid ObamaCare as much as possible"

Did ANYONE see this coming?
"Why France Has So Many 49-Employee Companies
"The ACA requires businesses with 50 or more employees to offer “affordable” insurance to anyone working 30 or more hours per week—which must cost no more than 9.5 percent of the worker’s household income. In addition, businesses must also provide insurance for dependents, though potentially at an additional cost to the employee."
4311  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: POTH: CA seeks health care for illegals on: June 22, 2013, 10:15:42 AM

Shocked that we were mis-led by politicians.  No Obamacare for illegals that are legalized only meant you will pay for it in other taxes, and it allows them to leave that cost off-budget for CBO scoring on both Obamacare and immigration reform.

If California won't treat them, Hennepin County Medical Center (Minneapolis) provides no questions asked healthcare (or go to any other sanctuary city).

The Feds will add the coverage back in after the bills are passed and fully implemented, or else the Dems will still have that hatchet to hold over the head of selfish, uncaring, white Republicans.
4312  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: June 22, 2013, 09:56:27 AM
"The smartest guy I knew in law school would fire up a doobie before settling in to read securities regulations."

In college, there was reportedly more use by the top 10% than by the bottom.  That said, a small loss of IQ for someone starting at 150-160 might make interactions with the other 99.9% more interesting, while the same loss at the low end might render one dysfunctional. 

"There are tens and tens of millions of people who smoke pot to less effect that people who drink."

Agree, but less damage than the drug with the most damage brings to mind Huma claiming what she did was legal and ethical because Hillary approved it.  A low bar.

Curious to hear about your choice to not drink alcohol.  Maybe at my beer summit with BD.  wink

"IMHO the two should face similar legal treatment."

Yes.  Similar and different.  Colorado is struggling with what to do with THC levels for driving law standards.  The effect is not harmless but quite different than alcohol.  Maybe we should measure remaining IQ instead of the amount lost to the drug.

"Permanent IQ reduction and memory loss."

I am reminded of the pot crazed burglars who broke in and stole from the doughnut shop but in the end they forgot to empty the register.
4313  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Holy Excrement!!! on: June 21, 2013, 05:06:41 PM

The big story was that some obscure state Senator from Illinois was among those under surveillance.  Not mentioned is that he had known links to terrorists.

He was looked at (allegedly), not charged or apprehended.

My view of the Patriot Act is that if my number is found in the speed dial or call log of a terrorist, even by mis-dial, I expect to be looked at until cleared.  Same Senator kicked off his political campaign (allegedly) in the living room of an unrepentant terrorist.
4314  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Issues: Bicameral coverage and Media Bias on: June 21, 2013, 04:59:55 PM
The Senate, by 4th of July, will pass an Immigration bill that is going nowhere.  This probably the number one political event of our time, based on the exuberance of liberals and the panic and fright of conservatives.  The House opposes the bill and the majority controls what gets through its committee and what comes to its floor for a vote.

Meanwhile the House, one chamber again but controlled by the other party, has voted 37 times to repeal Obamacare.  Repeal is not supported by the majority in the Senate.  No coverage, no excitement, no panic because everyone knows it is going nowhere.

Healthcare is every bit as big an issue as immigration.  Why are these two non-events covered differently?
4315  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Pathological Science: The Economist, No Warming Since 1998 on: June 21, 2013, 04:46:37 PM
This is already case closed and well reported, but I will keep going since our President is still gearing up for another big fight against "global warming".  WTF else is 'climate change' if not natural fluctuations or liberal code for slow the economy and 'save the planet'.
 "Since 1998, the warmest year of the twentieth century, temperatures have not kept up with computer models that seemed to project steady warming; they’re perilously close to falling beneath even the lowest projections".

"there's no way around the fact that this reprieve for the planet is bad news for proponents of policies, such as carbon taxes and emissions treaties, meant to slow warming by moderating the release of greenhouse gases. The reality is that the already meagre prospects of these policies, in America at least, will be devastated if temperatures do fall outside the lower bound of the projections that environmentalists have used to create a panicked sense of emergency."
The phony movie 'An Inconvenient Truth' was released in 2006 with cherrypicked data picked by quack scientists to help elect the Pelosi-Reid agenda in congress and elect the Senate's furthest left member to the White House.  At the moment of that trickery, we were 8 years into a no warming plateau, impossible according to their own models.  Now it is 15 years and counting and we still stop pipelines and fight for backward economic movement.

When the data doesn't fit the model, this crowd 'adjusts' the data instead of scrapping the phony model.

Like BBG, I survived 400 PPM.

4316  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: June 21, 2013, 03:52:12 PM
BTW, shouldn't we be rather pleased that the Fed is finally making noise about diminishing its war on savers?

You are right, but the war against savers was successful.  There aren't any savers anymore.  A dollar saved isn't necessary for a dollar to be available for lending in this economy and we have government to turn to on a rainy day or unexpected hardship.  Just like work isn't tied to pay anymore, or fatherhood to responsibility, welfare to stigma, and so on.  If you want a better reward, hire a better lobbyist.

The interest rate was the balance point between borrowers and lenders, a market based, economic equilibrium.  Now interest rates are contrived, artificial and low.  A generation has no idea what the power of compound interest means.  Try compounding 0.01% over 10 years while it loses 3-4% per year in value and show a young person how they benefited by not spending.  Even the (Keynesian mostly) economists tell us saving is bad for the economy - it takes from consumption.  [I don't agree!]

Next we will want to bring back old ideas like reward for hard work, abstinence, delayed gratification, personal responsibility?  Balanced budgets?  Property rights?!  Keeping the fruits of our labor?  Crazy talk!
4317  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: POTH: Abortion at 23 weeks on: June 21, 2013, 02:22:54 PM
Great story. Twins with a catastrophic health defect in one may be one situation where 'abortion' could save the life of an unborn.

All serious abortion bills contain exceptions for things like life and health of the mother, incest rape, etc.  This consideration should be added to those exceptions with the doctor's advice and the wishes of the FAMILY paramount.  More than 98% of abortions, Planned Parenthood's own data, are for convenience reasons, all about killing, not saving human life.  If this woman is so serious in caring for the unborn, she should get involved with crafting exceptions that cover these circumstances, as she has by publishing this story.  That makes more sense than her conclusion that we should oppose any restrictions on reckless killing of viable, mid to late term babies with live heartbeats that can already feel pain.

Her experience and view fits closer into the mindset of people protecting life than it does with those who support the killings.  MHO
4318  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: June 20, 2013, 02:44:21 PM
Is everyone ready for interest rates to go up?
4319  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: June 20, 2013, 02:41:58 PM
Gold and silver are dropping hard and fast.

The crash of the dollar has been cancelled?  Postponed?
4320  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dow plunges on Fed fears on: June 20, 2013, 02:38:59 PM
shocked shocked shocked

Hoping not to mis-characterize Wesbury, Bernancke and others, let's make sure I have this right.

1. The market was not up because of quantitative expansion.
2. All money created so far stays in the market to the tune of trillions of dollars.
3. We will keep expanding the money supply for many more months, 100s of billions more.
4. Yet the mere hint that the excessive creation of new dollars will ever end puts the market in a tailspin.

Did we really not know this artificial injection of dollars would end someday, one way or another?

Murphy's Law must apply when Fed Chiefs talk to the market.  Alan Greenspan tried to talk the market down with his famous "irrational exuberance" speech in 1996 and the market continued up for 5 more years.  Ben Bernancke says that in a half year we may slow this most responsible 'temporary stimulus' and the market implodes. 

Who knew?  wink
4321  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 20, 2013, 01:43:04 PM
"Appeasement is not the way to go."

Appeasement is what we do - on everything - we are just arguing about where to draw those lines. (sad face)  Purity on issues is how we lose.  There is something in between that is good enough and we need to find it. 

On immigration, the idea behind a comprehensive agreement is that both sides win.  Undocumented Democrats get legalization and American citizens get security and sovereignty going forward.  The bill as it stands does not address what went wrong on previous attempts.

The gang is taking legalization without security verification, and that is a move away from a comprehensive agreement, not toward it.  Having McCain and his sidekick on the wrong side is annoying.  Having Rubio on the wrong side is a major problem.

The Cornyn amendment failed, yet it only holds security to a 90% standard.  Ted Cruz seems to have this better:

I favor the concept of negotiating a tough deal.  I favor security first,  I favor a standard for border security that seeks to stop terror threats from crossing our borders, not just innocent workers.  I favor the 10-14 year delay.  I favor some resolution of the family member problem that does not add tens of millions to the numbers.

We are left where we started.  Dems get credit for advancing the plight of the illegals, keep legal Hispanics in their fold, and keep the issue alive by failing to negotiate all the way to a comprehensive deal.  Republicans get blamed for no deal.  The truth should be the opposite.  The Republicans should be out front advancing a fair and tough bill, and expose Dems as the ones who are moving away from a comprehensive solution by refusing to what went wrong when the 1986 and 2006 legislation passed, but required border security did not follow.
4322  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Marco, there is someone on television pretending to be you! on: June 19, 2013, 03:51:46 PM
Sen. Jeff Sessions chides Marco Rubio: "Marco, there is somebody on television pretending to be you!"

The gang of 8 on immigration (including Rubio) is voting against amendments to fix the bill, because they believe amendments will kill it.  Rubio thinks it should pass and then get fixed in committee.  Again, why will he have more leverage later?  I wish not to attack Rubio personally but I question this bill and his strategy.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) poked fun at the notion that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) could be publicly saying the Senate immigration bill needs stronger security provisions, while saying in TV ads that the bill has the best border security provisions in history. Sessions has previously called on Rubio and his ally Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to withdraw the advertisements because of their inaccuracies.

Andrea Tantaros asked Sessions on her radio show to respond to reports that Rubio has not been seen with the Gang of Eight in public in over two months. “That’s odd,” Sessions said. “He is the one that’s in everybody’s homes running the ads. Makes you want to say ‘Marco, there’s somebody on the television pretending to be you, saying vote for the bill that you recently said shouldn’t pass in its current form.’”

Earlier in the interview, Tantaros said she thinks Rubio’s comments this weekend that 95 percent of the Gang of Eight bill is “in perfect shape” are not accurate.

“I don’t think 95 percent of it is perfect,” Tantaros said. “I’m looking at some of things that it allows for. I mean, if you commit identity theft twice but not three times you can still get amnesty. If you break the law twice but not three times, you can stay in this country. Let’s see, what else here. If you beat your wife twice but not three times you can still stay in this country. It doesn’t seem very strict on criminals."
4323  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender pay gap - it isn't what you think on: June 19, 2013, 03:35:17 PM
"In a comparison of unmarried and childless men and women between the ages of 35 and 43, women earn more: 108 cents on a man's dollar."

President Glibness: "The day that the bill was signed into law, women earned 59 cents for every dollar a man earned on average. Today, it's about 77 cents," the president said. "Over the course of her career, a working woman with a college degree will earn on average hundreds of thousands of dollars less than a man who does the same work."
Nonsense. The 77 percent figure is bogus because it averages all full-time women, no matter what education and profession, with all full-time men. Even with such averaging, the latest Labor Department figures show that women working full-time make 81 percent of full-time men's wages. For men and women who work 40 hours weekly, the ratio is 88 percent.

Unmarried childless women's salaries, however, often exceed men's. In a comparison of unmarried and childless men and women between the ages of 35 and 43, women earn more: 108 cents on a man's dollar.
4324  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: VDH: Margin of Error on: June 19, 2013, 01:00:41 PM

Hanson makes an important observation here, one that Wesbury built his workhorse economy theory on, and the premise for all Liberalnomics.  The American culture and the American economy is so strong that it can absorb certain inefficiencies and keep right on ticking, like nothing is wrong.  We can handle a 1% tax rate.  We can handle a 10% tax rate, maybe 20%.  But maybe we can't handle lost economic activity that real rates of taxation now approaching 65% will cause.  We can handle one page of regulations and we can handle a thousand pages of regulations, even excessive ones.  But maybe we can't handle the 80,000 pages of business strangulation now in place.  We can handle the government meddling in 40% of health care.  50% maybe, but not 100% with no private sector remaining.  We can handle $3 gas, but maybe not $10, $20.  Maybe we can afford to put 50 million people on food stamps, but not 51 million.  At some point there will be too many people riding and not enough pulling the wagon to keep it going.  We could probably handle $16 trillion in debt if we removed other chains that are holding us back.  At some point we will have absorbed all of our margin of error and cannot place one more ounce of weight on the load we are carrying without collapsing.  Like the piece about China banking built on a house of cards, we have already had our own brushes with economic meltdown.  Our current failure to address anything that is wrong in our policies will eventually come back to bite us - sooner and worse than all but a few (GM, Peter Shiff, etc.) can imagine.
4325  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Singapore economist: Philippines to lead growth in Southeast Asia region on: June 19, 2013, 11:09:07 AM
Philippines to lead growth among region's investment darlings

The expectations continue to rise for the Philippine economy's growth prospects.

The country is seen to have the highest growth potential in the eight years to 2020 among Southeast Asia's new investment darlings – Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, or the TIP economies, a new report said.

In a June 18 report titled “Road map to 2020: TH, ID, PH,” Singapore-based DBS Ltd. economist Eugene Leow said, “The Philippines has the highest growth potential amongst the TIP economies.”

Thailand's gross domestic product (GDP) growth is seen averaging at 5.2 percent until 2020, while both Indonesia and the Philippines' expansion for the eight-year period is projected at 6.3 percent, according to the report.

Leow said the Philippines “can potentially run at trend GDP growth of 7  to 8 percent,” as its healthy fiscal position, manageable inflation and a financial system awash with cash has yet to be fully utilized.  But he said, “A more conservative growth figure of 6 to 6.5 percent is realistic in the coming eight years as we factor in a gradual improvement in investment rates.”

Even as the Philippines' largely consumption-driven economy grew at the fastest rate in Asia at 7.8 percent in the first quarter, foreign direct investments (FDI) remain the region's lowest at $1.3 billion in the period.

Low investments from both domestic and international fronts has seen joblessness at a stubbornly high 7.5 percent of the labor force.

Leow said this forms part of the Philippines transitioning into a more investment driven economy.  Debt-watchers Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services' decision to award the country investment grades are seen fuel much needed foreign and domestic investments.

The report noted that “the Philippines has the strongest external account balance, a banking sector best able to extend credit and a solid fiscal policy that is not threatened by heavy subsidy spending.”
4326  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Stratfor: China's banking troubles on: June 19, 2013, 10:54:03 AM
I have been warning of this coming for a few years now , , ,

...China's poor financial fundamentals point to increasing turmoil sooner or later.

Agree.  Rapid growth covered up a multitude of sins.  A slowing of growth exposes weaknesses.  There will be an economic reckoning.  Oddly, if Europe and the US (China's biggest customers) could get their own economic acts together, that would help China stay on track.

I don't think the political apparatus of China can withstand an economic meltdown.  Or as Wesbury might call it when 50% of loans fail, workhorse banking?
4327  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pro-Hillary 'journalist' says Dump Bill Now on: June 19, 2013, 10:45:38 AM

Hillary Has to Dump Bill Now
By Margaret Carlson Jun 18, 2013  Bloomberg
It doesn't get much stranger.  I think Carlson is really arguing for Bill to sit down and shut up, let Hillary step out of his shadow, but she writes it like they should literally break it off for political purposes.  So much for family values.  If he quiets down for even a couple of years, does she think he would stay in her shadow as First Gentleman of the United States, read to children and work on nutritional education in schools?

It is two for the price of one.  Her record without him is to lose to a 2-year Senator of Illinois and totally bungle Benghazi.  She is a highly over-rated politician, most popular when out of the spotlight.  Biggest accomplishment was to win a Senate race in a far left state and burn a record amount of jet fuel as a member - with no access to the President except the 60 Minutes payoff performance.
4328  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / House passes prohibiting Gosnell-like abortions, Glibness responds on: June 19, 2013, 10:30:26 AM
House approves bill banning most abortions after 20-week mark

The bill would affect 1.3 percent of the 1.2 million abortions per year in the US.  20 weeks is an estimate close to viability and of when the little ones begin to feel pain.  [Liberals express more compassion for the elbow room of chickens raised for food.]
Pres. Obama:  "This bill is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade and shows contempt for women's health and rights, the role doctors play in their patients' health care decisions, and the Constitution."

Ummm, Mr. President, Roe v. Wade is NOT in the constitution, half the abortions are girls killed, no doctor recommends waiting 20 weeks for an abortion, and the reasoning the Justices cited while creating artificial trimesters handled differently was based on some of the same reasoning of the House bill, but they were using medical information from 40 years ago.
4329  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 95% of late term moms, denied abortion, glad they gave birth on: June 19, 2013, 09:44:34 AM

Or as the NY Times buried it:
 “About 5 percent of the women, after they have had the baby, still wish they hadn’t. And the rest of them adjust.”

"S. (name withheld) ended up bonding with her baby."... "women rarely regret having a child"

Who knew?
4330  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Planet Government - The Regulated States of America on: June 19, 2013, 09:24:29 AM
WSJ excerpt,

Niall Ferguson: The Regulated States of America
Tocqueville saw a nation of individuals who were defiant of authority. Today? Welcome to Planet Government.

...On foreign policy, it may still be true that Americans are from Mars and Europeans from Venus. But when it comes to domestic policy, we all now come from the same place: Planet Government.

As the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Clyde Wayne Crews shows in his invaluable annual survey of the federal regulatory state, we have become the regulation nation almost imperceptibly. Excluding blank pages, the 2012 Federal Register—the official directory of regulation—today runs to 78,961 pages. Back in 1986 it was 44,812 pages. In 1936 it was just 2,620.

True, our economy today is much larger than it was in 1936—around 12 times larger, allowing for inflation. But the Federal Register has grown by a factor of 30 in the same period.

The last time regulation was cut was under Ronald Reagan, when the number of pages in the Federal Register fell by 31%. Surprise: Real GDP grew by 30% in that same period. But Leviathan's diet lasted just eight years. Since 1993, 81,883 new rules have been issued. In the past 10 years, the "final rules" issued by our 63 federal departments, agencies and commissions have outnumbered laws passed by Congress 223 to 1.

Right now there are 4,062 new regulations at various stages of implementation, of which 224 are deemed "economically significant," i.e., their economic impact will exceed $100 million.

The cost of all this, Mr. Crews estimates, is $1.8 trillion annually—that's on top of the federal government's $3.5 trillion in outlays, so it is equivalent to an invisible 65% surcharge on your federal taxes, or nearly 12% of GDP. Especially invidious is the fact that the costs of regulation for small businesses (those with fewer than 20 employees) are 36% higher per employee than they are for bigger firms.

Next year's big treat will be the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, something every small business in the country must be looking forward to with eager anticipation. Then, as Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) warned readers on this page 10 months ago, there's also the Labor Department's new fiduciary rule, which will increase the cost of retirement planning for middle-class workers; the EPA's new Ozone Rule, which will impose up to $90 billion in yearly costs on American manufacturers; and the Department of Transportation's Rear-View Camera Rule. That's so you never have to turn your head around when backing up.

President Obama occasionally pays lip service to the idea of tax reform. But nothing actually gets done and the Internal Revenue Service code (plus associated regulations) just keeps growing—it passed the nine-million-word mark back in 2005, according to the Tax Foundation, meaning nearly 19% more verbiage than 10 years before. While some taxes may have been cut in the intervening years, the tax code just kept growing.

I wonder if all this could have anything to do with the fact that we still have nearly 12 million people out of work, plus eight million working part-time jobs, five long years after the financial crisis began. ...
4331  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fall of the Glibness, from +8 to -9 in one month - CNN poll on: June 19, 2013, 09:20:21 AM
Note: All of the problems confronting the President today happened before the election and were investigated and reported after the election.
In overall approval, the President was +8 in May's (CNN) poll, 53-45. But in the most recent poll the President's approval rating has dropped to 45-54 or -9.

That's a negative shift of 17 percentage points in one month.

Every Democrat who has been pointing to the President's fairly steady approval numbers as evidence that his goodwill among his base has an insulating property to protect him against the NSA snooping, the IRS, the Benghazi problem, the DoJ collecting reporters' phone records and targeting Fox's James Rosen, Syria, Turkey, and maybe a Kryptonite asteroid that might have the Earth in its sights.

On what are known as the "issue handling" questions (Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling:

The Economy - 42-57 (-15)
Foreign Affairs - 44-54 (-10)
Deficit/budget - 34-64 (-30)
Immigration - 40-56 (-16)
NSA/Surveillance - 35-61 (-26)

I didn't leave out the good issues. That's the whole list.

On the "Do you consider the President to be honest & trustworthy" question the result was 49-50.
That is only minus one so it doesn't look so bad. But a month ago that result was 58-41 (+17). So, it represents an 18 percentage point drop.

Pres. Obama drew 200,000 in Berlin, 2009.  Today 6000.
4332  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: June 18, 2013, 04:02:01 PM
It isn't whether Keynesians are right or wrong that matters determining economic policy. We know they are wrong. The question in Washington is how does it poll.

That was an excellent Wesbury.  Still he predicts good results from bad policies.
4333  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cyberwar and American Freedom on: June 18, 2013, 03:55:36 PM
"I cannot find an acceptable reason for Snowden to be divulging our/British spying on foreign leaders at a G8 conference to the Chinese.  Apparently he is giving more to the Chinese as well.  This sure seems like treason to me."


It's treason, and it ought to be against the law.

But first, let's poll the 16-35 demographic.
4334  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: SCOTUS: In effect, aliens can vote on: June 18, 2013, 03:50:17 PM
I was disappointed to see a 7-2 decision penned by Scalia banning AZ from requiring proof of citizenship to vote on the basis of federal pre-emption.

[Silver lining aside, addressing the point lost], yes, this seems terrible!  Analysis is saying that Scalia and the others are throwing it back on congress to correct the standard. Arizona should sue the Feds to fix the problem?  

"Justice Thomas’s dissent was mainly devoted to arguing that the Constitution gives Congress no role in judging who may register to vote, and that this is a power given exclusively to the states."

If true, does this tend to support my contention that we are down to about one conservative/originalist on the Court.  Okay, add Justice Alito to the very short list in this case.  Alito's dissent is separate.  Who has time to do the Court's work for them, and finding the right answer in the dissent doesn't solve anything.

The Constitution "authorizes states to determine the qualifications of voters in federal elections, which necessarily includes the related power to determine whether those qualifications are satisfied," Thomas said in his dissent.

Is it not part of equal protection that my right to one vote cannot be diluted by liberals facilitating the vote of undocumented Dems?  Where is our protection?

Arizona law goes further than a 1993 federal law to address a serious problem.  But how does Arizona law violate the constitution?  Unequal protection?

I don't know if the Scalia-Ginsburg coalition gets out much, but a driver's license is not proof of citizenship in a state that issues licenses to non-citizens.  It is also not proof of citizenship in the state does not require proof of citizenship to check the citizen box on the driver's license application.

The remedy for a wrongly decided Supreme Court question is to elect a new President, new Senate and wait for current Justices to die.  How does that work when the issue is election fraud?  A different remedy, overlooked by Scalia, for the total malfeasance of the federal government to do its job is secession.

Right now we have government of the Washington DC, by the Washington DC, and for the Washington DC, IMHO.
4335  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons: WSJ, Huma Abedin, Moonlight Serenade on: June 17, 2013, 06:53:31 PM
If I may continue Huma Abedin coverage in the Clinton thread, did she really not take her husbands last name?  This also goes under the category of famous people reading the forum, James Tarato, online editor for the WSJ jumps in on our coverage:

Weiner "defended his wife" during a Saturday campaign appearance. "I'm proud of my wife and I'm proud of the work she's done," he said, adding that "she has done everything completely above-board with approval of the State Department."

  - Approval of the State Dept?  Approval of a Clinton is not exactly the gold standard of ethics, even in Washington.

Moonlight Serenade
Whom does Mrs. Weiner work for?


Anthony Weiner, who resigned from Congress two years ago this Friday in a side-splitting social-media scandal, is running for mayor of New York? We don't know why, but we're now pretty sure it's not for the money. The New York Post reports that Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, "hauled in as much as $350,000 in outside income on top of Abedin's $135,000 government salary."

Far be it from this columnist to begrudge the Weiners their financial success. What's eyebrow-raising about this, though, is that Abedin, who works for the State Department, is the source of some of that outside income:

    Abedin, who served as [Hillary] Clinton's deputy chief of staff when Clinton was secretary of state, later became a 'special government employee' who was able to haul in cash as a private contractor. . . .

    One of the clients she did consulting work for while on the government payroll was Teneo Holdings, a firm founded by longtime Bill Clinton aide Doug Band.

The Post reports that Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican the paper describes as "one of the Senate's most aggressive investigators," is looking into the matter. In a letter to Abedin and now-Secretary John Kerry, Grassley "wrote that he was concerned Abedin's status 'blurs the line between public- and private-sector employees, especially when employees receive full-time salaries for what appears to be part-time work.' " Grassley also "suggested Abedin was providing clients 'political intelligence,' " a claim denied by an unnamed "person close to Abedin."

New York's Daily News reports that white-knight Weiner "defended his wife" during a Saturday campaign appearance. "I'm proud of my wife and I'm proud of the work she's done," he said, adding that "she has done everything completely above-board with approval of the State Department."

That may well be true--in which case the scandal here may be what's above board rather than what's below it. The Post reports that an unnamed State Department official "noted there were 100 such consultants at the agency."

A hundred Abedin-size salaries would add up to $13.5 million--presumably not counting benefits--being paid to people whose work for the department has to compete with their outside gigs for their time and attention. Are they thoroughly screened for conflicts of interest? If so, that's an additional expense for the taxpayers. If not, we can't rule out the possibility that some State Department workers are trading on their access to what Grassley calls "political intelligence."
4336  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government programs: Cash is the biggest crop in the farm bill on: June 17, 2013, 12:06:48 PM
Editorial: Cash the biggest crop in this farm bill

Most of $955 billion approved by Senate goes for food stamps and crop subsidies.


We find remarkable that the Senate approved Monday a so-called "farm bill" that calls for nearly $1 trillion in questionable spending and hardly a discouraging word has been heard on Capitol Hill.

Chalk that up to still-fresh outrage over revelations of the Obama administration's monitoring of Americans' phone records, Internet accounts and credit card transactions, and still-simmering concerns about Internal Revenue Service abuses and Justice Department abrogation of press freedom.
Article Tab: Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, speaks to reporters as the Senate votes on a farm bill that sets policy for farm subsidies, food stamps and other farm and food aid programs for the next five years, at the Capitol in Washington, June 10. At rear is Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND. Officially known as the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013, the agriculture policy measure would cost taxpayers $100 billion annually with the bulk of that amount allocated to the federal food stamp program.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, speaks to reporters as the Senate votes on a farm bill that sets policy for farm subsidies, food stamps and other farm and food aid programs for the next five years, at the Capitol in Washington, June 10. At rear is Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND. Officially known as the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013, the agriculture policy measure would cost taxpayers $100 billion annually with the bulk of that amount allocated to the federal food stamp program.

Anyway, the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs of Act of 2013 cleared the Senate floor by a comfortable 66-27 vote. The spending bill will cost the taxpayers $955 billion. That's 60 percent more than the previous farm bill, in 2008.

Most of the outlays in the bill actually have nothing to do with crops. In fact, 80 percent of spending goes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps.

The welfare program – the "Food" part of the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act – has grown 70 percent over five years, with a record 23.1 million households currently enrolled.
More at link:
4337  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rasmussen: Distrust of Government is the theme running through the scandals on: June 17, 2013, 11:56:40 AM
Distrust of Government Is What It's All About

By Scott Rasmussen - June 14, 2013

Only 24 percent now are confident that the federal government does the right thing most of the time.

(That number seems high to me.  24% might be misunderstanding the question.)
4338  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Energy Politics & Science: Wind power has failed to deliver what it promised on: June 17, 2013, 11:52:46 AM

Wind power has failed to deliver what it promised
The wind-power industry is expensive, passes costs on to the consumer and does not create many jobs in return

Today, The Sunday Telegraph reveals how many ''green jobs’’ the wind-power industry really generates in exchange for its generous subsidies. The figures show that for 12 months until February 2013, a little over £1.2  billion was paid out to wind farms through a consumer subsidy financed by a supplement on electricity bills. During that period, the industry employed just 12,000 people, which means that each wind-farm job cost consumers £100,000 [US$ 157,000] – an astonishing figure.
Wind farms can end up being surprisingly environmentally unfriendly, too. When the wind does not blow and the turbines fail to do their job, consumers have to fall back on the very fossil fuels that they were designed to replace. The result is that we come to rely on foreign imports of oil and gas that hit the household budget hard (domestic coal stations that ought to supply more of the demand have been closed in order to meet carbon-emission reduction targets). Moreover, wind farms can be a blot on the landscape: the dormant turbines take up large tracts of land and kill wildlife; it is the visual pollution of our beautiful countryside that has led some communities to protest against their presence.

The Government has shown recognition of public concern by announcing that residents will be able to stop the construction of wind farms.  (more at link above)
4339  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Asian Geopolitics, Asia's New Power Brokers By Robert Kaplan on: June 17, 2013, 11:29:31 AM
This may overlap recent post from Strat...

Asia's New Power Brokers
By Robert Kaplan

As Asian countries -- from India to Vietnam to Indonesia to Malaysia to Japan and so on -- arise out of poverty, guerrilla war and stagnation, they are forging robust relationships with each other, providing a whole new security dynamic to go alongside the U.S.-China rivalry. The Asian power web is also an offshoot of the emergence of midlevel powers, which are now forging deeper links with each other -- thus "widening the analytical aperture," in the words of the report, through which international relations must be viewed.
The question now becomes: Will China continue to rise? Or, will it falter domestically in the face of an excruciatingly complex economic transition? And how might that affect regional power dynamics? The last place to look for such gradual developments may be in the newspapers.
4340  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness - Mrs. Glib on: June 17, 2013, 11:23:28 AM
I don't want to be anti-Michelle, but here she comes, getting all political, with all of the same glibness.
Is There Another Elected Obama In Our Future?
"she would likely embrace virtually all of her husband’s economic policies — and could be even further to the left."
4341  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy - The obamacare tanning bed tax on: June 17, 2013, 11:18:49 AM
The obamacare tanning bed tax will put all tanning bed businesses out of business.  There is one exception.  If such beds are offered as part of a gym or fitness center at no extra charge, no tax will be imposed.   Of course they did not want the huge conglomerate 'health' clubs to jump on the anti-Obamacare bandwagon.  So indoor tanning is bad for you if you pay for it, not so much if part of a larger fitness program.  Good grief.   

"...the absurd has become the accepted norm..."

How about just a tax rate and a tax, instead of a 10,000 bill, just one of many, replacing the market, picking winners and losers.
4342  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, often criminal history - Huma on: June 17, 2013, 10:59:54 AM
Copying this over to the Clinton thread.  Huma's outside payers are most certainly part of the Clinton circle.
From ccp post, Govt programs:

ccp,  Thanks for finding this.  Huma is pretty close to the center of the political universe.  Huma is/was Hillary's closest confident.  The right wing nuts (anyone to the right of me) were sure she was Hillary's lesbian lover; Huma accompanied Hillary everywhere.  Then she was the 'Muslim' in the inner circle affecting our diplomatic policies.  She has relatives with ties to CAIR etc.(?)  Then she was set up to be Anthony Weiner's wife, a powerful and outspoken congressman - before his bizarre weiner scandal.  They had Muslim-Jewish wedding??  Then she was the wife standing by him, sort of.  Clintons did not endorse Weiner for mayor - yet.   A soft spot for sex scandals?  Huma is still with Hillary? Still with Weiner.  Now this scandal breaks.  Yes, she takes full time pay, sells access or whatever it is she is selling on the side, and we don't get to know who is involved or how this operation works.

I really don't want to spend another decade studying Clinton scandals! 
4343  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process on: June 17, 2013, 10:55:13 AM
Muslim women are forbidden from marrying non-muslims, so it's suspected Weiner has said the shahada.

As with Bill-Hillary, it could just be a sham marriage.  Who knows and who has time to care...  Ughh.

But still, if and when Huma becomes first lady, after her husband survives his scandal to become NYC Mayor and then the first Jewish President, and after our Attorney General survives his scandal to become the first African American VP as his just reward for not investigating IRS, Benghazi or anything else, Huma will be one of the most powerful people in the Weiner-Holder administration.
4344  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Huma Abedin: Paid as full time government employee AND side consultant. on: June 17, 2013, 10:45:12 AM
This is legal?
What is this? huh
****Weiner wife Abedin being probed over employment status   ...

ccp,  Thanks for finding this.  Huma is pretty close to the center of the political universe.  Huma is/was Hillary's closest confident.  The right wing nuts (anyone to the right of me) were sure she was Hillary's lesbian lover; Huma accompanied Hillary everywhere.  Then she was the 'Muslim' in the inner circle affecting our diplomatic policies.  She has relatives with ties to CAIR etc.(?)  Then she was set up to be Anthony Weiner's wife, a powerful and outspoken congressman - before his bizarre weiner scandal.  They had Muslim-Jewish wedding??  Then she was the wife standing by him, sort of.  Clintons did not endorse Weiner for mayor - yet.   A soft spot for sex scandals?  Huma is still with Hillary? Still with Weiner.  Now this scandal breaks.  Yes, she takes full time pay, sells access or whatever it is she is selling on the side, and we don't get to know who is involved or how this operation works. 

I really don't want to spend another decade studying Clinton scandals! 
4345  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Books, George Gilder: Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism on: June 17, 2013, 10:14:31 AM

Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How It Is Revolutionizing Our World

We’ve tried a government spending spree and learned it doesn’t work. Now is the time to rededicate our country to the pursuit of free market capitalism, before we’re buried under a mound of debt and unfunded entitlements. But how do we navigate between government spending that's too big to sustain and financial institutions that are "too big to fail?" In his new book, George Gilder proposes a bold new theory on how capitalism produces wealth and how our economy can regain its vitality and its growth.

In Knowledge and Power, Gilder reflects on entrepreneurship in its most successful contemporary examples – the tech and digital industries. Having seen firsthand the beneficial effect of a large grouping of individuals left to innovate and grow their businesses unmolested, he argues for the positive results of knowledge left to evolve without the restricting hand of government oversight. The astounding growth of upstart companies both big and small in Silicon Valley was made possible by the freedom they had to wager and risk as they saw fit. Now, in an era where encroaching regulations threaten to stymie further growth, Gilder makes the case why government involvement should be limited.

George F. Gilder is a journalist, New York Times bestselling author, and preeminent economic thinker who is credited with helping to develop the supply-side economic theory. He has served as Chairman of the Lehrman Institute's Economic Roundtable, was Program Director for the Manhattan Institute, and is the Co-Founder of the Discovery Institute. He has written for the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Forbes, and other publications. His previous books include Men and Marriage, Visible Man, and Wealth and Poverty.
4346  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: June 15, 2013, 11:34:53 AM
Before this IRS scandal (though that word certainly does not do justice to
the injustice at work here) gets swept under the rug, this was an
interesting interview in the Journal last weekend.

Yes, it is more than an IRS scandal, more than election interference, and more than an attack on the rule of law.  The tax law itself is what armed the IRS to wage their war - against free speech, against free assembly and against equal protection for targeted groups.
4347  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: CBS confirms Benghazi reporter's computer tampered with on: June 15, 2013, 11:26:27 AM
CBS confirms Benhazi reporter's computer tampered with

No worry when it was Fox.  Now that it is AP and CBS, they have crossed an ethical line, not just the legal one.
4348  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Red line reaction by Baraq on: June 15, 2013, 11:23:52 AM

Whose side should we be on when there is no good side to take?  Neither.  No help, no arms, no troops, no involvement, with the exception of keeping a keen eye on containment. 

More than a million people died in the Iran-Iraq war that Saddam caused.  A massive human tragedy and it didn't even receive a mention in the 23 justifications for removing him from power.

It is dry powder and elevated readiness for the U.S. on this one.  We should be building up our economy for deterrence and to withstand big wars.  We need to re-think and re-build our arsenal to handle desert, jungle, mountain, air, sea and space in the coming turmoil.  We have lessons still to learn from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Gaza, West Bank, Somalia, the pirates on the Horn, China seas, N. K., Kashmir, Boston, al qaida arrests in Minneapolis, expired Visas, our southern border, the Arctic conflict brewing with Russia, among others.

In the case of Syria, we can side with a genocidal dictator or help the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaida expand and legitimize their power. Afterward, they will still be sworn to destroy us.
4349  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'Why Didn't NSA Catch The Tsarnaev Brothers?' on: June 14, 2013, 12:54:57 PM
"Why Didn't NSA Catch The Tsarnaev Brothers?"

I am working on an answer to IBD's question.  11% of adults admit to sexting, while our government is giving 29 year old single males who live in their mother's basements access to all our 'data'.  These un-screened, unsupervised, surveillance 'professionals' (making a quarter million a year) are finding material more interesting than Islamist extremists visiting training camps, meeting in Mosques with known terrorists and studying the art of kitchen bomb building.
4350  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / National Debt Could Skyrocket As Interest Rates Rise, Wesbury shocked on: June 14, 2013, 10:35:14 AM
Interest costs up 32% in one month.  Much more to come.  We all know that.  If we are comparing to Paul Volcker's time, there is a potential for interest rates to go up 10 points (or more) with interest on the debt consuming more over half of all revenues.  I would call that a 'workhorse economy'.  Did ANYONE see this coming?
National Debt Could Skyrocket As Interest Rates Rise

Paying off the national debt just got a bit more dangerous, and potentially a lot more expensive.

The interest rates on federal debt began climbing last month, jumping from 1.66 percent on a 10-year U.S. Treasury note at the start of May to a stunning 2.2 percent on Tuesday.

That 54-basis point increase looks small to the casual eye. But if it continues, the higher yield could increase by billions of dollars how much money the federal government spends to service the $16.7 trillion national debt.
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