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4551  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: May 11, 2012, 10:01:00 AM
JDN, Don't worry, in Purple Rain, Prince didn't know his Minneapolis lakes either.  Just the point that Minneapolis has sent good teams to LA for the larger market before.  The economic tenet is that these athletes (and owners) deserve the large fruits of their labor (and investment risk taking) IF those dollars flow based on a free economic exchange.  If you can bring entertainment and enjoyment to millions of people based on talent and hard work then you are entitled to your share of the money rightfully generated.  Unfortunately pro sports has a false model with a hole in it where the already humungous money is inflated by the taxpayers in the communities.  Their money comes partly from a threat of taking my home or imprisoning me if I don't pay.  Nice.

"although I don't necessarily buy it, supposedly pro teams bring in revenue to the city."

Of course they do and that is more visible and measurable than the money taken from all the other businesses to artificially support them.  Meanwhile, they build homes a lot like Mitt Romney's.  http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2010/06/kevin_garnetts.php (Click where it says 'view larger map' to see what a Minneapolis metro lake look like.)

Taxpayer support of pro sports is from the same argument as special treatment for auto makers or anyone else.  Of course we don't want to lose them, but not at the cost of undermining the principles that make the whole system work.  Like paying ransom for hostages, we'll do it just this once thinking big pay with no risk won't encourage more hostage situations.  Too-big-to-fail thinking ironically makes the too-big get bigger and bigger, literally at the expense of the small.  That is what we want?

It is hard to articulate, but the possibility of failure in capitalism is part of the dynamism and constant rejuvenation of freely flowing assets, resources and innovation that all centrally run, state directed economies by definition lack.
4552  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races: The Cherokee Professor on: May 11, 2012, 08:54:56 AM
The lies (She joined minority groups to make friends?) keep the story relevant and the search for its basis.  Certainly she now uses her status as Harvard law Professor to gain credibility, so any funny business about how she got there has relevance.  There is the hypocrisy of supporting affirmative action while undermining it.  In theory, some real native American woman should have had that job.  In racism is her unspoken rationalization that there is no real Cherokee that could do her job as well as she can, an argument against affirmative action in the first place.

A second institution says she used it for advancement.  She should admit being a dishonest cheater and get back to the business of advancing more great programs like affirmative action.

Instead of being Cherokee because one great great grandparent was one (actually a Swede), the search for that led to the finding that her great great grandfather was rounding up Cherokee people for removal from their homes and forced relocation, sometimes fatal, in the infamous Trail of Tears.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2141789/Elizabeth-Warrens-ancestor-rounded-Cherokees-homes-Trail-Tears--brushes-claims.html?ito=feeds-newsxml  No worries.  She has denied that.
--------
Our own local gaffe machine, Republican Michele Bachmann is renouncing her Swiss citizenship.  Her dual citizenship became known because she told a Swiss audience about it, while running for reelection in the north suburbs of Minneapolis.  Exhibiting focus she learned from Newt?
4553  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential, Morris: Romney Landslide? on: May 11, 2012, 12:15:50 AM
Going back to the Dick Morris post of yesterday:

"If the election were held today, Obama would lose by at least 10 points and would carry only about a dozen states with fewer than 150 electoral votes."

He is partly on to something and partly overplaying the hand IMO. 

Most of the other analysts starts with the perfect storm electoral map of 2008.  When every factor was perfectly in his favor (in 2008) he won by only 7 points.  This will be nothing like 2008; the issues and circumstances today and likely in November are more like 2010 when Republicans won by the same margin of about 7 points.  That was a mid-term and this is a Presidential election,so  my best guess is that Romney can win by half that margin, 3-4 points nationwide, assuming conditions like today, which would sweep enough swing states for the electoral margin to be quite convincing and bring the house and a narrow win in the senate as well.

This will be a national election on  the candidates, the issues and the record.  President Obama at some point is going to run out of shiny objects like gay marriage and Romney's wild teenage years to spotlight and it will all come back to the record and that age-old question:

Are you better off now than you were six trillion dollars ago?

If Romney wins by 1-2%, he takes the electoral college with maybe no states to spare and perhaps a 50-50 senate.  If the margin is less than a point for either one of them, then the electoral count is a crapshoot with our future hanging in the balance. 

If Obama wins  a squeaker which I think is his only possibility, then the tiebreaker for a 50-50 senate goes to the Dem VP.  Every issue in that scenario will go just as smoothly as last summer's debt ceiling negotiations.   (
4554  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics: Stadium subsidies on: May 10, 2012, 01:21:51 PM
"Doug, since you are in MN, what is your take on this?"

Thanks JDN.  Yes the issue is perhaps the same everywhere at different times.  

Your opinion from LA is relevant too because that their threat - to move the Vikings to LA.  Does anyone even know what lakes your  Lakers are named for?

I hate public private partnerships as a violation of about a dozen principles, equal protection comes to mind, extortion being illegal is another.  It should either be a public asset that they rent to a team or a private football business investment. The road and highway changes and other infrastructure expenses should be enough for the taxpayer portion. This is subsidy to help billionaires hire more millionaires - (so that largely white people can watch black people hurt each other).  What they forget is that it is zero-sum because they take from all other businesses to subsidize one.

Locally they call it the "cold Omaha" argument, meaning that one of the world's greatest cities and region's population and cultural center will be as irrelevant as Omaha (quite insulting!), and colder (farther north), if not for pro sports.  Missing in that argument is that except that good teams like the Packers come visit, we already lost the pro-level quality of all our teams a few years back.

Also missing in the local argument is that this really was a two stadium question, Twins and Vikings, and really more stadiums than that over the last few years.  Former Governor Tim Pawlenty got the Twins stadium done by allowing Hennepin County to foot the taxpayer portion.  Henn Co got the tax approved with rule by 4 commissioners and never put it on the ballot.  Hennepin County not even counting the Minneapolis part has an economy larger than about 8 states.  The Vikings deal then should have been put on all counties except Hennepin for MN to retain the last vulnerable pro franchise.  Not so.  We get to double pay.  Ironically those of us in the outskirts of Hennepin live further from t he stadiums than all of Ramsey County(St. Paul) and parts of 4 other  counties, but get the double tax.

Also missed in the SI story is that we also built a new football stadium on the Univ. of MN campus, one of the nation's 5 largest public university campuses, in the same city, in the same time frame, for the same sport, for 6 home games/yr, but there is "no way" that pro football could be played in that stadium, for 'economic' reasons.  Building two stadiums at the same time for the same sport in the same is economical?  Only with government approval of taxpayer money.


U of M also broke ground on a new baseball Stadium this week.  Don't tell me we don't have enough money.

Like Sweden, the Minnesota blue state economic plan only worked back when people had a Scandinavian (and German) work ethic that didn't allow anyone to quit work unnecessarily and soak up public resources.  Those ethics are long gone while the spending programs keep growing.

What did Milton Friedman say about public subsidies...  Investments that don't pay for themselves  - aren't worth making.
4555  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Biden in the 2008 debate on: May 10, 2012, 12:35:47 PM
A great catch by Crafty: 
..."one of his most flagrantly-ignored-by-the-pravdas gaffes occurred during the debate with Palin"...
----------
http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/president/debates/transcripts/vice-presidential-debate.html

"When we kicked -- along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, "Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don't know -- if you don't, Hezbollah will control it."

  - Yes, and it seems it was mostly right wing sites pointing out the 'mother of all gaffes' out of this  foreign policy expert.  Factcheck.org skipped it entirely (shocked).
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/10/03/mother-of-all-gaffes/  Details below some other issues from that debate

All eyes were looking for Palin to display ignorance in that debate.  She survived but came across mostly as repetitive with her handler scripted talking points.  Joe had a near endless supply of false facts as I saw it, mostly regarding economic matters. My observation was that every time that Biden slowed down and repeated himself for emphasis, which happened several times, he was wrong on his facts.
------------

From other sites that covered the debate:

Biden said five times that McCain’s tax plan would give oil companies a "$4 billion tax cut."  - He was referring to McCain’s plan to cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent — for ALL corporations, not just oil companies.  (Extremely misleading!  And a corp tax rate cut would have helped the recovery.  Still not done.)

Biden said: McCain voted on the same way on the budget resolution as Obama did.

Biden said: Under Obama people will not pay more taxes than they did under Reagan.

Biden said: It would take at least ten years to get any oil from new production.

Biden said: The “Use of Force” resolution was NOT a war resolution / authorization for war.

Biden said: McCain voted the same way Obama did with funding the troops.

Biden said: The United States spends more in three weeks in Iraq as we have in the past seven years in Afghanistan.

Biden said: That Article I of the Constitution refers to the Executive branch.

Biden said there is a windfall profits tax in Alaska.

Biden said: McCain opposed President Clinton on Bosnia.

“We don’t call it redistribution we call that ‘fairness’.” – Joe Biden  (True, that's what you call redistribution.)
-------------------------

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/10/03/mother-of-all-gaffes/
http://rightwingnuthouse.com/archives/2008/10/03/and-now-for-something-completely-insane-the-mother-of-all-biden-gaffes/

    Of course, no one “threw Hezb’allah out of Lebanon.” They have been there all along as the expert above notes. The Lebanese people threw the Syrians out of Lebanon, with no help from liberal Democrats like Biden and Obama, but with a great big behind the scenes lift from France and the US. It was we who put the bug in King Abdullah’s ear to lobby the Syrians to get while the going was good as the French worked directly on Baby Assad. The combination worked wonderfully and the Syrians left in a hurry – after a couple of million Lebanese took to the streets in a breathtaking show of defiance to tyranny and love of freedom.

    Joe Biden – or any rational human being on this planet anyway – never recommended that NATO be dispatched to “fill the vacuum.” It is a lie. If it had been proposed. Colin Powell would have been laughed out of the room – something we should do to Biden at this point because he compounded his gaffe by evidently believing that not having NATO as a buffer between Israel and Hezb’allah – an absolute impossibility mind you – led to the ascension of Hezb’allah in Lebanon as a political power.

    Where has Biden been for the last 20 years – at least since the Taif Accords were signed in 1989 which gave Hezb’allah a free hand in the southern part of the country and then pressuring the Lebanese government to formally designate them as “the resistance” to Israel? Hezb’allah’s rise is directly related to Iran’s funding of their proxy to the tune of around $250 million a year.

I cannot recall anyone seriously suggesting that NATO occupy the sub-Litani region of Lebanon.  NATO already found itself stretched to meet its commitments in Afghanistan, although Germany and Italy did find troops to contribute to the beefed-up presence in UNIFIL, the same multinational force that had sat idle while Hezbollah armed itself after the Israeli withdrawal from the region a few years ago — and then turned around and did the same thing after the Israeli withdrawal in 2006.

Some people assumed that Biden meant that the US and France kicked Syria out of Lebanon, but Michael Totten — who has spent considerable time in Lebanon — doesn’t buy that explanation, either:

    And did Biden and Senator Barack Obama really say NATO troops should be sent into Lebanon? When did they say that? Why would they say that? They certainly didn’t say it because NATO needed to prevent Hezbollah from returning–since Hezbollah never went anywhere.

    I tried to chalk this one up as just the latest of Biden’s colorful gaffes. Did he mean to say “we kicked Syria out of Lebanon?” But that wouldn’t make any more sense. First of all, the Lebanese kicked Syria out of Lebanon. Not the United States, and not France. But he clearly meant to say Hezbollah, not Syria, because he correctly notes just a few sentences later that Hezbollah is part of Lebanon’s government. He wasn’t talking about Syria. He was talking about Hezbollah all the way through, at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of his outlandish assertion.
4556  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Martha's Vineyard anyone? on: May 10, 2012, 09:32:10 AM
Boston Herald reporting there will be no annual island luxuriating with the elites this year.  Okay to golf while troops are in harm's way but not if it jeopardizes job one, holding onto power.  Off the coast of Mass. is not a swing state.
http://bostonherald.com/track/inside_track/view/20220510prez_snubbing_the_vineyardthis_summer/srvc=home&position=6
4557  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 10, 2012, 09:17:43 AM
I will grant that some of his slips are intentional and on some he jumps the gun to make himself relevant, like getting out front on gay marriage.  Experts say the VP makes about a 1% difference, if that.  Biden with Obama is perhaps a 0% factor for the reason posted, Obama is the vital player.  But Biden will be out there with cameras on him everyday of this campaign with all the risks that poses.

'Dumb like a fox' is generous.  Take this answer: 'Part of what a leader does...is demonstrate he or she knows what their talkin' about...when the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on television...'  FDR wasn't President until 3 years later, there wasn't any television and the lessons of the Great Depression are crucially relevant today.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBl7jrD1GzU So Katie Couric, famous for bringing down Sarah Palin, let this pass without comment. (I wonder what she reads?) His soft treatment by the main press might end suddenly and it might not.  A person that high up willing to talk on camera about what they don't know is a risk you would think this campaign machine would fear more than anything, even a jobs report.

Yes he plays key roles behind the scenes (scary), but as I see it, Joe Biden as VP was front and center the first indicator that the new administration would not be governing from above the clouds.

The braintrust of the campaign keeps Biden out of the planning meetings, but keeping Joe out of the loop has its own risks.  They send him handlers I'm sure but he doesn't let himself be held to a script.  He is especially open and loose when things feel like they are going well.

For Republicans, there is an unfairness to it all that with the knowledge that their own next gaffe (Sarah Palin afraid to say she mostly reads hunting magazines?) will bring down their whole public existence, while this guy knows less, puts his foot all the way in and people laugh and say that's just old Joe.

He is a heartbeat away and he was this President's first 'Presidential' decision.  Biden is not the problem; he is a symptom of the problem.   This administration hires, tolerates and governs with incompetence. (JMHO, it is only what independent voters think that counts.) The second term offered up will be the same players(?) doing the same things, getting different results.

Under the Biden-isn't-vital theory they also leave themselves with no new leader groomed to follow Pres. Obama, win or lose in 2012.
4558  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential, Joe Biden - The problem in Iran on: May 09, 2012, 01:14:22 PM
"WE were the problem" in Iran.

The elevator in Joe Biden's brain does not go to all the floors.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/05/08/biden_on_iran_we_were_the_problem.html
4559  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races: Lugar on: May 09, 2012, 11:51:51 AM
I think the roll call piece sums it up pretty well.  He was a pretty good Senator who had his moments. He was fairly conservative when he wanted to be.  http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Richard_Lugar.htm.  Not an Olympia Snowe at all, but Indiana is not Maine.  Reaching across the aisle to him meant leftward to 'get things done', but not to his constituents on his right who are mostly up in arms about the things that got done.

The last 6 years have been a disaster that incumbents even in opposition need to answer for:  Did you do everything you could do to stop this?  I have been mostly blaming Barack Obama as Senator and President and the Pelosi-Reid congress for the current situation.  Crafty has often put some blame on people like Speaker Boehner and asked where the Republican congressional leadership is on issues of urgency and survival.  Lugar was one of those senior statesman who either failed to speak out or failed to be persuasive in doing so.  Where was he when the Republicans were in power as the voice of reason to stop the runaway growth of government and spending? Where was he before the crash blowing the whistle on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for both the corruption and the abandonment of market principles that would bring down our prosperity?  Where in the aftermath of the 2010 tea party revolution, when the Dems lost 63 seats and control of the House, was he when the parties fought to the death over spending and then locked in emergency spending as permanent and raised spending another 5%?  Even if he was ostensibly on the 'right' of these issues, where was the passion to get bad policies stopped?  Missing.  A 20 point loss says that at least the primary voters in Indiana are looking for more.  Give someone else a try.

President Obama's praise for Lugar reaching across the aisle looks like a back stab considering Lugar's reach gave them R votes for Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayer and Kagen when Sen./ Obama the uniter couldn't even bring himself to vote for Chief Justice John Roberts.  

People say statesman.  He is calm with wisdom on some areas of foreign policy but largely silent on crucial economic issues IMO. I post speeches on the Senate floor of Marco Rubio and show a statesman.  There aren't many Marco Rubios for charisma, so I offer exhibit B, Ron Johnson junior Senator of Wisconsin of ordinary talent but far more active and persuasive IMO.  I realize Lugar is 80 and maybe his reticence to speak out is age related but I don't recall much previous passion either.  He wasn't outraged when HW Bush broke his no new taxes pledge and hasn't been outraged at very much since.

The following is taken from the websites of his opponents articulating their gripes.  As Crafty intimates, they lead with guns, but I don't think that is the core of it.
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http://retirelugar2012.com/Top_Twenty_Reasons.pdf

Top Twenty Reasons to retire Lugar in 2012
The Tea party wants you to know that we are not “inarticulate”, that Hoosiers who oppose Lugar are not “dupes”, and that we are ready to “get real” working to defeat Lugar in 2012.
While there are hundreds to choose from the Jay County Tea Party selected these as the top twenty worst Lugar Votes.
1. 1993 – Lugar voted to unconstitutionally ban semi-automatic handguns and rifles.
2. 2004 - Lugar voted to unconstitutionally ban semi-automatic handguns and rifles.
3. 2002 – Lugar voted to ban political speech during an election in the unconstitutional McCain Campaign Finance Reform.
4. 1993 – Lugar voted to confirm extreme left wing judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg to the Supreme Court.
5. 2009 - Lugar voted to confirm extreme left wing judge Sonya Sodomayor to the Supreme Court.
6. 2010 - Lugar voted to confirm extreme left wing judge Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.
7. 2003 – Lugar voted for the Climate Stewardship Act, a cap and trade bill that would have at least doubled Indiana electric Rates.
8. 2005 - Lugar voted for another democrat cap and trade bill that would have at least doubled Indiana electric Rates.
9. 2006 – Lugar voted to give amnesty to illegal aliens in the McCain comprehensive amnesty bill.
10. 1982 – Lugar voted for a tax increase that, when it was passed, was the largest tax increase in history.
11. 1990 - Lugar voted for a tax increase that, when it was passed, was the largest tax increase in history.
12. 2007 – Lugar voted to give Social Security benefits to illegal aliens.
13. 2010 – Lugar voted against auditing the Federal Reserve.
14. 2008 – Lugar voted to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
15. 2008 – Lugar voted for TARP
16. 2008 – Lugar voted against ending earmarks.
17. 2009 – Lugar voted to bail out the car companies.
18. 2009 – Voted against returning 350 billion in unused TARP money to the Treasury.
19. 2010 – Lugar Voted for the Dream Act illegal alien amnesty bill.
20. 2010 – Voted for the START unilateral disarmament Treaty.
Honorable Mention
In 1993 Lugar sponsored a universal health care bill with an unconstitutional individual mandate.
In 2009 he was one of the deciding votes against concealed carry reciprocity for Indiana license holders.
Also in 2009 he voted to continue the total ban on handguns in Washington DC.
Lugar voted for over three trillion dollars in deficit spending under Bush
4560  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Policy: Alan Reynolds - Rasising Tax Rates Excessively is Counterproductive on: May 08, 2012, 06:45:26 PM
Oops, posted a tax policy piece today on political economics. Maybe it was an excuse to get it out there twice.  Maybe hard to follow, but it is VERY IMPORTANT to know the answer to this question ifyou plan toraise taxes on the rich: How much will they adjust their income to the new circumstance? Does revenue go up? By how much?

Where he points out the other economists are misguided on elasticity, they are wrong in his estimation by up to a factor of 10.  From as low as 0.2 versus as high as 1.99!  If we cannot narrow it closer than that or agree one side is wrong, Economics is hardly a science.
-------------------
   
Alan Reynolds: Rasising Tax Rates Excessively is Counterproductive

Economist Alan Reynolds is always worth the read IMO, challenging politicians, and economists who ignore elasticity.  It reminds me of the arguments made to raise minimum wage a dollar. It there is no ill effect, why not raise it $20 or $50.  If 50% or 70% tax rates have no ill effect, why not go to 100%?  Those who project no revenue loss are using the wrong elasticity multiplier, Reynolds argues.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303916904577376041258476020.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion

Of Course 70% Tax Rates Are Counterproductive
Some scholars argue that top rates can be raised drastically with no loss of revenue. Their arguments are flawed.

By ALAN REYNOLDS

President Obama and others are demanding that we raise taxes on the "rich," and two recent academic papers that have gotten a lot of attention claim to show that there will be no ill effects if we do.

The first paper, by Peter Diamond of MIT and Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, appeared in the Journal of Economic Perspectives last August. The second, by Mr. Saez, along with Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics and Stefanie Stantcheva of MIT, was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research three months later. Both suggested that federal tax revenues would not decline even if the rate on the top 1% of earners were raised to 73%-83%.

Can the apex of the Laffer Curve—which shows that the revenue-maximizing tax rate is not the highest possible tax rate—really be that high?

The authors arrive at their conclusion through an unusual calculation of the "elasticity" (responsiveness) of taxable income to changes in marginal tax rates. According to a formula devised by Mr. Saez, if the elasticity is 1.0, the revenue-maximizing top tax rate would be 40% including state and Medicare taxes. That means the elasticity of taxable income (ETI) would have to be an unbelievably low 0.2 to 0.25 if the revenue-maximizing top tax rates were 73%-83% for the top 1%. The authors of both papers reach this conclusion with creative, if wholly unpersuasive, statistical arguments.

Most of the older elasticity estimates are for all taxpayers, regardless of income. Thus a recent survey of 30 studies by the Canadian Department of Finance found that "The central ETI estimate in the international empirical literature is about 0.40."

But the ETI for all taxpayers is going to be lower than for higher-income earners, simply because people with modest incomes and modest taxes are not willing or able to vary their income much in response to small tax changes. So the real question is the ETI of the top 1%.

Harvard's Raj Chetty observed in 2009 that "The empirical literature on the taxable income elasticity has generally found that elasticities are large (0.5 to 1.5) for individuals in the top percentile of the income distribution." In that same year, Treasury Department economist Bradley Heim estimated that the ETI is 1.2 for incomes above $500,000 (the top 1% today starts around $350,000).

A 2010 study by Anthony Atkinson (Oxford) and Andrew Leigh (Australian National University) about changes in tax rates on the top 1% in five Anglo-Saxon countries came up with an ETI of 1.2 to 1.6. In a 2000 book edited by University of Michigan economist Joel Slemrod ("Does Atlas Shrug?"), Robert A. Moffitt (Johns Hopkins) and Mark Wilhelm (Indiana) estimated an elasticity of 1.76 to 1.99 for gross income. And at the bottom of the range, Mr. Saez in 2004 estimated an elasticity of 0.62 for gross income for the top 1%.

A midpoint between the estimates would be an elasticity for gross income of 1.3 for the top 1%, and presumably an even higher elasticity for taxable income (since taxpayers can claim larger deductions if tax rates go up.)

But let's stick with an ETI of 1.3 for the top 1%. This implies that the revenue-maximizing top marginal rate would be 33.9% for all taxes, and below 27% for the federal income tax.

To avoid reaching that conclusion, Messrs. Diamond and Saez's 2011 paper ignores all studies of elasticity among the top 1%, and instead chooses a midpoint of 0.25 between one uniquely low estimate of 0.12 for gross income among all taxpayers (from a 2004 study by Mr. Saez and Jonathan Gruber of MIT) and the 0.40 ETI norm from 30 other studies.

That made-up estimate of 0.25 is the sole basis for the claim by Messrs. Diamond and Saez in their 2011 paper that tax rates could reach 73% without losing revenue.

The Saez-Piketty-Stantcheva paper does not confound a lowball estimate for all taxpayers with a midpoint estimate for the top 1%. On the contrary, the authors say that "the long-run total elasticity of top incomes with respect to the net-of-tax rate is large."

Nevertheless, to cut this "large" elasticity down, the authors begin by combining the U.S. with 17 other affluent economies, telling us that elasticity estimates for top incomes are lower for Europe and Japan. The resulting mélange—an 18-country "overall elasticity of around 0.5"—has zero relevance to U.S. tax policy.

Still, it is twice as large as the ETI of Messrs. Diamond and Saez, so the three authors appear compelled to further pare their 0.5 estimate down to 0.2 in order to predict a "socially optimal" top tax rate of 83%. Using "admittedly only suggestive" evidence, they assert that only 0.2 of their 0.5 ETI can be attributed to real supply-side responses to changes in tax rates.

The other three-fifths of ETI can just be ignored, according to Messrs. Saez and Piketty, and Ms. Stantcheva, because it is the result of, among other factors, easily-plugged tax loopholes resulting from lower rates on corporations and capital gains.

Plugging these so-called loopholes, they say, requires "aligning the tax rates on realized capital gains with those on ordinary income" and enacting "neutrality in the effective tax rates across organizational forms." In plain English: Tax rates on U.S. corporate profits, dividends and capital gains must also be 83%.

This raises another question: At that level, would there be any profits, capital gains or top incomes left to tax?

"The optimal top tax," the three authors also say, "actually goes to 100% if the real supply-side elasticity is very small." If anyone still imagines the proposed "socially optimal" tax rates of 73%-83% on the top 1% would raise revenues and have no effect on economic growth, what about that 100% rate?

Mr. Reynolds is a senior fellow with the Cato Institute and the author of "Income and Wealth" (Greenwood Press, 2006).
4561  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bin Laden dead - The Panetta Memo on: May 08, 2012, 06:34:17 PM
Time magazine broke this without fanfare in late April; I can't find it on their site.  The Blaze is all over it.  Holder's predecessor Mukasey calls it a highly lawyered document designed to put blame back on the Navy Admiral if the mission failed: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2141038/Revealed-How-White-House-planned-shield-Obama-blaming-Navy-chief-bin-Laden-raid-went-wrong.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

The White House denies that.  Anyone here have an opinion?

http://www.theblaze.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/bin-laden-memo.jpg
http://media.zenfs.com/en/blogs/theticket/cia-memo-panetta.jpg

4562  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bin Laden dead on: May 08, 2012, 05:30:32 PM
CCP: "
There is no rational logic to the concept that water boarding three people with no permanent harm is some such incredible crime against humanity yet sending robots (drones) out to assasinate alleged combatants/enemies and kill them like that is humane and ethically ok.  Don't get me wrong - I am not against either - just the illogic of one is so totallly outrageous and immoral and the other is morrally justified and within international law."..."I wonder what the outrage would be if W was still ordering all these drones ..."

This is really well put.  I'm not for torture but torture to the guy who beheaded WSJ reporter Daniel Pearl in his bare hands on camera would be to gouge out his eyeballs and chop off his limbs one by one, not sleep deprivation or water tricks.  He is fully intact and ready to be belligerent in the courtroom of his fair trial.

Also as you say, can you imagine the uproar from the left if the drone hits were still Bush's!  Those drone attacks escalated under Obama.  Assuming we are acting on good intelligence, the policy of continuing those cross border hits was a far more controversial and courageous decision (IMHO) by a peace prize winning President than authorizing a one-time, high-profile hit on Osama, which appeared to be quite a no brainer.
4563  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty/International Law on: May 08, 2012, 02:45:09 PM
Besides the Black Hills it seems to me that the UN HQ is also on 'tribal lands'.

I hope everyone has their title insurance in place as we turn over our sovereignty to a global authority for review and distribution.
4564  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re. Bin Laden dead: Did harsh interragation lead to the kill? on: May 08, 2012, 02:06:50 PM
CCP,   I agree except that I don't remember if Republicans made big on that operational failure or if people mostly just took that as having had enough with a policy of dealing with the world from a position of weakness. To me it was not that it failed, but that the failure was a symbol of our weakness. 

The alternative side (Reagan) was saying we will arm and grow in order to deal with our adversaries, including those a lot stronger than Iran, from a position of strength.
----------------------------

There are some people including Senators Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin: http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=f3271910-3fad-40a5-9d98-93450e0090aa saying we already had the courier information through other means.

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Eric Holder's predecessor:  "That is a half-truth peculiarly designed to irritate anybody who knows the other half."

"Yes, the CIA knew about the name before it was disclosed by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. However, that information lay unexploited because it came from an insignificant source. When it came from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, after he was subjected to harsh interrogation techniques, they followed it up and found that this guy was still active. They then went back to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who by then had his wits about him, and asked him again about this guy, and he said, "Oh, he's been out of it for some time." That was a lie. They knew it was a lie. And because he had lied about it, that enhanced even more the significance of the information. So the information didn't become significant until they learned about it from him and its significance was increased by the fact that he lied about it. They learned about it after enhanced interrogation techniques."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304363104577388473896862672.html
4565  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Joe Biden, the Gaffe machine on: May 08, 2012, 01:38:17 PM
They let him on Meet the Press and he calls Romney 'President Romney' http://www.theblaze.com/stories/gaffe-prone-biden-strikes-again-calls-mitt-president-romney-and-obama-president-clinton/, Obama 'President Clinton' and opens the door on gay marriage to a media circus ahead of any announced policy change.  Meanwhile, they leave him out of the highest campaign planning meetings. 
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/05/us/politics/at-sunday-meetings-team-obama-prepares-for-a-tough-fight.html?_r=2&ref=politics

This one was an innocent slip up (or two or three), but I especially like the way he slows down and repeats for emphasis his false facts as he did several times in his debate against Sarah Palin.

In January of this year he told the San Francisco 49er fans: “the Giants are on their way to the Super Bowl.”
http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2012/01/biden-botches-49ers-rally-cry

Anybody remember FDR reassuring us on television in 1929 after the stock market crash...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hrQABAlo8g

At a 'stump' speech in 2008 Biden told wheelchair bound State Senator to stand up and be honored. 
"Stand up Chuck, We wanna see ya."  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2mzbuRgnI4

Dunkin Donuts? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sM19YOqs7hU&feature=related

"The first mainstream African American who is articulate, bright and clean... that's a storybook, man."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgIFV7jXBFQ 
4566  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bin Laden dead / Israeli Ugfandan rescue on: May 08, 2012, 11:21:18 AM
Amazing story Bigdog!  Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1ct-meb6U0

3 hostages died in crossfire, still that is how you negotiate with terrorists.

One Commando was killed, the commander of the unit, Yonathon Netanyahu.
4567  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Europe: Austerity caused double dip recession, or austerity was not tried? on: May 08, 2012, 10:51:49 AM
The stalled economy of Europe is 50% government.  If larger and larger government could cause economic growth, European countries would be swimming in it.
-----------------
"Austerity? Spending has boomed in the EU over the last decade. During the 2000s, EU member nations collectively boosted government outlays by 62%. Average government spending by EU nations today stands at about 49.2% of GDP — vs. 44.8% in 2000."

"National budgets are NOT decreasing their spending, they are increasing it," the EU says, noting that in 2011, 23 of the 27 nations in the EU increased spending. This year, 24 of 27 will do so.

Did that decade-long spending increase boost GDP growth? No. During the 2000s, average annual GDP growth in the EU fell to 1.2% from 2.2% in the 1990s.

http://news.investors.com/article/610596/201205071832/european-voters-swallow-media-myth-of-budget-austerity.htm
-----
1.2% growth for a decade!?  - Or what our President might call a model for our economy going 'forward'.
4568  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Alan Reynolds: Rasising Tax Rates Excessively is Counterproductive on: May 08, 2012, 09:11:39 AM
Economist Alan Reynolds is always worth the read IMO, challenging politicians, and economists who ignore elasticity.  It reminds me of the arguments made to raise minimum wage a dollar. It there is no ill effect, why not raise it $20 or $50.  If 50% or 70% tax rates have no ill effect, why not go to 100%?  Those who project no revenue loss are using the wrong elasticity multiplier, Reynolds argues.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303916904577376041258476020.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion

Of Course 70% Tax Rates Are Counterproductive
Some scholars argue that top rates can be raised drastically with no loss of revenue. Their arguments are flawed.

By ALAN REYNOLDS

President Obama and others are demanding that we raise taxes on the "rich," and two recent academic papers that have gotten a lot of attention claim to show that there will be no ill effects if we do.

The first paper, by Peter Diamond of MIT and Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, appeared in the Journal of Economic Perspectives last August. The second, by Mr. Saez, along with Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics and Stefanie Stantcheva of MIT, was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research three months later. Both suggested that federal tax revenues would not decline even if the rate on the top 1% of earners were raised to 73%-83%.

Can the apex of the Laffer Curve—which shows that the revenue-maximizing tax rate is not the highest possible tax rate—really be that high?

The authors arrive at their conclusion through an unusual calculation of the "elasticity" (responsiveness) of taxable income to changes in marginal tax rates. According to a formula devised by Mr. Saez, if the elasticity is 1.0, the revenue-maximizing top tax rate would be 40% including state and Medicare taxes. That means the elasticity of taxable income (ETI) would have to be an unbelievably low 0.2 to 0.25 if the revenue-maximizing top tax rates were 73%-83% for the top 1%. The authors of both papers reach this conclusion with creative, if wholly unpersuasive, statistical arguments.

Most of the older elasticity estimates are for all taxpayers, regardless of income. Thus a recent survey of 30 studies by the Canadian Department of Finance found that "The central ETI estimate in the international empirical literature is about 0.40."

But the ETI for all taxpayers is going to be lower than for higher-income earners, simply because people with modest incomes and modest taxes are not willing or able to vary their income much in response to small tax changes. So the real question is the ETI of the top 1%.

Harvard's Raj Chetty observed in 2009 that "The empirical literature on the taxable income elasticity has generally found that elasticities are large (0.5 to 1.5) for individuals in the top percentile of the income distribution." In that same year, Treasury Department economist Bradley Heim estimated that the ETI is 1.2 for incomes above $500,000 (the top 1% today starts around $350,000).

A 2010 study by Anthony Atkinson (Oxford) and Andrew Leigh (Australian National University) about changes in tax rates on the top 1% in five Anglo-Saxon countries came up with an ETI of 1.2 to 1.6. In a 2000 book edited by University of Michigan economist Joel Slemrod ("Does Atlas Shrug?"), Robert A. Moffitt (Johns Hopkins) and Mark Wilhelm (Indiana) estimated an elasticity of 1.76 to 1.99 for gross income. And at the bottom of the range, Mr. Saez in 2004 estimated an elasticity of 0.62 for gross income for the top 1%.

A midpoint between the estimates would be an elasticity for gross income of 1.3 for the top 1%, and presumably an even higher elasticity for taxable income (since taxpayers can claim larger deductions if tax rates go up.)

But let's stick with an ETI of 1.3 for the top 1%. This implies that the revenue-maximizing top marginal rate would be 33.9% for all taxes, and below 27% for the federal income tax.

To avoid reaching that conclusion, Messrs. Diamond and Saez's 2011 paper ignores all studies of elasticity among the top 1%, and instead chooses a midpoint of 0.25 between one uniquely low estimate of 0.12 for gross income among all taxpayers (from a 2004 study by Mr. Saez and Jonathan Gruber of MIT) and the 0.40 ETI norm from 30 other studies.

That made-up estimate of 0.25 is the sole basis for the claim by Messrs. Diamond and Saez in their 2011 paper that tax rates could reach 73% without losing revenue.

The Saez-Piketty-Stantcheva paper does not confound a lowball estimate for all taxpayers with a midpoint estimate for the top 1%. On the contrary, the authors say that "the long-run total elasticity of top incomes with respect to the net-of-tax rate is large."

Nevertheless, to cut this "large" elasticity down, the authors begin by combining the U.S. with 17 other affluent economies, telling us that elasticity estimates for top incomes are lower for Europe and Japan. The resulting mélange—an 18-country "overall elasticity of around 0.5"—has zero relevance to U.S. tax policy.

Still, it is twice as large as the ETI of Messrs. Diamond and Saez, so the three authors appear compelled to further pare their 0.5 estimate down to 0.2 in order to predict a "socially optimal" top tax rate of 83%. Using "admittedly only suggestive" evidence, they assert that only 0.2 of their 0.5 ETI can be attributed to real supply-side responses to changes in tax rates.

The other three-fifths of ETI can just be ignored, according to Messrs. Saez and Piketty, and Ms. Stantcheva, because it is the result of, among other factors, easily-plugged tax loopholes resulting from lower rates on corporations and capital gains.

Plugging these so-called loopholes, they say, requires "aligning the tax rates on realized capital gains with those on ordinary income" and enacting "neutrality in the effective tax rates across organizational forms." In plain English: Tax rates on U.S. corporate profits, dividends and capital gains must also be 83%.

This raises another question: At that level, would there be any profits, capital gains or top incomes left to tax?

"The optimal top tax," the three authors also say, "actually goes to 100% if the real supply-side elasticity is very small." If anyone still imagines the proposed "socially optimal" tax rates of 73%-83% on the top 1% would raise revenues and have no effect on economic growth, what about that 100% rate?

Mr. Reynolds is a senior fellow with the Cato Institute and the author of "Income and Wealth" (Greenwood Press, 2006).
4569  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: European matters on: May 07, 2012, 10:20:02 AM
One take is anti-incumbency,ery much like America in 2006, 2008.  I understand that people were tired of Bush and anyone like him then, and Sarchozy now.  I don't understand why that change has to be in the direction statism instead of freedom.

Just what the world needs is another leading nation to re-learn the failures of socialism.  Didn't we already have enough data on that?
4570  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Corruption etc: Detroit Looted by its Elected Officials on: May 07, 2012, 10:13:47 AM
Walter Russell Mead makes a great point that this man-made disaster is right in one of America's once great cities and no one seems to care.
http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/05/05/rogue-democrats-loot-detroit-as-nation-sleeps/

May 5, 2012
Rogue Democrats Loot Detroit As Nation Sleeps
Walter Russell Mead

Few readers will be surprised to learn that decades of incompetence and entrenched corruption in Detroit’s government have not only helped wreck the city; firms linked to former Democratic mayor Kwame Kilpatrick also looted the pension fund.

The latest scandal, which leaves even hardened observers of the abysmal Democratic machine that has run the city into the ground bemused, involves a real estate firm which gave the felonious mayor massages, golf outings, trips in chartered jets and other perks as this enemy of the people went about his hypocritical business of pretending to care about the poor while robbing them blind. The firm, apparently run by a sleazy low class crook named by the reprehensible Kilpatrick to be the Treasurer of what was left of Detroit’s finances, used Detroit pension funds to buy a couple of California strip malls. Title to the properties was never transferred to the pension funds, and they seem to be out $3.1 million.

Kilpatrick’s partner in slime is his ex-college frat brother Jeffrey Beasley, who is accused of taking bribes and kickbacks as he made bad investments that cost pension funds $84 million.  Overall, a Detroit Free Press investigation estimates that corrupt and incompetent trustees appointed by Democratic officials over many years in Detroit are responsible for almost half a billion dollars in investments gone wrong.

I honestly don’t know why there is so little national outrage about this despicable crew and the terrible damage they have done. The ultimate victims of the crime are Detroit’s poor and the middle class and lower middle class, mostly African-American municipal workers who may face serious financial losses in old age.

The 41 year old Kwame Kilpatrick may well be the worst and most destructive American of his generation; his two terms as Mayor of Detroit are among the most sordid and stomach churning episodes in the storied history of American municipal corruption. Now under federal indictment for, essentially, running Detroit City Hall as a criminal enterprise, Kilpatrick reportedly turned down a plea bargain that included a 15 year prison term. Insiders say that since the maximum time for the charges he faces was 18 years, the offer from the prosecutors indicates strong confidence in their case. Indicted with him was his father; it’s nice to think that father and son will have some quality time in the can.

We must all hope for mercy in this world and the next and VM doesn’t exactly wish the worst on these people, but if between the civil penalties, fines and lawsuits from those they have wronged Kilpatrick and company are picked so clean that they have to depend on their prison earnings for snack money in jail, helping them out won’t be at the top of our charitable giving list. And one thing Michigan legislators should check is whether the state has a nice harsh pension forfeiture law.

These judgments are always subjective, but it seems to me that there is not nearly enough national publicity about and outrage over the crimes of Kwame Kilpatrick. If a white or Asian Republican pol had looted fire and police pension funds, blighted the lives of a generation of minority kids and helped do more damage to a great American city than Hurricane Katrina, I don’t think this would be primarily a local news story. I would expect that the scandal would grip the nation, and there would be wall to wall national media coverage.

As there should be.

As it is, an eerie silence envelopes the subject. Outside the Michigan area, only the most dedicated news hounds and political junkies follow this story.

Three factors seem to be at work. One is quite simply financial; falling newsroom budgets in the MSM mean that it is harder for national papers and legacy networks to cover the country.

The second factor is more disturbing: there is a pervasive national sense of ennui and despair about urban areas in which African Americans are the majority. ‘We’ expect decline, decay and corruption in these places, so the Kilpatrick story strikes many editors and journalists as just another ‘dog bites man’ story: not news. Cory Booker is news; Kwame Kilpatrick isn’t.

That ennui and despair intensify when the subject is Detroit. Frankly, while the genteel world hates the thought of being racist, in reality there is a widespread belief in even the most liberal and well educated portions of the white upper middle class that nothing much better can happen in Detroit. I don’t believe that, and this is one of the reasons the city’s decline makes me angry as well as sad. Lax law enforcement and oversight from federal and state authorities allowed a climate of unrestrained corruption to grow up in Detroit over many years.

Putting a lot more people in jail much earlier in their careers, and instilling a healthy fear of the law in Detroit’s political class would have slowed the decline at least, and might well have created openings for better politicians to emerge. The failure of Detroit’s political class must also be seen as a dramatic failure of national and state law enforcement. The horses had been out of this stable for a long time before the authorities showed up with padlocks in hand. One hopes that the Department of Justice will move aggressively to target big city machines for investigation before more Detroits pop up. Similarly, state governors might want to suggest to their attorneys general that corruption bears watching. Michigan taxpayers are going to be stuck with huge bills as the state struggles to cope with the consequences of misrule in Detroit; smart governors might not want to wait until their cities collapse.

Finally, there is a disconnect between important local news and our national news culture today. The New York Times does a lousy job covering New York city and New York State; in the rarefied world of Times readers, local news is dull. Many of our national news editors and writers see themselves as cosmopolitan citizens of the world, interested in much more exciting and important things than the grubby realities of local and municipal life.

In this, the journalists faithfully reflect the thinking of many members of the genteel upper middle class; it is a kind of weird Platonic vision of reality in which the ‘lower’, grubby levels of politics and national life count for less than the ‘higher’, ‘nobler’ levels. Call it the gentrification of news; before Ivy Leaguers filled the newsrooms, American papers focused on the nuts and bolts of life. Now, they are much too highfalutin and hoity-toity for crime and city hall reporters to be the cocks of the walk.

Thus, even as interest in and reporting on the economic and social meltdown of so many once prosperous American cities and states ebbs, the ‘aristocracy’ of the press corps intensifies its endless and endlessly overdone coverage of the national election cycle. Very little that is said or done in either the Romney or Obama campaigns right now has much to do with what voters will be thinking about and voting on six months from now. But that doesn’t stop the legacy press from obsessing about it while ignoring far more consequential developments taking place on every side.

Detroit doesn’t matter all that much to the New York Times and many of its readers for the same reasons that Albany, Queens, Buffalo and Schenectady don’t matter. The new American elite wants to live and think as if it has transcended all that dreary provincial mess and lives on high in a world of Big Ideas and Global Issues. Mrs. Jellyby is much more interested in visionary programs to uplift the inhabitants of Borrio-Boola-Gha than on making sure her own children are well dressed and well cared for.

(At the American Interest we are trying to change this pattern. Go here to read a review of some recent books on Detroit by John G. Rodwan that appears in our May/June print issue.)

There is something profoundly wrong with an American political culture that accepts chronic misgovernment in major cities as OK. It is not OK; the people who do these things may call themselves liberal Democrats and wear the mantle of defenders of the poor, but over and over their actions place them among the most cold blooded enemies and oppressors of the weak.

American cities have been festering pits of graft and bad governance since at least the early 19th century, but there is a difference between the “honest graft” of Tammany Hall and the nihilistic destruction practiced by some of today’s urban machines. Today’s situation, in which some city machines are so dysfunctional that the parasite is literally killing the host (and not just in Detroit), is new and, again, the most vulnerable in our society suffer the worst consequences. Minority children are the greatest ultimate victims of this loathsome corruption: they attend horrible schools and grow up in decaying, unsafe urban landscapes where there is no growth, no jobs and no opportunity for the young.

How is it anything but racist not to care about that — and not to burn with the desire to put the scabrous thugs who misgovern our cities and waste our social funds in prison where they belong?

(Mead is a Democrat who voted for Obama.)
4571  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Marco Rubio on: May 07, 2012, 08:41:49 AM
Ditto, thanks Bigdog. I was thinking of the numbers constraint, hearing 70 cases out of 10,000, but also that this might not be the 'right' case in the sense of emergency actions versus how long a case would take in the Court.
------------------
Marco Rubio interviewed by Chris Wallace, always worth a listen IMO.  Put him on the ticket and you would have a 16 year plan for prosperity.  It struck me that a son of Cuban immigrants will be a quick study on the oppressors in China. 

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/05/06/rubio_obama_a_typical_washington_politician_that_is_very_sad_to_watch.html
4572  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness: Without the first-person pronouns, the man would fall silent. on: May 06, 2012, 09:03:41 PM
George Will nails it, asked and answered in 50 seconds.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/05/06/will_without_first-person_pronouns_obama_would_fall_silent.html

“If you struck from Barack Obama’s vocabulary the first-person singular pronoun, he would fall silent, which would be a mercy to us and a service to him, actually,” Will said. “Because he was been so incontinent for the last three years that you wind up with, as you said, [an] Ohio State University with empty seats.”
4573  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The phoniest women's right issue on the planet; Jane Roe recants on: May 06, 2012, 05:49:25 PM
"nor should they [women who have had abortions] think any less of themselves."  You write so freely and confidently about what you know nothing.  You oughtta ask JANE ROE about her decision before driveling about who ought not feel what and who doesn't need accurate information to make life and death decisions.  http://www.dailycampus.com/2.7440/once-a-champion-of-pro-choice-jane-roe-speaks-on-change-of-heart-1.1054507#.T6b7OtmIhdg (text below)

Yes I do in fact openly question and oppose MANY supreme court decisions.  You OTOH often say or imply that because it was ruled, that is that. Settled law.  Good that we are back to questioning, not acting like sheep.  Texas drew up its law within the guidelines set up by the Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.  If you know otherwise, please cite.    

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/health/policy/texas-court-allows-sonogram-law-to-be-enforced.html
Chief Judge Edith H. Jones used her opinion to systematically dismantle the argument that the law infringes on the free speech rights of doctors and patients, the key argument against the law. “The required disclosures of a sonogram, the fetal heartbeat, and their medical descriptions are the epitome of truthful, non-misleading information,” Judge Jones wrote.

"Doonesbury said it better."  - No.  Doonesbury said straw.  They oppose their own caricature of the law, right out of hating Sarah Palin for what Tina Fey said.  Now you have introduced shame into the discussion when the law was about making sure it is informed decision on such a grave matter.  That is good straw, but the Chief Judge of the 5th Circuit said it better.  It's "settled law" now.

You see no shame because you see no life there or think they don't see it.  Or hear it.  What other settled science do you deny?

Do you oppose the Obama rule, killing it out of the womb as long as you intended to kill it in the womb?

Why do proponents say "safe, legal and RARE? Why do they say 'I am personally opposed' but politically in favor of abortion rights?  If there is no life, no killing, what is there to personally oppose?  You don't even admit it should be rare or any personal qualms about it.  That puts you WAY out in the extreme.

What about the Mac plan accepting both women's rights AND life.  Allow her to have it removed but not allow her to kill it.  It's not her baby if it's not a baby.  Maybe someone else wants it.

No qualms even about killing black babies in America at 3 times the rate of white babies?  No objections to the killings in Asia, not just China, for gender selection purposes?  That is not Roe v. Wade, settled law, that is purely a matter of right vs. wrong and you say right.  Unbelievable.

How about killing it for up to 9 months from conception even if born.  

Which is more human, an 8.9 month baby in a womb killed legally or a 24 week born preemie that survives?

If you are GOD maybe you know the answer to that?

How do you feel about the choice your own mom made?  If not your life, how about hers, that she was allowed to live.  Not a shred of a feeling about that?  Good grief.

As stated previously, if you can't accept reason and you won't accept science and we have no principles whatsoever in common, not even a base level, God fearing, even atheist level of respect for human life, why would we hope to find any common ground on any policy or candidate?
------------------------------

http://www.dailycampus.com/2.7440/once-a-champion-of-pro-choice-jane-roe-speaks-on-change-of-heart-1.1054507#.T6b7OtmIhdg

Once A Champion Of Pro-Choice, 'Jane Roe' Speaks On Change Of Heart

By Diane Dauplaise

Published: Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Updated: Monday, January 18, 2010 16:01

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4-3 Roe by Erik.jpg

Norma McCorvey speaks in front of a packed house Wednesday at the Student Union Theatre.

In 1973 Norma McCorvey - better known as "Jane Roe" from Roe vs. Wade" - won the landmark case that legalized abortion in the United States. Wednesday night in the Student Union theatre, she spoke out on why she now feels that decision was a mistake. Brought to UConn to speak about her experiences by the UConn Pro-Life club, McCorvey, who had spent most of her life working in abortion clinics and championing a woman's right to choose, was clear that she felt she had made a mistake and was now a changed woman. She was heard by an audience that included students, community members and clergy members.

McCorvey took to the podium a bit uneasily but she warmed up the audience with her subtle dry wit, reminding them at times, "Its' ok to laugh."

Her story began the day an anti-abortion group called "The Rescuers" moved into the space next door to the fourth and final abortion clinic she worked at. She recounted traumatic tales from the clinic including trifles with the abortionist, nearly full-term women and girls as young as 14 seeking abortions.

McCorvey said that her mind was changed by one particular client who came in. The woman was nearly full-term and seeking an abortion when McCorvey questioned her as to why it had taken her so long to come to this decision. The woman replied that she was pregnant with a girl and had decided that she wanted a boy instead. McCorvey said that two weeks after the procedure, "I could feel she had some kind of torment, but I didn't know what it was called."

Missy Pfohl, a 7th-semester animal science major, said that "her personal accounts of working in the abortion clinic" was the most moving part of her the speech.

Going forward from those stories, McCorvey began to talk about her radical change of heart, which came with her beginning to consort with the anti-abortion group next door. She said she was moved by how open and content they always seemed and told a particular story of how one of the anti-abortion worker's daughters would come and watch "Jeopardy!" with her at the front desk of the abortion clinic. She then began attending church with that particular family and said that her heart was truly changed by scripture.

When discussing her conversion, she also made a reference to her years of alcohol and narcotic abuse as well as various suicide attempts that she said was a reaction to the "horrors" she witnessed in the abortion clinics, calling them "grim places." Also much of her emotional plight, she said came from the guilt of being "Jane Roe."

"It wasn't any fun being Jane Roe of Roe vs. Wade," she said. "I've been shot at and threatened."

She said she was misled by her lawyers and did not know that her involvement in the case would result in a national law legalizing abortion.

"I'm glad she came," said Lauren Colello an 8th-semester molecular and cellular biology major. "She showed that it's important to keep questioning yourself and to be humble."
4574  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics - Big tents are for circuses on: May 06, 2012, 03:27:33 PM
Inclusiveness for a political party is to include people who mostly share your principles and values.  The former Gov has it backwards.  Republicans and conservatives generously included him as electable in the 'big tent' theme.  He got elected and he spit on them.  What governing principles does Arnold Schwarzenegger share with American conservatives?  He has a record now.  

What a sick and perverted political joke it is to imply that anything to the right of his unprincipled, big government failure is ideological purity.  His record makes the case for the empty book I call: The core, uncompromising principles of moderates.

The party included Bob Dole the tax hiker, the compassionate conservative guy who created a new entitlement while failing to reform any old ones.  Republicans went along with a Ted Kennedy Education bill in a reachout, with CRAp out of fairness and with TARP in a manmade crisis.  Now we picked Romney, and liberals like AS want us to turn further leftward. People like Arlen Specter made that same argument.  How's he doing?

Arnold, there already is a party to our left.  Join them.  And tell them to turn further rightward, to be inclusive and to stop being such ideologues.

Republicans should have a trademark and take back the 'R' when people like Nixon and Schwarzenegger govern like they did.
4575  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion - Unregulated medicine? on: May 06, 2012, 02:53:24 PM
Are you saying there should be no regulations about doctors informing patients before a procedure or just not on this one- because killing a human heartbeat is shameful?  I kind of like it your way, no government regulations whatsoever on doctors and medicine.  We are all big kids now.  We can do our own due diligence?

Wouldn't a woman with a conscience want to know forever that she got the fetus in early pregnancy removed before it had a heartbeat - verfied by sonagram?

Why would a woman without a conscience, like the one Doonesbury demeans, give a rat's ass if it had a heartbeat or not.  If you have no conscience, no respect whatsoever for unborn life, there is no shame.

Does the 24 waiting period for the clinic procedure drive her instead to stabbing it in the back alley with the coat hanger?  (The Court ruled that it does not.) That, you might recall, was a main objection of Rachel's to prohibiting abortion.  They will abort, legal or not.  Responsibility can not be taught or learned. (?)

Funny that when you agree with the court like legalized abortion, it is right because 'the Court ruled on it', but these reasonable restrictions on abortions were upheld by the same court.  Yet you object and call it GOP (We The People) inflicting shame (sharing medical information).  

With logic one might think that being fully informed would help to prevent the shame after the fact that so many experience.  What do you think of THAT for a women's right, a law requiring women to be fully informed before killing their young.  Ooops, you already answered it.  You oppose it and show no deference for a ruling already made by the highest Court in the land on the matter, not the Texas GOP, the U.S Supreme Court.
----
As an aside, the Democrat party controlled Texas for a hundred years up through the mid 1990s. The GOP doesn't control Texas or write the laws, the people do.  Dems lost control, FYI, because the national party went nuts on issues like this one.
4576  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: May 05, 2012, 05:50:50 PM
Perfect if straw is your only argument. We have a humor thread if you think that's funny.

Why wouldn't you want to hear it's heart beat before you kill it?
4577  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Parenting Issues, Jon Will on: May 05, 2012, 03:01:47 PM
A couple of follow up thoughts on the beautiful George Will story about his son.  He closes by saying his son will enjoy his birthday at his favorite activity, a baseball game.  Later I recalled what a baseball enthusiast and Red Sox fan the father is.  There is quite a joy in finding that your offspring end up loving some of the same things in life that you do.  Personally I'm grateful my daughter loves the same sports that I do.  No idea how that happened.  Her favorite orchestral piece that they performed this spring is perhaps a favorite of 3 generations before her.
4578  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: May 05, 2012, 03:00:08 PM
The same George Will piece above ran in our local paper and I noticed a letter to the editor later in follow up said that his joy and pride should not mean that the other 90% should be judged in the decisions they made to kill off these imperfect, innocent family members developing in the womb upon learning of their defects.  My view: Yes, you will be judged for that.
------------
In other news, some states require in the abortion process a viewing of the ultrasound and a listening to the heart beat and a lady is donating iPods to the clinics to make that 'listening' less informing.
http://www.lifenews.com/2012/05/03/abortion-backers-give-women-ipods-to-drown-out-ultrasound/
4579  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Issues in Constitutional Law: General Motors bailout on: May 05, 2012, 02:39:01 PM
Taking some discussion from the Presidential 2012 thread over to here. 

Asked: "The authority to make such a move [selective privater company bailouts and investments] is contained in Article ___ of the constitution?"

Court citations?
------------
Other bailouts were going on at that time like AIG, Bear Stearns.  I recall a congressional committee questioning the Treasury Secretary and Fed Chair (video link below) about where they derived that authority [to bail out non-financial institutions].  Which provision in the constitution gives authority to the Treasury for the extraordinary actions taken?  Geithner literally could not grasp the question much less the answer, kept answering that congress had authorized it.  Bernancke pointed to congressional right to authorize funds as they did in TARP to the 1930s legislation for emergency lending in financial crisis.  Could not point to a constitutional limit on that authority. "The actions we've taken have been solely and entirely in the interest of protecting the American economy from financial collapse."  A brokerage here, an insurance company there.  General Motors not mentioned.  Ends justify means.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSWztq4yc_U  Interesting question and non-answers, that's all.

If congress has the power to authorize funds, is there no limit on how it is spent?

The equal protection clause limits the powers of States: 'No State shall... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.' 

Is there an unenumerated right to equal treatment from the federal government or where does the constitution limit the federal government from picking winners and losers in the private economy, to pick a better connected competitor and give them competitive advantage over you to survive and to prosper.  No limits?

Perhaps it comes back to powers that were never granted to congress or the executive in the first place.  Did the power to regulate interstate commerce in our founding mean the power to alter the playing field in favor of certain players, at the disadvantage of others in private commerce including private commercial, legal contracts, such as the position of the secured bondholders of General Motors?

Did "promote the general Welfare" and "those things of a general welfare that they could not provide themselves" mean no limits?  Bernancke referred to a "practical limit", his power to manage monetary policy, including fabrication of money into the multiples of trillions.  Congress likewise. Not even limited by whjat they can agree to tax.  No other limits?  Really??

JDN wrote about the GM bailout: "A few suffered in exchange for the greater good.  Hundreds of thousands of jobs were saved especially if you look downstream at suppliers, etc."

I disagree with the result, but let's say he is right about the ends, where was the power to do that authorized in the constitution?
4580  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential: General Motors should have gone through reorganization on: May 04, 2012, 11:24:57 PM
Yes.  In bankruptcy the last thing they do is close the cash register.  The immediate change is that the bankruptcy judge becomes the de facto CEO and CFO deciding what bills get paid in what amounts. They reorganize, not close the town.  They don't come in and put boots on all the tires or shut down all operations.

They might let people go at the top and at the bottom, but jobs are mostly secure at the level where the work gets done.  Products or plants that have no hope of ever paying their own way get dropped, but under what alternative would that not be so.

GM was mainly a healthcare company that also made and sold some cars. http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2008/11/crippling-burden-of-legacy-costs-gm-is.html

Obama took charge, injected taxpayer money selectively into the industry, meaning unequal treatment under the law, bypassed bankruptcy code and procedure, installed his own management and rearranged the ownership and debt hierarchy according to political expedience instead.

The authority to make such a move is contained in Article ___ of the constitution.

Now they call it the model for what they can do for the rest of the economy in a second term.
4581  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness: Bahr-ruck on: May 04, 2012, 01:32:26 PM
"I adopted a more formal, mature name at 19.  I have a friend who changed names at 30. "

Guessing you started using the more formal name you already had (?) and you knew how to pronounce it?  Did you add or subtract a trill to the r's and change the syllable with the accent?  If so, I wasn't trying to offend, just trying to get to know a guy who invites us to read two autobiographies about his past personal life.

When naming my daughter, your thought crossed my mind, what name sounds good for a little girl and what version of her name will she want as a business professional or as President.  I have tried not to call certain relatives by the -y or -ie version of their first name in front of their colleagues, assuming they prefer the more professional version as surgeons.

I get the part where he went from Barry to Barack and dropped the last name of a step father period of his life gone by.  Maybe the confusion over pronunciation was due to the absence of his father but his mother knew his father and no doubt used his long name a time or two.
----------------------
" (From the book):   She called him Bahr-ruck, with the accent on the first syllable, and a trill of the r’s. Not Bear-ick, as the Anglophile Kenyans pronounced it, and not Buh-rock, as he would later be called"
4582  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: May 04, 2012, 12:40:36 PM
"My daughter told me this morning that she hopes we will be able to stay in CA."

There are other beaches and plenty of places to keep horses, but it is very hard to pack up and move kids away from their friends depending on their age and other factors.
4583  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 04, 2012, 12:34:17 PM
I know 2008 is the starting point for all the analysts, but this year has no similarity.

Mitt Romney needs to defeat Barack Obama in the national election.  On issues, competence and direction, he needs to do that by more than a sliver of a point.  If he does, he will win Florida and Ohio.  Indiana by double digits and win North Carolina easily.  The latest Virginia poll shows Obama leading but also shows him running better with independents than he carried them in 2008.  That is not likely in Nov.  Twice as many say we are on the wrong track.  http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/05/whats-up-in-virginia.php

In the scenario in the piece, they say Romney would have to switch those 5 AND get one more.  But if he switches those 5 states, he most certainly will carry New Hampshire and win. Also possible are Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Michigan, Colorado, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. 

In a squeaker, who knows, but if Romney wins nationwide by a couple of points or more, the electoral victory will be convincing.  My scenario has him beating Obama by a nearly 2:1 margin in the electoral college.  That is more likely than Obama all the he did in 2008.

4584  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential, workforce % worst in 30 years on: May 04, 2012, 10:49:50 AM
In April, the percentage of adults working or looking for work fell to the lowest level in more than 30 years.
http://www.npr.org/2012/05/04/152007639/unemployment-dips-to-8-1-percent-fewer-jobs-added

Number of people on food stamps has doubled.  And they were only trying to attack the rich.

Milbank and Maddow called Romney a liar for how he characterized this recovery.  Watching and waiting for a retraction and apology.

End this nightmare.
4585  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / President's early years: Barry, Bahr-ruck with a trill of R's, before Buh-rock on: May 04, 2012, 10:40:23 AM
Stranger than dating a composite girlfriend and writing about a life changing racial incident that never happened is that at 22, he didn't know his name:

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/05/barrys-imaginary-girlfriend.php
John Hinderacker: 

It was striking to me that when Genevieve met Obama he was a 22-year-old college graduate, but hadn’t yet figured out what his name was. In high school, he had generally been called “Barry,” but by this time he apparently was looking for something more formal:

 (From the book):   She called him Bahr-ruck, with the accent on the first syllable, and a trill of the r’s. Not Bear-ick, as the Anglophile Kenyans pronounced it, and not Buh-rock, as he would later be called, but Bahr-ruck. She said that is how he pronounced it himself, at least when talking to her.

JH: I find that very odd. Think how fundamental a part of you your name is: when you were in elementary school, did you have any doubt about what to call yourself? At 22, Obama was still trying out names.
4586  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / (States that california could learn from): Wisconsin Recall Amnesia on: May 04, 2012, 10:29:23 AM
Wisconsin Recall Amnesia   WSJ excerpt:( Subscribe half price at http://wallstreetsubscriptionsoffer.com/)
Why aren't Democrats running against Scott Walker's union reforms?

Remember the Greek-style protests in Madison, the union sit-ins, the lawmakers who fled to Illinois to avoid voting on Scott Walker's collective-bargaining law last year? Now that the recall election of Mr. Walker is in full swing, Big Labor must be wondering where the outrage went.

Since last summer, unions have been throwing millions at defeating the man who reformed collective bargaining for government workers and required union members to pay 5.8% of their paychecks toward pensions and 12.6% of their health insurance premiums, modest contributions compared to the average in private business. As the May 8 Democratic recall primary nears to determine who will run against Mr. Walker on June 5, this should be their rhetorical moment ne plus ultra.

So, let's see. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the front-runner, has focused his campaigns on jobs, education, the environment and "making communities safer." One of Mr. Barrett's ads singles out "Walker's War on Women," with nary a mention of collective bargaining. Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk is heavily supported by union groups, but even her issues list makes only passing reference to collective bargaining.

No wonder. Since Mr. Walker's reforms went into effect, the doom and gloom scenarios have failed to materialize. Property taxes in the state were down 0.4% in 2011, the first decline since 1998. According to Chief Executive magazine, Wisconsin moved up four more places this year to number 20 in an annual CEO survey of the best states to do business, after jumping 17 spots last year.

The Governor's office has estimated that altogether the reforms have saved Badger State taxpayers more than $1 billion, including $65 million in changes in health-care plans, and some $543 million in local savings documented by media reports. According to the Wisconsin-based MacIver Institute, Mayor Barrett's city of Milwaukee saved $19 million on health-care costs as a direct result of Mr. Walker's reforms. Awkward turtle.

Some of the good news has been in the schools, because districts have been able to avoid teacher layoffs and make ends meet because of flexibility created by the changes. In the Brown Deer school district, savings created by pension and health-care contributions from employees allowed the school to prevent layoffs and save some $800,000 for taxpayers.

In Fond du Lac, school board president Eric Everson says the district saved $4 million as a result of last year's reforms, including $2 million from the changes in employee contributions to their pensions.

Another 52 schools across the state saved an average of $220 per student thanks to the ability to introduce competitive bidding for health insurance, rather than automatically going through WEA Trust, the favored provider of the Wisconsin Education Association Council. If the savings are even half as large as the Governor's surveys indicate, they are still enormous.

All of this is making an impression on Wisconsin voters. According to a Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday, only 12% of Wisconsin voters say "restoring collective bargaining rights" is their priority, which explains the Democratic decision to fight on other issues.
...
Mr. Walker's reforms were a modest but necessary response to the state's fiscal problems, and the proof is in the emerging results. The union reaction was so ferocious because the reforms reduced Big Labor's clout over state and local taxpayers and thus its ability to milk taxpayers year after year without challenge.

Democrats and unions will still do all they can to recall Mr. Walker to prove to would-be reformers nationwide that unions can't be crossed. But it speaks volumes that Democrats are running on everything except their real goal—which is to restore the political dominance of government unions.
4587  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy: Michael Scheuer, President Paul on: May 04, 2012, 10:09:23 AM
Scheuer and Paul are entitled to their view of non-intervention and voters deserve that as an option to current policy.  The competing view is peace through strength and, as suggested with Chinese dissident, help those when we can around the world gain their liberty.

Should the US have intervened in WWII?  In hindsight, yes (MHO).  In hindsight then, when?  Perhaps sooner, at least for European nations like France watching Hitler 'not threatening their national security'.  We lost nearly a half million Americans as it was, 60 million people killed overall.  If that could have been stopped sooner, it should have been. 

Paul: bin Laden and al Qaida attack because we violate their sovereignty with our presence in their lands.

Some truth, and some not.  He operated from Afghanistan.  Our presence there (prior to embassy bombing, USS Cole, 9/11) was to protect their sovereignty.  He is from Saudi.  In 1990 we moved in and protected their sovereignty.  Many other examples of Americans on the side of Arabs and Muslims that OBL rhetoric (and Ron Paul) ignore.  Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo come to mind, along with examples from WWII.  It was Arab Muslims we were trying to free in Iraq.  Not take their oil.  We were blamed for encouraging an uprising previously and leaving them for slaughter.  Saddam is now out; it isn't a 51st state and we pay full price for oil.

They kill because we breathe.  We exist, we are infidels.

They kill because we protect Israel.  To not protect Israel is unthinkable.  MHO.  What other allies do we not stand by?  And how would that increase our security?  Nonsense.  Give them just that one victory/takeover in Israel, wherever and they will stop.  Like Hitler??

Weakness is what Hitler saw in Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland.  Strength is what Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Gorbachev saw in America - in varying degrees over time.  Peace through weakness and non intervention is not as effective as peace through strength.  Just an opinion - backed up in history.

Scheuer: "Nearly alone among Republicans and Democrats, Paul knows... the founders' warning against nonessential intervention in foreigners' affairs would be ruinous for America."

Thomas Jefferson is considered one of the Founders, wrote the Declaration of Independence, served as the first Secretary of State under Washington, second Vice President under Adams and third President of the United States.  Jefferson immediately into his Presidency stood up to the Muslim militants and went to war with them over commercial shipping lanes, analogous to the free flow of oil out of the gulf today, not over genuine U.S. national security interests at our shore as defined by Ron Paul. 

We were wrong to restore Kuwait.  We were wrong to enforce the surrender agreement made by Saddam.  We are wrong to defend Israel and were wrong in Desert Shield to stop Saddam from continuing his march.  Then what?

What struck me about the Libertarians versus conservatives/neocons (and Democrats) during the Iraq war debate was their interest was only in our liberty, not anyone else's.  But a lesson of our liberty is that it was won only with crucial help from overseas.  The founders knew that.

The world is safer with east Europe free and Putin's Russia down to one republic than it would be if Soviet expansionism was allowed to continue.  That was not very long ago and would NOT have been stopped without the credible threat of American interventionism.

Paul says we are attacked by bin Laden because we are in the Middle East, and he says bin Laden attacked us to draw us into the Middle East.  Which is it?  He says the mission was to kill one man.  He does not acknowledge that our mission was the prevention of future attacks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAUzG-mV4p4
4588  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Senate races 2012: Elizabeth Running Joke Warren, wanted to make new friends... on: May 04, 2012, 08:53:50 AM
"for most scholarships awarded to Native Americans, there is 1/4 requirement "

That nixed the Warren plan I had for my daughter (blue eyes, red hair) to change her middle name to 'running bear' for her college applicaitions.

I heard some other middle names suggested for Warren: 'wounded economy', 'running joke', 'broken left wing', 'Pinocchio-hontas', 'running joke'.

What past discrimination did she need her leg up from?

Latest story, she did that to make friends.  http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/05/elizabeth-warren-says-she-used-native-american-heritage-to-meet-friends/  

It reminds me of former Washington DC  Mayor Marion Barry's outreach program to destitute prostitutes, reaching into his own stash of crack cocaine and sharing, to help the poorest among us.

She deceived to get hired and to get tenure as a Harvard Professor.  She got tenure, then dropped the minority status.  How does one drop their blood content status?

Most Harvard Law professors went to Harvard Law School.  Most of the rest went to other top Ivy League schools.  One, Warren, went to Rutgers, a FINE school, but not equal to Harvard. When Warren was hired, there was a huge push on to hire more minorities.  Blonde, blue eyed minorities?  Is that what Derrick Bell was fighting for?

Victimless crime?  

Like Hillary's dirty commodities trades.  No one was hurt... except the people those profits rightfully belonged to.

No one was hurt by Warren's deception, except for the person who deserved that job.  Except for the students who deserve the best possible professor.  Except for the integrity of the process, compromised.  Except the reputation of the institution, stained.  
4589  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: May 03, 2012, 02:18:38 PM
"The Obama administration is employing an aggressive ground game to build support for its controversial healthcare law that often reaches beyond the Beltway."

True.  But the 'popular' provisions for the most part were on the table in Republican proposals at the time Dems chose to go it alone.

Romney and supporting groups have been quite proficient converting facts into negative ads.  The Pelosi-Reid congress and Obama are all on the ballot this time, exposed for one thing on the process of passing healthcare.
-----
IF ACA is struck down the above bet changes.  Both camps will need to respond with a new proposals within the constraints laid out by the Court.  The President might get a Mulligan - to lock in a new deal with only the popular provisions included, acceptable to maybe a third of House Republicans, passed and signed.  Or he can carry the issue into the election.
4590  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion - 90% of Down Syndrome babies are aborted. Others live well. on: May 03, 2012, 01:40:55 PM
"Judging by Jon, the world would be improved by more people with Down syndrome, who are quite nice, as humans go." (George Will below)  First a quote from the previous posts in the thread with my comment:
----------
"...I doubt they'd look at 4D images of very young fetuses and rule that they were not human."

Besides images, we have the magic of time travel.  We don't have to look at a developing growth inside the womb and wonder what it is or will become.  We already know, it becomes it's own unique, alive, human family member.  We all went through the process, living in the womb, minus the violent ending.  (My own botched-abortion daughter now has over 740 facebook friends, was highly recruited for sports and music and is heading off to one of the top local small colleges on an academic merit scholarship, from a blob once scheduled for 'termination'.)  It is NOT some mystery or controversy that what you see in the image is a developing family member in need of your protection.
----------

Linking from Parent Issues:  http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1438.msg62531#msg62531
George Will column honoring the 40th birthday of Jon Will.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/jon-will-40-years-and-going-with-down-syndrome/2012/05/02/gIQAdGiNxT_story.html

Will: "This era has coincided, not just coincidentally, with the full, garish flowering of the baby boomers’ vast sense of entitlement, which encompasses an entitlement to exemption from nature’s mishaps, and to a perfect baby. So today science enables what the ethos ratifies, the choice of killing children with Down syndrome before birth. That is what happens to 90 percent of those whose parents receive a Down syndrome diagnosis through prenatal testing.

    Which is unfortunate, and not just for them. Judging by Jon, the world would be improved by more people with Down syndrome, who are quite nice, as humans go. It is said we are all born brave, trusting and greedy, and remain greedy. People with Down syndrome must remain brave in order to navigate society’s complexities. They have no choice but to be trusting because, with limited understanding, and limited abilities to communicate misunderstanding, they, like Blanche DuBois in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” always depend on the kindness of strangers. Judging by Jon’s experience, they almost always receive it.
4591  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Parenting Issues on: May 03, 2012, 01:09:33 PM
"This would also be a nice fit in the abortion thread."

My thought exactly.  But if I put it there you would have sent me here.   grin

Of course abortion is a parent issue too as the kid has no say in the matter...
----
These kids often grow up to work jobs that offset only part of their cost.  Unfortunately that is far better than a whole lot of no-excuse, able mind and body Americans.
4592  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bin Laden dead - attacks on fellow Muslims on: May 03, 2012, 12:57:49 PM
Thanks BD.  The writings of this character help to tell a historic story.

The death of bin Laden was important and symbolic, but it was the death of his ability to operate freely and command effectively a worldwide terror group that was crucial.

"bin Laden was frustrated with the groups’ attacks on fellow Muslims"

This was a confused man.

IIRC the leaders were laughing in their video at the fate of the suicide volunteers who did not know their ending as they prepared for their mission.  A suicide bomber IS an attack on a fellow Muslim no matter how many infidels it kills.  I wonder how many Muslims died in his attacks and their aftermath with the wars he intentionally set off:
-----
"...28 Muslims who died in the twin towers of the World Trade Center, in addition to three Muslims who were among the passengers on two hijacked planes; one of them crashed on a Pennsylvania field before it reached its target, and the second one hit the Pentagon.  The Muslims victims in the 9/11 attacks were as follows: six from Pakistan, six from Bangladesh, four from Guiana, two from Sri Lanka, two from Gambia, two from Ivory Coast, and 1 from Yemen, one from Iran, one from Ethiopia, one from Turkey, one from Trinidad and Tobago, one from Burma, one from Albania, one from Greece and one from India, representing 1.07 percent of the total number of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, which is the same percentage of Muslims in the United States."
http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/09/11/166286.html
----
In the aftermath of 'bin Laden Dead' it would be nice if the regret of attacks against fellow Muslims was what a billion Muslims take forward from this global nightmare.  Setting off 'necessary' wars in Muslim lands is not consistent with regretting attacks against fellow Muslims.  Of course he meant Muslim on Muslim attacks, but the result of his Muslim on 'infidel' attacks was the same.
4593  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Parenting Issues - Living (well) with Down Syndrome on: May 03, 2012, 12:02:05 PM
George Will: ..."the world would be improved by more people with Down syndrome, who are quite nice, as humans go."
----
Another story that doesn't fit neatly into existing threads, but Down Syndrome becomes the life of the parents as well as of the child.  90% of Down's kids are now aborted; the remaining parents bond quite strongly together, living with a common challenge and joy.  In our (extended) family, a beautiful Down Syndrome girl is for sure our favorite relative.  She is the one always most excited to see you, most excited about meals, dessert, presents, birthdays, even naps.  I call it 'up syndrome'.  Anything more about her needs to go in the gratitude thread.

Anyway, George Will has a column about his oldest son Jon Will, now turning 40.  His love and pride shines through the story. 
----
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/read-george-wills-touching-column-on-raising-his-now-40-year-old-son-with-downs/  Read George Will’s Touching Column on Raising His Now-40-Year-Old Son With Down Syndrome

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/jon-will-40-years-and-going-with-down-syndrome/2012/05/02/gIQAdGiNxT_story.html  "Jon Will’s gift"  by George Will

"The day after Jon was born, a doctor told Jon’s parents that the first question for them was whether they intended to take Jon home from the hospital. Nonplussed, they said they thought that is what parents do with newborns."   (Subtly written in the third person for perhaps the most powerful moment in their life.)
...
"This era has coincided, not just coincidentally, with the full, garish flowering of the baby boomers’ vast sense of entitlement, which encompasses an entitlement to exemption from nature’s mishaps, and to a perfect baby. So today science enables what the ethos ratifies, the choice of killing children with Down syndrome before birth. That is what happens to 90 percent of those whose parents receive a Down syndrome diagnosis through prenatal testing.

    Which is unfortunate, and not just for them. Judging by Jon, the world would be improved by more people with Down syndrome, who are quite nice, as humans go. It is said we are all born brave, trusting and greedy, and remain greedy. People with Down syndrome must remain brave in order to navigate society’s complexities. They have no choice but to be trusting because, with limited understanding, and limited abilities to communicate misunderstanding, they, like Blanche DuBois in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” always depend on the kindness of strangers. Judging by Jon’s experience, they almost always receive it.

Will’s column concludes on a hopeful note, noting that Jon will spend his 40th birthday at a baseball game, where he is, apparently, at his happiest."





4594  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Freedom of religion... on: May 03, 2012, 11:22:51 AM
"Perhaps we should merge the two threads?"  - Yes.  Many including me think of the First Amendment as freedom of speech but of course it is much more than that:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The follow up to Barton's book about Jefferson can go in the Founders thread, but this interview was all about Stewart trying to challenge the author's personal views on free exercise of religion.
4595  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich, almost the next Reagan on: May 03, 2012, 11:14:47 AM
For quite a long time the country has searched and given up searching for the next Reagan, who was not perfect either.  Newt was something like Reagan but with important differences.  Different levels of self discipline and consistency were part of it. 

With Reagan it was all about America, not Ronald Reagan, always.  All about freedom, never about him.  Reagan did not get bored with chasing the same 3 things every day, limited government, a strong America standing up to communism and a vibrant, free economy.

Newt's successes were that way, his best speeches, his best debates, his best policy ideas, and in the organizations he set up to chart a new path for America.  In other ways it was apparent that Newt was about Newt. 

Much of his past demise as Speaker was unfair.  They filed charges against him on everything and when he settled what he couldn't afford to fight, he was called guilty.  A speaker doesn't have the power of the Presidency to communicate back when his perfectly sensible words (a bureaucratic agency that would 'whither on the vine') were clipped and used wrongly against him.  He had nothing like the Edwards guilt in his scandals but he had allowed that vulnerability too, with secrets he needed to keep and a woman with 'good tastes' to placate.  Thousands in jewelry and a trip to the Mediterranean when your focus is the highest office is not focus or discipline. 

Reagan by the end of 8 years also had problems, worn down by the process, the opposition, the media and perhaps his impending illness.  His administration barely survived Iran-Contra, but Iran-contra was about doing everything possible to fight communism, nothing about personal advancement or gratification.  What brought Reagan back to prominence in history was that his policies were largely still in place - and they worked.  Growth was robust, he got his successor elected on a promise to continue the policies, revenues doubled in a decade, the wall came down and so did the Soviet empire.  He had won 49 states in reelection but the real results were not apparent until he was gone.

Had Gingrich survived 8-10 years of Speakership and kept focus and discipline on the core principles underlying the 'Contract', being elected President would not have been a stretch.

Newt IMO should have settled much earlier for a behind the scenes role with someone else on the stage, but that is not who he is.  I wish him all the best in private life.
4596  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Young Barack Obama in Vanity Fair on: May 03, 2012, 12:05:24 AM
One thing said about Barack Obama is that there was almost no record of him, no ex-girlfriends, no college roommates, no writings, no grades etc. meaning no vetting or that we don't really know who he is.  Part of that is solved with a new book coming out by a Wash Post reporter.  Vanity Fair has a 6 page excerpt:  http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2012/05/david-maraniss-barack-obama-genevieve-cook
http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/2012/06/young-barack-obama-in-love-david-maraniss
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/old-obama-girlfriends-revealed-in-new-obama-book-with-excerpts-from-his-love-letters/

I take from it two things, he is more real and genuine for having some past revealed and some relationships.  Second is that my belief that he did not write his own books was reinforced.

"In Dreams from My Father, Obama chose to emphasize a racial chasm that unavoidably separated him from the woman he described as his New York girlfriend.

    One night I took her to see a new play by a black playwright. It was a very angry play, but very funny. Typical black American humor. The audience was mostly black, and everybody was laughing and clapping and hollering like they were in church. After the play was over, my friend started talking about why black people were so angry all the time. I said it was a matter of remembering—nobody asks why Jews remember the Holocaust, I think I said—and she said that’s different, and I said it wasn’t, and she said that anger was just a dead end. We had a big fight, right in front of the theater. When we got back to the car she started crying. She couldn’t be black, she said. She would if she could, but she couldn’t. She could only be herself, and wasn’t that enough.None of this happened with Genevieve. She remembered going to the theater only once with Barack, and it was not to see a work by a black playwright.

“It is an incident that happened,” Maraniss quotes Obama as saying in a decades-later interview, but it wasn’t with her.

“That was not her,” he said. “That was an example of compression I was very sensitive in my book not to write about my girlfriends, partly out of respect for them. So that was a consideration. I thought that [the anecdote involving the reaction of a white girlfriend to the angry black play] was a useful theme to make about sort of the interactions that I had in the relationships with white girlfriends. And so, that occupies, what, two paragraphs in the book? My attitude was it would be dishonest for me not to touch on that at all … so that was an example of sort of editorially how do I figure that out?” "
-----------
What?

They found the girl he went to the play with and one other girlfriend andjournals and letters.  The incident did not happen.  It was, in my conjecture only, a stereotypical race relations discussion between sort of black man and white woman, fictionalized by someone else.  The composite story is interesting but there have been other indicators that his notes were the take off point for whomever wrote the rest.
4597  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Freedom of religion, David Barton, author ofThe Jefferson Lies on Jon Stewart on: May 02, 2012, 11:42:56 PM
I started to post this on Founding Fathers while listening but they never in this interview really got to Jefferson.  So let's call it Freedom of religion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmJcUI_wSy8

I heard David Barton on a re-run of Glenn Beck radio over the weekend.  One thing he said was that Jefferson's Koran had some writing inside the front cover and I wanted to know what it was.  Didn't find out.  Searching, 'The Blaze' said this interview was the number one google search of the day.

Keith Ellison took his oath on the Koran and said it was Thomas Jefferson's Koran, thus making it okay?  But as I suspected, Jefferson had the first English translation of the Koran to read in order to understand the enemy he would go to war against that killing and enslaving Americans (and people from other non-Islamic countries) that would pass through the Straits of Gibraltar.

Barton is a conservative Christian historian involved with 9 Supreme Court cases.  Stewart is a liberal Jew, a comedian, trying partly to do a Charlie Rose style interview and partly to debate him.  Odd interview/debate but interesting.

A point Barton makes is that Freedom of Speech should not exclude religious speech.  Stewart can't comprehend how if America is 84% Christian that they could ever think they get unfair treatment.

On the radio, Barton defended Jefferson against quite a few myths that are out there about him; that is the core of the book.  Buy the book and tell us the rest: http://www.amazon.com/The-Jefferson-Lies-Exposing-Believed/dp/1595554599
4598  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afpakia:IBD - One word missing in President's end of the war speech on: May 02, 2012, 02:49:49 PM
"Better in the Afpakia thread , , ,"   Okay, so moved.
--------------------------------
I had to read to the end of a good piece, critical of the President, to find out the word missing was "victory".

http://news.investors.com/article/609958/201205020818/obama-visits-afghanistan-to-talk-troop-withdrawal-speech-text.htm?p=full
...
"the document he signed with Afghan President Hamid Karzai is a meaningless basic agreement to talk later about forging a real agreement."
...
"Tuesday night's speech from Kabul emphasizing withdrawal was his first substantive statement in eleven (11!) months. Nothing to the nation from its leader on an ongoing war for nearly one year, while finding time for 124 campaign fundraiser speeches, more golf games and vacations."
...
"One little-noticed provision of the agreement Obama and Karzai signed Tuesday, however, is that American troops will remain in Afghanistan for not one, not two, not even three more years. They will be there for 12 more years, until 2024, helping. So, John McCain was correct after all about lengthy U.S. troop stationings."

(More plus full text of the President's remarks at the link.)
4599  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / re. reporting of war deaths in Afghanistan on: May 02, 2012, 02:43:31 PM
'This week with David Brinkley George Stephanopolous' ABC Sunday mornings also has kept their feature of naming and honoring the dead.  A credit to them.

I don't watch evening network news but it would be interesting to know if there is consistency.  My selective memory recalls it being the lead if not only story every day from Iraq under Bush until they finally had a bad economy to crow about.
4600  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 02, 2012, 01:28:54 PM
"Some outlets don't know what the hell they are talking about."

As lamented on Media Issues, I very much regret the need to get so much of my information from biased right wing sources, and I very much appreciate that this format makes it possible to get misinformation cleared up very quickly.

Your distinction of not staying a second term versus that I wrote 'leaving' is quite valid.  Most cabinet members I'm sure serve no more than one term.  It does not mean a rift or anything like that.  She has been 100% loyal in her position.  More dedicated to her job than her boss has been to his. (MHO)

It's just that with the Clintons there is some history that precedes her service in this capacity.
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