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4601  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 18, 2013, 04:47:35 PM
Interesting.  I have only shot trap and shot skeet one time each a long time ago.  Does his gun show enough incline to be a skeet shot or is that a target shot?
4602  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: February 18, 2013, 04:34:23 PM
How many decades has it been since we have built new refineries?

We have added some new and some expansions recently; it is only the 'complex' refinery type that hasn't been built since the 70s.

We are down from 254 to 137 refineries in 30 years.  Total capacity is slightly up, but apparently not enough to meet demand in a stalled 2013 economy.

The other problem is that state laws require different blends in different seasons in 50 states.  Discontinuing an old product and ramping up a new product twice a year is disruptive to  production and price.  I'd like to see that problem fixed without a new federal law.

Gas was 1.82 when Obama took office.  Even if total production is up slightly, it did not keep up with demand even in a stagnant economy.

Oil prices have been more stable, only up a couple of dollars lately.
Good, detailed article here on gas prices:
Looks like gas prices now are the lowest they will ever again be.  A refinery in Phillie is going down this summer that is 1/4 of the east coast capacity?!!
4603  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: February 18, 2013, 11:30:25 AM
Drudge lead:

Didn't the Cheney task force call for more refining capacity 12 YEARS AGO?!
4604  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: February 18, 2013, 11:25:47 AM
"Our silence here on the Sequester cuts disturbs me.  Do we agree to tax increases to avoid them?  This is serious stuff!   With the massive contraction of the American navy apparently in the pipeline, what substance to our alleged pivot to the South China Sea?  Does not the day come when the Chinese blow us off of Taiwain?"

Yes, we are screwed and no, signing on with even higher tax rates just makes it worse.

Dick Cheney was on the air last week warning very persuasively of the dire consequences to defense of the sequester.  He watched the last two times our military was gutted and the costly and difficult process of rebuilding.  

Ralph Peters, an noted hawk, came to the opposite conclusion:

A number of competing considerations come into play.  First is peace through strength (a principle defeated in the last election).  Real cuts in capabilities embolden the wrong people and cost us more in the long run.  OTOH, defense spending has been extremely wasteful, we are winding down two wars and we are disarming anyway under Obama/Hagel.  Perhaps we might use the reality that they will gut readiness anyway to force the domestic cuts now.

"What would be wrong in getting back money from the Chinese by selling them nat gas?!?

Yes, these are the kind of solutions we would pursue if we had our own best interests in mind.

" Not only would the greens be happy at weaning the Chinese off the toxic coal cancer that already reaches the US"

That falsely assumes the main point of environmental extremism is to protect the environment.

"...this then also give us counter pressures in matters pertaining to the China Sea and Taiwan."

I wonder if this excellent idea ever came up in the strategic level meetings that natural gas advocate, Amb. Huntsman, never had with his boss Pres. Obama during the years he was stationed there to dine with the communist politburo.  

Your comments on Rumsfeld are a reminder for those who say what difference would Hagel make.
4605  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: February 18, 2013, 10:26:07 AM
"...note how hard the first Euro downturn hit the US markets"

Yes, we were blindsided by the failure of socialism.  The US used to lead Europe and the world in the other direction.
MSN Money: Rich world heads into recession
For the first time in 4 years, GDP growth in the 7 largest economies actually shrank.

"Indeed is not part of the argument that current DOW numbers are due to international diversification of many of the constituent companies of the Index?"

Yes, but most are moving beyond Europe as well as moving beyond the US.  They can go into India, China, Brazil, or wherever they see growth, but at some point the planet is too small for large enterprises to escape economic failure in the largest economies.  Also some management within these companies will bet wrong on the Wesbury theory, that governments can set all the policy levers wrong and the economy will grow just fine anyway.

Crafty continued:  "I am seeing things that Euro may be heading for a double dip of what it has already experienced.  (What do people do with the bankruptcy of nanny fascism?)  If one no longer believes in the market as the supreme leading indicator (efficient market theory et al) and instead sees it as a zero sum gambling casino with the attention deficit disorder of massive training program algorithms of hedge funds, then one may conclude the coming Euro crackup may will hit the Dow hard and fast"

When it looks like zero-sum, it is time to be out - unless you are truly smarter and quicker than all the other players.  I don't know the future of the DOW but under what theory is it immune from everything happening around it? 

If the Fed expansion caused the housing bubble (I will post the Forbes piece today separately) then is it not the Fed expansion today causing artificially high stock prices?  When exactly does that correct, no one knows.

All these taxes, rules and regulations keep out startups and newer, weaker competitors, and actually help the entrenched players to a point.  The DOW, NASDAQ and S&P are indexes of the entrenched players, not of the economy as a whole.  The big health insurers just got 30 million new customers for example, and the subsidies to help to sell autos, furnaces etc.  But these lines can't go in opposite directions forever.  These companies are not fully insulated from the other troubles in the economies.  Yes, if I was in the market I would be very worried.  If gold were at 400 or even under a thousand I might say put it all there.  At 1600-1800 an ounce, who knows.  The money most of us have won't buy much gold.  No easy answer except to think wisely about playing defense.
4606  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi, McCain v. David Gregory on: February 17, 2013, 11:28:18 PM
Gregory is trying to argue why we should not be looking into it?  A coverup of what?

McCain showing a backbone answers the question:
4607  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Only 17 states plus DC set up Obamacare exchanges before deadline on: February 17, 2013, 07:04:53 PM
The deadline was Friday.

"The Department of Health and Human Services had encouraged states to run their own markets, or “exchanges,” that help the uninsured find coverage. Only 17 states and the District of Columbia took on the task, while seven states decided to split the duty with the Obama administration, according to a breakdown by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
4608  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: February 17, 2013, 12:42:50 PM
Milton Friedman had a license plate that said: MV=PQ, contending that each of four very important but difficult to measure variables are all intrinsically tied to each other, either proportionally or inversely.  The money supply times the velocity of money equals the total value of all the goods and services in the economy.

We are getting information that the Fed is monetizing 3/4 of trillion dollars a year in 'debt' that is neither collected in tax revenues nor borrowed in a market by a willing participant.  That new money is entering the economy by way Treasury checks at a rate of  $24,000 per second?   What could possibly go wrong?

Money is up and velocity is down from where it could be or should be.  With flat demand and no growth, prices look relatively stable.  (Unless as G M says if you have been to a gas station or grocery store lately, or healthcare or education or property taxes or anything else we have to pay for.)

Inflation is the increase in dollars relative to output, clearly we are doing that.  Consumer price increases are not tied to money but money times velocity, if you buy Friedman's thinking.

Obj wrote: "that is because this money is being held by banks.  When it enters circulation and the Fed stops keeping interest rates close to zero, watch out."

A bank reserve is money sitting still whether you count it or not.  Yes, if it were to invested and moving full speed in a fractional reserve system, it would grow in multiples.  The key to preventing or at least postponing a price spiraling crisis is our commitment to no-growth, anti-investment/employment policies.  What a miserable web we wove.
4609  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races - KY Senate 2014 on: February 15, 2013, 02:16:25 PM
Good points.  I am wondering who the Republican nominee will be.  Much of the dissatisfaction with McConnell in his home state comes from the right.

Also wondering what the Obama economy will look like 6 years into it while he takes one last shot at consolidating power.  If Democrats nationalize the election, it won't help candidates in the most conservative states.  Unemployment in KY is currently 8.1%.
4610  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: February 15, 2013, 01:55:45 PM
This is the attack ad referred at the link:

Obama lost Kentucky by 23 points, not a rounding error or charisma deficiency.

The model (IMHO) for Dem victory in KY is probably Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota who ran with distance from Obama (, not a Hollywood actress who would start from his left.
4611  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, The wagon not the plowhorse on: February 15, 2013, 01:37:38 PM
"Industrial production declined 0.1%"
"Manufacturing, which excludes mining/utilities, declined 0.4% in January. Auto production fell 3.2%, while non-auto manufacturing declined 0.1%."
A Plowhorse can't pull a plow backwards.  The plowhorse analogy implies a very strong horse pulling a very heavy load at very slow, consistent pace.   But we aren't pulling a fixed load with a fixed force.  A good part of our load consists of people who could be helping us pull.

The wagon analogy reflects that.  The wagon has the productive people pulling it up a slight incline and it has the oldest, poorest and weakest among us riding if they are unable to help pull or even walk alongside without assistance.  The slight incline is the actual cost of governing, keeping the courts open, police, roads, etc.

The puller to rider ratio for the wagon shifts dramatically with every policy change.  When everyone who can pulls a little the wagon goes along quite easily and effortlessly.  But we take the strongest pullers and tie ropes at varying tensions around their arms and legs, and som duct to at least partially block their breathing.  We take the able bodied who aren't pulling much and tell them they are no help and can ride if they choose, a 34 million person shift in 4 years.  We take riders who are rested and ready to help pull, instead we pay them to keep riding.  At some point we wonder how the slight incline has become an unbearable slope.  We stall out and maybe slip backwards a little - until we recognize what is wrong and correct it.

4612  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Race, religion, ethnicity? "food fight" becomes chaos at Mpls South High School on: February 15, 2013, 10:27:35 AM
I'm having a hard time figuring this out.  The media and others report it as racial, African Americans versus the Somalis.  Where do they think Somalia is and what race do they see?  It looks to me like local blacks' intolerance of minority, immigrant blacks - for being different?  Authorities will be reviewing surveillance footage.

A parent commented:  "You can't throw kids in a building and expect them to get along," she said. "It's a challenge for all of our students to live amid such rich diversity."

My two cents:  With a 50% graduation rate, how about we throw them into books and more math tests in place of the time we spend celebrating our rich diversity.|tvideo|news

Maybe their congressman Keith Ellison can bridge this gap and end the violence with smart liberalism, like Rahm did in Chicago.

4613  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi Shame on: February 14, 2013, 11:35:07 PM
Our President never made a phone call.  He didn’t talk to Leon Panetta, or any military personnel, or Hillary Clinton.  He accepted the defeat at the first sign of a fight, then probably worked with his speechwriters on the Vegas event. 
They may have worked out the cover story about the video while the fighting was still going on, not knowing it would drag on for 7-8 hours before the last American was killed. 

No backup was ever ordered.  How do you not even try to help?
4614  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pope Benedict challenged Islam to live up to the slogan: religion of peace on: February 14, 2013, 08:37:55 PM
Pope Benedict XVI challenged Islam to live up to the slogan, religion of peace. in the 2006 Regensburg Lectures:
4615  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela - Chavez undergoing more treatments? on: February 14, 2013, 03:22:34 PM
Still no public appearance of Hugo Chavez.  The updates come only from the VP.  Has anyone else heard from him?

Chavez undergoing "delicate" cancer treatment: Venezuela's vice president

    Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro (C) and National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello (R) stand next to a painting of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as they attend the commemoration of the 21st anniversary of Chavez's attempted cuop d'etat in Caracas February 4, 2013. REUTERS/Jorge SilvaView Photo

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is undergoing "complex" alternative treatments more than two months after having cancer surgery in Cuba, his vice president said on Wednesday.

The 58-year-old socialist leader has not been seen in public since he went to Havana for the operation on December 11, his fourth surgery for cancer in 18 months.

Vice President Nicolas Maduro did not give details of the alternative treatments the president was receiving. Chavez has never said what type of cancer he is suffering from, and critics accuse the government of excessive secrecy over his condition.

"Today our commander is undergoing alternative treatments ... they are complex and difficult treatments that must, at some point, end the cycle of his illness," Maduro said in comments on state TV.

The government, which rejects allegations it has not been transparent about Chavez's health, says he has completed a difficult post-operative period and has started a "new phase" of his recuperation. It has not given details of this new phase.

Any new vote in South America's top oil exporter would probably pit Maduro, Chavez's heir apparent, against Henrique Capriles, the 40-year-old governor of Miranda state, who lost to Chavez in last October's presidential election.
4616  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economic Obama 4 Year Scorecard: Wesbury losing vs. G M? on: February 14, 2013, 03:16:26 PM
Investors Business Daily says worst growth in 60 years!  Who predicted 0% growth?  Moving forward requires greater than 3% growth.  0.8% long term growth is more like a corpse lying in a morgue than a plowhorse working in a field.
Obama's first term, however, puts the paltry level of growth during Bush's second term in a newly favorable light. According to the BEA (Bureau of Economic Analysis), average annual real GDP growth during Obama's first term was a woeful 0.8%.
0.8% growth over his entire first term.  Worst in modern history.  Pathetic. 

Prospects for the future under current policies:  More of the same, best case.
4617  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul on: February 13, 2013, 11:20:41 AM
Copying my comment to the new thread.

Glenn Beck is saying it is Rand Paul who hit it out of the park last night.  He was far more specific.  Rand Paul has also been shaping up his foreign policy views to be acceptable to conservatives, to be prudent in our support of allies, unlike his father's extreme refusal to project force.

Full text of the speech, 4 internet pages:
4618  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Marco Rubio! on: February 13, 2013, 10:56:37 AM
Crafty,  Good point, he is wrong about the rise in violence.  The rise is in media and public attention to it right now.  There are two points to be made in gun control, the wisdom or utter lack of it in these policies, but also the point that stomping all over the constitution is not an acceptable way to approach problems it no matter the efficacy.

Van Jones, extreme liberal, commenting on Marco Rubio:

"Marco Rubio is dangerous for Democrats.  He is dangerous."

"This is a smart guy, Marco Rubio, but when he connects, that last 90 seconds, Marco Rubio, he's dangerous."

"He is dangerous for Democrats because he can connect in a way that other people with those ideas cannot."

Spanish language version of speech:
4619  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left, Michelle Malkin asks: Who failed Chicago? on: February 13, 2013, 09:29:46 AM
Could go under Glibness, failed programs, gun control, ACORN corruption or America's inner city, Michelle Malkin hits it out of the park.  How come the party of science doesn't tie policies to results?

Who Failed Chicago?

By Michelle Malkin - February 13, 2013
On Tuesday, President Obama and the first lady used the State of the Union spotlight to pay tribute to an innocent teenage girl shot and killed by Chicago gang thugs. On Friday, Obama will travel to the Windy City to decry violence and crusade for more gun laws in the town with the strictest gun laws and bloodiest gun-related death tolls in America.

Does the White House really want to open up a national conversation about the state of Chicago? OK, let's talk.

Obama, his wife, his campaign strategists, his closest cronies and his biggest bundlers all hail from Chicago. Senior adviser and former Chicago real estate mogul/city planning commissioner Valerie Jarrett and her old boss Richard Daley presided over a massive "Plan for Transformation" in the mid-1990s to rescue taxpayer-subsidized public housing from its bloody hellhole. How'd that work out for you, Chicago?

Answer: This social justice experiment failed miserably. A Chicago Tribune investigation found that after Daley and Jarrett dumped nearly $500 million of federal funding into crime-ridden housing projects, the housing complexes (including the infamous Altgeld-Murray homes) remained dangerous, drug-infested, racially segregated ghettos. Altgeld is a long-troubled public housing complex on Chicago's South Side, where youth violence has proved immune to "community organizing" solutions and the grand redevelopment schemes championed by Obama and company.

In fact, as I've reported previously, it's the same nightmarish 'hood where Obama cut his teeth as a community activist -- and exaggerated his role in cleaning up asbestos in the neighborhood, according to fellow progressive foot soldiers. As always, Obama's claims to success there were far more aspirational than concrete.

In the meantime, lucrative contracts went to politically connected Daley pals in the developer world to "save" Chicago's youth and families. Another ghetto housing project, the Grove Parc slum, was managed by Jarrett's former real estate empire, Habitat, Co. Jarrett refused to answer questions about the dilapidated housing development after ascending to top consigliere in the Obama administration.

But as the Boston Globe's Binyamin Appelbaum, who visited the slums several years ago, reported: "Federal inspectors graded the condition of the complex an 11 on a 100-point scale -- a score so bad the buildings now face demolition. ... (Jarrett) co-managed an even larger subsidized complex in Chicago that was seized by the federal government in 2006, after city inspectors found widespread problems." Grove Parc and several other monumental housing flops "were developed and managed by Obama's close friends and political supporters. Those people profited from the (federal) subsidies even as many of Obama's constituents suffered."

Democrats poured another $30 million in public money into the city's public schools to curb youth violence over the past three years. The New York Times hailed the big government plan to fund more social workers, community organizers and mentors and create jobs for at-risk youth. But watchdogs on the ground exposed it as a wasteful "makework scheme." One local activist nicknamed the boondoggle "Jobs for Jerks" because "it rewards some of the worst students in the school system with incredibly rare employment opportunities while leaving good students to fend for themselves."

Obama and his ineffectual champions of Chicago's youth will demand more taxpayer "investments" to throw at the problem. But money is no substitute for the soaring fatherlessness, illegitimacy and family disintegration that have characterized Chicago inner-city life since Obama's hero Saul Alinsky pounded the pavement. As Heather Mac Donald noted in a damning indictment of the do-gooders' failures, "Official silence about illegitimacy and its relation to youth violence remains as carefully preserved in today's Chicago as it was during Obama's organizing time there."

Team Obama will find perverted ways to lay blame for Chicago's youth violence crisis on the NRA, Sarah Palin, FOX News, George Bush and the tea party. But as the community organizer-in-chief prepares to evade responsibility again, he should remember: When you point one finger at everyone else, four other fingers point right back at you-know-who.
4620  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Marco Rubio's SOTU response on: February 13, 2013, 09:13:19 AM
My reaction is mixed.  He hit the right notes but in a venue and situation where it is impossible to hit it out of the park.  The main criticism seems to be that he paused a second to sip water once.

Good comments from Scott Conroy at Real Clear Politics:

"...Rubio's SOTU Response Was No Flop
...was a call for conservatives to govern by their principles and also an appeal to voters who have soured on the GOP in recent years, asking that they give the party another look.

Invoking the language and principles that infused Ronald Reagan’s conservative movement more than three decades ago, Rubio made a broad-based case for a small-government ethos.

“More government isn’t going to help you get ahead,” he said. “It’s going to hold you back. More government isn’t going to create more opportunities. It’s going to limit them. And more government isn’t going to inspire new ideas, new businesses and new private sector jobs. It’s going to create uncertainty.”

Even as he looked forward, Rubio also recycled many of the key arguments Republicans have leveled against Obama since before the 44th president took office in 2009. He accused Obama of believing the free enterprise system is “the cause of our problems” and charged that “his solution to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more.”

In responding to the emotional high point of Obama’s State of the Union address, Rubio acknowledged the recent tragedy in Newtown, Conn., but added a defiant note that echoed boilerplate Republican language on proposed gun control measures.

“We must effectively deal with the rise of violence in our country,” he said. “But unconstitutionally undermining the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans is not the way to do it.”
4621  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness - SOTU on: February 13, 2013, 08:59:20 AM
"We cannot JUST cut our way to prosperity."

The case that we have gone too far with cutting might have been strengthened by pointing to one thing that actually has been cut.

The lady who waited 6 hours to vote started to get that same feeling again as the speech went on and on.

He got a couple of things right, but that is his way - to take more than one side of an issue before turning sharply left.

His programs and proposals will not add one dime to the deficit.  Really?  They already added six trillion.

NY Times: [speech was] "proudly liberal"

Comments anyone?
4622  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Legal issues on: February 12, 2013, 11:32:09 PM
"The public-duty doctrine holds that the government and its officials owe a legal duty to the public at large but not to any individual citizen....two exceptions... the “danger creation exception” and the “special-relationship exception."

"If a suspect is taken into custody by law enforcement, a duty to protect -be it at the scene, during transport, or at the jail-exists.7 The majority of courts require a person to be in physical custody of police before that person has a special relationship with police."..."One federal district court has held a special relationship between the state and a confidential informant existed, and thus there was a duty to protect."

4623  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Interesting thought pieces: The man who shot bin Laden on: February 12, 2013, 01:25:41 PM
Long piece on Esquire, March 2013.  Because of secrecy and security, this guy comes back and starts over keeping his claim to fame hushed.

February 11, 2013, 6:00 AM
The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden... Is Screwed  By Phil Bronstein,  former editor of the San Francisco Chronicle

For the first time, the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden tells his story — speaking not just about the raid and the three shots that changed history, but abou3t the personal aftermath for himself and his family. And the startling failure of the United States government to help its most experienced an skilled warriors carry on with their lives.
4624  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left: Lawrence Summers says growth agenda on: February 12, 2013, 01:10:53 PM
Clinton's Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers says growth agenda.  Then he lays out an agenda that largely skips over taxes and regulations.  Good luck.  His points if they were numbered 3-8 are actually pretty good:
4625  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Please tell Vladimir I will have moire flexibility after my breelection on: February 12, 2013, 12:43:12 PM
"And where is the serious Rep response to this? , , ,"

SOTU Republican response is tonight immediately following the President.  Hopefully opposition to unilateral disarmament is in it.

Nearly all Republicans are strongly pro-defense.  Where is response of sane and responsible Democrats and independents to weakening the United States and making the world more dangerous?
4626  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Preview of Rubio's Tuesday evening speech on: February 12, 2013, 10:08:49 AM

Rubio Previews SOTU Response: Says He'll Push Contrast on Policy, Tone
He’ll be broad, upbeat—and preview the coming disaster.
Stephen Hayes, Weekly Standard (excerpt)

From the earliest days of Marco Rubio’s plucky campaign for the U.S. Senate, his diehard supporters spoke of the day that their man would have an opportunity to challenge Barack Obama – his policies, his vision, his rhetoric. They were certain that Rubio was so gifted an orator and possessed such a unique set of political skills that he would be able to make immediate and improbable leaps that most politicians could not execute. And it was obvious to them – this group the Rubio campaign hands called “three-percenters” because they were there in the days when their candidate was at just 3 percent in an early public poll – that the former Florida house speaker would belong on such an elevated platform.

He’s there now.

Rubio will deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address tonight. It’s a difficult assignment – no one is actually on par with the president of the United States and several recent responders have struggled. But it’s one that certifies Rubio as one of the chief spokesmen for the Republican party – and for good reason. He is the best communicator in the GOP at a time when Republicans have struggled notably to sell their message.

In a thirty-minute interview in his Senate office late last week, I reminded Rubio that several of those who preceded him have failed. “Oh, thanks,” he says, laughing. “I haven’t thought about it that way. I guess if you don’t want the ball in your hands with the last thirty seconds in the game, you probably don’t belong in this game anyway.”

Rubio’s plan to “respond” to the president is rather straightforward. (He’s not actually responding to anything, of course, as his remarks are prepared well in advance of the president’s speech.) He will provide a contrast to the president in ways that are both obvious and subtle. Rubio says he intends to draw on his personal experiences growing up in Florida to explain to the country why Obama’s policies won’t work. The president has focused too much of our national discussion demonizing those who have had success, Rubio says, and paid too little attention to those trying to make it. He seeks to shift that emphasis with his remarks tonight – from a politics of class warfare to policies that elevate the middle class.

“The way I envisioned it is, I kind of went back to the people that I know [back] home,” Rubio explains, “whether it’s my friends from high school, or parents that I know from my kids’ school or kids’ teams, and if I had an opportunity to sit in front of them and if they gave me fifteen minutes to explain to them why it was that what the president wants to do is not a good idea and why what we want to do is a better idea – what would I say to them? And that’s how I’ve approached the speech – is to explain why it is that limited government, free enterprise is the best way to give people the opportunity to achieve a middle class lifestyle or more and leave their kids better off than themselves.”

To that end, Rubio will argue that there are costs to big government that may not seem evident in the lives of every day Americans. Among other things, he will focus on the president’s health care reform and the many failed promises that implementation of those policies will mean. It is not true, Rubio says, that those who want to keep their doctors and their insurance plans will be able to do so. And the tax dollars that are collected to fund Obamacare are dollars that will not be spent elsewhere in the economy. The challenges of Obamacare for business – particularly those small businesses with employees near the magic “50 employee” threshold for Obamacare regulations – will be extraordinary. The goal, Rubio says, is to make clear to Americans that Republicans opposed these policies and to preview the coming disaster.

“I wish we could avoid it,” he says. “But if we can’t, we have to at least have the credibility to say: ‘We told you this wouldn’t work; here’s a better alternative.’”

Rubio will also counter Obama’s anticipated proposals on energy, education, the economy, and debt – offering specific contrasts meant to provide a starkly different policy agenda from the one offered by the president. On debt, one of several areas in which Rubio believes the president is a failed leader, he wants to recast the familiar GOP argument. “The goal is growth,” he says, arguing that with pro-growth policies the federal government could generate an additional $4 trillion in revenues over the next decade, “more than any tax hike” under consideration. Rubio also wants to take arguments about debt from the theoretical and the long-term to the immediate and the short-term. “I think we have to link the debt to their lives. People understand that we have this debt and that their kids are going to get saddled with this in the future. And I think that’s a compelling argument. But I think an even more compelling argument, in conjunction with that one, is to explain to people how the debt is hurting them right now.”

“The debt has a direct impact on unemployment. Ever dollar that is being lent to the government is a dollar that is not being invested in our economy,” he says. “The immediate danger of the debt, and the one that speaks to people in the real world, is the fact that the debt is contributing to the fact that they don’t have a good job.”

Rubio, who has been in the news quite a bit lately talking up immigration reform, will raise the issue in the context of economic growth and opportunity. And while he will mention immigration this evening, it won’t dominate his appearance. Over the past several weeks, Rubio has run the conservative talk radio circuit in an attempt to sell that sizable chunk of the conservative movement on reform. While his principles for reform have been met with mixed reviews, with several pointing out a softening of the position he campaigned on three years ago, he’s mostly won praise even from those who don’t agree with him on the policy.

But Rubio’s remarks will likely provide a contrast to the president in other ways, too – particularly on tone. Rubio’s speech, expected to run between twelve and fifteen minutes, will be broad and upbeat. Leaks from the White House about Obama’s speech suggest it will be “combative” and “aggressive” and “specific.” Rubio’s response won’t be soft – he intends to lay out for the American people exactly how the president attacks his opponents and mischaracterizes their arguments. And Rubio will be blunt about how he views Obama’s idea of America. “On issue after issue – there is virtually no problem in America that he thinks doesn’t have a government answer, from concussions in football to the weather.”

Rubio’s remarks will be personal, sharing stories he’s heard from friends, relatives, and constituents to translate esoteric Washington policy debates into solutions for the day-to-day problems that Americans are having. Rubio will talk in some detail about the American dream – not as an ill-defined concept popular in modern political rhetoric, but in terms of what it means to the parent of a newborn who sees in his child the promise of a great country. He will attempt to speak to those Americans who are concerned about the current state of the union and despondent about its future. And even in a time of despair for his party, Rubio is determined to be optimistic – about the country, about its politics and even about the prospect of agreement with an increasingly intransigent president.

“We’re not just here to block everything the president’s for,” Rubio insists. “We’re not against everything the president’s for, we’re only against the bad ideas.”

4627  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jay Carney, Oops, we do have a spending problem... on: February 12, 2013, 09:55:24 AM
Didn't President Obama and Nancy Pelosi just say we don't have spending problem?  It's almost a false argument.  Now Carney is sent out by the same President's handlers to say we do have a spending problem - but it's all healthcare.

Will they use this in future political science classes to illustrate what we mean by talking out of both sides of your mouth?
4628  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Nancy Pelosi -"It's almost a false argument to say we have a spending problem" on: February 12, 2013, 09:47:25 AM
Nancy Pelosi with Chris Wallace shows at the link why powerful people like her don't normally do this kind of interview. 

Liberals have their own language and it permeates their thinking.  Sometimes it doesn't even make sense to her. 

"It's almost a false argument to say we have a spending problem"

This bizarre statement begs two questions: 1) We spend a trillion more than the most we have ever been able to figure out how to take in plus 150 trillion of unfunded liabilities.  Nancy, we have a spending problem.  2) What is "almost a false argument"?   Does she not know that in English that is a way of saying something is true?

"Nothing brings more money to the Treasury of the United States than ..." [public spending].

She believes so strongly that increasing the federal government's involvement in every area equals improvement.  She forgets that she never won that argument. The Soviet central control system never did outperform individual freedom and ingenuity.  It imploded.  Ayers, Alinsky, Obama and Pelosi all have this wrong.

4629  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy, Amity Schlaes and Calvin Coolidge on: February 11, 2013, 05:01:52 PM
By Amity Shlaes
Harper, 565 pages

Amity Shlaes built a great credibility IMO with her extensive research and journalism, breaking against conventional thought on the economics of the Great Depression:

The Coolidge story can be added the list of other supply side economic successes in our short, federal income tax history.  Along with evidence that the Kennedy tax rate cuts lifted all vessels, Reagan's tax rate cuts doubled revenues inside a decade, Clinton-Gingrich capital gains rate reductions balanced the budget, and the 50 month hiring surge and 44% revenue surge after the Bush tax rate cuts, this I think closes the argument against the challenge that marginal tax are not as closely tied to economic performance as some of us claimed.   

Abject failure of current policies, opposite of supply side, makes the same case.
4630  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing Crisis Explained and Questions Answered on: February 11, 2013, 04:12:08 PM
"The breakdown of the world financial system was not due to faulty rating agencies"

The work was faulty but it is just strange to single them out for missing what everyone missed.

CBO missed it the same thing that S&P missed.  SEC missed it, OMB, GAO, Fannie, Freddie, the administration, the Treasury, the Fed, the House committees, the Senate Committees, the Republican party, the Democratic party, every appraiser, every loan officer, every bank examiner, and the entire watchdog financial media all missed it.  But S&P surrounded by all nothing but misinformation and incompetence was supposed to know just when the wheels would fall off. Faulty work, but not exactly unique.

Nothing in defense of S&P's blindness and perhaps complicity, but why doesn't those same government agencies fire their own people first, who made the exact same mistakes, before they come out pointing fingers at a private organization?

S&P's job was to issue an opinion.  

Agencies controlling 90% of mortgages were responsible for running and overseeing the bad loan portfolios.

The government's response to discovering all this incompetence is to turn healthcare over to them next.
4631  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Evil in Connecticut and elsewhere on: February 11, 2013, 09:53:54 AM
The original story: "With almost no public announcement, Gov. Cuomo has put in place a policy that will send the mentally ill out on the street with no regard for public safety."

In the context of these mass shootings, there isn't much that can be said in flippant humor about that kind of public endangerment that is very far over the top, IMHO.

In Graham v. Connor they detained a guy for a short time for suspicious looking behavior an it turned out to be nothing malicious.

This site refers to both cases and lays out specific tests for legitimacy of LE using force:

I don't know of the facts you refer, but if police know a law abiding citizen is minding his own business, posing no threat, and then fire 60+ rounds at him, it is excessive by every test.  One round fired is excessive given only that information. 
4632  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi, The Petraeus/Susan Rice affair; and related matters on: February 11, 2013, 09:15:58 AM
The knives are coming out against Brennan.

Rick, Yes, or the facts are coming out against Brennan.  Seems to me this does not insulate the President.  He put himself out of the loop and stayed out, then promoted the guy who bungled it.  His refusals to be briefed in person in a back and forth manner prior, and his quick exit to Las Vegas for campaign demagoguery are looking rather irresponsible in hindsight. 

I am stuck on the coverup, false statements by the President, Carney, Clinton, the sick and twisted performance putting out Susan Rice to buy him time to get past his reelection, right up to the outgoing Secretary shouting down legitimate oversight with her outburst: WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE!

Ambassador Stevens may have had little of no knowledge of the (alleged) operation, but he knew of the dangers in general and the absence of security.  This theory doesn't fully explain why he was sitting there in harm's way.
4633  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Way Forward American Creed: Dr. Ben carson, Johns Hopkins Neurosurgeon on: February 09, 2013, 04:32:07 PM
The Blaze calls this speech Epic Speech Gone Viral.
Click where it says "watch the entire, 26-minute speech below"
Watch the entire video!

WSJ entitled the piece that follows: Ben Carson for President

Amazingly he said these things right in front of the current President.

Excerpted: "...make time to watch the video of Dr. Ben Carson speaking to the White House prayer breakfast this week.

Seated in view to his right are Senator Jeff Sessions and President Obama. One doesn't look happy. ... Raised by a single mother in inner-city Detroit, he was as he tells it "a horrible student with a horrible temper." Today he's director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins and probably the most renowned specialist in his field.

Late in his talk he dropped two very un-PC ideas. The first is an unusual case for a flat tax: "What we need to do is come up with something simple. And when I pick up my Bible, you know what I see? I see the fairest individual in the universe, God, and he's given us a system. It's called a tithe.

"We don't necessarily have to do 10% but it's the principle. He didn't say if your crops fail, don't give me any tithe or if you have a bumper crop, give me triple tithe. So there must be something inherently fair about proportionality. You make $10 billion, you put in a billion. You make $10 you put in one. Of course you've got to get rid of the loopholes. Some people say, 'Well that's not fair because it doesn't hurt the guy who made $10 billion as much as the guy who made 10.' Where does it say you've got to hurt the guy? He just put a billion dollars in the pot. We don't need to hurt him. It's that kind of thinking that has resulted in 602 banks in the Cayman Islands. That money needs to be back here building our infrastructure and creating jobs."

Not surprisingly, a practicing physician has un-PC thoughts on health care:

"Here's my solution: When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record, and a health savings account to which money can be contributed—pretax—from the time you're born 'til the time you die. If you die, you can pass it on to your family members, and there's nobody talking about death panels. We can make contributions for people who are indigent. Instead of sending all this money to some bureaucracy, let's put it in their HSAs. Now they have some control over their own health care. And very quickly they're gong to learn how to be responsible."

The Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon may not be politically correct, but he's closer to correct than we've heard in years."
4634  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: February 09, 2013, 02:09:57 PM
Prof. Laffer analyzes the problem superbly IMO, recognizing that the disincentives are on both sides, the employer and the potential employee. 

It is astounding to know that a small family in ordinary circumstances makes $45,000 (after taxes) without working at all.  You could stop the search for the disincentives right there but that isn't the worst of it.  He gives a specific example where a single mother of two faces marginal tax rates of 67 - 100% as they try to better themselves above that level.  The massive disincentive to improve one's lot ought to catch the attention of everyone who cares about either side of the problem, revenues to the government or the human side of getting people onto a more productive track.  It is the dilemma of these programs that should concern everyone involved, yet seldom is it written or spoken, especially in terms this precise.  (Maybe David Gregory will confront Dick Durbin with this tomorrow, or Steve Kroft will follow up with the President about real failure and solutions.)

Laffer skips one other key component: it is about risk, not just money.  A potential new job especially with a new company involves very high risk.  What if you don't like the work?  What if you aren't good at it?  What if the company goes under? What if the company does fine and you like the job but they let you go for all the wrong reasons?  The answer is that you just gave up your food, housing or healthcare subsidy for a high risk and a very low return.  It isn't happening.  Recipients of section 8 for example know you don't give up your qualification in a program, once you land it.  Far more likely under these perverse disincentives if you are conscientious and responsible is that you learn to live within the guidelines that are housing your family and keep reported income within the requirements. and stay on the program.  If not for yourself, you do it for the children.

If 67% is too high for the Phil Mickelson family, how does a 67-100% rate work for an unworking single mom of two?  We know the empirical answer, people are migrating onto these programs, not off of them.  Baseline thinking acknowledges that and understates it.  People don't need a calculator to see the impact of a marginal tax rate over 50%, sometimes approaching 100%.  They know it isn't worth it.

I have mixed feelings about enterprise zones.  I don't like creating uneven rules for taxation, but he is correct to point out we have virtually no current revenues there to lose and everything to gain. 

A smaller idea is to just waive many of these things, certain taxes and payroll regulations, in the start up of a new business.  Give them a moment to get going before throwing the book at them on most things.  No withholding and limited payroll compliance requirements in the first calendar year of a new business, especially where they are hiring someone who wasn't previously working.  Let the business get started, build a product, perform a service and get some revenues coming in before they have to pay taxes and staff and house a payroll department, human resources, accountants and attorneys. 

With all the compliance requirements, only a rich person can start a business and those very few are the ones we chase away. 

Government will get plenty of forms and revenues from new businesses in the long run if they first launch and survive the startup.
4635  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: February 08, 2013, 07:29:17 PM
Correcting my own imprecise writings, I think we need to consider dropping the term U.S. "Dollar", a meaningless designation if the date of value is not specified.   Otherwise dollar would need to be written with a subscript of dollar date for inflation value calculations.  Economists use terms like year specified constant dollars, but really, to which part of the year do they refer?

Past inflation calculator:

"Dollar" sounds like something solid, stable, constant, like a meter, a pound, a pint or a commandment.  Very misleading.

The correct term for the varying value of American paper money is:  "Federal Reserve Note".
4636  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: February 08, 2013, 07:12:37 PM
A currency doing worse than the US$ is in trouble.

How is inauguration going?  No news for almost a month?
4637  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: February 08, 2013, 07:09:10 PM
David Gregory host of Meet the Press has announced that due to the snowstorm he will not be confronting President Barack Obama this Sunday about his alleged non-involvement in the rescue not even attempted scandal brought to light this week in the Senate Benghazi hearings.  Nor, with snow falling on the east coast as we speak, will he be questioning Jay Carney about his bald faced lie to the American people about President Obama's continuous involvement in the rescue that never got ordered.  Said Gregory, "this is not just snow, it looks like heavy winds coming too.  I just don't see tough questioning happening in the face of this."

Just breaking, Steve Kroft of the CBS program 30 minutes said, "me neither".  "This is a big storm", said Kroft.  "I don't see how we can get to it this week."

Both professional journalists said they are committed, weather and other delays permitting, to get to the bottom of this no matter what it takes before the November 6, 2012 election or as soon as is professionally possible after that. 
4638  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 08, 2013, 04:07:39 PM
Crafty, Your point is valid.  Looking backward is necessary in the search for lessons to learn.  But the rear view mirror is not the best consideration moving forward.  Those who are in stocks right now, in the face of so many negative factors, should have a strategy to get out quickly as well.

I recall laughing in Jan 2000 and showing charts around of the phenomenal returns from 1999, wondering why I didn't have more in Qualcomm that went up 2400% and JDSU that went up over 1000% and had a billion in the bank.  This was real and nothing could stop it - we thought - even without real earnings.  Looking backward did not tell you what was in front of you.  Harsh, unbiased analysis might have.  NASDAQ crashed in March 2000.  The best companies in the best technologies crashed, not just dot-coms.  America's most widely held stock Lucent lost 99% of its value.  The total loss in that crash was about $5 trillion.

I don't know what today's stocks are worth or what to do with information that doesn't make sense to me, except to warn that it doesn't make sense to me.

Not many good investment options available that I know of for the very few who have money.  Sitting on money is a sure loss.  Gold is already sky-high.  I would only say invest in funds that have good defensive strategies for the next correction.

4639  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: February 08, 2013, 01:20:33 PM
Washington Post-ABC News poll released Wednesday found 83% of those surveyed support stricter border control while 55% favor a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Which should we do first?
4640  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: February 08, 2013, 01:15:40 PM
"Too bad we don't have a ton of natural gas to export to those who want Iranian energy , , ,"

As quoted in 'energy', our fascist Sen. committee chair is contemplating whether American suppliers should be able to export at all.

Follow the Kerry Doctrine.  Figure out what is right and makes sense and do the opposite - every time.
4641  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 08, 2013, 01:04:48 PM
Great clip GM. ...

Yes, these shows invite him on as a contrary opinion and shout him down, right while it was going on.  I was trying to ask what economic theory supports the idea that what we are doing now leads to anything but collapse. Stomp out savings, stomp out investment, stop out employment, stomp out work. Dilute the dollar, limit revenues, explode expenses and liabilities, then ask: what could possibly go wrong?

I don't think Shiff is an optimist now (understatement).  But also he is no expert on the timing and magnitudes of collapses.  No one is.
4642  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghaziaffair; fish stinks from the head? on: February 08, 2013, 12:49:09 PM
Obama skips intel briefing after 9/11/12 attacks and murder of US diplomats, goes to Vegas fundraising party instead

Washington Post  September 13:

How long had it been since President Obama attended his daily intelligence meeting in the lead-up to the Sept. 11 attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Egypt and Libya? After all, our adversaries are known to use the anniversary of 9/11 to target the United States.

According to the public schedule of the president, the last time the Obama attended his daily intelligence meeting was Sept. 5 — a week before Islamist radicals stormed our embassy in Cairo and terrorists killed our ambassador to Tripoli. The president was scheduled to hold the intelligence meeting at 10:50 a.m. Wednesday, the day after the attacks, but it was canceled so that he could comfort grieving employees at the State Department — as well he should. But instead of rescheduling the intelligence briefing for later in the day, Obama apparently chose to skip it altogether and attend a Las Vegas fundraiser for his re-election campaign. One day after a terrorist attack.

When I asked National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor if the president had attended any meetings to discuss the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) since Sept. 5, he repeatedly refused to answer. He noted that Obama had attended a principals meeting of the National Security Council on Sept. 10 and reiterated that he reads the PDB.
4643  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi; covering up our cheating on Putin on: February 08, 2013, 12:30:27 PM
Update: Are they denying this in the WSJ post today on the Syria thread?

Mind boggling that the President and Secretary of State were in the White House that day and not involved. Didn't get informed at the start and didn't check back later.  Same guy cut his golf short to "direct" the bin laden kill operation.  The photo in this case, 9/11/12, was from a routine military meeting, not a crisis response room.  

What was Ambassador Stevens doing there, at that house?  Who was he meeting with?  What were the topics and results of those meetings?  We didn't have an embassy or real consulate with security there.  Something was going on that was pressing.  We get denial, a story about a video, and screamed at: "what difference does it make now?"

We know Benghazi was the ship-from place for weapons to rebels in Syria, as reported in the Times of London:
(quoted below)

With ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the NY Times reports. (further below)

If we were involved in that supply line, perhaps our top officials were advised to distance themselves from knowledge or involvement with the operation, kept their distance, told people with no authority to act to "handle it", they did nothing and four are dead.  

If we were secretly helping supply arms to rebels in Syria, why is that wrong?  

Cheating on Putin.  The alleged operation was allegedly going on in direct defiance to our peace through disarmament partner, Vladimir Putin, former Lt. Col. of the KGB.

Times of London report:  (link above)

    A Libyan ship carrying the largest consignment of weapons for Syria since the uprising began has docked in Turkey and most of its cargo is making its way to rebels on the front lines, The Times has learnt.

    Among more than 400 tonnes of cargo the vessel was carrying were SAM 7 surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), which Syrian sources said could be a game-changer for the rebels.

    “This is the largest single delivery of assistance to the rebel fighting units we have received,” said Abu Muhammed, a member of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), who helped to move the shipment from warehouses to the border. “These are things that could change the tide — if they are used correctly.”

    The Times was shown the Libyan ship, the Intisaar or the Victory, in the Turkish port of Iskenderun and papers stamped by the port authority by the ship’s captain, Omar Mousaeeb, a Libyan from Benghazi and the head of an organisation called the Libyan National Council for Relief and Support, which is supporting the Syrian uprising. …

    Rebel commanders interviewed by the Times said that organisers of the ship conferred with their Libyan counterparts to ensure that the cargo would be split evenly within various Free Syrian Army (FSA) units. But when the ship arrived, the consignment was registered to individuals from the Turkish IHH group, a charity with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
NYTimes:  C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition

    A Libyan ship carrying the largest consignment of weapons for Syria since the uprising began has docked in Turkey and most of its cargo is making its way to rebels on the front lines, The Times has learnt.

    Among more than 400 tonnes of cargo the vessel was carrying were SAM 7 surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), which Syrian sources said could be a game-changer for the rebels.

    “This is the largest single delivery of assistance to the rebel fighting units we have received,” said Abu Muhammed, a member of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), who helped to move the shipment from warehouses to the border. “These are things that could change the tide — if they are used correctly.”

    The Times was shown the Libyan ship, the Intisaar or the Victory, in the Turkish port of Iskenderun and papers stamped by the port authority by the ship’s captain, Omar Mousaeeb, a Libyan from Benghazi and the head of an organisation called the Libyan National Council for Relief and Support, which is supporting the Syrian uprising. …

    Rebel commanders interviewed by the Times said that organisers of the ship conferred with their Libyan counterparts to ensure that the cargo would be split evenly within various Free Syrian Army (FSA) units. But when the ship arrived, the consignment was registered to individuals from the Turkish IHH group, a charity with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
4644  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Senator Marco Rubio on: February 07, 2013, 06:02:59 PM
Is Marco Rubio worthy of his own thread?  We'll see what the host moderator says.) Marco Antonio Rubio, 'tea party' Republican Senator from Florida has become a leading spokesman for conservative, freedom loving principles.  He could be a short lived phenomenon, but he has all the potential to become an important, transformative figure in a very positive way.

He is at the forefront of a number of key issues, most recently taking a controversial stand on immigration, and was chosen to give the Republican response next week to Pres. Obama's State of the Union message.

Time magazine chose him for their current cover story:

WSJ columnist Dan Henninger critiques some past State of the Union responses and then says he expects Rubio to hit it out of the park.!11406B49-1CC3-4A3E-9C31-82790C90AD55

So much for keeping expectations low.

Noteworthy is that after rising to become Florida's Speaker of the House at a relatively young age, Rubio won a major, swing state, Senate race by a million votes.  Since then he has been one of the leading, articulate and persuasive voices on conservative principles and how they apply to the issues today.  

He declined to run in 2012 because he had barely started in the Senate.  

Of Cuban descent, he will deliver the address in both English and Spanish.  Some see that as pandering (or un-American?) but I assume the message will be exactly the same to both audiences.  We can judge his message by its content soon enough.
4645  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: February 07, 2013, 01:22:22 PM
Interesting to hear of isolated improvements.  This 'turnaround' comes is the context of zero net appreciation in the past 13 years.  Source:  Scott Grannis.  These nominal gains, if they are gains, are (also) in the context of trillions of dollars injected, as mentioned with oil and stocks.  We don't know right now what nominal gain in real estate you will need to break even with dollar dilution going forward.

Real estate is a hard asset.  Instead of comparing with an ever-changing dollar, how is it doing compared with other hard assets?
4646  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: February 07, 2013, 01:01:31 PM
Thanks Crafty.  These other offshore locations involve different risks.  Hopefully we have learned lessons from the gulf deepwater disaster that can make these operations even safer.  The major objection to near shore drilling is that our oil consuming electorate does not want to look out and see oil produced.  Like liberal Cape residents and visual windfarm 'pollution'.

The costs, lawsuits and bad publicity against BP, and Exxon previously, are quite a strong deterrence to having environmental screwups.  Regulators unfortunately are always behind the curve and not always working with the right interests in mind. 

The main arguments against ANWR were that oil is bad for us and that it would have taken 10 years to benefit from the vast new production, 16 years ago.  The new surge in American oil would have on line to help us at about the time we chose economic collapse instead.

If government has a role in this, it would seem to me that the main effort would be to ease the migration to domestic natural gas usage for individual transportation with 30% lower CO2 emission per unit of energy.  Right now it is only practical for fleet owners in most locations.  Instead the administration is planning its war against natural gas.
4647  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 07, 2013, 12:33:01 PM
"The simple fact of the matter is that most of us have missed a move of well over 100% in the DOW and Wesbury did not.  Indeed, Wesbury pretty much called it and we did not."

As with oil, there is also a dollar inflation component of these increases as well.  These indices went up in nominal dollar levels in the context of trillions of dollars injected.  Reminds me of housing in 2006.  Those who predicted a shoarp correction in that case, saying this couldn't keep going up forever, were wrong for a long time before they were right. 

The DOW is not a US index.  The stocks of McDonalds, Coca-cola, 3M, Qualcomm, GE, Ford, Dow Chemical, Intel, HP, Merck, T.I., Colgate, Apple all get majority of revenues and revenue growth from overseas.  Measure that index with US operations and tell me about the increase.  sad  For the wider S&P measure, the foreign component is around 40%.  Still these are existing company indices, not showing the failure of this economy to produce new startups.  Investing globally has been better than sitting on a declining dollar with zero percent interest at home.  To take from that the US is fine (I know you didn't say that) is wrong.  That Wesbury (or the gold guys) can show you how to invest around a US stagnation/collapse does not mean US political economy is not faltering badly. 

Your freedom to invest in companies from here that can get around US taxes and regulations by freely moving operations overseas is also under assault.

I wish the optimists the best of luck.  We are still allowed to keep and reinvest some of the fruits of our labor, about 33% in some cases.  The plowhorse will live and plow a little longer eating 33-50%% of its food requirement, but not at full speed and not long without more food coming. 

No one knows the future but I say that shifting the car from neutral to reverse means we are likely to move backwards.

Related links:
4648  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: February 07, 2013, 11:27:48 AM
Yes , , , but:

The Arctic Sea is a REALLY hostile environment, FAR more so than the Gulf of Mexico.  Look at how long it took to straighten out the BP mess.  Imagine trying to solve a similar problem with 20-30 foot seas on the surface in temperatures of 40 below zero with winds of 40+MPH.   NOT my idea of low hanging fruit!

Agreed re the relation between gold and oil.

Crafty, you are of the belief that the oil production in ANWR would be offshore?  My understanding is that the drilling platforms would be located safely on land.  

The opposition materials I read were based (intentionally) on old drilling technologies, not what can or would be built today.  No one is talking about drilling 5000 feet beneath the sea in the Arctic.  Temperatures of 40 below zero, 40mpg winds?  You guys think that's cold?  wink   Sea water freezes at 28 degrees, 68 degrees warmer than that.  It's those pesky in-between seasons where the cold breezes hits open water.  Not a big factor if the platforms proposed in ANWR are on land.  The cold frozen tundra may actually help contain a potential spill.  The deep water site was built in the ocean in a hurricane zone, and that wasn't what went wrong.  The explosion in the gulf was not with light, sweet crude.  The asphalt-like qualities of the heavier oil contributed to the risk of explosion and difficulty of cleanup in the gulf.  

If not ANWR, the easiest to refine oil sitting under US voter controlled land, which US oil sources are the 'low hanging fruit'?

More surprising is the impression that concerns out of LA or DC should override the opinion of the locals that the operation can be constructed and operated safely, which is exactly what happened.  States' rights don't apply in this case because ........... .

The damage in the gulf (also Valdez) was horrendous, perhaps unprecedented at the time.  What is the lasting effect of those?  Is the environmental damage less when the Chinese, Russians, Brazilians or Mexicans do our drilling?  When we leave the money (our energy demand) on the table, then what happens?  Someone else does it, and not with better environmental protections.

Is the expected environmental damage more destructive than the current policy of leaving American oil in the ground and shipping dollars to enemies for our oil.  Example: With consumption demand quite strong and stable, the supply choice, in part, is between supporting Chavez' support for Iran's planned destruction of Israel versus building well constructed facilities in the US.  Spills avoided in the Arctic by not producing oil there means other risks elsewhere are increased.  Right?

$4 and $5 gas in a stagnant economy ( is not the stopping point for rising energy costs.  If you don't drive much, think of proportional increases in jet fuel and airline travel.  Not producing oil with the strictest precautions at this point in time is a move against prosperity and freedom IMHO.

Similar dilemma for nuclear.  There was stupidity in the location of some facilities, but there also the largest, safest, cleanest energy supply ever produced, see charts in this thread.

I favor applying mathematical analysis to all honestly measured environmental risks from all sources and then making positive choices.    
4649  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal issues on: February 06, 2013, 10:35:12 PM
Off the top of my head, I can't say that S&P did not fall well short of a due standard of care, but yes this looks like economic fascist payback.

Agree on both counts.  They went after no one who appraised the homes wrong and no one who fleeced the GSEs but oddly they go after the agency that downgraded Obama's America when, as S&P said in its own defense, the government itself didn't see the collapse coming either.
4650  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: February 06, 2013, 10:31:25 PM
Frankly, ANWR drilling makes me nervous.  Look at what a clusterfcuk was created by BP in the placid, warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.    Now imagine that same mess in the exceedingly hostile environment of the Arctic Sea. 

Respectfully disagree.  ANWR I think is the low hanging fruit of oil.  The Alaskans favor it.  The caribou want it.  The drilling is the easiest.  Transport by pipeline I think is the safest.  Refining is far easier.  The deep water operation was confounded by - deep water.  They went deep because the cheaper, easier, safer sources closer to shore were blocked.  MHO.
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