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4651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: August 04, 2011, 01:41:07 PM
Thank you Hello Kitty for the kind words.

"What if I'm allergic to peas..."

Very funny!

It turns out fresh peas are high in fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and Vitamin A, B6, and C.

But if you are allergic or are fighting hypermagnesemia, the answer with an all-powerful central government is still eat your peas.  If a new federal minimum wage law does more harm than good in an isolated village somewhere in America, the answer is fire everyone working below the new minimum wage.  If 26 states don't want Obamacare, their answer is Obamacare.  If your kidney, heart or diabetic condition could be eased with raw milk ( or some new drug bogged down in the FDA bureaucracy, the answer is... tough luck.  Government knows best and you just don't realize that how good coercion can be for you.
4652  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education/Parenting on: August 04, 2011, 01:08:16 PM
JDN, FYI we also discussed that book/author here and here
4653  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: August 04, 2011, 11:02:02 AM
The reason that a producer can't sell or even consume a raw food product on their own property, if prohibited by federal law, is because they are engaging in interstate commerce.   huh

The police state accusation IMO is not of the police tasked with enforcement, but a tyranny of the majority - tyranny of the do-gooders, enabled by some bizarre court rulings over the years where government over time seems to no longer have meaningful limits.
4654  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education/Parenting on: August 04, 2011, 10:44:54 AM
I read as much 'liberal drivel' as I can stomach (opposition research) and I have not seen the specific BS points that I identified ever substantiated.

"I'm not going out of my way to copy articles for you."

Not exactly in the spirit of;
"If you are pasting something from elsewhere, please be sure to specifty the source (name, URL, that sort of thing).  If you do not have the source, please explain why."

It was not for me, BTW.  It is your lost credibility I was trying to help rescue.
4655  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government regulations: 608 new federal regulations added in July on: August 04, 2011, 10:27:42 AM

Report: Obama Administration Added $9.5 Billion in Red Tape in July

Many House and Senate conservatives are reviving their battle against federal regulations, claiming that the president hasn't stopped issuing job-killing rules during the debt ceiling fight. "While Washington and Americans have been focused on the debt ceiling, the Obama administration has continued to roll out more crushing red tape," said a spokesperson for Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso, who's been championing the regulation fight.

At Tuesday's GOP Senate caucus lunch, the lawmakers said that they will renew their efforts, supported by business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In a memo Barasso handed out to the lawmakers, he claimed that the administration in July only has put in $9.5 billion in new regulatory costs by proposing 229 new rules and finalizing 379 rules. Among those he cited were EPA, healthcare reform, and financial regulatory reform rules.
4656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, budget process on: August 04, 2011, 10:17:35 AM
The country's debt situation in real terms actually got worse this week under the continuing anchor of Obamanomics.  Debt is measured in dollars but most judged as a percentage of income.   Because of sudden new borrowings and the economic growth downgrades and the past economic results downgrades, total debt now exceeds total GDP of the US economy for the first time since 1947 according to US Treasury figures:

US borrowing tops 100% of GDP: Treasury  AFP
US debt shot up $238 billion to reach 100 percent of gross domestic project after the government's debt ceiling was lifted, Treasury figures showed Wednesday.

Treasury borrowing jumped Tuesday, the data showed, immediately after President Barack Obama signed into law an increase in the debt ceiling as the country's spending commitments reached a breaking point and it threatened to default on its debt.

The new borrowing took total public debt to $14.58 trillion, over end-2010 GDP of $14.53 trillion, and putting it in a league with highly indebted countries like Italy and Belgium.

Public debt subject to the official debt limit -- a slightly tighter definition -- was $14.53 trillion as of the end of Tuesday, rising from the previous official cap of $14.29 trillion a day earlier.

Treasury had used extraordinary measures to hold under the $14.29 trillion cap since reaching it on May 16, while politicians battled over it and over addressing the country's bloating deficit.

The official limit was hiked $400 billion on Tuesday and will be increased in stages over the next 18 months.

The last time US debt topped the size of its annual economy was in 1947 just after World War II.
4657  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, Inflation, US Dollar & other currencies, & Gold/Silver on: August 04, 2011, 10:04:48 AM
In the US we suffer from a continuing devaluation of our weakened currency.  Elsewhere they are suffering from currencies that are too strong.  Both scenarios cause other economic problems, as does the volatility and uncertainty.

Japan follows Switzerland by weakening currency
Japan has intervened to halt the rise of its currency aganist the dollar, to protect its own economy as investors piled into the yen as a safe haven on heightened fears about growth in the US and Europe.
4658  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education/Parenting on: August 04, 2011, 09:45:03 AM
CW, GM has a rather indelicate way of saying you have posted a rather large number of unsubstantiated things in a short period of time without any attempt to answer requests to back them up.  That is not a discussion and it doesn't afford the reader any opportunity to learn from the point made.  You took a cheap shot at my profession that I let go by: "You know that the majority of land lords would turn their places into wrecks so that their tenants wouldn't have a better place to go." What a bunch of BS.  More than 30 years of personal experience and I have seen thousands and thousands of examples of damage to property and never have I seen rental property done intentionally by a landlord, yet you say it is a "majority" turning their place into a wreck.  Running out of water? Did you post ANYTHING that says we have one drop less water on earth today than one year ago or one thousand years ago? In the midwest we are swimming in too much water, highest on record in many places.  Can't send it any faster downstream because they are still flooded there.  People choosing to live away from water is not running out of water. The USA attacked itself on 9/11/01? Sure. The host/moderator tried to answer you politely and indirectly on that and you missed it.  You attack GM's profession, law enforcement, he asked you to back it up.  Here you support (If I read you correctly) teaching parenting arrangements other than a mom and a dad as equal or better than the way it was primarily done since creation without posting a smidgen of evidence to support your view.  The requests to back up what you post over time, when you ignore them, might start to look like ridicule.

I have posted unsupported arguments with glaring weaknesses on this board and had them quickly pointed out to me.  That is one thing I like about this format.
4659  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Pawlenty on: August 03, 2011, 06:37:32 PM
CCP wrote:  Doug any inside word on Pawlenty?
His polls numbers are not improving yet.
He needs more debate Iowa exposure I guess.
CCP, no inside word.  I have too busy and he has been too broke for me to tell him that I want to be a highly paid consultant to the campaign.  If he is reading the forum, he can get that offer here.

A good article I will attach at the end here that says he is getting good endorsements in Florida including an incoming speaker of the Florida house?  Isn't that Marco Rubio's old job?  Only half joking, once he announces his running mate is Marco Rubio I think he will do just fine nationwide.

Yes he needs to bump the poll numbers up nationwide and especially in the states where he is spending his time and like all of them, he needs to raise money.  I see he is 3rd now in Iowa, to Romney and Bachmann.  Bachmann is running there as being from there, not just from a neighboring state.  My take is that she will fizzle at some point but that could be after the straw poll.  There is a debate coming up before the straw poll and I don't think Pawlenty will be holding his punches this next time, after the beating he took in NH for giving Obamneycare a pass.  He moved his comparisons over to Bachmann once she was the star of the moment.  The argument was very similar views, plus experience, accomplishments and competence.

The word is out especially to people who never heard him or met him that he is the most boring person imaginable.  That actually can be good to keep expectations low and then surpass them.  Those reviews don't match what Rush L said after the first debate that Pawlenty looked 'Presidential'.  Besides his influence, he has a pretty good eye and ear for conservative politics.  I think people also are hitting a wall with the current candidates/other candidates so they keep looking again to see if they missed the one.  That phenomenon could however help Rick Perry instead of Pawlenty if he doesn't make his move soon.

I posted his June Iowa numbers, but the Iowa poll that has him third also shows his favorable/unfavorable rating climbing to 60-12. If people found him to be a complete waste of time, those numbers would not be that high.

My current feeling is that Romney has become a bit irrelevant, though still leading, and that Rick Perry will be the next sensation, but who knows.  Even then, I think it is important to have an experienced former two term governor ready with competence and good positions on issues in second or third place that you can turn to if needed because we all know what happened to ... John Edwards, Spiro Agnew, Gary Hart, Howard Dean, Mike Huckabee, Pat Buchanan, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, Dick Gephart, Michael Dukakis, John McCain, George Bush, Dick Cheney, George Romney, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Rep. Jefferson, David Wu, Anthony Weiner, etc.  Politicians can lose their shine.
(There is a 2 minute coffee shop stump talk at the link.  He is running against Barack Obama, not Romney, Bachmann etc.)

Underdog Tim Pawlenty drawing strong Republican support in Florida

By Adam C. Smith, (Tampa) Times Political Editor
In Print: Wednesday, August 3, 2011

TAMPA — The vast majority of Floridians couldn't pick Tim Pawlenty out of a lineup. He barely registers in the polls. And there's a decent chance he'll have to quit the presidential race soon if he continues to show little momentum in Iowa.

And yet something curious is happening in Florida: Influential Republican leaders continue to line up behind the former Minnesota governor, even with little evidence he's a viable contender.

"I don't know or care if he's got a 5 percent chance or a 50 percent chance or an 80 percent chance, what matters right now is we need people who stand up for what they believe in,'' said state Rep. Richard Corcoran of New Port Richey, a Pawlenty supporter in line to be speaker of the Florida House.

Another future House speaker, former Mitt Romney supporter Chris Dorworth of Lake Mary, likened it to PC users who are satisfied with their computers and Apple users who are ardent about theirs.

"Other people support their candidate, but Tim Pawlenty people are passionate about him," Dorworth said before a Pawlenty fundraising lunch that drew about 40 people to Tampa's InterContinental hotel Tuesday.

The campaign stop was only part of a busy political week in Tampa, which, starting today, hosts the Republican National Committee's summer meeting. More than 200 people will be in town checking out the site of the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Florida is expected to have one of the earliest presidential primary contests, and on a fundraising swing that took Pawlenty, 50, through Orlando Monday evening and Tampa and Miami on Tuesday, he made clear Florida is a key part of his strategy to win the nomination.

"We're looking forward to having a robust campaign in Florida. I think we've got the earliest and best and most prominent team of political leaders, volunteer leaders in this state," he said in an exclusive interview with the St. Petersburg Times and Bay News 9 airing Sunday on Political Connections.

Pawlenty, who also schmoozed with GOP activists at the Buddy Brew coffee shop in Tampa, said he expects to compete in a potentially crucial Florida GOP "Presidency 5" straw poll in September.

But Iowa is do or die for Pawlenty, and by his own admission his campaign can't afford a weak showing in an Aug. 13 "straw poll" — a symbolic, but nonbinding vote by party activists — in Ames, Iowa. A poor showing could take him out before Florida's poll even occurs.

Angling to be the main Republican alternative to Romney, the low-key Pawlenty has brought on board top Republican consultants nationally and in early primary states, but so far he has been overshadowed by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a fellow Minnesotan, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a potential candidate. Most Iowa polls show Pawlenty mired in single digits well behind Bachmann and Romney.

"Every month there's the flavor of the month where somebody's thinking about running, not running, gets in, doesn't get in,'' Pawlenty said, suggesting that ultimately people will focus on people's records. He was particularly skeptical of Bachmann's staying power.

"The last thing we want is another person in that office who wasn't prepared for that office, doesn't have executive experience and, with all due respect to congresswoman Bachmann, her record of results in Congress is nonexistent," he said.

Pawlenty supporters see a person with a blue-collar background, strong faith and a record of cutting government even in Democratic-leaning Minnesota.

"When I spend time with Gov. Pawlenty, I get a comfort in his leadership style, I get comfort in his conservative philosophy, and I get comfort in his ability to beat the president,'' said state Rep. Will Weatherford of Wesley Chapel, another future state House speaker and former Romney backer.

Endorsements don't necessarily translate to votes. But they can provide credibility in a primary dominated by hard-core Republicans.

Romney has an extensive fundraising network in Florida where he campaigned hard in 2008, but Pawlenty has been winning over a new generation of under-40 Republican fundraisers and political leaders, some of whom have the opportunity to be on the ground floor of a top presidential campaign rather than a late-comer to Romney. As of June 30, Pawlenty had about $2 million on hand, compared to nearly $13 million for Romney, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

"I don't necessarily have anything to gain by getting on board," said 28-year-old state Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa, "but maybe we can build momentum by showing we have a team here in Florida and show the people that trusted us to be leaders in this state that we're willing to stick our neck out for somebody we believe is a true leader."
4660  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Eat Your Peas on: August 03, 2011, 02:09:34 PM
I consider myself quite accomplished in the field of bungled analogies, but President Obama telling the nation, or was it just the rich, to eat peas will go down sadly as the most memorable moment of this lousy episode that we just survived of our nation's great history.

A degree from Columbia and a degree from Harvard, he came from the very best private schools in Hawaii, he served in the State Senate of Illinois and then in the world's greatest deliberative body - the United States Senate, and the best he could do to characterize the incentive/disincentive effects of raising tax rates on the producers and job creators in the private sector of a dynamic, competitive, global, capital investment based productive economy is ... ... "eat your peas"??

We may think Carter was the bungler with his malaise speech and his gas rationing lines, but people should recall that the Republican economic wisdom of those years wasn't a whole lot better.  President Ford thought the answer to spiraling inflation was a PR campaign called "Whip Inflation Now", as if merchants foregoing a price increase and workers turning down a wage increase was the cure for inflation or the path to prosperity.  That was only a little better than his predecessor, President Nixon, who in a Stalinist moment decided to implement a nationwide "price, wage, freeze" and form a committee, in advance of the Obamacare waiver committee, to review any emergency exceptions to our national price fixing program that may be necessary.

Reagan slashes tax rates and revenues double in a decade.  Volcker gets control over the money supply and the dollar stabilizes.  Clinton and Gingrich end welfare as we know it, pass Reagan's hemisphere-wide free trade and slashed the rate of taxation on gains from long term capital investments and the economy surged to the point of a briefly, unheard of, balanced budget!

The Bush economy surged 50 months only after growth policies finally kicked in and retreated after the ending to growth policies was electorally certain.

Then along comes President Obama.  Program after Keynesian program has failed, from 'Cash for Clunkers' to Shovel Ready Projects' to the tune of a trillion and half 'fiscal stimulus' per year and with new debt at the permanent rate of borrowing an amazing $4 billion a day.  All of it making things worse.  Why?  Because the problem in the first place was not that the public sector had gotten too small!

So what is this President's last flailing?  Eat your peas. 

Excuse me but where is the evidence to support the idea that higher tax rates are good for us?  History seems to say otherwise.  Aren't boiled and canned peas about the least nutritious of all the green vegetables, besides still being bland even with all the added salt? 

Lastly Mr. President, with all due respect, we are adults now and you are not our parent.  The vegetables will be of OUR choosing and we might even decide to have a little ice cream later - without asking.   wink

  - Doug

4661  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Powerline Prize Winner Justin Folk: Squirrels, The Spending is Nuts on: August 03, 2011, 10:39:52 AM

A question was posed here a while back about how to reach more people and younger people with an awareness and explanation of what is happening in this country and an idea of what needs to be done to get back on track.  Clarity, articulation and visualization always seems to be lacking.  Powerline Blog and Freedom Club responded to the DBMA challenge by offering a $100,000 prize for the best creative depiction of our spending and debt problems.  Monday they announced the winner.

John Hinderacker: “Squirrels,” as we call it informally, is a beautiful piece of work. (View it on YouTube in HD here: We asked Justin to share his thoughts on the contest and his video:

Justin Folk: "When I first heard of the contest, I found it hard to believe that anyone would put up such a great prize to offer creatives a chance to dramatize the debt crisis. Most people don’t want to think about debt or the dangers it holds. Wars and environmentalism have attracted most of the attention of creative people in our culture–and not usually for a good result. But when you consider what debt can do and has done to nations throughout history, we’d be fools to not recognize our country’s solvency as the single greatest issue we face today. In my piece, I wanted to not just show how bad the problem is- which is in itself a noble effort since 15 trillion is hard for most to comprehend–but I sought to convey how we got to this point, and our choices moving forward.

    I feel the squirrel allegory allows people to absorb the story unguarded, not pointing fingers at any one political party. I wanted to reach independents, conservatives, and liberals. Our debt, after all, belongs to all of us.

    I’m grateful that Power Line and the Freedom Club saw the need to summon creative minds on this issue, and honored to have been picked as the winning entry."

4662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, budget process on: August 03, 2011, 09:50:59 AM
Rand Paul: "This plan never balances. The President called for a “balanced approach.  But the American people are calling for a balanced budget."

Yes and no.  This bipartisan farce passed easily at the end because the people really are not calling for an immediate balance to the budget which would effectively be a 43% across the board cut in spending.

Also, most of these 'cuts' are unnamed, hence the power of the 'super'committee.

So we passed the most pretend cuts that we can with this cast of characters.  The next step is to grow the economy and keep the President on the defensive - too busy to propose or sell another round of faux-stimuli.
4663  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Indonesia on: August 03, 2011, 09:43:28 AM
Oct, 2010.  Here is a Nov.11, 2010 NYT op-ed by Kaplan from that time:
"Indonesia’s Muslim democracy, a dozen years after the fall of Suharto, boasts vigor and moderation. And combined with Indonesia’s immense population, it augurs the emergence of a sort of “second India” in the Eurasian rimland, strategically located on the Strait of Malacca, the shipping superhighway between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Since the art of preparing for a multipolar world in military as well as economic terms is to gain the support of like-minded others, the Obama administration needs to use the energy generated by the president’s visit in order to adopt Indonesia as its new favorite country, just as India was adopted by the George W. Bush administration to substantial effect. "
"THE 20th century saw great, land-centric Army deployments to Europe. George W. Bush unwittingly continued this tendency with great, land-centric deployments to the Middle East, where we became ensnared in intra-Islamic conflict. As President Obama develops his grand strategy for Eurasia, the great step forward would be creating a smaller footprint on land and a bigger one at sea. Navies are very conducive to projecting soft power: they make port visits and guard the global commons, whereas armies invade. "
4664  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: August 03, 2011, 09:27:46 AM
"what are investors going to wait for before they start placing bets again?"

Across the board, pro-growth economic policies, which means yes, 'Obama's defeat' with a mandate to do something positive, also giving Harry Reid a new 'minority leader' title, repealing Obama care, a lightening of quadruple taxation on businesses, a stable dollar policy, a regulatory environment conducive to manufacturing, hiring and building, an energy policy committed to power us with what we know up until we invent a cleaner, safer, cheaper form of sufficient energy, and a public sector scaled back (really) to a size that can be pulled by our private economic engine.  Removing the cloud of certainty/uncertainty that something worse from the government is coming at you just down the pike.

If we survived this, I think any serious movement on ALL of those fronts would trigger an economic re-birth. 
4665  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 02, 2011, 10:48:47 PM
My point was that I don't like defining down concepts like torture.  Water tricks in extreme, isolated situations, underwear photos gone bad, and sleep schedule changes are not comparable to gradual electrocutions or eyes gouged out.  We are not morally equal to those who maximize the number of innocent casualties and kill themselves.  And we did not plan or participate in the most gruesome attack ever against us - and keep it all a secret for 10 years.  That doesn't make any sense.

Are the Muslim militants in China internationally connected or supported?
4666  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government programs, spending, budget process: It's the Baseline Budgeting on: August 02, 2011, 09:16:15 PM
If you freeze spending at current levels under current Washington DC-speak, it is a 9 1/2 trillion dollar cut.

In the real world, almost nothing ever called a 'cut' has actually been a case of spending that actually goes down - on anything! 

Both Rand Paul and Rush Limbaugh are saying it is all about baseline budgeting - more famous people caught reading the forum because that has been Crafty's  focus for quite some time:

Rand Paul:  The deal that is pending before us now," get this, "Adds at least $7 trillion to our debt over the next 10 years." Not $2.4 trillion; $7 trillion. "The deal purports to 'cut' $2.1 trillion, but the 'cut' is from a baseline that adds $10 trillion to the debt."  (Doug:  How can you have a baseline - where things should be - that adds trillions to the debt.  The 'baseline' should add ZERO to the debt and the elected officials can start from there!)

Rush L: As you well know, because we've been explaining this in easily understandable detail all week. I love the illustration. We could prepare a budget that is a freeze next year that doesn't spend a dime more than this year, and it would be scored as a nine and a half trillion-dollar cut because of the baseline, because of how the budget is expected to grow. This deal, even if all targets are met and the Super Committee wields its mandate - results in a BEST case scenario of still adding more than $7 trillion more in debt over the next 10 years. That is sickening.
I say everybody take a deep breath, enjoy your August, understand that we are still taking on $4 billion dollars a day of new debt accumulating with interest to eternity, and come back angry, focused, and committed to do whatever each of us can do to try to make a difference and solve this.  The debt ceiling wasn't really the big opportunity to change course although both sides pretended for a while that it was.  Even the Ryan plan involves taking on significant new debt for about as far as the eye can see.  These things are settled in elections and we have a short time to put together a team, an agenda, and a message.  The problem in past elections is that they simply have pitted 'our' big spenders against their big spenders.  This time maybe we can offer a combination of real spending restraint and pro-growth economics up against their same old stagnation/class-envy agenda of tax more, regulate more, and spend without limits, and we can try to win!
4667  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 02, 2011, 05:26:35 PM
"Sure, the severed limbs won't grow back and the burns will be treated with the best medical care to be found in the tribal regions of Pakistan, but at least the jihadist the strike was targeted at wasn't waterboarded....."

We should be careful with sleep deprivation too.  Young jihadists need their rest, even in captivity.
"keeping conservative men out of women's pants"

For another thread, but wouldn't it be the abortionist, not the anti abortion politician who is literally in the woman's 'pants', if I read that inference correctly.  Relating it to China and Islam, China and Islam (and Dem politicians here) should at least can find common ground in their shared disrespect for females, as Asia approaches the 200 million mark for slaughtering more young girls than boys, more than the entire female population of the United States.  Such caring about innocent women!

4668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government spending, budget process: Marco Rubio - You Save the Whole House! on: August 02, 2011, 04:50:52 PM
First this: "Returning to the subject of the debt farce deal, a key question:  Does the "Read our lips, no new taxes in this deal" apply to the expiration of the Bush Tax Rates?"

Of course the 'Bush tax cuts already expired.  These extensions therefore are the Obama rates!  In spite of me being told repeatedly by a liberal that expiration of  tax cuts (from a previous decade) is NOT an increase of any kind, I can answer only for my own opinion of how Republicans will be judged - YES!
Here is Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) addressing the partisanship of the moment and the need for a budget and putting controls on spending:

"Compromise that is not a solution is a waste of time.  If my house was on fire, I can't compromise about which part of the house I'm going to save.  You save the whole house - or it will all burn down.  We either save this country or we do not.  And to save it, we must seek solutions."
4669  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: August 02, 2011, 03:00:52 PM
Looking forward to the first mainstream analysis to point out that the timing deadline of the deal was based more on the Aug 4 birthday party than the Aug 3 default.
4670  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Prayer and Daily Expression of Gratitude on: August 02, 2011, 02:42:14 PM
Grateful for another glorious summer, for a little time away for a family reunion, to continue family traditions at a 100+ year old lake place with cousins who were my buddies growing up, for the grandchildren to have extended time with their grandparents, to get to better know our relatives from further away, to see my daughter enjoying the same sports and activities we enjoy and grateful to have added a new family member to the group.   smiley
4671  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 02, 2011, 02:32:13 PM
"Is this guy [Brian Wesbury] always too rosey or is it me?"

Wesbury was my armchair pick for Fed Chair.  He is right from my point of view on policy issues, a great analyst and formerly a great forecaster.  He was especially good when things were going well.

Now I agree with CCP.  Wesbury's employer is First Trust which I assume is an investment house.  If the chief economist proclaims that all is going to hell, they won't do much business.  So now I read his work for the facts, trends and analysis, not for macroeconomic forecasting.

He is very much a pro-growth supply-sider who I assume would be very comfortable with a freedom-based agenda from someone like a Marco Rubio or Ronald Reagan.  But what he assumes, like leftist Dems do, is that the American economy is so strong and resilient that it can weather through bad policy after bad policy and continue some kind of growth at a snail's pace.  Maybe so and maybe not.

I'm sure he voted against the Pelosi-Obama congress in 2006 and the Obama presidency in 2008, but I doubt he sufficiently anticipated in his writings the economic destruction that followed that change in direction.  

Businesses and consumers may be sitting with money on the sidelines right now, but that does not change the fact that what the see out their is an economic world that is going to hell, laced with policial and economic uncertainty.  Cases in point, how are the best companies in your area, 3M stock here for example, manufacturing and production, doing compared to gold which is a bet directly against innovation, our currency, and the productive economy?

Also remember that 'breakeven' growth is something like what they call 3.1% 'real' growth.  Whether they revise the numbers to 0.1% or 2.9%, we are just arguing over how far and how fast we are moving backwards.  Double dip IMHO is a fact right now, not something new to fear in the future.  The long and hard argued budget deal now behind us does nothing significant in either direction to move us off our stagnation/decline path.  

The rosy scenario view seems to believe that investors will start investing and innovators will start innovating again out of boredom rather than waiting for us correct any of the (fuct) fundamentals that put us in this downward spiral.
4672  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: August 02, 2011, 01:46:12 PM
"To me it is a wonderment that his numbers are as high as they are."  - Agree, unfortunately.  We are only winning the argument against all powerful government at the margins.  We had to lose almost all industries to complete government control in order to approach 50% of the people saying they have gone too far.

"Also remember that a goodly percentage of his negatives (25% IIRC) come from disappointed progressives." 

Yes, maybe not that high but becoming very significant.  A two edged sword: the loss of support from his base will never turn into Bachmann, Perry or Cain votes, but it does weaken him.  Loss of support from his base contributed to the growing irrelevance and early lame duck status of G.W.Bush, (but that was during his second term).

"Note too the approval numbers of Congress are WAY lower than Baraq's."

Yes.  These numbers were consistently miserable for a long time and I don't understand exactly why.  I watch the numbers at Real Clear Politics.  Currently they have congressional approval at 18.5% with the number that follows fairly evenly split, R's over D's by 1.2%.  My read of that number with poll bias (poll responders versus actual voters) has been that Republican had to be less than 4-5% behind to break even in the real election.  In that sense they are up by a little more than the 1%.  Congressional approval is difficult to judge.  How is a John Boehner or Harry Reid fan supposed to judge the other chamber or like the overall results?  75% disapproval means that R's, Dems and independents alike agree that they are not getting their way in congress. 

For the President, the Rasmussen index maps strong approval against strong disapproval for a pretty good idea of where the energy in the room is.  That bottomed at -21% a few days ago when no deal was coming through, now back to -18%, 23% strongly approve vs. 41% strongly disapprove:
4673  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: August 02, 2011, 12:23:03 PM
I agree with CCP.  Other than that ending, it was a clever and wide ranging recap (Bret Stephens, WSJ) of the Obama years so far. The surprise ending that none of a wide range of challengers can possibly defeat him, more than a year out, seems to defy the reality that Obama has sank like a stone in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, New Hampshire, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, etc etc. 

I guess his point is either that the successful victor will come from other than 'one of the current GOP hopefuls' (other than Perry and perhaps Palin I don't expect more serious entrants), or is it that this country and world is doomed so why bother subscribe or read his future columns(?)
4674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: July 27, 2011, 01:33:37 PM
With no coherent definition of success, to 'not count' several serious business ventures, I will try to not read and not respond when you make your final judgment.  Why don't you declare him a failure now?  That's right - you already did.  Without personal knowledge beyond the readings here, I proclaim you and all your friends complete failures also.  Same definition.  Regretting the time put into trying to clarify nonsense.
4675  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: July 27, 2011, 11:59:49 AM
I will still call him a "success" and an influence to be reckoned with if his ratings/viewers/paying customer base is 800,000+.
Funny.  You remind me of tennis friends who say my neighbor who made it into the top ten in the world in his sport in his time, won the largest purse in history at the time, had wins over Agassi, Connors, Edberg, Lendl, Courier and Chang, won 6 tour events and went to the finals of 2 majors, Wimbledon semi-finalist etc., never amounted to anything because he wasn't ever ranked number one.   Good grief.

If Beck has ten followers, he is more influential than me, by more than ten-fold.  If he makes a living for his family, after taxes, doing what he has a passion for, he is a success.  If what he started becomes an ongoing entity with some positive influence, the venture is a success.

But let's go with your numbers.  His new career includes GBTV subscriptions, listeners to his talk show, 'hits' on his website 'the blaze" (, and people who follow him on facebook if he is using that venue to communicate.  I think he will (continue to) hit the 800,000 mark with no problem.

If I were you, I would have stuck to the original point, (paraphrased) that you don't care for his type of message. Gaining a significant audience is a capability he already proved.  The Blaze alone could be the fastest growing site of 2011-2012, we will see.
"The Blaze is only four months old and according to Quantcast already clocking in 10 million page views per week." (last January)

Glenn Beck's Site The Blaze Also Hires HuffPo's HR Manager
Glynnis MacNicol | Jan. 6, 2011

Glenn BeckThe Huffington Post may have been conceived as the Left's Drudge Report but it looks like Glenn Beck's The Blaze is angling to be the new least in terms of traffic and influence.

Yesterday it was reported that The Blaze had hired former HuffPo CEO Betsy Morgan to run the site, today The Wire has learned they have also scooped up HuffPo's HR manager Jackie Greaney.

Beck noted in his News Year's message that his company planned on hiring more than 40 people in the New Year and so in that sense these hires are not a surprise.  But what's especially interesting here, particularly where Morgan's hire is concerned, is that it's clear Beck and Co. is interested in playing on a much larger stage with the Blaze.

And this isn't just about traffic.

The Blaze is only four months old and according to Quantcast already clocking in 10 million page views per week.  That's mostly a reflection of Glenn Beck's large and built-in audience (the same audience that jettisons every book he mentions to the top of the Amazon charts) but it's solid traffic and if Beck merely wanted a vanity project that's more than enough to ensure some solid promotion and likely advertising dollars.

But Beck wants to go bigger.  I suspect what he is looking for here the sort of cross platform relevance that Arianna has established with HuffPo.  He wants to be a bigger player in more fields.

Also, I suspect he wants the sort of respect that has been accrued to Huffington who is now a go-to on all things politics and new media.  Over the last year Beck has established himself as a media phenomenon but he is still largely skirted by the MSM who often find his brand of politics troubling.  But if Beck turns The Blaze into a go-to for things other than Beck and starts breaking news to boot...well, one imagines it will be a bit like Drudge meets Arianna meets Oprah.  Or a new New York Times, as the case may be!
4676  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: July 27, 2011, 10:38:00 AM
Cranewings,  I enjoyed your take on this.  Without a doubt government program dependency is not the only negative force out there, it is just an amazingly large one.  I have see the video game addiction thing hit young people as well. 

The real dependents (children) live in a world where certain basics and luxuries are provided to them in exchange for varying levels of compliance with family rules or for nothing whatsoever depending on the family.  The difference typically is the expectation of an exit strategy and in the best situations pushed, rewarded, influenced toward real achievement.

In the example let's say of the mid-20s male, out of school, not working and unable/.uninterested in breaking away from a game addiction, someone is enabling.  Probably high achieving and very frustrated parents.  Unlike welfare however, he becomes less likely to reproduce and pass the dependency on to 5 more generations, as welfare unarguably already has.

Your point about divorces increasing as women become more productive being good is true in the cases of women being empowered to leave a bad situation, but I don't see how the whole gamut of deteriorating social statistics can be a good thing overall.  From what I see and read, there is no question that kids overall do best in a home that has a mother and a father in a loving marriage all under one roof.  (That is not always possible; I write as a single father.) 

We are doing many, many things in our public policies to undermine the health of our own society.
4677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: July 27, 2011, 10:03:52 AM
Criticize mine, fine, but if you are going to predict failure, put your benchmark out there.
4678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics - Robt Reich picks up where Stalinonomics left off on: July 27, 2011, 09:59:59 AM
Touting my own post  embarassed the graph in the previous post is extremely consequential.  Go back and take a look if you missed it.  Job growth under Obama dropped by tenfold after Obamacare.  The political shift at that point was nothing compared to the economic shift that occurred.

WIth Krugman down to sputtering nonsense it is time to tackle the other lead progressive economic voice:  Robert Reich says cutting the deficit is (current example) to 'take 2.7 trillion out of the economy'. 

Robert Reich, Fmr. Secretary of Labor: "There is a big lie being perpetrated by Republicans it it transcends our deficit/debt issue. And the lie is: If the government reduces its spending, somehow we create more jobs. That is exactly the reverse of reality, Ed (Schultz, the host).

"The reality is: Because of Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security payments people have more money to spend. Because of roads bridges and light rail and education and basic research and development, people have more jobs."
What's wrong with THAT picture? 

a) we are already taking that $2.7 trillion out of the productive economy.  The public sector, necessary and good up to a point that we passed a LONG time ago, rides on the wagon pulled by the private, productive sector.  Paul doesn't get paid without robbing Peter.  Heavier and heavier loads with fewer and fewer people proportionately pulling, Robert Reich and all Keynesians and progressives don't even see the host-parasite relationship. The government, even when it is governing, does not create jobs or employ resources.  It is an overhead cost/burden on our productive resources, labor and capital.

b) If there was some change in the formula for the "more than 80 million checks a month" ( we write, some of those people might work one more hour, one more month or one more year, changing with double magnitude the ratio between people pulling and people riding on the public expense wagon.

c) It always has to be a 'lie', not a difference in professional analysis or opinion.  On MSNBC, Reich knows his audience.

d) He goes on to say that it would be okay if it were coupled with tax INCREASES.  Huh?  The part where I was going to agree with him is that cuts alone are only discretely stimulative.  If you are of able mind and body and your check is cut, some will be stimulated to go do something productive AFTER they are conviced the government is not the reliable provider.  Others, like public workers in Madison, will just get angry, holler and shout their welfare rights demands at least for one more election cycle. 

The cuts (I mentioned once or twice) need to be coupled with overtly pro-growth policies or stagnation very likely will continue. 
Some immediate pro-growth possibilities if we were so inclined:
1) New corp tax code with the highest rate down to below the OECD average and every American operation paying something.
2) New individual tax code: Chop out all credits and all but about 2 deductions, lower the marginal rates and lower the jumps between brackets.
3) Jump start energy production with shall-issue permit legislation.
4) Moratorium on about 50,000 overly ambitious employment regulations.  Offer first year businesses and first year new-hires a 1099 option instead of withholding and all payroll compliance regs.
5) Repeal Obamacare and replace with the most generous of the Republican options: limited amnesty for pre-existing conditions to jump into coverage now, medical liability reform and an opening of choices and competition across state lines.
4679  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: July 26, 2011, 11:30:04 PM
Besides 6 months notice, another difference between non-renewal and firing is that we have no reliable information about which party initiated non-renewal.  If those terms blend into one and the same for you I will try not to read your posts so carefully or so literally in the future.

Beck is not the only one to use flawed nazi analogies.  I read them constantly on left wing comment sites about everything to do with right wing.  Just depends on who you are and how badly people want to destroy you.  I can get how you disapprove of that phrase for that group and I likely agree.  What I don't get is why or how that hatred runs so personal and so deep.  You do not come across similarly flawed comparisons in your own internet readings, at least none that you have shared on the board?

I have already pointed out several striking successes of his so your prediction of failure will require some quantification: No. 1 in his time slot on tv in his category, no 1 in his time slot on radio, no.3 overall.  Number one in his industry on facebook.  No. 1 with re-runs on tv after he was gone.  I propose we measure GBTV this way: $250k/yr is punishably rich in America.  That would take less than 5k subscribers at 4.95 per month on GBTV.  You predict < 5k subscribers to GBTV by the end of the year? lol

I caught myself just today referring to Minneapolis inspectors as Gestapo-like.  They are of course not.  I was wrong.  They can destroy your life, your savings and your investment but they don't kill people en masse.  In another case I detailed on this board how abortion is the holocaust of our time and offended people here beyond words yet no one pointed out a single flaw in the analogy.  They just defend their continuing support or tolerance of the gruesome but legal practice of killing innocent life - like 'Hitler youth', from my point of view.

4680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: July 26, 2011, 06:32:12 PM
Also waiting for context and full quote.  These quotes of talk show hosts always seems to come after the fact from people who did not hear the program.  Typically people listening live took no offense, but then the words get clipped and framed by opposition opportunists.  'Whither on the vine' and 'Barack the magic negro' come to mind.

I disagree with the premise of nearly everyone in media that it is relevant, interesting or worthwhile to know the political views of the mass murderer.  If he was liberal, conservative, moderate, had an identical voting record all his life to mine or even was a family member, he still is a mass murderer.  What the hell difference do his 'views' make, he blew up public buildings and opened fire on innocent people!

That said, if everyone else is going to discuss everything about everything regarding so-called motivation, then some observations unflattering about the victims are possible.  These people deserve respect and a period of silence IMO before their own cause needs to come to light.  But if there is going to be free and instant dialog everywhere, even here, then criticism of their cause and their own behavior may come into the discussion.  And if it does, one should not need to say in every sentence that while you disagree with or have suspicions of their cause, you do not condone mass murder.  In civilized society, that goes without saying.

JDN, I'd rather not discuss the victims, but what was Hitler like in his youth?  What were the Hitler's youth programs like?  Did they kill at the conferences or did they just talk about how to control other people and re-make society in their own vision.  I'll bet they had a bunch of bland platitudes (like hope and change).  I am still waiting for documentation that Beck was fired - with 6 months notice.  Repeating over and over doesn't count - 'sounds a little like' what Goebbels would do.  Strange that they play Beck's re-runs after his departure, not really sharing the good-riddance theme with you, lol.  Do words (like 'Fired!') have no meaning? I don't watch the TV but when Trump says 'You're fired!',  do they stay on the program another season, lol?
4681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, budget process on: July 26, 2011, 05:37:45 PM
I asked for clarity from the Republicans, really from all sides, about a year ago.  Here it is, finally, from the most unlikely of sources - the Speaker of the House John Boehner.  Probably could have unleashed this speech a couple of weeks earlier if not for the golf summit.

The president has often said we need a 'balanced' approach -- which in Washington means: we spend more. . .you pay more. Having run a small business, I know those tax increases will destroy jobs.

The House and Senate can pass this bipartisan bill and send it to the President for his signature.  And if the President signs it, and crisis atmosphere that he created will simply disappear.
4682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government spending, budget: Spending Cuts—Not Higher Taxes—Saved Canada on: July 25, 2011, 03:12:16 PM

How Spending Cuts—Not Higher Taxes—Saved Canada
Liberals up there listened to voters, and their economy is now growing faster than ours.


When Jean Chretien became prime minister in 1993, Canada faced a fiscal and economic breakdown. The government's share of the economy had climbed to 53% in 1992, from 28% in 1960. Deficits had tripled as a percentage of gross domestic product over the prior two decades. Government debt was nearly 70% of GDP and growing rapidly. Interest payments on the debt took up 35 cents of every tax dollar.

Mr. Chretien and his finance minister, Paul Martin, took decisive action. "Canadians have told us that they want the deficit brought down by reducing government spending, not by raising taxes, and we agree," Mr. Martin said. The new administration slashed spending. Unemployment benefits were cut by nearly 40%. The ratio of spending cuts to tax increases was nearly 7-to-1. Federal employment was reduced by 14%. Canada's national railway and air-traffic-control system were privatized.

The economy rebounded. Between 1995 and 1998, a $36.6 billion deficit turned into a $3 billion surplus. Canada's debt-to-GDP ratio was cut in half in a decade. Canada now has faster economic growth than America (3.3% in 2010, compared to 2.9% in the U.S.), a lower jobless rate (7.2% in June, when the U.S. rate was 9.2%), a deficit-to-GDP ratio that's a quarter of ours, and a stronger dollar.

What's most remarkable about the Canadian turnaround: It was led by liberals. Mr. Chretien and Mr. Martin were leaders of the Liberal Party. Yet they responded to the clear wishes of Canadians and, to the surprise of the political class, shifted to the right. Or to the center, the two leaders would say.

Today the United States is in a situation almost identical to Canada's in the 1990s. Government spending is surging, a huge deficit and national debt are setting peacetime records, interest payments are soaring, the economy is stagnant, and unemployment is stuck at around 9%. Yet one thing is missing: Liberals in America refuse to lead.

Led by President Obama, liberals have held back, leaving conservatives to lead and then stymieing conservative proposals because they rely on spending cuts. Liberals have sought to protect domestic programs, including entitlements, from even small cuts.

It's increased spending that is largely responsible for deficits exceeding $1 trillion for three consecutive years and thus for the rise in the national debt's percentage of GDP from 40% in 2008 to 62% in 2011 and toward an estimated 72% next year. The public, in the 2010 election and in poll after poll, is insisting on spending cuts.

But the president has declined to present a specific plan of his own. The 2012 budget he sent to Congress in February is inoperative. His tack now is to comment on the debt-reduction plans of others. Just this week, the White House said Mr. Obama would veto the "cut, cap and balance" proposal approved by the House and attached to the $2.4 trillion hike in the debt limit the president has asked for.

Earlier, the president attacked the Republican budget passed by the House. And in five days of negotiations with congressional leaders last week, he backed away from some of the spending reductions that had been agreed to in talks led by Vice President Biden. Mr. Obama had already taken major spending programs, like his health-care program, the $53 billion rapid rail project, and funding for "green jobs," off the table.

As the Aug. 2 deadline for a debt-limit increase nears, Mr. Obama has combined a very public role with an absence of upfront leadership. He's had three press conferences in the past month without offering clear guidance. But since he has no plan, he's less of a target for criticism, and he has tried to limit his accountability.

At his session with reporters last week he minimized the severity of the debt problem. "Here's the good news," he said. "It turns out we don't have to do anything radical to solve this problem. Contrary to what some folks say, we're not Greece. We're not Portugal."

The fiscal trouble was caused over the past decade, Mr. Obama explained, by the Bush tax cuts, "a prescription drug program for seniors that was not paid for," the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and "a bad recession that required a Recovery Act and stimulus spending and helping states . . . and there's interest on top of that." In other words, it wasn't Mr. Obama's fault.

What the president left out were the biggest drivers of spending and debt—entitlements. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects Medicare, Medicaid and other health-care spending to jump to 9.5% of GDP over the next two decades from 5.6% in 2011. The CBO says Medicare will run out of money in 2020.

Like Mr. Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi downplays the fiscal difficulty and recommends against offering a plan. "Once you put another proposal on the table, you're conceding that there must be some big problem," she said in April.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is also a minimizer. He said this spring that changes in Social Security shouldn't be considered until the program fails. "Two decades from now, I'm willing to take a look at it," Mr. Reid said.

As America struggles over spending and debt, Canadians watch with wonderment. A new book, "The Canadian Century: Moving Out of America's Shadow," points to a role reversal—a strong Canada and a weak America.

In the foreword, former Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Allan Gottleib writes: "If we want to see what would have become of Canada had we not lived through the difficult changes, we need look no further than Washington, D.C., where unreformed entitlements and undisciplined borrowing are hobbling America's power to be a world leader."
4683  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Agriculture, Food Chain and Food Politics: Food Police! on: July 25, 2011, 02:24:39 PM
When right and left can agree...  This is an internet radio interview, 2 conservative hosts (Hinderacker of Powerline is one) with MSNBC political analyst Michelle Bernard about new interagency working group rules about marketing food to children.  Violating substances she alleges include oatmeal and whole wheat bread, cheerios, milk, peanut butter, what?!  Go to the 24:30 minute mark of the show for the part on food rules.  (First half is about the budget.)
4684  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Budget process, Is the Debt ceiling raise in time or in money? on: July 25, 2011, 01:21:44 PM
It is cognitive dissonance to talk about debt ceiling increases in time periods instead of dollar increments as if the rate of deficit spending was fixed beyond our control.  Would a credit card company or business bank loan bump you up by thousands from being maxed out and call it a 6 month increase? No. You would argue and they would need to believe you that the amount they are willing to do will be enough for you to get your act together, get through this temporary period of revenue shortfall, that you will make necessary changes on spending, and soon be breaking even and starting to paying back - or you wouldn't get the loan.

Republicans should bump up the debt ceiling only by the amount the US government should need this remaining cycle, not by the amount they say they need.  Let's say it's a trillion, then make it last a year and half instead of a year.  The government would have existing revenues of 2.5 trillion/yr plus another trillion in new borrowing to operate.  Make do.  The legislation should call for corresponding economic growth policies and public spending curtailments required to make it work.

A larger economy with increasing assets and income can support greater debt; that is not the case now as wealth is decreasing.  Congress has raised the debt ceiling 89 times since 1939, 18 times for Reagan and 19 times for Bush it is argued.  What's the big deal this time? (Because he is black? No. Because we 43% unfunded and not even pretending to end the ponzi-scheme.) With Reagan the congress was Democrat and the domestic spending was the Dem agenda.  Of course they passed increases.  With Bush, it started with reasons/excuses: there was the recession he inherited and the economic crisis in the aftermath of the 9/11.  But then compassionate non-conservative spending escalated.  It should have been stopped and it wasn't.  That congress was punished and that President lost his credibility and power.  Still Bush's ending deficit was 1/10th of Obama's typical one, roughly 160 billion to 1.6 trillion.  

When this house, senate and administration runs through another trillion without changing course, they deserve to face this argument again - before an angry electorate.  If the cuts are promised and do not materialize, if growth is promised and does not materialize, then the hard issues for the next election will be front and center.

44% growth in revenues over a relatively short period is very possible, we did it between 2003 and 2007.  Next time we need to do it without the spending increases.  That will take a change of political will and a change of government.
4685  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics - Obamacare vs Job Growth on: July 24, 2011, 12:24:14 PM
I wonder if there is any way to show graphically what affect big government programs like Obamacare, with increased taxes, increased spending, increased regulations and increased government takeover of private decisions has on employment...  The break on the curve is the passage of Obamacare and the difference in the rate of job growth is ten-fold!  I guess one could argue that there were other damaging policies and uncertainties coming out of Washington in that same time period.
4686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Budget Myths, Sen. Jeff Sessions on: July 24, 2011, 12:06:36 PM
First a followup on the MN shutdown over draconian cuts and refusal to expand the punishment of wealth, (same issues as at the national level):  The Republican offer that the Dem Governor finally agreed to, breaking the deadlock, includes a 10% actual increase in spending.   As you follow all these arguments at all levels, remember that words no longer have real meanings.

"A $2 trillion cut is only about a four percent reduction in spending that is set to increase almost sixty percent."

Budget Myths:

Ranking Budget Committee Republican Jeff Sessions has been our most consistent and reliable voice on this issue. [Thursday] he gave a speech on the Senate floor that exposed some of the myths that are circulating in the budget debate:

    First, I would like to address the myth that the president has a $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan. The only plan the White House has ever put on paper is his February budget, which doubles our national debt.

    The president has never put a single spending cut plan on paper and he has no proposal to slash the deficit. If he does, it’s a closely guarded secret. And if such a secret plan does exist it should be made public this very afternoon. I’d like to see it. I’m sure millions of Americans feel the same.

    We also have no debt plan from Senate Democrats. In fact, they haven’t even passed a budget in 813 days.

    As of now, there is only one debt limit plan on paper. Only one plan available for public scrutiny and review. That’s the plan we are debating today: cut, cap, and balance. It cuts spending immediately, it caps it so it doesn’t go up, and it requires the passage of a balanced budget amendment to ensure Washington ends the deficit spending once and for all. The American people do not trust Washington to pass some grand budget deal with tax hikes that never go away and spending cuts that never materialize. …

    Another myth I’d like to address is the idea that our current budget crisis is the result of two wars and a tax cut. Let’s consider that claim. The total cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, over the entire last decade, is $1.3 trillion. Again, that’s over the last decade. This year alone the deficit is expected to be $1.4 trillion dollars. War costs represent only 4 percent of total outlays over the last ten years. The total amount of money spent since the president took office is $8.5 trillion dollars. By the end of his first three years in office we will have added $5 trillion to our gross federal debt. We are borrowing almost half of what we’re spending every single day. In the last two years, non-defense discretionary spending has soared 24 percent. The stimulus package alone—enacted into law in a single day in 2009—cost more than the entire war in Iraq. Annual spending when President Bush took office was less than $2 trillion. Today, it’s almost $4 trillion. It will be almost $6 trillion by the end of the decade.

    There is only one honest answer to the question over why our debt is rising so fast: out-of-control domestic spending.

    Another myth that’s circulating which I’d like to address concerns the budget summary from the Gang of Six. The authors of the summary claim that their approach would reduce the deficit by $3.7 trillion. But my staff on the Budget Committee can only find $1.2 trillion in reduced spending, along with a tax increase of $1 trillion. Where does the other $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction come from? Chairman Conrad, one of the members of the Gang of Six, even says the outline has a $1.5 trillion tax cut. But this is compared against a baseline that assumes a $3.5 trillion tax increase. It’s just an accounting gimmick. The real cost of the tax changes could be an increase as large as $2 trillion.

    This is why we need more than a handout—we need legislative text.

    The last myth that I’d like to address is perhaps the most important of all. This is the myth that we only need about $2 trillion in spending cuts over the next ten years.

    Democrats have said—although no plan has ever been made public—that they could get behind a budget deal that reduces the deficit $4 trillion over the next ten years, half of it comprised of spending cuts. I’m skeptical that even this minimal level of spending cuts would occur. But even if it did, it’s not even close to what is needed to ultimately balance our budget. We are projected to spend $46 trillion over the next ten years. A $2 trillion cut is only about a four percent reduction in spending that is set to increase almost sixty percent.
4687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: Growth Economics continued, Prof. Taylor from Stanford on: July 24, 2011, 11:37:55 AM
Taylor is one economist who Gov. Pawlenty named for backing his 5% aspirational economic growth goal.  This piece is about policies and results, not candidates or parties.

The End of the Growth Consensus
America added 44 million jobs in the 1980s and '90s, when both parties showed they had learned from past mistakes. The lessons have been forgotten.

This month marks the two-year anniversary of the official start of the recovery from the 2007-09 recession. But it's a recovery in name only: Real gross domestic product growth has averaged only 2.8% per year compared with 7.1% after the most recent deep recession in 1981-82. The growth slowdown this year—to about 1.5% in the second quarter—is not only disappointing, it's a reminder that the recovery has been stalled from the start. As shown in the nearby chart, the percentage of the working-age population that is actually working has declined since the start of the recovery in sharp contrast to 1983-84. With unemployment still over 9%, there is an urgent need to change course.

Some blame the weak recovery on special factors such as high personal saving rates as households repair their balance sheets. But people are consuming a larger fraction of their income now than they were in the 1983-84 recovery: The personal savings rate is 5.6% now compared with 9.4% then. Others blame certain sectors such as weak housing. But the weak housing sector is much less of a negative factor today than declining net exports were in the 1983-84 recovery, and the problem isn't confined to any particular sector. The broad categories of investment and consumption are both contributing less to growth. Real GDP growth is 60%-70% less than in the early-'80s recovery, as is growth in consumption and investment.

In my view, the best way to understand the problems confronting the American economy is to go back to the basic principles upon which the country was founded—economic freedom and political freedom. With lessons learned from the century's tougher decades, including the Great Depression of the '30s and the Great Inflation of the '70s, America entered a period of unprecedented economic stability and growth in the '80s and '90s. Not only was job growth amazingly strong—44 million jobs were created during those expansions—it was a more stable and sustained growth period than ever before in American history.

Economic policy in the '80s and '90s was decidedly noninterventionist, especially in comparison with the damaging wage and price controls of the '70s. Attention was paid to the principles of economic and political liberty: limited government, incentives, private markets, and a predictable rule of law. Monetary policy focused on price stability. Tax reform led to lower marginal tax rates. Regulatory reform encouraged competition and innovation. Welfare reform devolved decisions to the states. And with strong economic growth and spending restraint, the federal budget moved into balance.

As the 21st century began, many hoped that applying these same limited-government and market-based policy principles to Social Security, education and health care would create greater opportunities and better lives for all Americans.

But policy veered in a different direction. Public officials from both parties apparently found the limited government approach to be a disadvantage, some simply because they wanted to do more—whether to tame the business cycle, increase homeownership, or provide the elderly with better drug coverage.

And so policy swung back in a more interventionist direction, with the federal government assuming greater powers. The result was not the intended improvement, but rather an epidemic of unintended consequences—a financial crisis, a great recession, ballooning debt and today's nonexistent recovery.

The change in policy direction did not occur overnight. We saw increased federal intervention in the housing market beginning in the late 1990s. We saw the removal of Federal Reserve reporting and accountability requirements for money growth from the Federal Reserve Act in 2000. We saw the return of discretionary countercyclical fiscal policy in the form of tax rebate checks in 2001. We saw monetary policy moving in a more activist direction with extraordinarily low interest rates for the economic conditions in 2003-05. And, of course, interventionism reached a new peak with the massive government bailouts of Detroit and Wall Street in 2008.

Since 2009, Washington has doubled down on its interventionist policy. The Fed has engaged in a super-loose monetary policy—including two rounds of quantitative easing, QE1 in 2009 and QE2 in 2010-11. These large-scale purchases of mortgages and Treasury debt did not bring recovery but instead created uncertainty about their impact on inflation, the dollar and the economy. On the fiscal side, we've also seen extraordinary interventions—from the large poorly-designed 2009 stimulus package to a slew of targeted programs including "cash for clunkers" and tax credits for first-time home buyers. Again, these interventions did not lead to recovery but instead created uncertainty about the impact of high deficits and an exploding national debt.

Big government has proved to be a clumsy manager, and it did not stop with monetary and fiscal policy. Since President Obama took office, we've added on complex regulatory interventions in health care (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) and finance (the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act). The unintended consequences of these laws are already raising health-care costs and deterring new investment and risk-taking.

If these government interventions are the economic problem, then the solution is to unwind them. Some lament that with the high debt and bloated Fed balance sheet, we have run out of monetary and fiscal ammunition, but this may be a blessing in disguise. The way forward is not more spending, greater debt and continued zero-interest rates, but spending control and a return to free-market principles.

Unfortunately, as the recent debate over the debt limit indicates, narrow political partisanship can get in the way of a solution. The historical evidence on what works and what doesn't is not partisan. The harmful interventionist policies of the 1970s were supported by Democrats and Republicans alike. So were the less interventionist polices in the 1980s and '90s. So was the recent interventionist revival, and so can be the restoration of less interventionist policy going forward.

Mr. Taylor, a professor of economics at Stanford and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, is the author of "Getting Off Track: How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged and Worsened the Financial Crisis" (Hoover Press, 2009).
4688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics - Growth: The Only Way Out of This Mess on: July 24, 2011, 11:29:22 AM
A lengthy, wide-ranging, worthwhile (IMO) piece on pro-growth economics with global and historical perspective in Commentary Magazine:
4689  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Crime and Punishment: Norway 'suspect' on: July 24, 2011, 11:04:10 AM
Sad to see that by creating carnage this sick jerk gets his views publicized. 

Opinion polls have showed that only about 1 in 4 Norwegians supported the death penalty prior to this incident.  The last execution in peacetime was carried out in 1876.

Makes sense (?), in no situation should killing be the answer...

People hate the abortion analogy but that's where the legal killings are.  There is widespread acceptance of killing 14,000 unborn Norwegians per year in the public 'health' system.  In these 14k/yr situations, killing is the answer.  (But not for an unprecedented mass murderer?)

Doing without the unwanted is good for the resources of the earth (?) (citation needed)

But for the most heinous of the heinous, a capital ending is immoral?  We (as a society) will house and feed and give him humane treatment, free health care, keep him comfortable and with full legal protections for life, while publicizing his filthy manifestos. 

I'm not Norwegian but the issues are the same everywhere.  Mark me down as disagreeing.  Protect the innocent, punish the guilty and provide a certain,  lethal ending for those who commit the very most heinous of crimes against society.  His prosecution is based on only the evidence and facts of the killings.  His other views are of no public interest IMO unless it is part of a larger movement that needs to be stopped.  There is no logical link between opposing the Muslim migration and killing innocent Norwegian children and citizens.
4690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 23, 2011, 02:48:59 PM
GM,  Thank you for the helpful translation.  smiley

I took this: "[illegitimate] by almost any standard" to mean totally illegitimate, except if judged in the context of their silly fascination with survival.

Once again, if others would end their pledge to annihilate them, maybe we talk to Israeli about lightening up on these survival strategies that annoy everyone.
4691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics, re. who owns America's debt? on: July 23, 2011, 02:41:04 PM
Very enlightening.  I recall seeing before that China 'only' owns a trillion or so out of $14T, when you so often hear it implied that they own nearly all of it.  The rest of the story is: who will buy the next $10 trillion or so coming down the pike, and at what cost?

They largest holder by far (19%) is the social security 'lockbox', which is a figment of our imagination, we owe ourselves that money?  Isn't SS now at about a breakeven so that removes them from 'helping' with our debt going forward.

The idea of default on these borrowings reminds me of when people suggested dismantling the evil capitalist BP, only to find out the largest shareholder is the British pension system.

We already 'default' on our total debt roughly 2-3% on a good year compounded continuously with the never-ending inflation and devaluation of our currency.  That alone wipes the slate nearly clean of dollar based debt in only a little over a couple of decades - if we would only stop borrowing more now.
4692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: July 23, 2011, 02:18:33 PM
It is strange the only explanation that could make sense to us is an Islamic extreme religious motive, ... of course it's a perversion of any former sense of our logic that that would make any sense either. 
4693  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: July 23, 2011, 02:10:37 PM
Thanks Bigdog.  I hold Thomas up there as a principled American hero.  The story of his upbringing is quite remarkable.;contentBody
4694  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self-Defense Law - Norway shooting on: July 23, 2011, 08:04:56 AM
Still not clear where to discuss the human disaster in Norway.  The one common thread with these pretend tough guy cowards is that the like to shoot in places wherethe other people are likely to be unarmed.
4695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / re. European matters- Failure in Greece on: July 21, 2011, 10:26:30 PM
Unfortunately, democracy alone does not ensure freedom.
4696  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / budget process: WSJ - The St. Paul Solution on: July 21, 2011, 06:40:28 PM
Crafty has often pointed out the problems and deceptions caused by 'baseline budgeting'.  In St. Paul they have admitted that the baseline is far greater than simply adding in population growth and inflation adjustment.  In fact the $5 billion 'shortfall' was merely the invention of highly paid big government biased forecasters who should be prosecuted.  There were no actual cuts or spending hikes required, but the anger and fireworks and shutdown over nothing went on until today.  In the spirit of let no crisis go to waste, Gov. Mark Dayton wanted to raise the highest marginal rate by a factor of 62.5% - over nothing.  Oblivious to the fact that we border a state with no income tax that runs ads here constantly enticing businesses to re-locate, where the Governor's own trust fund is located.

20 days without government, I noticed the bathrooms had to be closed at the wayside rests (do those janitors get back pay for work that didn't happen?) and traffic was a little lighter with the state's largest employer idle.

The St. Paul Solution
Republicans in Congress might learn a political lesson from the budget agreement in Minnesota.


The longest government shutdown in any state in at least a decade appears to have ended, as Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota has agreed to key budget demands by the Republican-controlled legislature. Republicans in Congress might learn a political lesson from what happened.

On Thursday Mr. Dayton took new taxes off the table and in the end agreed to a spending ceiling very close to the original GOP target. Republicans made concessions, too, but there can be no mistake that in this two-week long St. Paul stare down it was Mr. Dayton who blinked.

From the start, the newly elected governor wanted giant tax increases. Under his proposal, the top income tax rate would have risen to almost 11% (initially, he proposed 13%) from the current top rate of just below 8%. Republicans didn't cave to the class warfare, even as the press carped at how unreasonable they were being. But Minnesota voters seemed to understand that the state would only make its economic troubles worse by increasing costs to employers.

Republicans also set spending at $34 billion for two years, compared to the $37 billion that the Democrats sought. But after two weeks that saw everything from the parks to most government agencies to pubs shut down (no business permits), Mr. Dayton agreed to GOP demands with "serious reservations."

Republicans did agree to new revenues through bonding tobacco settlement money and shifting education payments -- an accounting trick to create the fiction of savings... Republicans remained committed to the principles that won them legislative majorities in November for the first time in more than two decades. Let's hope lawmakers in Washington were watching.
4697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Liberal fascism, progressivism: Millionsand Millions of Green Jobs on: July 21, 2011, 06:23:28 PM
Pathological Economics:
(Why do they say they have been in "business' three years when they hnave been government supported for 3 years?)

Electric Car Maker Folds, Salinas Loses $500,000
[EMAIL: Electric Car Maker Folds, Salinas Loses $500,000] Email [PRINT: Electric Car Maker Folds, Salinas Loses $500,000]
A Salinas car manufacturing company that was expected to build environmentally friendly electric cars and create new jobs folded before almost any vehicles could run off the assembly line.

The city of Salinas had invested more than half a million dollars in Green Vehicles, an electric car start-up company.

All of that money is now gone, according to Green Vehicles President and Co-Founder Mike Ryan.

PHOTOS: Green Vehicles Flops In Salinas

The start-up company set up shop in Salinas in the summer of 2009, after the city gave Ryan a $300,000 community development grant.

When the company still ran into financial trouble last year, the city of Salinas handed Ryan an additional $240,000. Green Vehicles also received $187,000 from the California Energy Commission.

Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue said he was "surprised and disappointed" by the news. City officials were equally irked that Ryan notified them through an email that his company had crashed and burned.

Salinas Economic Development Director Jeff Weir said Green Vehicles flopped because of a lack of investors.

Donohue said he will work with the state to try to get at least $240,000 back from the now-defunct company.

Mike Ryan
Green Vehicles President and Co-Founder Mike Ryan

Last year, Salinas city officials said they were excited about Green Vehicles moving from San Jose to Salinas because they wanted to turn Salinas into a hub for alternative energy production.

City leaders wooed Green Vehicles to jump-start the sputtering local company and turn Salinas into an "electric valley." Donohue and Weir both voiced their high hopes for Green Vehicles.

The start-up company promised city leaders that it would create 70 new jobs and pay $700,000 in taxes a year to Salinas.

Green Vehicles was supposed to be up and running by March 2010 inside their 80,000-square-foot space at Firestone Business Park off of Abbot Street.

Ryan had lofty goals, listing his company's mission as: "To make the best clean commuter vehicles in the world; To manufacture with a radical sense of responsibility; To engage in deep transparency as an inspiration for new ways of doing business."

Green Vehicles designed two vehicles, the TRIAC 2.0 and the MOOSE, which it planned to manufacture.

On July 12, Ryan wrote a blog post announcing that his company was closing.

"The truth is that not realizing the vision for this company is a huge disappointment," Ryan wrote.

Ryan outlined three mistakes he made while steering his company into a brick wall. All three reasons boiled down failing to generate enough capital.

Click the video below to watch Ryan being interviewed last year.

4698  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: July 21, 2011, 06:15:18 PM
Caption: 'Hillary Learns that Statute of Limitations has Elapsed on her Commodity Trades'.

One would guess from the relaxed look on the picture that she is not running.  It should be safe now for sane Democrats to start an Anyone-but-Obama 2012 search.
4699  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: America's Inner City on: July 21, 2011, 03:47:13 PM
JDN, Bicycles are great.  You are governed by liberals, lol.  It reminds me of hate crime laws banning violence against gays.  Strangely I would want equal protection if I were a hetero-unicylist, but that's just me.  Regarding the motorcycle, on the roads I prefer my Honda 200 to a bicycle because I think it is safer to keep up with the flow.  My latest bicycle is electric assist for improved range and velocity ( should be an aging 'warrier' post).  Fed laws say the locals have to accept these on the bike trails up to 20 mph.  We'll see how that goes.

For both pedestrians and bicyclists, we have these aggressive crosswalk laws here, maybe everywhere.  It gives the vulnerable a false sense of security that they can step out and a car has to stop.  A car though does not have to stop, the driver could be texting or the brakes could fail.  Reminds me of sailboats having the right of way over power boats.  Funny for one thing because we often go faster than powerboats.  Over time you learn that you only have right of way if someone who sees you yields it to you.
4700  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: July 20, 2011, 12:52:49 PM
The Prager piece is a nice synopsis of the problem.  We have some more left leaning people on the board.  Would anyone argue that these things are not happening or that it really isn't that bad??

For a whole cross-section of America, government has become the provider, but government is only the vehicle.  We are mandating/coercing other people to be the provider including the next generation.  It is common for conservatives complain on behalf of the people carrying the extra burden, but it misses the central point here.  The programs, by and large, damage the recipients even worse.
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