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4651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process on: April 25, 2012, 05:02:49 PM
CCP,  I don't know the numbers but one problem with solvency is that we already took 2 points off the pay in amount - temporarily.  The other problem is that the funds are all co-mingled with the way out of balance other funds.  

Dems propose ending the income cap, taxing it all the up, and tax the payout or cap or end the payout to 'wealthy' recipients, ending the insurance 'I' in FICA and converting it into just one more tax and spend welfare program.

Taxing it all the way up opens it up to lowering the rates.  Means testing the payouts ends the sacred but phony that is my money mentality that protected the program all these decades.   It becomes just another run of the mill general welfare program subject up to normal budget negotiations like everything else.

For how long were people going to believe there was a lockbox?

Social security on its current path is not the third rail of politics that it was 10 or 20 years ago IMHO.  The reformers keep saying no one over 55 will be affected.  Everyone else is currently on the pay in side of the ledger.
4652  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process on: April 25, 2012, 04:11:07 PM
Yes, I agree with both of you.  The FDR starting tax rate of 1% each on the employer and the employee on the first $3,000 of earnings, never to surpass a $90 total contribution per employee per year was enough to pay out small amounts to people who retire and live beyond life expectancy.

I don't know why anyone tampered with it.
4653  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: April 25, 2012, 12:10:54 PM
CCP,  I was going to post this video and see you already posted it.  Jon Lovitz formerly of SNL.

Is this a bit??  People are laughing at his lines but the attack sure sounds sincere and true.  He is a Democrat who voted for Obama ripping Obama.  Full of profanity and passion!

What's wrong with making money, making a success of yourself, earning it.  Isn't that what we wanted you to do?

'This is the United States of America, they tell you you can do anything you want - so go for it.  You go for it and you make it and they're like Fuck You. (hahahahaha from the audience)  What the fuck was that, you just said go for it..."

Another link at 'The Blaze':  http://www.theblaze.com/stories/f-a-former-snl-star-slams-obama-over-taxes/
4654  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care - The JDN Plan on: April 25, 2012, 10:49:30 AM
JDN:  "I like the idea of a base medical plan with the right to a deluxe private insurance plan supplementing the base plan....no one should go without a basic Health Care plan.

Crafty:  "A sound offering from JDN!"


It could be a tax on the base of income like SS, and a tax credit for buying the base policy, not a new power, private purchase mandate.  Regressive, but so is Obamacare.

What is interesting is that IF the JDN plan was what the Pelosi-Reid-Obama conspiracy had done in the first place, then the argument they were making to the Supreme Court would be true.  Force the able bodied to pay their own way, one way or another, for the unexpected emergency services they will most certainly consume.  Instead they went for the cradle to grave, social engineering, one size fits all, like it or not route, making the people who don't want to pay the 1/6th of what they consume pay the whole thing that the others consume for healthcare.


I made a trip to the emergency room recently, an interesting experience, my first time in since losing a pedestrian vs. car fight as a kid.  

I went into an inner city ER and it was packed with people waiting and I walked out.  Drove way out past my home to an exurban hospital and found the place empty with a ready and waiting entry clerk.  In screaming pain she had me sit to answer a few questions - quite a few questions - and sign a few forms.  

It seems to me, two things:  1) The poor already get free, taxpayer paid health care with or without Obamacare, and 2) if I was not poor but not insured they could have me sign one more form, essentially a patient loan acceptance like a student loan or home mortgage that would ever be forgiven, not even in bankruptcy, until paid.  If you are financially able, you are financially responsible.  (Imagine that.)  Then if young people know these debts will stay with them the rest of their lives, some might choose to buy an affordable, emergency care policy.  

You should not have to (by federal law) buy coverage for afflictions that do not apply to you, elective surgeries, routine care that could be fee for service, gender changes and the like, even for heroically expensive efforts to save your life against thin odds like transplants etc.  Those could be based on 'choice' or based in the tax system if we so choose.  Those rich enough or sufficient in financial responsibility could pledge assets up to the minimum so that doing business with the evil private insurance company is not a universal citizen mandate.  You could work, earn, save your way out of it.

JDN bucks the liberal mantra (for just a moment) that whatever the most exotic, expensive medical procedure that any rich person is allowed to buy for themselves must then be extended to all.  Two Americas?
4655  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs: Social Security on: April 25, 2012, 09:24:59 AM
A few SS posts on the health care thread because Obamacare advocates argue the similarity.  Question was posed, Why is it NOT optional?

JDN's answer is pretty good: the government doesn't want people to be on the dole any more than they are because they opted out of Social Security, but didn't save their money, and/or lost it in the stock market and therefore at age 65 have absolutely zero. 


More simply, it would not exist if it was optional.


What we call Social Security has two different meanings. What the voters were sold or think of it as is a long term contract with the government where we pay in as we work and take payments back when we retire.  They hold it in that lockbox for safekeeping and compounding on our behalf.  Of course none of that is true and if it were true it would NOT be constitutional.  The congress of 1935 like the congress of 2013 has no power to bind future congresses - in my reading of consent of the governed.

More accurately, social security is a single time-frame, tax and spend program with the formulas changed at will by congress.  If you earn income you pay into the federal government according to the formula of the current tax, like an income tax - okay it IS an income tax.  If you are eligible/ 'entitled' you receive a check in the amount according to the program formula, like a spending program - okay, it IS a government spending program completely separate from the tax.  No lockbox, no compounding, no balancing.

There is nothing constitutionally controversial about the taxing income, it was specifically authorized in an amendment.  And there is nothing controversial about spending money, we do $4trillion of that a year.  And there is no long term contract.


If you make the program optional, the recipients opt in and the payers opt out.

If you make the program optional, it is commerce - a private, consensual, financial contract.  We have entire industries already doing that. 

If the contract was consensual you would not need the confiscatory, prosecutorial or threat of incarceration powers of the federal government to administer it. 

As a people, we prefer it forced on us.
4656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: April 25, 2012, 08:50:44 AM
Newt gave Romney the gift that will take him through the general election, the label "Massachusetts Moderate", while Obama was watching the Republican primary circus foaming at the mouth to call whoever came out of it a right wing zealot.  Now what, they will call him incompetent?  Like Jimmy Carter calling ANYONE incompetent.  Or argue their own policies are working, we are on a glide-path, lol.

4657  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: April 24, 2012, 11:22:45 PM
Post-mortem on the Gingrich candidacy - I hate to say this but the first indicator that he had not learned self-discipline while out of power was that he showed up for the race looking out of shape.

They said of the last overweight President 100 years ago: “Taft is the most polite man in Washington,”  “He gave up his seat on a streetcar to three women.” 

Hey GM,  Crafty's donations helped give Newt the confidence to borrow the other 4.5 million.  If Newt had turned out to be the real deal, we wanted him to win.  For me, same for Rick Perry.  I was hoping to see in him exactly what the country was needing.  That didn't go very well either.

Running for President and being in the spotlight over a sustained period is hard.  Forget about being likable or connecting with voters, we are only asking Mitt Romney to still look competent on Nov. 6, and then govern that way.
4658  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness: Cuomo on: April 24, 2012, 10:57:32 PM
"Andrew Cuomo is next in line I think."  - CCP

Very interesting. It's not my job to help them, but if true they should put him at second chair right now.

I remember that in 1984 Mario Cuomo was the Barack Obama of his day with his gift of oratory on display in the keynote Dem convention address that would send Walter Mondale to the White House and end the Reagan debacle.  He was the moment and then somehow he fizzled out.  So did Mondale - one day later.

Youtube is amazing.  Who knew they were there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOdIqKsv624  8 minutes of history, watch this!

Reagan went on to win 49 states, lol.  The whole soup-line-America message was way off track.  We were growing at an unprecedented rate at that time and he was clueless to it.  The economic doldrums then really were from his predecessor.  The ridiculed shining city on a hill became more true than ever imagined as the Soviet republics and East bloc all reached to copy our freedoms.   No one in America who wanted in to the prodiuctive economy was left behind.  It wasn't trickle down, it was all around.  Just a bunch of BS.  Really Cuomo was one or two years too late to say that Reaganomics would not work.  By 1984, it already had.

As I listen again, any chance John Edwards stole the failed message of 'The Tale of Two Cities'?
4659  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care, social security on: April 24, 2012, 10:33:39 PM
Keeping this in healthcare because the proponents of Obamacare argue it has parallels to social security.

The facts about congress paying in or not are interesting but the question POSED TO JDN remains, why isn't social security optional?

The answer is quite simple...
4660  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self-Defense Law - Zimmerman on: April 24, 2012, 12:25:54 PM
Interesting points from a Thomas Sowell race post requested to be copied here:
------------
"The last line in most of the transcripts shown on TV was that of the police dispatcher telling Zimmerman not to continue following Trayvon Martin.

That became the basis of many media criticisms of Zimmerman for continuing to follow him. Only later did I see a transcript of that conversation on the Sean Hannity program that included Zimmerman's reply to the police dispatcher: "O.K."

That reply removed the only basis for assuming that Zimmerman did in fact continue to follow Trayvon Martin. At this point, neither I nor the people who assumed that he continued to follow the teenager have any basis in fact for believing that he did or didn't.

Why was that reply edited out by so many in the media? Because too many people in the media see their role as filtering and slanting the news to fit their own vision of the world. "
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/04/24/who_is_racist_113933.html
-------------
Also this:

"the repeated references to Zimmerman as a "white Hispanic." Zimmerman is half-white. So is Barack Obama. But does anyone refer to Obama as a "white African"?

All these verbal games grow out of the notion that complexion tells you who is to be blamed and who is not. It is a dangerous game because race is no game."
4661  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors - Moral equivalency? on: April 24, 2012, 11:23:02 AM
Looks like GM already got this story posted a week ahead of The Weekly Standard. (A year ahead of the LA Times?)  Still worth another look:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/palestinian-sentenced-death-selling-home-jews_640592.html

Palestinian Sentenced to Death for Selling a Home to Jews

“According to various news agencies, Mr. Muhammad Abu Shahala, a former intelligence agent for the Palestinian Authority, has been sentenced to death, following a hurried trial. His crime: selling property to Jews in Hebron,”
--------------
I'm sure the Obama EEOC is outraged.  I can't seem to find our beer guzzling Sec of State's speech denouncing this. 
4662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: April 24, 2012, 11:08:29 AM
"Imagine Obama winning and the Dems getting back the House.  Now that's exciting."

Yes.  Exciting.  Like a bungee jump into the canyon without a cord.

Actually Republicans will be taking the Senate so it would be more of the same in terms of divided government and deadlock.  

More of the same on a path to disaster is disaster.  Exciting.

I would consider a financial wager with you on this scenario you find possible, the likelihood of the American people sending Barack Obama a new term and a mandate to do more of the same.  Meaningless though I guess because neither of us would have in that circumstance the ability to pay.
4663  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness, Obama-Hillary? on: April 24, 2012, 10:59:28 AM
After serving in the Senate and Sec of State and having been the most recent runner up, she is no longer what she was, a woman who only got what where she did on the coattails of her husband - and that criticism never stopped her either.  Nor did the fact that she is a felon in the commodities case except for the expiration of the statute of limitations and was the center of the corruption in Arkansas for all those years where everyone except the Clintons went to prison for her business dealings.

She is as qualified as Condoleeza Rice and more, certainly enough to be VP.  Yes that would add change and excitement (for someone) to the ticket.  Joe Biden, though stupid, may know enough about the Chicago way to know that if that is what they want, he must step down.  There is an Ambassador job open somewhere or he could 'spend more time with family'.  OTOH, Biden is the least of Obama's problems right now.

And maybe Dems will remember why they turned her away last time.  Her speeches will be mostly vacuous in content as she will be stuck with defending Barack Obama's economic record.  Loose and relaxed (and prone to steal the show) may not be the level of discipline the masterminds of the reelection are looking for.  Her job in the reelection will be attack dog so the new relaxed look would turn ugly quickly.  After 4 years of failure she wouldn't be allowed to say a word about how she would have done things differently. 

She might be better positioned in 2016 if she can start distancing herself from the domestic side of this tragic chapter in our history.  Link back instead to the more center-left governing of the 90s, balanced budgets, etc. 

Too bad that with either Hillary or Biden that they are not grooming any new leaders with more traditional  Dem values for the future. 
4664  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race - Thomas Sowell on race and Zimmerman-Trayvon on: April 24, 2012, 10:20:21 AM
Thomas Sowell, black conservative, on a roll again about race and the Zimmerman Trayvon story. (Could also go under Media Issues) Two excerpts:

"the repeated references to Zimmerman as a "white Hispanic." Zimmerman is half-white. So is Barack Obama. But does anyone refer to Obama as a "white African"?

All these verbal games grow out of the notion that complexion tells you who is to be blamed and who is not. It is a dangerous game because race is no game."
....

"The last line in most of the transcripts shown on TV was that of the police dispatcher telling Zimmerman not to continue following Trayvon Martin.

That became the basis of many media criticisms of Zimmerman for continuing to follow him. Only later did I see a transcript of that conversation on the Sean Hannity program that included Zimmerman's reply to the police dispatcher: "O.K."

That reply removed the only basis for assuming that Zimmerman did in fact continue to follow Trayvon Martin. At this point, neither I nor the people who assumed that he continued to follow the teenager have any basis in fact for believing that he did or didn't.

Why was that reply edited out by so many in the media? Because too many people in the media see their role as filtering and slanting the news to fit their own vision of the world. "
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/04/24/who_is_racist_113933.html
4665  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc. on: April 24, 2012, 09:33:37 AM
This story if true is amazingly scary.  That Obama won by 7 points and the cheating if true was unnecessary is irrelevant to the crimes.  That John McCain said nothing is also irrelevant.   Nixon won 49 states in 1972 and did not need any of the wrongdoing either.

Each fraudulent vote is a felony (?) and if the corruption reaches the top, or wherever it reaches, it is treason IMO to systematically undermine our electoral system.

OTOH, hard to believe they are sitting on "proof" and don't come forward.
4666  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness - "You pay as you go" on: April 24, 2012, 09:19:19 AM
Re. GM post on Political Economics:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q63yE4dhiPU&feature=player_embedded

How do you go from getting elected by saying to the voters:

"You pay as you go.  If you want to start a new program, then you've gotta cut an old program that doesn't work" ...

to governing like he did...

to even running for reelection.

Why would anyone take him seriously?

(Republicans in name only spent way too much in the 2000s, but the deficit was $161 billion in the year that Pelosi-Reid-Obama-Biden-Clinton and a number of currently vulnerable Senators took power in Washington by sweeping both chambers of congress and it has averaged 1.3 Trillion during the Obama Presidency.) http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_deficit
4667  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: April 24, 2012, 08:49:27 AM
"...keep in mind that when the DOW was at 6500 GM and I were predicting 6000.   We have missed on that one by over 100%.   That is a rather big miss!!!"

Good points.  Also keep in mind that the DOW consists of 30 named companies who operate globally and can improve profitability by closing a store in your neighborhood, open one in Brazil and build it all in China.  The exchange Crafty and JDN had a couple of days ago over NASDAQ was telling.  Using the exuberance of it hitting an eleven year high is mathematically the same as saying that every dollar invested those entire 11 years returned a 0% return.  We added 30 million people and our technology sector grew by zero?  Did we make it all up in factory jobs?

While GM and Wesbury were arguing over the optimism in the US economy last year, Wesbury is now conceding that growth was 1.1%.  That is not lethargic, that is pathetic.  The DOW companies are up globally but in the US we are starting 600,000 fewer new companies a year than what is needed for vigorous growth (a statistic not shown in the DOW or S&P listings of existing companies) while budding entrepreneurs look at this business climate and new regulations coming and say: why bother.

Wesbury posts great data and analysis (no, let's not start snarking Scott who is more likely to read or post here) but Wesbury is read best here on the forum with the accompanying snark and criticisms for context and perspective.  

I judge economists by how well they are able to explain what has already happened, not for their fortune telling capabilities and Wesbury is very good.  PP ripped him the worst one time over housing data but that is a good reminder that all these economic measures have flaws.

Wesbury has put (IMO) some nice lipstick on a pig at times and I am regretful to say that GM in his pessimism has been at least partly right - 1.1% growth through most of last year??  For example, if we point out a 3% increase in housing starts for single family homes that needs to be in the context that they were recently almost at zero with the entire homebuilding industry shut down.  They are growing nowhere near fast enough to employ back hardly any of the former construction workers, electricians and plumbers that used to build those homes.  If the new starts are now apartments being constructed it means that many of the existing foreclosed or vacant homes will never come back.  There are banking, budget and housing value consequences that come with that.

In Detroit, formerly America's 5th largest city larger than Chicago now smaller than San Jose, I imagine there are more homes gone than remaining and a city in bankruptcy.  Other neighborhoods in other American inner cities have similar problems.  McDonalds and Coca Cola are selling well in China, that does not mask the fact that not one significant product is manufactured in the population centers of North Minneapolis, the Southside of Chicago or East LA.

In an election year I am not inclined to accept sugar coating over what is currently not getting fixed with our man made economic problems. We have growth but it is below breakeven levels and at least close to the worst case in our lifetime for not growing our way back out of the mess that we made.  One reason this badly managed economy doesn't fall off the cliff right now is because we are still sitting at the bottom of the cliff.  Just my two cents.
4668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: April 23, 2012, 09:32:40 PM
"GM, can you predict the next one?"    The "Walking Dead"?

I knew you could do it!  Now we wait for the next 1% growth quarterly report and check the Wesbury July outlook (pre-written below) and see if you got it right. 


'The Walking Dead' 
Growth in the Obama economy for the second quarter of 2012 was reported at 0.00% by the US Dept of stagflation, coincidentally the same as John Belushi's 7 year GPA in Animal House.  I am Brian Wesbury looking out for your investments.  We are nowhere near recession or double dip, much less a triple axel with an ACL tear on the landing.  The outlook we see is for nothing but more smooth sailing ahead.  Some encouraging news in housing starts which tripled last month from 0.1 to 0.3 starts.  See you next month with more good news.   wink
4669  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: April 23, 2012, 08:56:36 PM
"I guess I just keeping hoping"

If the incumbent is forced off the ticket after the primary season, the powers of the party will put Hillary on the ballot, or Joe Biden!

We need to get rid of this guy the old fashioned way, not the Chicago way.  By defeating his ideas.  At the ballot box.  By converting some voters.  Demotivating his base and energizing ours.  By chipping some votes off of key Dem constituencies, like cutting 20 points off of his advantage with young voters and winning over a few Latinos that don't want their grandchildren paying $30 trillion plus interest in debt.  We need to double our black vote from 3 to 6%,lol.  Win the key swing states, the electoral count, the House and the Senate with a specific and identifiable mandate.

What I meant with my prediction that President Obama will not be the nominee of his own party was that moderate, non-radical Dems would rise up, reach to the middle and offer an alternative.  Jim Webb, Evan Bayh, Kent Conrad, Byron Dorgan, a swing state governor like Colorado's hickelberry(sp?)!  I was wrong.  Forcing Hillary or Biden up the ticket with the same management team is not a change.

It is too late now.  We want the incumbent and his record on the ballot.  MHO.
4670  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: April 23, 2012, 08:32:17 PM
I love Wesbury but yes it seems to be coming down to a reach for new metaphors.  GM, can you predict the next one?  A 3-legged plowhorse pulling as hard as he can, or: blind squirrel finds an acorn?

"slowing down to just 1.2% annualized growth in the first three quarters of 2011"

Breakeven growth used to be called 3.1%.  Just 2 points below breakeven and 23 million out of full time work but luckily no recession.

"1983-84, when real GDP grew at a 6.6% annual rate for two years and the jobless rate fell 3.5 percentage points in only 21 months."

Yes, that is what real growth with pro-growth policies coming out of a deep recession looks like.  This isn't it.

3% growth peak in one quarter along with 1% last year makes about 2% on a 2 year average, rounding up.

"not a double-dip" ... "we are a long way from recession"

Depends on what the meaning of the word is is. A recession involves negative growth for at least 2 quarters while this is just moving backwards slowly beneath the rate of breakeven growth or stuck in neutral for 3-4 years or at least until we change course.   We are a long way from a recession?  About one external shock away.  More importantly, we are about 500 to 1000 years away from growing out of our current malaise and budget problems at our current rate of growth - best case.
----

"...this thread has recently joined the ever-growing list of threads on this forum with over 100,000 reads.  A pleasure working with you gentlemen."

And thank you for hosting.  When you hear that we changed one vote, we will celebrate!
4671  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: April 23, 2012, 03:08:34 PM
CCP,  Yes, prove fraud and he is out.  Short of that I don't see an endgame to the birth certificate forgery story.  I don't worship snopes but it sure looks like this has been looked at thoroughly.  The Dan Rather forgery in contrast was unraveling on the internet (Free Republic and Powerline) within minutes of the story and document release.  Nothing shifts the burden back to Obama short of one renowned expert demonstrating to everyone that the document presented is without a doubt a forgery. 

There is no reason to doubt Obama was born in this country.  His mom is from Kansas and Washington state and lived in Hawaii before his birth and Washington right after.  She was never photographed offshore in that time.  9 months pregnant is no time to travel from Hawaii to Kenya - check the map on that, 10844.3 miles and further with  flight connections.  Not something the grandparents would have sprung for, just to give birth.  There are no other borders close to Hawaii.  If it was to get away from family in Hawaii they would have stayed away.  There was no reason to visit 'family' in Kenya; Barack Sr's other wives lived there, and they didn't go there as a couple or a family before or after that.  The only other theory is that Barack Sr is not the father and Barack Jr. was born perhaps earlier.  At this point, so what.  Except that IF this is BS and coverup, it becomes a Nixon-like breach of public trust.

Until then, the birth certificate issue is the shiny object distracting attention away from the issues and the record.
4672  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: April 23, 2012, 01:45:55 PM
[Romney]  "Showing good instincts , , ,"

... and good discipline.  They have not let themselves get led down the wrong road very far on distractions. 

Strong America and a robust private economy versus big government, unemployment and a stagnant economy.  No shiny objects.  No lunar colonies, no matter their merit.  No leading with issues that divide your own base. 
4673  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of RINOs on: April 23, 2012, 12:45:23 PM
"Doug, I already posted that article elsewhere."

I wonder if I already criticized it elsewhere... )

Thanks (sincerely) for that clarification, that Campbell is a Republican.  I guess this is a case then of the cognitive dissonance of trying to appease the left.  If you see a RINO thread, I will move the post.  I take back the blame insinuated at the LA Times for publishing this view no matter how flawed.   If he is a 5 term congressman, his view is newsworthy in his local paper.

I should have known no real leftist would lower personal income tax rates under any circumstance.  I noticed that some of the rest of the piece made sense but I got stuck on his false premise. With all his impressive economic training (he studied under Milton Friedman) he does not support his premise.

Answer this back on the tax policy thread then: What is the evidence that raising capital gains tax rates will raise revenues to the Treasury (as opposed to just appeasing liberal California voters for personal reelection).  All evidence of our lifetime indicates the opposite.  See the video posted of Obama being asked about that in a 2008 debate.
4674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care - the constitutional question on: April 23, 2012, 12:36:49 PM
The commerce clause gave power for our government to be the referee, not the participant or architect of private sector commerce and innovation.  And it does not negate the other clauses or even the unenumerated rights.

Promote general welfare did not mean government do everything or make all private decisions.

"I share Doug's concerns about the implications for liberty and privacy."

Lots of government programs step on liberty and privacy.  I'm just saying that this is a huge, additional theft of liberty and privacy.  That, and the fact that 26 states oppose it and the Court chose to hear the case puts a very heavy burden on the proponents of the law to show where the federal government in this case derived its authority to do that.  The arguments made before the Court were made public, were quoted and linked in this thread, and I couldn't find in any of that a coherent case for that even a politically liberal leaning Justice could honestly cling to.

Unanswered: In a structure of enumerated powers, why (other than that you don't have the votes) wouldn't you pass a new amendment to authorize a new federal government power.
-----------

I would love to hear bigdog (and anyone else) summarize this historic, constitutional case as he would decide it - before the ruling comes out.  What are the strongest arguments in the favor of the losing side of this case and what are the paramount arguments that trump those arguments and make it necessary to upheld or strike down this law?

----------
In a short time we will know what 9 justices think.  I predict struck down 6-3.
4675  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left- LA Times lost on economic recovery on: April 23, 2012, 09:38:03 AM
"Why not raise taxes on capital gains but lower them on income?"

Yes, except that the proven way of raising taxes collected from capital gains is to LOWER the rate.

15% tax is low enough.  Make it permanent so that investors could try to build and create wealth and know with certainty what the tax rate on that effort, if successful, will be.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-campbell-flaws-in-the-buffett-rule-20120422,0,441132.story

Besides lost revenues, there is no recovery that comes out of punishing investment in America.  Other than that it all makes sense.
4676  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics - Learn 10 basic points of Supply Side, money and wealth on: April 23, 2012, 09:27:52 AM
"economists go to great lengths to obscure simple truths..."  Instead, read this!

April 23, 2012
Supply-Side Critics Offer Only Trickle-Down Inflation
By Bill Frezza     Excerpt only - Read it all at the link!

http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2012/04/23/supply-side_critics_offer_only_trickle-down_inflation_99632.html

"...here are 10 common sense propositions I challenge political economists to refute. (forum contributors too!)

1) Money is not wealth, but merely a claim on wealth. Printing more money does not create more wealth.

2) Counterfeiting money steals wealth from others. The theft is no less when a government does it.

3) Moving money from one pocket to another does not create wealth. This is true even when small amounts of money are quietly siphoned from the pockets of the many and loudly deposited into the pockets of the few.

4) Before wealth can be consumed, invested, or redistributed, it has to be created. Consuming existing wealth does not create more of it, nor does borrowing against future wealth.

5) Wealth is created when consumption is deferred in favor of profitable production. Profits generally require selling something for more than it costs to make.

6) Profits are rarely a sure thing. Every decision to forgo consumption and invest in production seeking future returns is a gamble.

7) Private investors investing their own money generally seek to maximize after-tax profits balanced against a chosen degree of acceptable risk. Investment decisions are sensitive to policies that affect this equation.

8 ) Private investors that consistently make bad decisions, thereby squandering their wealth, eventually lose the ability to make more investments.

9) Politicians often "invest" other people's money seeking to maximize the number of votes they can garner. Whether or not these "investments" generate a future return, or are just thinly veiled redistributions, is secondary because a politician's time horizon extends only until the next election.

10) Politicians acting as public investors who consistently make bad decisions can remain in office and continue making more "investments" as long as they convince enough voters to shift the blame for their failures onto others.
4677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney campaign - 23 million on: April 23, 2012, 09:18:05 AM
"Here's a number you're going to hear a lot on this campaign: 23 million," Eric Fehrnstrom, senior adviser to Mitt Romney, said on "Face the Nation," referring to 12.7 million unemployed, 7.7 million underemployed and more than 3 million Americans who are discouraged from finding work or have dropped out of the job search, according to the latest numbers by the Department of Labor.

President Obama did not create this recession, but his policies are not working for these people..."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/04/22/fehrnstrom_23_million_reasons_to_vote_for_romney.html
4678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: April 23, 2012, 12:48:55 AM
"I wouldn't expect Romney to do ANYTHING on gun control...Mormons are the original Disaster Preparedness people ... Mormon families in the west (UT, ID, NV, AZ, WY, CO) have at least 3 or 4 firearms in the house. Plenty of word from members of the church has already been whispered his way to STFU on gun control, and the answer back has been 'Wilco'. I'm not talking about Church leadership, I'm talking about rank and file members picking up a pen and writing to him. I did."

Very good point.  Nevada in particular is a swing state, also Colorado and Arizona.  He will have to make assurances to voters.

Governor Romney is smart enough (IMO) to know there is a difference between governing Massachusetts and governing America - on a host of issues.  He knows he won't be getting 270 electoral votes from the Northeast.  He needs at least 5 of those 6 states listed in order to win.  Colorado is tough - because they let Californians in.
4679  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re:Politics of Health Care- it's different than Medicare and social security on: April 23, 2012, 12:20:15 AM
Social security is a tax and spend program.  Medicare is a tax and spend program.  The individual mandate is not.

The GM piece covered it,  There is no explicit authority and there is no precedent.

The income tax had the same problem - then they passed an amendment.

People like Alan Blinder (or JDN) can write or talk for hours about how great the benefits will be - everyone covered - like everyone having a home because the law requires you to buy one.  If you like that, fine, but you need a super majority to write the authorization for that new power, not an act of congress.

Under Obamacare, you lose liberty and you lose privacy.  Liberty is mentioned in at least one founding document - and so is life - which includes life's big decisions, does it not?  Privacy is a Supreme Court recognized right.  Without it, Roe v Wade falls.  You have to buy the policy under Obamacare and therefore you lose privacy - you have to give them all the personal information they require including the most personal things possible, allow them to store it, read it, use it and act on it.  What if you don't want to give them your ss number, your birthdate, whether you smoke or not, drink, have sex, have guns in the house, eat right, exercise, or a lot of other things.  What if you don't want to buy exactly what is in the plan or don't want to pay for provisions that violate your beliefs or don't fit your needs.  What about the freedom to figure this all out for yourself and not subscribe to a one size fits all out of Washington.  What about the right to freely consent to your contracts.  Anything short of that isn't a valid contract anyway.  You lose the right to make all of your own choices including those that could save your life - a quality recognized in at least one founding document.  Even the right to make a wrong choice, isn't that a liberty?

If you agree to the loss of these recognized freedoms and established rights in the creation of a new federal govt power that isn't authorized anywhere in Articles One or Two or in any amendment to the constitution or in any court precedent or anywhere else - isn't that the opposite of upholding the constitution?

Is it too much to ask to have an amendment passed for every new power over us that we grant to the federal government?
4680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: April 22, 2012, 02:56:43 PM
"why don't the Republicans propose just that?"

They did that at the time.  Pre-existing conditions, cross state lines, malpractice reform, all of the 'popular' pieces of Obamacare were on the table.  Democrats should have done a head fake with this monstrosity and locked in all of what at least the most moderate of Republicans were ready to agree to.  It was Democrats who did not want that deal.  They were willing to write a cornhusker kickback, exempt the Bank of North Dakota from student loan legislation, and build a hospital in Connecticut in order to buy the last Democrat vote and not need a single Republican.


"The concept is like car insurance...except with health insurance, you need a rule that says you can't opt out.  But you only have to buy the minimum.  Still, it's a start."

Constitutional distinction: a) car ins. is a state law, b) you can opt out - bicycle, bus, let someone else drive, stay home when your finances are down, etc. and c) You used to be able to post some OTHER form of financial responsibility up to the minimum and not HAVE to contract with a psuedo-private insurance company.


"you only have to buy the minimum."

Article Two, or where did that authority come from?


"As for for the European crisis, what does that have to do...with health care?"

Lol.


"How does (see list below) pay for a Universal Health Care Plan?
Norway New Zealand Japan Germany Belgium United Kingdom Sweden Canada Netherlands Austria Finland Slovenia Denmark Luxembourg France Australia Ireland Italy Portugal Cyprus Greece Spain SouKorea Iceland Hong Kong Singapore Switzerland Israel"

The question in a constitutional case is - how did they authorize it?

If you are willing to skip that question then the answer is obvious, move.


GM: "Is it right and fair to confiscate money from the young to partially subsidize the care for the older population?"

Justice Alito had that point quantified and no one corrected him.  The ones hit most by the mandate will be mandated topay 6 times what their current burden is on the others.  Had that been based on actual costs, the underlying argument they made might have had truth to it.


4681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: April 22, 2012, 10:40:57 AM
The elephant in the room is that they could have written and passed a bill to cover catastrophic injuries and unexpected illnesses in a constitutionally authorized way instead of cradle to grave governing and they would not now be faced with starting completely over - with a new group in power.
4682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Libertarian themes - the voting conundrum on: April 22, 2012, 10:37:26 AM
In these parts we think of Al Franken as the 60th vote in the Senate that brought us Obamacare.

In Montana, the libertarian candidate in 2006 won 10,000 votes while the red state seat went to the Dems by 3500 votes.

To those voters: How are your new liberties working out for you?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/what-swing-states-senate-majority-hinges-on-red-states-and-blue-states/2012/04/20/gIQAQlVCWT_blog.html
4683  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama taking credit for OBL kill is like Nixon taking credit for moon landing on: April 22, 2012, 10:04:49 AM
John Bolton: Obama taking credit for killing bin-Laden is like Nixon taking credit for landing on the moon
Posted by The Right Scoop The Right Scoop on April 20th, 2012 in Politics | 58 Comments

Bolton weighs in on Obama taking credit for Bush’s successes with regard to the killing of bin-Laden, saying that the only thing Obama really did was get out of the way. The intelligence that led us to bin-Laden came from the very thing Obama railed against and thus banned when becoming president, enhanced interrogations. So for him to take credit for killing bin-Laden, Bolton says, is like Nixon taking credit for America landing on the moon.

The entire interview is great as Bolton also weighs in on much more of Obama’s foreign policy, Iran, N.Korea, Russia, intelligence, START, defense budgets, international law, sovereignty, problems growing around the world.

http://www.therightscoop.com/bolton-obama-taking-credit-for-killing-bin-laden-is-like-nixon-taking-credit-for-landing-on-the-moon/
4684  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Krauthammer: Buffet tax is doubling the capital gains tax, will shrink revenues on: April 22, 2012, 09:51:10 AM
Video at the link.  They show the debate clip from 2008 with Obama confronted with the historical facts that lowering capital gains rates increased revenues every time and raising them lowered revenues.  The President doesn't care about the revenues. It's about 'fairness'.  Watch the clip.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/04/20/krauthammer_buffett_rule_is_an_embarrassment_shameless_preposterous_and_deceptive.html

"This is a preposterous statement [a quote of Obama shown defending the Buffet tax] and he know it is. Also on growth, it is equally deceptive. What the tax is, it's a doubling of the capital gains tax. It's disguised, but that's the reason why the Buffett rates are lower, it's the capital gains rate and it's lower than the rate for normal income. So he double its. The reason that's not a good idea is because when you double the rate, you actually decrease the amount that the treasury receives. And you decrease the growth because you are shrinking the pool of capital that is out there that people can invest and hire other people. The reason that we had an economic boom after the Kennedy tax cuts and the Reagan cuts, 20 years later, it's precisely that they cut rates and particularly that they cut capital gains rates," Krauthammer said.
4685  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: April 22, 2012, 09:41:32 AM
"Speaking of idle capacity, IIRC I have been reading of capacity utilization being rather high, with univested profits sitting on the sidelines."

Yes.  I was referring more generally to the quantity of money and workers on the sidelines, not the utilization of factories already built.

Productivity of employed workers I think is at record highs.  Improving with each new layoff.

I read in some commentary yesterday we need to be starting 1 million new businesses per year and the current number is 400,000.  A couple years back I posted analysis that we need to be starting a certain number(150?)  of companies every year that will grow to a billion dollars, bringing with them the employment that entails and the wealth it creates.  Instead we demagogue wealth and business, hire new IRS agents to address 'healthcare' and tell our young to go into social work.
4686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Tokyo Electric and the Fukushima station blackout, 40 years in coming on: April 21, 2012, 11:28:46 PM
Long story, well researched, published in Fortune yesterday.  Short excerpts:

"how could the accident at Fukushima Daiichi have happened—and how, in particular, could it have happened in Japan, a country once known, not so long ago, for its sheer management and engineering competence?"
...
"When the licenses for the Fukushima Daiichi generating stations were granted in 1966 and 1972, they called for the plant to be able to withstand a wave cresting at 3.1 meters in height—a figure based on the size of a tsunami in Chile in 1960."
...
"There was no precedent for the magnitude of the quake and tsunami that wreaked havoc at Fukushima Daiichi. But the disaster wasn't unimaginable."
...
"As recently as 2008, according to the Japanese government's interim report into the accident released at the end of last year, TEPCO reevaluated the tsunami risks at the plant. New simulations the company ran showed waves could reach as high as 15 meters—chillingly, almost the exact height of the biggest wave that smashed into the coastline on the afternoon of March 11. (a 46 ft. wall of water at hundreds of miles per hour?)

TEPCO didn't believe the simulation was reliable."
...
"...they did have redundant power sources in place—the on site diesel generators that also eventually failed after the tsunami struck. (Despite sitting within a few hundred yards of the Pacific ocean, the generators were not designed to withstand flooding.)"
...
"we spent ten times more money for PR campaigns than we did for real safety measures. It's a terrible thing."
...
"The fact is, we still don't know what's going on inside the reactors."

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/04/20/fukushima-daiichi/?iid=SF_F_Lead
4687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: April 21, 2012, 09:02:09 PM
"... in 2010, months into our recovery, growth was about 3 percent, followed by 1.7 percent growth in 2011. The rate for 2012 could be about 2 percent—below the 3.4 percent throughout the postwar period."

It should be 4.5% or greater with this much idle capacity.  Growth below 'break-even growth' is not growth in my book.

"private sector hiring through June 2011 was 10 times slower following the passage of President Obama's healthcare bill compared to the prior 16 months."

Unemployment is twice what it should be.  You don't ever get it back at this growth rate.  The federal budget - same thing.  We do not have the internal strength to handle the next external shock.  Another term of this and we might jeopardize our economy for more than a century.

We don't need an election win.  We need a win with a real mandate for change.

The world does not have a contingency plan for American collapse.
4688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential, State of the race might change... on: April 21, 2012, 08:43:08 PM
Excerpt from Paul Mirengoff, a founder of Powerline back from a one year absence:
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/04/the-state-of-the-race-what-might-change.php

"Oddly, it may be Obama, the incumbent, whose image changes significantly. Polls show that his personal popularity is what’s keeping him afloat. Voters don’t very much like his policies and his results, but they continue to like him.

The reasons are pretty straightforward. First, he made a great first impression, and such impressions tend to last. Second, people want to like their president. Third, people want to like the first black president.

As his presidency has faltered, though, Obama has become increasingly irritable and negative. It’s unlikely that many voters have noticed because few follow the day-to-day utterances of the president.

But the electorate pays attention during the final months of the campaign, and especially during the presidential debates. If they see the whiney, defensive, and nasty side of Obama, he will pay a price.

In theory, Obama should be able to avoid this pitfall. His surrogates can do the attack dog thing, while he takes the high road. As for the debates, history shows that the sitting president is allowed one bad debate, especially if it’s the first one. So Obama just needs to keep his inner nasty partisan in check for a few hours.

But Obama’s arrogance works against him here. This is the man who famously proclaimed himself a better speechwriter than his speechwriters, a better political director than his political director, etc.

Presumably, he also considers himself a better attack dog than his attack dogs. If Obama continues to sense that his presidency may be slipping away, he is unlikely to leave to others the dirty work he feels is needed to preserve it.

The adverse consequences of such self-indulgence may well be more than marginal."
4689  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education - home school on: April 21, 2012, 07:38:40 PM
Funny line at the end:  "And that’s why homeschooled kids are so annoying.  Because no one tells them that the way God made them isn’t cool enough."

Looking forward to any first hand home school stories or info.  My nephew did it for a year at age 12 and got caught up in academics.  He needs the socialization.  The Boy Scouts for one thing has been very good for that.  They do a lot of great activities and the dads are very involved keeping the atmosphere fun and positive.

Home school is of course not really home school.  It is a parent directed education (like public schools are supposed to be).  Those kids often get out and about way more than school kids and have academic and social networks.  They are eligible here for school sports and other activities as well which can help them stay connecting if they later come back in.

Thye teacher union comment is funny.  Around here each home school choice cuts about 10k/yr out of their funding.  Every bit of competition with the public school is a force for good for all of the kids.
4690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care - Alan Blinder piece on: April 21, 2012, 07:20:48 PM
"Though we Americans spend a much larger share of our GDP than any other nation on health care, we are not healthier."

Do you mean healthier than every other nation?

My answer to that point is - unquantifiable.

a) Remove all American treatments, equipment, medicines and innovations from their systems and let's do a comparison. Canadians are getting better rates on American meds than Americans do, for example.  But what do they need those for if their system is superior, lol.

b) Compare SURVIVAL RATES for the afflictions most likely to hit you such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer.  America beats European in these measures.

c) Remove genetic and cultural factors if you are comparing health care delivery systems.  The USA is a melting pot.  To compare healthcare systems with a homogenous society like Japan or Norway compare healthcare outcomes of Japanese Americans with the Japanese, Norwegian Americans with the Norwegians, and compare Mexican Americans with Mexicans and African Americans with Africans.

d) The measure the statists always follow with is the percent or number of uninsured which is a healthcare finance outcome, not a healthcare outcome.


"It would be a shame—and I mean that literally—if Republicans repealed the law or if the Supreme Court voided it."

No matter if it violates the constitution?  People like that shouldn't be allowed to vote in a constitutional republic, MHO.


"The U.S. health-care payment system has a few oddities we'd be better off without. For one, the tax code incents employers to pay part of workers' wages in the form of health insurance, which is why insurance became tied to employment in the first place."

Repairable without Obamacare.


"For another, we have somehow decided that the state should provide anyone age 65 or older with health insurance, while everyone younger should fend for themselves."

No one is denied healthcare.  The argument is over payment systems.


"Now the big question: Does anyone think it is sensible to have nine lawyers decide what sort of health-care payment system the nation should have?"

It wouldn't be before the US Supreme Court if Congress hadn't passed and the President hadn't signed a bill that ELECTED officials in 26 states found to be UNCONSTITUTIONAL. That would be a large number of states opposing even if we did have government by majority rule - AND WE DON'T.


"Why does the law require people to purchase health insurance?"

Do you mean why would they do that when they have no power like that authorized to them in the constitution?


"...no question that the federal government can regulate interstate commerce."

And no question Americans have a COMPETING right of privacy in their affairs. Or is there?


"So what happens if the justices void the mandate but leave the insurance reforms in place?"

Why would they.  There is an unseverability clause in the final version. (?) http://www.thepublicinsuranceoption.com/tag/healthcare-reform-legislation  If not, as Justice Scalia suggested, they won't be inclined to go back through 2700 pages not even read by the people who passed it and re-write it.  That is the legislative branch's job.  Looking forward to an improved legislative branch next year.


"I [Alan Blinder] claim no special expertise in constitutional law"

Finally got something right!


"In cases in which there are clear Democratic and Republican positions on an issue—which certainly includes this case—the Court will vote 5-to-4 Republican."

Does that reflect badly on the 5 or on the 4?


"This is another real shame. If we are going to have political decision-making, at least elected politicians should do the deciding."

With no constitutional restraints?  He isn't the first or highest up to regret living in a country where we place constitutional limits on governmental powers.  
4691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: April 21, 2012, 06:33:04 PM
"leave last word to Doug"   - Thanks for the offer Crafty but it has all been said.
4692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: April 21, 2012, 01:45:02 PM
"Pre-tax income is a ..."

It is an amount of money that is not yours.  Not yours to hold, to spend, to invest, and not to falsely inflate and compare with a real number - like it grew over the next several decades when it can't because they that isn't the amount George Romney started with.  It didn't and you know that.  Drivel on.

"rather than the fictitious 78% Doug quoted, if you do the math "The figures indicate he paid $1,099,555.18 in taxes on an 1968 income of $2,972,923.58 in 1968."  I think that's about a 37% tax rate."

No I said 78% was the top combined rate federal plus Michigan in that year and YOU said he earned in a single year.  Why lie?  Now you say he paid 37% which means it was largely LONG TERM CAPITAL GAINS which are NOT made in a single year.  (Was 37% the combined tax rate or federal only?  Source?)  If he did NOT earn it in a single year and you say REPEATEDLY AD NAUSEUM that he did, which is it?  And why lie?  Why post on things you don't know or care about?  Why make attacks against the person "silver spoon".    What you said he made in a single year was earned over a period of 1954-1968 which is 15 years, at great risk and with great faith is his own accomplishments to leave it invested in the company all that time.  That said, who the f*ck cares.  That was GEORGE Romney taking EARNED gains after Mitt left the home.  George is dead FYI, not running for President in 2012 (Do you understand that?) and his estate has been properly executed.  Mitt born with a silver spoon?  He was born in 1947 before ANY of this and George started with nothing.  George was NOT head of AMC when Mitt was born.  They had good money later.  Very good money.  They had ENOUGH money.  No one said he grew up poor or undernourished.  They did not live like they had obscene wealth which is no crime either; it just wasn't the case.  (Wikipedia: "The Big Three, when used in relation to the automotive industry, most generally refers to the three major American automotive companies: Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler." Show me Rambler in there, lol.)

"And what Doug seems to interchange rather conveniently is that in today's dollars George Romney made $20,000,000 in 1968."

After 3 times told that was false, post it again.  I recognize the pattern.  What a blockhead. 

"So yes, in today's dollars (that's when Obama got his inheritance) Romney made 40 times Obama's inheritance in one year is accurate."

Just can't get off of a G*d D*mned lie.  An inheritance in that amount isn't taxed and the 20 million is.  The comparison is false.  A lie.  Plus you are comparing what one of the candidates actually received versus a what dead former Governor NEVER received by a factor of 10, AFTER his children were grown.  Please give some indication you are smarter than that.  ANYTHING!

"That man [GEORGE ROMNEY] was very RICH."    - SO WHAT!  He is also very DEAD.  And running for NOTHNG.

"Sorry Doug,..."    For what?  Wasting my time.  Pissing me off.  Bringing down the discussion.  Lies.  What are you sorry for when you just keep doing it.

We are stuck on stupid discussing his father's salary and tax rate as if we were uncovering unbelievable wrongdoing of his son when in fact everything went very well and nothing wrong is even alleged.  Everyone should have a career like George Romney.  But still, who cares.

Digging out info for this worthless argument keeps exposing more success and virtue in the Romney family.  George Romney was a moderate Republican and quite an honorable.  Barack Senior was a polygamist (irony) who left his kid unsupported on an island.  One built up an American auto company.  The other advised a poor country on how to stay poor.  The abandoned kid writes a book for his own profit (makes $20 million in one year, tomorrow's dollars) to honor an absent parent.  The one who inherited from his Dad gave the money to something his Dad would have liked.  How far do you want to go with this?  When you finish your hate speech you ought to go back and admit GEORGE ROMNEY is the type of Republican that YOU might have supported.
4693  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: April 20, 2012, 06:30:46 PM
 "The most important factor is that Mitt grew up in a loving and intact family while Buraq..."

GM, that point is huge.  That was a missing ingredient for Bill Clinton.  For all his brilliance he acted out his deviance to embarrass the nation.  Fatherless Democrats deserve a fair shot at everything including President and pursuit of happiness, but only in progressive-America is growing up in a functional home considered a BIG negative.
----------
Gotta love JDN, trying his hardest.  I point out that was pre-tax income during high tax rate days is NOT what the family gets, and so he repeats it - and again.  Let's try again.  3 million doesn't grow or inflate to 20 million today if government took 78% the combined top tax rate then before he got it.  But in 1968 George Romney was governor of Michigan on a public servant salary.  What JDN passes as a single year income is the exercising of options, investments that he made, earned and saved over a period of time, at risk, that happen to pay off due to leaving the company and shareholders (and workers) in a nice situation.  Greedy capitalist.
------
Romneys Reported $3-Million Income From 1955 to 1966
http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F10B14FF345914728FDDAF0A94D9415B878AF1D3

Gov. George Romney of Michigan and his wife Lenore had a total income from-1955 to 1966 of nearly $3-million. Of this amount they gave $561,000 to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and another $115,000 to charity, it was disclosed yesterday.

($3 million over 12 years, pre-tax? and a large chunk went to charity.  Greedy capitalist with silver spoon babies.)
------

My suggestion: Substitute the word accomplished or successful for wealthy and then see if he was around too much of it.  George Romney did not work his full career as an auto executive.  He was also a Governor and HUD Secretary.  

The only trapping of wealth on Mitt the detractors could come up with on the Romney family was that they paid his airplane ticket to come home from Stanford.  Wow...  He also worked as a night security guard there so he could fly back more than they knew.  Devious!

So he had less money than John Kerry.  Less than the Kennedys.  Higher grades than Gore or Kerry.  But JDN rips Romney for his grades ("he was nobody in high school") - while his opponent won't show his.  The drivel continues while the 'growth' plan is 'ask' the 'rich' to pay their 'fair share'.  Strange priorities.  
-----------
NY Times continued: "whenever [George Romney] felt his salary and bonus was excessively high for a year, he gave the excess back to the company... he developed a good relationship with United Automobile Workers leader Walter Reuther... AMC workers also benefited from a then-novel profit-sharing plan. Romney was one of only a few Michigan corporate chiefs to support passage and implementation of the state Fair Employment Practices Act."
Greedy capitalist.
-----------
JDN wrote further: "She "willed him [Obama] somewhere between a quarter and a half a million"?  Wow!  Romney's Dad made 40 times that in one year alone!!!  

Actually it was 6 times that and it was exercising options earned over a 10 year period, not indicative at all of his salary.  "Wow"  A quarter to a half million quoted were dollars Obama got to keep.  Compare that to a non-existent $20 million figure of falsely inflating a one-time gain of his Dad's, that did NOT come to his Dad or Mitt, except for a part a quarter century later that Mitt received and gave away in his father's name.  Mitt was 21 and gone in the year JDN says the Romneys made the windfall.  Undisguised dishonesty.  Makes Obama is a pretty good fit, lol.  Looking forward to more distortions and worthless discussions on non-issues from now until the election.

Meanwhile half of black teenage males unemployed under Obama: http://blackstarjournal.org/?p=660

No problem.  Let's come down harder on employers.
4694  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: April 20, 2012, 01:37:47 PM
I love the silver cocaine spoon analogy.  Reminds me of Ted Kennedy never being able to get away from tragic water analogies.  Every cliche he used seemed to fall into it:  drowning in debt, swimming upstream, head under underwater, water under the bridge, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, asleep at the wheel... it just never ended.  Now the blew-some-coke guy tries a worn out spoon cliche on his opponent to kick off the general election.  Is that all ya got?  That line was Hilarious when Texas Gov Ann Richards used on Geo. W Bush - to an audience of partisan Democrats, not from a 'unifying' President crossing the country on Air Force One on official government business. Interestingly, Bush won and Richards lost; I wonder if Obama's teleprompter-writers knew that!  Watch for more Freudian screwups; this campaign has its wheels falling off.
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Thank's for the clarification on George Romney's wealth, '3 million is like 20 million now' and I agree with your conclusion: "That said; so what".  For further clarification, big personal wealth now is measured in billions with a B, a starting factor 50 fold greater than 20 million.  And why would you quote Pre-TAX income from those days?  You show more what he did for his country more than for his family.  You have friends, neighbors, acquaintances richer now than George Romney was then, right?  Not exactly unimaginable wealth.  Again, "so what".

Funny that you then skipped in your wealth clarification the part about the family of 7 traveling in the station wagon, or the couple's first apartment rent of 75/month - that would be nearly $350 today?! But still in the basement, lol.

Understanding wealth and how it is created comes better from Romney's environment than from demagoguing with radical professors and then organizing for welfare rights.  JMHO.
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http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/jan/20/mitt-romney/mitt-romney-says-he-didnt-inherit-money-his-parent/
Mitt Romney: "Well, he (George Romney) didn’t have as much as I think some people anticipated. And I did...inherit some funds from my dad. But I turned and gave that away to charity. In this case I gave it to a school which Brigham Young University established in his honor. ... And that’s where his inheritance ended up."

(Once again, the money by that time belonged to Mitt, but was given by Mitt in the name of his Dad.  Selfless like the guy who says his "whole life is a testament [Biblical term] to American exceptionalism.)

Politifact verification:

"There's no evidence we saw that Romney's parents helped buy him a business career."

"According to a short history of the George W. Romney Institute of Public Management at BYU, the family provided an endowment in 1998, within a few years of George Romney's death."
4695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: April 20, 2012, 12:19:14 PM
"Those aren't my socks".  wink  They found that substance in Randy Moss' car when he couldn't break free from single coverage, a cop on the hood, and he said, I can't think of who's been driving this lately.
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"Photographs help Americans see the wars"

GM is right about lack of restraint but that is a given.

Making the adjustment to waging war in an age of instant cameras and photo transmission everywhere was a failure of a few troops in a couple crucial situations with tremendous cost.  The giddiness you may feel after a necessary kill needs to be internal - even thousands miles away from the LA Times or al Jazeera headquarters.

There once was an NFL coach (Bud Grant) who told his players that when you get to the end zone, act like that is where the play was designed to go.  Eleven years into the war, how are we not training soldiers what to do in the event of a kill - and enforcing the policy.

We also failed to make the adjustment in Washington to waging war in the age of daily tracking polls.  Always hard to sell the public on the necessary war you command when you personally oppose it.

Cutting off ears, instantly transmitted photos and daily tracking polls do not mix or add up to a successfully sustained war effort against a fully committed enemy - who has our own media on their side.
4696  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: April 20, 2012, 11:24:53 AM
Bigdog, That is a great story and quite an example that the guy does have a core and a heart.

In the Romney dog story, he built the dog it's own windshield!  In this part of the country what we might call 'garage logic' not 'silver spoo'n thinking.  Dogs love sitting in the front of a boat or the back of a pickup.  A family of 7 plus a dog traveling in a station wagon or that he and Ann lived in a 75/mo. apartment when first married.  On the upbringing part, his dad was an executive not owner of a big company and that company made Ramblers not Mustangs or Corvettes.  George Romney was a well liked Governor but a failed Presidential candidate, more like Lamar Alexander or Paul Tsongas than growing up a Kennedy.  

People criticize the type of company that Romney ran but besides exercising many positive qualities there such as competence, being organized, setting priorities, making hard choices, managing staff, he had the rare personal ability to leave that work while on top.  He was good at it but that dog eat dog world (pardon the expression) wasn't all that he is.

In 2008 so many of the choices including the final 2 or 3 came out of the senate, without executive experience.  That is a big distinction.  The senate has its own aura, great deliberations, strategy and oratory, but it alone is not the experience of running an executive branch somewhere.

Obama's executive experience was that he ran an amazing campaign in 2008, but it was centered around running away from hard choices of governance with the blank canvas speeches. That, along with the main theme of blame Bush and the Republicans worked for the election but it did not establish a roadmap for successful governing.  He had no experience or ability to adapt and change course as a successful business executive is trained to do.

Back to Romney, he won't be bragging about his Mormonism but that he served in his religion and rose to such a high level is another demonstration of character.  That was not something he had to do - he could have written books about himself, played golf, visited beaches around the world...

Re. GM's post `Obama Isn’t Working': Remember that McCain's refusal to take off the gloves was a key point in not getting this inexperienced opponent with his misguided direction fully vetted.  Crafty had complained or pointed out that Romney was outspending these primary opponents ruthlessly and I saved a Romney piece that came to my mailbox days before our caucus viciously taking a former Speaker down to size, who in his time changed Washington and made a huge difference.  Sorry to say but that willingness and ability to go critical and negative now becomes quite a strength in the general election where Barack Obama with his record is far more vulnerable than was Newt.

Romney isn't cool or hip to the (unemployed) younger generation, but if he is still projecting competence and readiness on Nov.6 he will be the next President.
4697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics of Health Care: Barney Frank - Obama made a mistake on: April 19, 2012, 01:55:57 PM
My first post ever (half) agreeing with Barney Frank:

http://www.nationaljournal.com/congress/barney-frank-obama-made-mistake-with-health-care-push-20120416

Barney Frank: Obama Made 'Mistake' With Health Care Push

By Jonathan Miller
Updated: April 16, 2012 | 6:35 p.m.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said he advised President Obama against taking up health care reform following a special election in 2010 that changed Democrats' fortunes in the Senate, saying that he should have instead turned his focus to financial reform.  (No, that was a disaster too!)

Frank referenced former President Bill Clinton and his failed health care plan from the 1990s. “Obama made the same mistake Clinton made,” Frank said in a wide-ranging interview with New York magazine. “When you try to extend health care to people who don’t have it, people who have it and are on the whole satisfied with it get nervous.”

The outgoing representative from Massachusetts added that after Republican Scott Brown won former Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s seat, breaking Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority, Obama should have backed down: “I think we paid a terrible price for health care. I would not have pushed it as hard. As a matter of fact, after Scott Brown won, I suggested going back. I would have started with financial reform but certainly not health care," Frank said.

He said that if the president had followed his advice, “you could have gotten some pieces of it.”
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Frank is right on this last part.  In the heat of the debate, Obama could have gotten the 'popular' parts of Obamacare passed with bipartisan support - if that was what he wanted and he could have avoided the fiascos of the Cornhusker kickback, deemed passed, broken promises about open debate and time to read the bills and all the rest.  He chose not to and paid a heavy price in 2010 and likely became a one-termer. 

Jumping the gun here on the upcoming Supreme Court decision, he also could have avoided the fiasco of having his signature achievement ruled to be unconstitutional.  His second term election theme then could be to do more instead of creating the need to go back and undo what he got wrong.
4698  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics: Vindication of Wisconsin Gov. Walker - Property taxes down on: April 19, 2012, 01:42:25 PM
Calif could learn something from the other 49.  It used to be the other way around.

"the typical homeowner's bill would be some $700 higher without Mr. Walker's collective-bargaining overhaul and budget cuts"

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304432704577348080124322186.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_AboveLEFTTop

A Wisconsin Vindication        Excerpt, more at the link...

Property tax bills fall as Scott Walker's reforms start to kick in.

The public employee unions and other liberals are confident that Wisconsin voters will turn out Governor Scott Walker in a recall election later this year, but not so fast. That may turn out to be as wrong as some of their other predictions as Badger State taxpayers start to see tangible benefits from Mr. Walker's reforms—such as the first decline in statewide property taxes in a dozen years.

On Monday Mr. Walker's office released new data that show the property tax bill for the median home fell by 0.4% in 2011, as reported by Wisconsin's municipalities. Property taxes, which are the state's largest revenue source and mainly fund K-12 schools, have risen every year since 1998—by 43% overall. The state budget office estimates that the typical homeowner's bill would be some $700 higher without Mr. Walker's collective-bargaining overhaul and budget cuts.
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The real gains will grow as local school districts continue repairing and rationalizing their budgets using the tools Mr. Walker gave them. Those include the ability to renegotiate perk-filled teacher contracts and requiring government workers to contribute more than 0% to their pensions. A year ago amid their sit-ins and other protests, the unions said such policies would lead to the decline and fall of civilization, but the only things that are falling are tax collections.

The political lesson is that attempts to modernize government are always controversial, but support usually builds over time as the public comes to appreciate the benefits of structural change that tames the drivers of a status quo that includes ever-higher spending and taxes. The Wisconsin recall donnybrook in June will test whether voters value their own bottom lines more than the political power of unions.
4699  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / programs & spending: Government funded research on: April 19, 2012, 01:03:37 PM
I'm no fan of government funded research but doesn't it make sense that the product of that research belongs to the taxpayer and the public?

http://www.economist.com/node/21552574

When research is funded by the taxpayer or by charities, the results should be available to all without charge

"...a year of the Journal of Mathematical Sciences will set you back $20,100. In 2011 Elsevier, the biggest academic-journal publisher, made a profit of ($1.2 billion)...  Such margins (37%) are possible because the journals’ content is largely provided free by researchers, and the academics who peer-review their papers are usually unpaid volunteers. The journals are then sold to the very universities that provide the free content and labour. For publicly funded research, the result is that the academics and taxpayers who were responsible for its creation have to pay to read it. This is not merely absurd and unjust; it also hampers education and research."
4700  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: April 19, 2012, 12:37:43 AM
"three times this week, Buraq's team has tried to lob attacks at Mittens and each time they've spiked it back in Obozo's face, the dog being the latest and best of the three. I think Mitt is serious about winning. And if he keeps it up, he will."

People can say what they will about Romney for President but I wouldn't vote for Obama for dogcatcher.
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