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4751  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Congressional races plus state/local - 21 pieces of good news on: November 09, 2012, 12:15:08 AM
The results of the Senate races are shocking, but Michelle Malkin compiles a list of good news, depending on the side you come at this from...

1. Republicans retained control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

2. Voters in Alabama, Montana, and Wyoming all passed measures limiting Obamacare.

3. Tea Party candidate Ted Cruz, one of the conservative movement’s brightest rising stars, overcame establishment GOP opposition to clinch a U.S. Senate victory in Texas.

4. Corruptocrat Beltway barnacle Rep. Pete Stark was finally kicked out of office in California.

5. Despite entrenched teachers’ union opposition, a charter school initiative in Washington state triumphed.

6. Despite entrenched Big Labor support, a radical collective bargaining power grab in Michigan failed.

7. Oklahoma voters said no to government race-based preferences in college admissions, public contracting, and government hiring.

8. Montana voters said no to boundless benefits for illegal aliens.

9. Washington state approved taxpayer-empowering limitations on its state legislature’s ability to raise taxes.

10. For the first time since Reconstruction, the GOP won control of the Arkansas state house.

11. Voters rejected tax hike ballot measures in Arizona, South Dakota, and Missouri.

12. Louisiana voted to protect gun rights.

13. Kentucky voted to protect hunting and fishing rights.

14. Parental notification for minors’ abortion prevailed in Montana.

15. North Carolina Republicans claimed the governor’s office, congressional gains, and control of the state’s general assembly.

16. Paul Ryan will return to Congress after winning re-election and continue to carry the torch for entitlement reform and budget discipline.

17. Conservatives won big victories in the Kansas state legislature.

18. Republicans won historic supermajorities in Tennessee.

19.Across the country, Republicans reached a post-2000 record number of gubernatorial victories.

20. Conservatives who were devastated by the national election results demonstrated how to lose with dignity and grace. There will be finger-pointing and recriminations and soul-searching, but committed activists can’t and won’t lose heart. We’ll regroup, recover, and keep fighting for our country.

21. Wisconsin: GOP wins back the state Senate.
4752  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential post mortum on: November 09, 2012, 12:09:25 AM
Dick Morris was in pretty good company with his wrong election forecast.  Michael Barone is a quality professional IMO and called it the same:   Also and the Romney campaign itself:

Jan Crawford /CBS News:  They made three key miscalculations, in part because this race bucked historical trends:

1. They misread turnout. They expected it to be between 2004 and 2008 levels, with a plus-2 or plus-3 Democratic electorate, instead of plus-7 as it was in 2008. Their assumptions were wrong on both sides: The president's base turned out and Romney's did not. More African-Americans voted in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida than in 2008. And fewer Republicans did: Romney got just over 2 million fewer votes than John McCain.

2. Independents. State polls showed Romney winning big among independents. Historically, any candidate polling that well among independents wins. But as it turned out, many of those independents were former Republicans who now self-identify as independents. The state polls weren't oversampling Democrats and undersampling Republicans - there just weren't as many Republicans this time because they were calling themselves independents.

3. Undecided voters. The perception is they always break for the challenger, since people know the incumbent and would have decided already if they were backing him. Romney was counting on that trend to continue. Instead, exit polls show Mr. Obama won among people who made up their minds on Election Day and in the few days before the election. So maybe Romney, after running for six years, was in the same position as the incumbent.
4753  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Juan Williams: BO's daunting demographic message 4 the GOP; Estimados Rep-canos on: November 08, 2012, 09:08:32 AM
Note back to Juan Williams, it isn't about the GOP, it's about the direction of the country.  Hispanics, African Americans, gays, Jews, Asian Americans and women will need to change the economic agenda inside the Democratic party or live forever poor and in debt if they are too racist, sexist or xenophobic to sit with Republicans IMHO.  The GOP already reached out.
4754  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Positive spin on: November 07, 2012, 12:29:05 PM
James Tarranto (WSJ) wrote yesterday: Re-election would ensure he is accountable for the mess he inherits from himself.
4755  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 07, 2012, 11:17:37 AM
Egg on face for someone was a certainty with all prognositcators on both sides sure of a big win.  From my viewpoint, there was no way to know in advance that the demographic groups hit the hardest by the current policies would really all show up and vote for more of the same.  I had to see it to believe it.

I agree it is foolish to ignore the preponderance of the polls, but if they are so good why are they so different from each other.  Isn't Gallup as good as any, they had Romney up 6%; final Gallup was 1% Romney, and still wrong by 3.  Was this election 8 points different a week ago?  I don't think so.

A short time ago I was feeling sorry for our friend Denny S from Venezuela election, how powerless that must feel.  Now I feel it.  We know our leaders lie to us, take from us, our economy is a disaster under their policies, they crush our freedoms and with our fellow citizens we say hey, how about 4 and 6 more years of it!

Crafty's point one sums it up for me.  Republicans took none of the credit for what went right during the economic and revenue growth of 2003-2006 and took all the blame for what went wrong after power in Washington switched to Pelosi Reid congress including the Fannie Mae Sen. Obama, 2 years before he became President.  You can't have messaging that bad and then expect to win with the people.  (George Bush's fault.)

One reason Republicans couldn't attack Democrats hard for our myriad of failed programs is that their own fingerprints are also all over them.

The other big lesson is that Romney was politically wrong to go positive.  He needed to go positive in order to govern but he needed to go hard negative early in order to win.  Obama went with hide the agenda and attack your opponent from every angle.  Attack before people even meet him.  Now Obama gets to govern, but not with my consent. 

I would be happy to admit I am wrong and Dems are right on economics.  Freedom leads to failure and the nanny state solves it all.  Someone just post the evidence.

The point CCP has been making rung true, the point that Romney botched so badly.  There are so many people, approaching a majority, who think they don't have to pay in so they don't care what it all costs.  Obamacare, free food on the card, housing, utilities, transportation, Obama phone, you name it.  Your unfunded government is your provider, not the taxpayers who used to fund it.

The same 'rational electorate' who chose Obama and a Dem senate just chose a Republican House by a wide margin.  (Will the President and Senate now honor their mandate?)  House Republican reelection makes even less sense, the approval rate for congress hit an all time low of 10% this year.    Divided government didn't provide much for checks and balances, look at the lack of discoveries coming out of the Fast and Furious hearings.  It really just makes for an unworkable partnership.

Heal?  I don't think so.  Just agreeing to be governed against my will.  For me, I will just try to step back and care a little less about the future of our country and survive personally.   As (BBG put it) the statists will run more and more of our lives.  I really feel sorry for the next generation but this is to a large extent their doing.

Now the downward spiral continues.  The R. House cannot authorize taxes or spending that they don't believe in; they also have commitments to their voters.  Without caving on one side or the other there can't be a solution to the fiscal cliff.  Dems will blame Republicans for 2 years for debt ceilings, shutdowns and stalemates and then try again to win the House, 60 in the Senate, and get complete control over us - again.  And then what?

Wesbury, how is that election-neutral forecast going?  Any chance of a downturn when the top capital gains tax rate triples, except in California where rates are going up even more.

Summer of Recovery, coming in 2015, again, after all the gridlock.  Worked so well last time.
On a more positive note: Bigdog, how did your telecast go?
4756  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 07, 2012, 12:07:17 AM
Life is tough.  It is tougher when we are stupid. cry cry cry cry cry cry cry cry cry

Very negative thoughts go through my mind right now about the future of our country.
4757  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 06, 2012, 12:30:15 PM
We are elected not only the President and the direction of the Senate, but we are also choosing the next Supreme Court!
I hate to do more predictions at this late hour when I can so quickly be proven wrong.  Before the first debate when things looked hopeless I told a friend Romney by 3.  I think he needs to win by 2 or more to be sure to get the electoral college where he needs only 269.

Rasmussen's final is Romney 49, Obama 48.  Way within the margin of sampling error in fact separated by only a few poll takers.

Soon we will find out if the polling results were systematically wrong.  If so we will see a big Romney win and only in that scenario do R's carry the Senate.  If the polls were essentially right it means a deadlock/recount scenario or a close Obama electoral win and a Dem Senate, divided congress.  God help us.

The optimism around here comes from thinking we know the facts, a proven miserable favorable is running against a guy with a real chance to turn things around if the House and Senate will let him.  All along we assumed people would see that, but so many people are invested in pointing fingers and taxing others that I don't have any idea how this plays out.

There are things I wish our side had done differently, but for now just say this:


When you get back, start calling people, the like-minded and the potentially undecided.  Let your family, friends know where you stand and let them get used to knowing that they are going to be hearing from you every election day.
4758  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: November 06, 2012, 12:08:52 PM
Crafty, That is a good discussion on all 3 sides.  Most simply, we need to end the war against starting and growing companies.

I only agree partly with Prof. Christensen's idea of making more tiers for time length held on capital gains taxation and for different reasons.  My reason would be because of the declining value of each dollar of return. 

Tweaking the system with a goal of favoring one type of innovation over another is not simplicity. 

His calls for more education focus is interesting, a topic in itself.   Mostly the solution is just changing the mindset against businesses and enterprises, addressing simple competitiveness issues that we keep getting wrong.  If we want investment, employment and innovation, why do we slap 50,000 new regulations down in the last 45 months.  Don't have the highest corporate taxes in the world with capital gains tax rates scheduled to triple.  Don't place new burdens on employers like Obamacare, new medical device taxes, war against energy/ new war against fracking coming, etc.  These are anti-growth, anti startup measures. 

Look at the criteria Heritage uses to measure economic freedom and start removing the obvious, unnecessary burdens. 
4759  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: November 05, 2012, 11:40:07 PM
"Does that make sense?"

Yes.  )
4760  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues - Meet the media biased Press with David Gregory on: November 05, 2012, 08:55:22 AM
Following the deluge here last week I watched this show in its entirety yesterday.  It certainly masquerades as being a balanced show in search of the truth.

Host David Gregory asked his administration guest a very tough question about the lack of security at Benghazi.  I'll come back and add the text in with exact quotes, but after he got his non-answer at quarter after the hour he said that's all we have time for and went on to break.

He made no point whatsoever to expose or correct the lie put forth by the Barack Obama administration through Ambassador Susan Rice on his show on Sept 16, 2012:

See the Rice interview:
Meanwhile, did CBS bury the contradictory parts of their President Obama video until too late to do damage for political or editorial reasons?  With the space available on the internet, why are we not entitled to see entire on-the-record interviews in something close to real time?  
BD, I know I lose more moderate voters with my liberal bias rants, but I lose me if I don't speak up on what I see that troubles me deeply.  It isn't that there aren't enough right wing sources; it is that I resent having to go there to get key information and it troubles me to see what others are often missing.  I agree with you 100% on your point about other types of unreported stories and under-reported stories in our media.  The China-Japan islands dispute is a great example.  American press is audience and ratings oriented with very little interest in widening our knowledge.  That is one of the great benefits of this forum where much of this does come up with referrals to good sources to read.
4761  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Policy: The 'Payroll Tax' Is Not Regressive on: November 03, 2012, 11:42:55 AM
Payroll Taxes Are 'Regressive'? Time to Rethink That Idea  (WSJ 10/29/2012 excerpt)
Critics of how Medicare and Social Security are funded don't take into account benefit payouts. Suddenly, the taxes look progressive after all.


Many of those who assert that the rich don't pay their fair share of the nation's bills often point to how Social Security and Medicare are funded. For example, columnist Paul Krugman wrote on his New York Times blog in 2010 that "the payroll tax is regressive, as are most state and local taxes, which largely offsets the progressivity of the income tax." And President Clinton's secretary of labor, Robert Reich, said in an October 2007 blog post, "payroll taxes take a much bigger portion of the paychecks of lower-income Americans than of higher-income [Americans]. Viewed as a whole, the current tax system is quite regressive."

On the contrary, studies show that the Social Security and Medicare programs, viewed as a whole, are anything but regressive.
[image] Getty Images

The payroll taxes that fund these programs are collected for the express purpose of providing income supplements and medical care during retirement. In the case of Social Security, earned income is taxed proportionately at 12.4% (split evenly between employee and employer) up to a cap that is currently set at $110,100. Those who assert that the Social Security tax is regressive note that the income cap results in a decline in taxes paid as a percentage of income as income rises above the cap. But this observation omits three critical facts.

First, the amount of one's Social Security income at retirement is also capped. Second, higher-income workers receive less of a benefit as a percentage of their contributions than do lower-income workers. The payouts to retirees are, and are intended to be, redistributive. Third, Social Security income is subject to the income tax—and the income tax is progressive.

...studies suggest that both of the payroll-tax systems are progressive, not regressive. Moreover, according to a July 2012 study by the Congressional Budget Office, entitled "The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2008 and 2009," the entire U.S. federal tax system (including the earned-income tax, the various capital income taxes, the two types of payroll taxes, the corporate tax, and the excise tax) is also progressive.

Those who assert that "the rich" do not pay their "fair share" seem to be ignoring these other facts: A study released in 2008 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reported the U.S. federal income tax system is the most progressive of any of the 24 countries of its member nations. And an October 2011 report by the Tax Foundation noted that in 2009 the top 1% of U.S. earners—who earned 17% of the income—paid 37% of the taxes. The top 5% earned 32% of the income and paid 59% of the taxes. The bottom 50% paid 2.3% of taxes, and the bottom quintile received money back in the form of refundable tax credits.

Lee Ohanian is professor of economics at UCLA and a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.
4762  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Where the growth has been the last 4 years on: November 03, 2012, 10:54:03 AM
4763  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential - Charles Krauthammer: The Choice on: November 03, 2012, 10:25:40 AM
The choice

By Charles Krauthammer, Published: November 1,  Washington Post

“Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not.” That was Barack Obama in 2008. And he was right. Reagan was an ideological inflection point, ending a 50-year liberal ascendancy and beginning a 30-year conservative ascendancy.

It is common for one party to take control and enact its ideological agenda. Ascendancy, however, occurs only when the opposition inevitably regains power and then proceeds to accept the basic premises of the preceding revolution.

Thus, Republicans railed for 20 years against the New Deal. Yet when they regained the White House in 1953, they kept the New Deal intact.

And when Nixon followed LBJ’s Great Society — liberalism’s second wave — he didn’t repeal it. He actually expanded it. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), gave teeth to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and institutionalized affirmative action — major adornments of contemporary liberalism.

Until Reagan. Ten minutes into his presidency, Reagan declares that “government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” Having thus rhetorically rejected the very premise of the New Deal/Great Society, he sets about attacking its foundations — with radical tax reduction, major deregulation, a frontal challenge to unionism (breaking the air traffic controllers for striking illegally) and an (only partially successful) attempt at restraining government growth.

Reaganism’s ascendancy was confirmed when the other guys came to power and their leader, Bill Clinton, declared (in his 1996 State of the Union address) that “the era of big government is over” — and then abolished welfare, the centerpiece “relief” program of modern liberalism.

In Britain, the same phenomenon: Tony Blair did to Thatcherism what Clinton did to Reaganism. He made it the norm.

Obama’s intention has always been to re-normalize, to reverse ideological course, to be the anti-Reagan — the author of a new liberal ascendancy. Nor did he hide his ambition. In his February 2009 address to Congress he declared his intention to transform America. This was no abstraction. He would do it in three areas: health care, education and energy.

Think about that. Health care is one-sixth of the economy. Education is the future. And energy is the lifeblood of any advanced country — control pricing and production, and you’ve controlled the industrial economy.

And it wasn’t just rhetoric. He enacted liberalism’s holy grail: the nationalization of health care. His $830 billion stimulus, by far the largest spending bill in U.S. history, massively injected government into the free market — lavishing immense amounts of tax dollars on favored companies and industries in a naked display of industrial policy.

And what Obama failed to pass through Congress, he enacted unilaterally by executive action. He could not pass cap-and-trade, but his EPA is killing coal. (No new coal-fired power plant would ever be built.) In 2006, liberals failed legislatively to gut welfare’s work requirement. Obama’s new Health and Human Services rule does that by fiat. Continued in a second term, it would abolish welfare reform as we know it — just as in a second term, natural gas will follow coal, as Obama’s EPA regulates fracking into noncompetitiveness.

Government grows in size and power as the individual shrinks into dependency. Until the tipping point where dependency becomes the new norm — as it is in Europe, where even minor retrenchment of the entitlement state has led to despair and, for the more energetic, rioting.

An Obama second term means that the movement toward European-style social democracy continues, in part by legislation, in part by executive decree. The American experiment — the more individualistic, energetic, innovative, risk-taking model of democratic governance — continues to recede, yielding to the supervised life of the entitlement state.

If Obama loses, however, his presidency becomes a historical parenthesis, a passing interlude of overreaching hyper-liberalism, rejected by a center-right country that is 80 percent nonliberal.

Should they summon the skill and dexterity, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan could guide the country to the restoration of a more austere and modest government with more restrained entitlements and a more equitable and efficient tax code. Those achievements alone would mark a new trajectory — a return to what Reagan started three decades ago.

Every four years we are told that the coming election is the most important of one’s life. This time it might actually be true. At stake is the relation between citizen and state, the very nature of the American social contract.
4764  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 03, 2012, 10:20:08 AM
Agreed too late to do anything different now, I'm just expressing deep frustration and fear.  Sure hope Morris is right , , ,God Bless America.
It is time for everyone involved to find and adopt an undecided or leaning voter between now and Tuesday.  I have one friend in mind who is a former Republican and has leaned left more recently and I am working to make sure my daughter's first ballot gets turned in on time no matter how she fills it out.

Call personally on election day and confirm with every like minded person you know that we all showed up.

The difference of Obamacare passing or not might have happened right in my mostly conservative town of 1000.  The recount from R to D to make the 60 Senator shift on just a few votes might have been people out here who were too busy or thought it wouldn't matter.  It mattered - big time.

It doesn't seem like it sometimes, but one more vote in Calif, Minn, and every other place does make a difference.  The margin of victory matters.  It matters in the close races and it matters in places not close to start to change or build any momentum to get good candidates and messages to come forward in the future.

To everyone who cares - do something!
4765  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: November 03, 2012, 09:57:37 AM
I need to go through Pat's work in more detail to understand the specifics but one of the stunning first impressions is what a waste of time and money the intervening programs were.  2009 'improved' because we were paying public subsidies into the market to prevent a full correction.  When the free money ended the program had no lasting beneficial effect.  Same for cash for clunkers.  In sum the $6 trillion or more of overspending is down the tube, with interest accruing forever, and the effects on the economy of these contrived measures were counterproductive, shielding markets from the real market forces of correction and recovery.

No lessons were learned because the people who didn't agree with market economics then for the most part still don't know about it now.

Housing corrects by allowing the market to operate as freely as it can and then growing national income so that people can pay what they choose to live where they want.  Government intervention programs are designed mostly to do the opposite.
4766  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 03, 2012, 09:43:14 AM
Feeling very frustrated with Mitt tonight.  The timidity of his campaign has turned what should have been a rampage through the wasteland of the record of the worst president of my lifetime into a real nail biter.

This forum would be a wonderful resource for someone looking for hundreds of specific devastating points that would have Obama off balance all day every day.  Instead, the man won't even touch Benghazi  cry

Agreed, though with the increase of stupidity and entrenchment of the leech class, it may not pay to be more aggressive now.

Yes, at this point in the campaign he is speaking to the one percent or less in the dead center of the electorate between Obama and Romney in a couple of counties of a couple of states in a language I don't expect to be able to understand.

I hope they know what they are doing.

To some extent it is the job of others to expose the opponent and his job to be the positive alternative.
4767  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Final Jobs Report on: November 02, 2012, 08:55:43 AM
Unemployment higher in numbers and percentage than when Obama took office.

George Bush's fault
4768  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs, spending, deficit, budget: debt will consume income on: November 01, 2012, 12:21:42 PM
"A new study by Stanford economist Michael Boskin estimates that the debt, if left unchecked, will have "severe negative consequences" for family incomes over time. The debt will reduce the average family income by 10 percent in 2030, by 17 percent in 2040 and by 30 percent by 2050."
4769  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 01, 2012, 11:57:28 AM
Morris is quite optimistic.  On election night, watch for Romney to win Virginia by 3 or more for an indicator of which direction it is going.

Only in the full sweep scenario do Republicans also take the Senate.  11 Senate seats are still tossups and the polling isn't that accurate.  The result will depend on who shows up in a lot of different places.

Interesting campaign tidbit:  It's the final weekend in such a large nation and both Obama and Romney are going to Dubuque on Saturday.  I doubt if there is more than one airport in Iowa's 9th largest city.
4770  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics - Hurricane, power and gas on: November 01, 2012, 11:50:38 AM
Electricity and gas is a top need and priority after interruption in the wake of the storm.

Who knew?

Energy is always a top priority, except for when we take it for granted.

Meanwhile Al Gore is saying energy consumption caused the storm:
Scientists tell us that by continually dumping 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere every single day, we are altering the environment in which all storms develop. As the oceans and atmosphere continue to warm, storms are becoming more energetic and powerful. Hurricane Sandy, and the Nashville flood, were reminders of just that.

George Bush's fault.
4771  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: November 01, 2012, 10:24:27 AM
Bigdog, These are good points, very well expressed.  The storm was huge, deadly and affected people beyond what was in its path.  I regret a couple of things, that I piled on with points already made by others, and that my words trivialized the importance of broadcasting the deadly danger impending.

The Mourdock point is interesting.  It is something they would also cover if not interrupted by the storm, but not ahead of or instead of Benghazi IMO.  What bill or constitutional amendment that might pass in the Senate would ban abortion for pregnancies resulting from rape?  There are none.

"The New York Times and Washington Post have both run nearly 100 pieces over the last 3 months mentioning the GOP and rape."  There is an under-covered story.

Rape abortions make up about .05% of all abortions.  The non-existent controversy makes a useful diversion from focusing on convenience abortions that comprise more than 98% of abortions, as I see it. 

Regarding Benghazi, the Sunday shows were the conduit for the central lie the administration put forward.  I clicked and watched Ambassador Susan Rice go on four of those shows with the exact same well rehearsed story.  She was sent there by the White House to tell the nation a false characterization of what happened in a very important international event.  It has been 7 weeks since the tragedy.  What exactly she was covering up we still don't know. 

Assuming professionalism and conscience, these shows would feel a need to get the false story corrected, find and air the truth the best they can and get it done in the same format, national broadcast not in a blog, prior to the election.

My complaint is aimed at far more than the decisions made that one day.  The point of that day is that if not that day as the story was exploding, then when?  It isn't going to happen.  They broadcast a falsehood and they leave it out there for weeks or forever uncorrected. 

If the administration goes down partly because of this story it is because people moved on to get their news from other sources than what used to be the main networks and the main newspapers. 
4772  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion - the limb off a live animal? on: October 31, 2012, 12:12:34 PM
Some very wise words over on Power of The Word thread could be applied here IMO, unless one argues the little developing one is plant or inanimate.  Earlier we determined that a fetus is a live human but of lower value than a born person.
"What is the true test of a moral person? How do you know that someone is truly a good person, and not just preaching?

One test is to observe the way they treat subordinates. Someone who can show concern for those who are lower and more helpless than themselves is a person who is truly good.

...the ban on eating the limb of a live animal is a general law which commands us to be kind to animals. In fact, Jewish law prohibits inflicting unnecessary pain on animals.
There is a clear hierarchy here. We are not equal with G‑d, and animals are not equal to humans. The myth of equality is necessary only to protect the weak in a world devoid of morality. But moral beings with a clear code of ethics can recognize the innate inequality of nature without exploiting it. Being higher means being more responsible. Nature is here to serve us, but we are here to serve G‑d, and that means treating all His creatures, equal or not, with respect.
An additional reason mentioned by the Sages for human treatment of animals is that it cultivates humane conduct toward other people, while inhumane treatment of animals carries the danger of inculcating insensitivity toward others. (Research confirms a connection between people who torture animals as youngsters and those who are violent as adults, though there is no way to tell if there is a causal relationship.)

The Sefer Hachinuch (596) writes: "Among the motivations for this commandment is to accustom ourselves to delicate souls, choosing the straight path and adhering to it, and seeking mercy and kindness. Once we obtain this habit, then even toward animals, which were created to serve us, we will show concern."
And Nachmanides writes: "The reason for refraining [from taking the eggs in the presence of the mother] is to teach us the quality of mercy, and not to act cruelty. For cruelty [toward animals then] spreads into the soul of man [and expresses itself toward people as well]."
4773  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: October 31, 2012, 12:10:20 PM
The top 4 newspapers in Iowa endorsed Mitt Romney in a big switch since 2008. Worth reading:
4774  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics- Pew poll non-response rate is 91% on: October 31, 2012, 11:46:45 AM
Pew admitted they are getting a 9% response rate on polling.  91% are like me and don't take the call or don't tell strangers their views on the phone.  Hard to say what this means for accuracy but not a good sign.

Still I find myself watching the movement in the polls almost every day.  (
4775  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy - Repeal the Medical Device Tax on: October 31, 2012, 01:07:23 AM
From the previous post, "we ought to kill the death tax. You paid for that farm once. You shouldn't have to pay for it again."

Great line!

Give some credit here to my congressman Erik Paulsen for pushing this.  The House has approved repeal of the medical device tax.  Now waiting for the Harry Reid led Senate to take up action - or to leave power.

Minnesota has 1270 medical device businesses.  Want to get less of something, tax it. 

Did anyone ever ask (David Gregory?) how this tax helps healthcare? Costs?  Or exports!?
4776  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential: Mondale's only state in play for Romney? on: October 31, 2012, 12:49:27 AM
When Mondale lost 49 states to Reagan, MN seemed for a moment to be American's furthest to the left state.  Then Mondale lost statewide in MN in 2002 becoming the first and only person to ever lose statewide in all 50.

Minnesota Poll now has Obama in MN by just +3, inside the sampling margin of error.

Same poll was wrong by 12 points in 2010, overestimating Dem support. (Who knew?!)

Obama playing demographic cards in Nevada, New Mexico and elsewhere may have a different effect in the upper midwest.
4777  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 30, 2012, 11:59:13 PM
Revise and extend my remarks...

Meet the Press etc should have done their job, filmed a show, brought in key guests,  asked tough questions - on key issues.  It is 2 shows to a landmark election and they haven't asked much yet. On the eastern seaboard they should have cut away as they did with every other show for extreme weather warnings.  People can catch up with the clips, news, video and transcripts when they have more time.

Strange to learn it wasn't the storm but the inconvenient comment of the Indiana candidate that superseded coverage of the Benghazi security scandal.

Like Candy Crowley says, we can get to that later.  Much later.

Bad storms coverage has good ratings.  Right wing rape abortion comments have the potential to hurt Mitt Romney.  We have time for that.
4778  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Libya, Selective Disarmament and Unarmed military vehicles... on: October 30, 2012, 11:25:23 PM
"Drones above Benghazi were unarmed"  because ... _____________________________?

Because there was no threat in Libya, Benghazi?  No, that wasn't the reason. 

Disarmament is one of our strategies:  "Please tell Vladimir I will have more flexibility [to disarm] after my reelection."

Disarmament and appeasement turns enemies into peace seekers, so the naivete goes.

Why cover it up?  This is our strategy in Libya at least. With no American arms, no one will get hurt, right?

The administration does not explain the dichotomy.  The drones in Yemen and Pakistan do not been fly unarmed.  Recalling this map of "Obama’s 284 Drone Strikes in Pakistan":

They fly ready to kill with the purpose of killing.  Even the furthest left regime in American history knows you don't stop terrorists with unarmed aircraft.  Yet they chose unarmed for defending American resources in Libya.  Very odd.  And unexplained.

UAV, FYI, refers to unmanned, not unarmed, aerial vehicle.
4779  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Libya / Benghazigate on: October 30, 2012, 09:41:54 AM
Right when I thought it was just me I keep seeing more coverage - in places only right wingers will look.  This one is PJ Media.  Goes from great coverage of what is thought to be known right now to conjecture about how and why it happened.  page through as you please and stop if you want before he gets to the "T" word, treason.

Questions for White House Over Benghazi Just Beginning
We have two likely possibilities for what occurred, plus a subplot involving arms to al-Qaeda, which could be treason.

(4 internet pages, read at the link or I can come back later to post it all here.)
4780  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues, Jonah Goldberg on Benghazigate on: October 30, 2012, 09:35:14 AM
The whole column is very good, but this part pertains specifically to the discussion here:

LA Times today:,0,6605340.column

"This is not to say that Fox News is alone in covering the story. But it is alone in treating it like it's a big deal. Of the five Sunday news shows, only "Fox News Sunday" treated this as a major story. On the other four, the issue came up only when Republicans mentioned it. Tellingly, on NBC's "Meet the Press," host David Gregory shushed a guest when she tried to bring up the subject, saying, "Let's get to Libya a little bit later."

Gregory never did get back to Benghazi. But he saved plenty of time to dive deep into the question of what Indiana U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's comments on abortion and rape mean for the Romney campaign. Typically, Gregory's instincts about the news routinely line up with Democratic talking points, in this case Obama's ridiculous "war on women" rhetoric.

I am willing to believe that journalists like Gregory are sincere in their desire to play it straight. But among those who don't share his instincts, it's hard to distinguish between conspiracy and groupthink. Indeed, it's hard to think why one should even bother trying to make that distinction at all."
4781  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: October 29, 2012, 11:12:04 PM
cry cry cry

The whole Benghazi story and its lack of followup makes me angry and puzzled.  I don't understand why they are not called out to answer for the lies, shiny objects and deceptions.  There wasn't a video or a video maker in the Benghazi story, but we were told there was.  There was a multiple hour struggle with security within reach, ordered to stand down.  Why?  By whom?  Don't we deserve to know? 

We made mistakes, misjudged the threat, misjudged the security needed.  Why not come forward early on and say so?  What have we learned?  In hind-sight, what would we do differently, what should we do differently, right now?  None of it asked.  None of it answered.

Sec. of State Hillary Clinton didn't take responsibility in any real way, just admitted she was Sec of State when it happened.  President Obama didn't take responsibility in any real way, really just admitted he is President and is ultimately responsible.

Military leadership doesn't say stand down or don't protect our resources.  Civilian leadership had a reason for doing that.  I am all for civilian leadership over our military.  That is because we have more than one way to remove and replace them.

I would rather run them out with the accurate information than without it.

There is a lot we don't know about the specific terror network and perpetrators.  There isn't a lot the administration doesn't know about the U.S. side of the story.

If this is all national secret, then brief select members of congress.

But why should they answer or say anything.  Lessons were learned with Fast and Furious.  An Executive branch with no knowledge claimed Executive privilege. The Attorney General was charged with Contempt of Congress and a majority of his own party supported that.  Yet he is still Attorney General with no consequence and the President is still running roughly even in the polls despite a horrendous economy.

Why should they answer; they are hardly even being asked.

Let's give voters no information whatsoever and then let them decide.
4782  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues -Storm story is big, so is national security before an election on: October 29, 2012, 09:40:39 PM
"If the excuse is the hurricane, lol...".  "Interesting wording."

Guilty. The nervous laugh is that every week they have a reason, not at the Act of God destruction sure to come.  I have the same compassion as your average liberal or journalist.  When will they get to asking the tough questions of the right people and demand an answer?  Never.  Not before, during or after the storm, or they can easily prove me wrong. If the only story is the storm, cancel the show and bring in the weather people and emergency broadcasters.  That is what they are doing tonight.  Is that what happened Sunday am?  I don't think so.

"Are you suggesting that potential damage, loss of life, etc. is not worthy of news, Doug?"  No.  And there wasn't any Sunday morning, but a real need to tell people to take cover.  "Are you suggesting that potential ramifications of Sandy shouldn't be talked about?"  No.  Did I say that?  "Especially on the east coast, which is where the news headquarters tend to be located?"  Interesting point, they should call it the meet the east coast press.  How about asking the rest of the questions from a Calif studio:  WHO TOLD OUR SECURITY FORCES TO STAND DOWN AND LET OUR DIPLOMATS BE MURDERED?  Was the drone armed?  Who watched in real time in the situation room?  Where was the President?  Who told Susan Rice the lie to spread on 5 Sunday shows?  Why?   - No time for any of that.

"And, I think I am firmly on record about OFF."  - Noted.  And likewise for the agreement on this issue.  )
None of my anger is aimed at anyone here!  (Big, friendly smile icon)

"That does not mean the criticism of the news shows of YESTERDAY was merited."  I watched the end of Fox News Sunday and the beginning of clicking between Meet the Press and This Week, was interrupted by news of a death in the family and left the house.  I am no expert on what they did or did not cover yesterday other than to infer from all sides in the conversation that the storm coming was the reason for no real follow up on a Benghazi story that is huge and that we all agree is not getting the coverage or aggressive followup that it deserves.

The storm story is now huge and publicizing its magnitude and potential for damage before it hit was fully warranted. 

It didn't stop Bill Clinton from telling a Connecticut crowd Sunday night:  "We're coming down to the 11th hour. We're facing a violent storm," Clinton said. He waited a beat, then added, "It's nothing compared to the storm we'll face if you don't make the right decision in this election."  Was that a joke or serious?  I don't know.

I expect hurricanes to hit seaboards, deathly cold waves in the north, earthquakes in earthquake zones, floods in flood zones, all newsworthy.  I wonder how many minutes Meet the Press spent on the Missouri River floods of 2011. "in the second half of the month of May 2011, almost a year's worth of rain fell over the upper Missouri River basin" after a 212% of normal snowfall meltoff from the Rockies.  - Not a mention.  Couldn't even see it from Washington or New York.

Freeway intersection I-29 and I-680 June 10 2011, US Army Corps of Engineers photo

Was this Sunday morning's storm coverage so urgent and thorough that they skipped their commercials?  - No.  They just skipped doing their job.


Note: Drudge who is not liberal or east coast based goes hog wild on big storms too.  Disasters make great news stories.  Huge headline as I post this, "NYC Goes Dark".  Below storm coverage he continues coverage of the rest, including:
CLINTON: Sandy 'nothing compared to the storm we'll face' if R elected...
There will be a 'Secretary of Business' in 2nd Term...
Father of Slain SEAL to president: 'Better to Die a Hero Than Live a Coward'...
4783  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 29, 2012, 01:33:01 PM
A splattering of wimpy comments from the links of coverage in our AWOL 'watchdog' mainstream press:  Creating confusion.  Clumsy. Transparent.  An utterly contrived story.  Mentions on a blog but never a series of relentless followup questions on the Sunday shows in question with their key guests.  Please point out if I missed that.  One Stephanopolous blog entry ends with the quote Biden saying Romney is politicizing the tragedy and the other with the comment that it was Mitt's worst moment.  Why would a news show make a follow up on points expressed so clearly and objectively?

I wonder what these agenda driven losers would have said about Watergate, had it been Obama instead of Nixon.

Maybe for opinion, but the viewer should not need to go to right wing media to get basic facts on core issues of the day.  But we do.

If the excuse is the hurricane, lol, then which storm continues to keep them off of Fast and Furious?

It was NOT our military leaders IMHO telling our forces to stand down and let the assassinations and destruction go forward.  It was our civilian leadership and we have much easier way to change them out than impeachment.

“They’re just sowing more confusion about this rather than resolving the issue, which is creating more of an issue,” Gregory concluded.   - And then he didn't make it more of an issue.  Maybe he is planning a hard hitting, national, prime time inquiry into all the contradictions, misstatements, deceptions and the security failures themselves in Benghazi prior to the election - when they are done with their regional weather forecast.  I will stay tuned.

To this quote: "essentially the coverage has been far, far less than this matter deserves, and far, far less probing than this matter deserves," Bigdog wrote:  "as you well know I agree with you there."

Amen to that!
4784  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, Wesbury, velocity, undertainty on: October 29, 2012, 12:33:30 PM
Wesbury is right on the money with his key point here.  Velocity is the key determinant of what is wrong and what needs to improve and uncertainty is at the heart of it.  Worse than high tax rates we have total uncertainty about future tax rates.  No investor can make any calculated decision.  No company can know their after tax return on investment for all the plant building and expansion decisions that are not being made right now.  Pull back, sit still and wait is the only logical choice which means, generally, no new jobs.

I've mentioned that Wesbury is more candid about his political views on right wing radio (Friday Hugh Hewitt show for one) than he is writing for the investment house.  Wesbury thinks Romney is going to win and that will be good for the economy.  So do I, but my uncertainty level is 50% or more.

What he means by plowhorse economy is that the American private sector is strong but pulling this awfully burdensome load, the American public sector, including all the transfer payments.

If you believe recovery depends on a change of course and the change of course depends on knowing the result especially President and Senate on which the change of course depends, how can you know or predict the economic outlook?

"Recently we lifted our recession odds to 25% from 10%."

Right.  What that means is that we are headed into a recession - or we aren't.  You can base your investment decisions on that secure knowledge.
4785  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: October 23, 2012, 07:56:49 PM
Covering for the lack of liberal posts on the board, I offer these:

Bill Keller's advice for Romney in the final debate.  He actually followed point one, lay off of Benghazi.  Point two is say something nice about the Palestinians, then extend a hand to the Muslim Brotherhood and on it goes.  Keller is former editor of NY TImes, maybe even inspired Crafty's 'Pravda' naming.
Next, the geniuses ot NYT thought if I liked that one I would like to read this one too!

Government creates jobs - millions of them:

Mr. Romney interrupted. “Government does not create jobs,” he said. “Government does not create jobs.”

It was a decidedly crabbed response to a seemingly uncontroversial observation, and yet Mr. Obama took the bait. He said his political opponents had long harped on “this notion that I think government creates jobs, that that somehow is the answer. That’s not what I believe.” He went on to praise free enterprise and to say that government’s role is to create the conditions for everyone to have a fair shot at success.

So, they agree. Government does not create jobs.

Except that it does, millions of them — including teachers, police officers, firefighters, soldiers, sailors, astronauts, epidemiologists, antiterrorism agents, park rangers, diplomats, governors (Mr. Romney’s old job) and congressmen (like Paul Ryan).
What they don't get it that government jobs ride off the revenues generated by taxpaying enterprise jobs (not the other way around).  Government can't and doesn't create them first or on their own.
4786  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Did Pres. Obama know about two PRIOR Benghazi attacks? on: October 23, 2012, 07:42:55 PM
Did Pres. Obama know about two PRIOR Benghazi attacks?

If he did, then he knew this was a terror attack too BEFORE any report or investigation.

If he did not, were they in the daily intelligence briefings that he did not attend in person.

If they were in there and he did not see them, did he play golf or hold fund raisers on those days.

Just curious.
4787  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Woodward: President wrong on defense sequestration on: October 23, 2012, 07:34:51 PM
Bob Woodward: Obama 'mistaken' on sequester

'What the president said is not correct,' Woodward told POLITICO | AP Photo
By LEIGH MUNSIL | 10/23/12 4:24 PM EDT Updated: 10/23/12 6:02 PM EDT

Bob Woodward says President Barack Obama got some of his facts wrong on sequester at Monday night’s debate.

Woodward’s book, “The Price of Politics,” has been the go-to fact check source for the president’s answer, in which he claimed the idea of using deep, automatic, across-the-board domestic and defense spending cuts to force Congress to address the nation’s burgeoning federal deficit originated from Congress, not from the White House.

“What the president said is not correct,” Woodward told POLITICO Tuesday. “He’s mistaken. And it’s refuted by the people who work for him.”

Woodward, a Washington Post journalist who was a key reporter on the initial coverage of the Watergate scandal, said he stands behind his reporting in the book, which drew upon sources involved in last year’s deficit talks and detailed notes taken in the meetings.

(Also on POLITICO: Woodward's book: 5 telling moments)

Woodward reports in his book that White House Office of Management Director Jack Lew and Legislative Affairs Director Rob Nabors took the proposal for sequestration to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and then it was presented to congressional Republicans.

During the debate, however, Obama said the idea originated on Capitol Hill.

“First of all, the sequester is not something that I've proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed,” Obama said, adding his strongest pronouncement to date on its future: “It will not happen.”

Woodward said there’s a possibility the president was unaware of how the idea came about.

“It’s a complicated process — and in fairness to the president — maybe he didn’t know that they were doing this because it’s kind of technical budget jargon,” Woodward said.

“What I wrote — it’s specific date, time, place, participants,” he said. “What I’ve reported is totally accurate. Call Nabors and Lew. Or ask the White House. I mean, they know that’s accurate.”

Read more:
4788  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential: Climate Change / Global Warming on: October 23, 2012, 07:23:14 PM
What is the biggest issue of our time?

360 debate minutes behind us, the majority of that with Obama-Biden speaking.  The closest we came to a mention of climate change or global warming was the contest between Pres. Obama and Gov. Romney to see who was the most pro-coal.
4789  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: October 23, 2012, 06:42:33 PM
"What is the margin of error? Even 6 might be a statistical tie."

Gallup has Romney at +5 with likely voters says margin of error plus/minus 4.  Rasmussen has Romney at +4 says sampling margin of error plus/minus 3 with 95% confidence.  Others have smaller margins well within the margin.  I don't follow margin of error closely because sample size is only one of the possible causes or errors. There are others such as how likely a likely voter is to vote and is there any correlation between being unreachable or refusing to answer the poll and who they support.  Each poll applies their own 'secret sauce' to manipulate their sample, (like global warming).  We are heading into the period where their real error or accuracy becomes quickly known and their reputation is judged.  Earlier poll errors don't count against them, they just say it was a late movement.

My guess is that Romney has to win by 2 points or more in the popular vote to be confident of winning the electoral college.  Al Gore won in 2000 by more than a half point: 48.38% to 47.87%. Romney needs to pull some Senators across the finish line too, for a number of reasons.

The actual error in Wisconsin 2012 was 7%, in Minnesota 2012 it was 12%, underpolling Republican votes in those two cases.
4790  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential, 3rd debate, Krauthammer, polls, final stretch on: October 23, 2012, 11:30:44 AM
First must comment on the previous post, the cartoon with Obama protecting Big Bird and Romney protecting the country.  The Big Bird issue was the shiny object trick thrown back on them and they went for it.  Four years of trillion dollar deficits and they still haven't started to cut the fluff.  The Pres has no cuts on the table so he can't press the challenger for real ones, and Mediscare backfired.  The joke is that PBS doesn't even need the subsidy, and especially not for its successful brands like Big Bird and Jim Lehrer.  Just Obama fighting hard for very small things. 

I did not watch the 3rd debate, but read a lot of commentary last night and this morning.  On debate zingers they say Obama won by a little, but 60% saw Romney as ready to be Commander in Chief, looking Presidential AGAIN, blowing the Obama line out of the water trying to show that Romney is not ready.

Conservatives and hawks may be disappointed in what he didn't say or the change of course that he did not lay out for our future foreign policy.

Gallup has had Romney up big, 6%, the last few days.  Rasmussen now has Romney up 50-46.  Others have it by less.  If accurate, an incumbent does not come up from 46-48%.

Remaining is the October surprise, the November surprise, the settling in of all the information we already know, and then the get out the vote operation.

If this really is a squeaker, Obama would win by taking Ohio and some other key states.

If the polls above are close to showing the new reality as I believe they are, Romney by 3 or 4, he will sweep all those and take a few others.
Now is the time to adopt an undecided voter and apply a little positive assertiveness on them.  )

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I think it's unequivocal, Romney won. And he didn't just win tactically, but strategically. Strategically, all he needed to do is basically draw. He needed to continue the momentum he's had since the first debate, and this will continue it. Tactically, he simply had to get up there and show that he's a competent man, somebody who you could trust as commander in chief, a who knows every area of the globe and he gave interesting extra details, like the Haqqani network, which gave the impression he knows what he's talking about. But there is a third level here, and that is what actually happened in the debate.

We can argue about the small points and the debating points. Romney went large, Obama went very, very small, shockingly small. Romney made a strategic decision not go after the president on Libya, or Syria, or other areas where Obama could accuse him of being a Bush-like war monger. Now I would have gone after Obama on Libya like a baseball bat, but that's why Romney has won elections and I've never had to even contested them. He decided to stay away from the and I think that might have actually worked for him.

What he did concentrate on is the big picture. People don't care what our policy on Syria is going to be. They care about how America is perceived in the world and how America carries itself in the world. And the high point is when he devastatingly leveled the charge of Obama going around the world on an apology tour. Obama's answer was ask any reporter and they will tell you it wasn't so. That's about as weak an answer you can get. And Romney's response to quote Obama saying that, 'we dictate to other nations,' and Romney said, 'we do not dictate to other nations, we liberate them.' And Obama was utterly speechless.

So that is the large picture, America is strong and respecting. What Obama did is he kept interrupting, interjecting and his responses were almost all very small, petty attacks. The lowest was when he's talking about sanctions that are old. 'When I was working on sanctions you were investing in a company in China.' I mean that is the kind of attack you expect from a guy who is running for city council for the first time, that's not what you expect from the president. A personal attack about an investment when talking about Iran?

I thought Romney had the day. He looked presidential. The president did not. And that's the impression I think that is going to be left.

MEGYN KELLY, FOX News: Mitt Romney sounded a bit more dovish, less bellicose than some, perhaps on the right wanted to hear. How will that play?

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, I think those on the right like me, who would have loved for him to have been bellicose and love the near fisticuffs will understand exactly why Romney did it. He stayed away from the pitfalls. He did not allow himself to be painted as a war monger. This is what Reagan understood in 1980, he did it extremely well. So Romney did and I think this could help him win the election.

4791  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market and the fiscal cliff on: October 20, 2012, 09:15:54 PM
I see a big win for Romney but there is also a real chance that Obama wins, with a Dem Senate, keeps Obamacare, lets tax rates go up, restarts the carbon war plus the not yet mentioned war against fracking, and kills off all growth.  That's a lot of uncertainty.  There could be recounts too, with either outcome.

Assume Romney wins, R's take the Senate and keep the House.  If they can enact the agenda then I am bullish bigtime on the long term - but not without turmoil in the short term.   

If they get it passed in March and make it retroactive to Jan. 1, that leaves months of unknowns starting now.  There will be a fight after the election over temporary tax rate extensions.  How does that end?  When does it end?  Nobody knows, I think it was Dec 24 last time.  Dems in the Senate could block things next year; some bills don't need 60 votes.

The market is up this year and up since the bottom in 2008.  People have profits to take before the year-end rate-hike possibility, and they have to sell before others do.  They can buy back into other stocks if they are bullish but widespread selling presents an opportunity for a downward spiral.
4792  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market: 25th anniversary of the crash on: October 20, 2012, 05:58:50 PM
Are people still in the market with another correction coming?  If nothing is done, capital gains tax rates go up at the end of the year by 33-50%, and nothing is being done.  If Obama wins, under his plan they go up by as much as triple.  This doesn't affect you? If everyone but you sells, the value of your stock will go down - significantly.  MHO.
4793  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Policy, Capping Deductions with Lower Marginal Rates, WSJ on: October 20, 2012, 05:50:40 PM
This is an extremely important piece IMO.  Very likely to become the framework for new tax reform.  I have tried to write tax simplification and reform that meets all the political and economic requirements and I can tell you it's not as easy as it looks.  Romney's plan moves us forward better than any other I have seen.  This WSJ Editorial explains it extremely well.

Romney's Tax Deduction Cap     WallStreet Journal Editorial, Oct 20, 2012, link below
An idea to finance reform and avoid political trench warfare.

The Obama campaign and the press corps keep demanding that Mitt Romney specify which tax deductions he'd eliminate, but the Republican has already proposed more tax-reform specificity than any candidate in memory. To wit, he's proposed a dollar limit on deductions for each tax filer.

During the first Presidential debate, Mr. Romney put it this way: "What are the various ways we could bring down deductions, for instance? One way, for instance, would be to have a single number. Make up a number—$25,000, $50,000. Anybody can have deductions up to that amount. And then that number disappears for high-income people. That's one way one could do it."

In an October 1 interview with a Denver TV station, Mr. Romney mentioned a cap of $17,000 and said "higher income people might have a lower number." His campaign stresses that these dollar amounts are "just illustrative" and that there are other ways to reduce deductions that in any case would have to be negotiated with Congress.

But details aside, the tax cap is a big idea, and potentially a very good one. The proposal makes economic sense to the extent that it helps to pay for lower marginal tax rates. Lower rates with fewer deductions improve the incentive for investing and taking risks based on the best return on capital rather than favoring one kind of investment (say, housing) over another. This would help economic growth.

The idea may be even better politically. The historic challenge for tax reformers is defeating the most powerful lobbies in Washington that exist to preserve their special tax privileges. Among the biggest is the housing lobby that exists to preserve the mortgage-interest deduction—the Realtors, home builders, mortgage brokers and the whole Fannie Mae FNMA -0.73% gang.

But don't forget the life insurance lobby (which benefits from the tax exclusion on the equity buildup in policies), the tax-free municipal bond interest lobby, the charitable deduction lobby and more. Each one will fight to the death to preserve its carve-out, which means that reformers have to engage in political trench warfare to succeed.

This is one reason President Obama wants Mr. Romney to be more specific: The minute he proposed to limit the mortgage-interest deduction, the housing lobby would do the Obama campaign's bidding by running ads against Mr. Romney's plan. Mr. Romney is right not to fall for this sucker play.

By limiting the amount of deductions that any individual tax filer can take, Mr. Romney is avoiding this lobby-by-lobby warfare. He'd let individual taxpayers decide which deductions they want to take up to the limit. In effect, the deductions would compete with one another as taxpayers decided which one was most important to them.

The political left should have a hard time opposing this because reducing deductions would hit high-income taxpayers the hardest. Out of the 140 million tax returns in 2009, the last year such data are available, only 45 million itemized their deductions. The non-itemizers, who take the standard deduction ($11,900 for joint filers in 2012), would be held harmless by the Romney cap. Most of these are lower- or middle-income earners.

The nearby table shows that the dollar value of deductions rises with incomes. Filers who itemized and earned between $10,000 and $40,000 in 2009 had average itemized deductions of roughly $16,000. This means they would on average lose nothing under a Romney cap. The average deduction amount rose to about $22,000 for incomes between $75,000 and $100,000. Filers with $1 million in income had average deductions near $173,000, and those who earn $10 million or more had deductions of about $4.3 million.

Another benefit is that the Romney deduction cap would cost taxpayers more in states with the highest tax burdens. Think of California, Illinois, New Jersey and New York.

The current tax code allows filers to deduct state income tax, real-estate tax, and some sales taxes from federal tax. This rewards states for raising taxes. Under the Romney cap, many upper-middle-class filers wouldn't be able to write off all their state taxes. This would create political pressure to cut state taxes.

We realize the tax cap isn't perfect and carries some risks. The tax code would not become any simpler. Liberals would also pocket the limits on deductions for the wealthy and immediately try to raise rates again. But that political risk exists for any reform short of repealing the 16th Amendment. Our preference would be to eliminate all such deductions and lower rates as far as possible, but we shouldn't make a perfect reform the enemy of the much better.

By the way, Mr. Obama has also called for limiting tax deductions for high-income filers. His budgets have endorsed allowing them to take writeoffs at a rate of 28% instead of 35%. The big difference is that Mr. Romney wants to dedicate the revenue gain from capping deductions to cutting tax rates. Mr. Obama wants to use the money to pay for more spending.

The larger point is that Mr. Romney is serious about reform and has put on the table a serious idea for how to finance and achieve it. That's far more than Mr. Obama has proposed about anything in a second term.
(Subscribe to the nation's best and largest newspaper, WSJ, at:
4794  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: October 20, 2012, 05:10:42 PM
So, are you saying that he can stonewall the OFF investigation with it?  That Issa's committee's subpoenas are meaningless?  What, if any, are the limits on assertions of EP?

Adding my layman's view into the mix, subject to being informed or corrected here on the forum.  )

We all believe in Executive Privilege with limits.  The executive should normally be able to get candid advice from his advisers in private.  Crafty's question is right on the money with his question, what are those limits.  When does a competing interest rise above the importance of protecting EP.  It would appear from reading BD's link that this is not entirely settled law.  It is a judgment call to decide when a legislative or public right to know rises above this privilege.

My understanding in the case of the Cheney energy task force is that the Vice President was getting candid advice from individuals and a group of contacts and industry experts, up to the point perhaps of writing parts of legislation that I think never got passed.  What happened behind closed doors IMO isn't crucial because the end product, their written proposal or bill is public, can be read, argued, amended, introduced, not introduced, passed or voted down.  If some crony wanted $100 million in the bill to go to Exxon or Haliburton, it would be in the bill; we don't need to subpoena the parties or break any secrecy to find that out.  Not at all similar to Fast and Furious IMHO.

Same question was asked about Hillary's healthcare task force, though as First Lady she was not really an Executive Branch official.

Not executive branch, but a similar question would be to ask who advised and wrote the clauses and inner workings of 'Obamacare' for former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  Do we have a right to know that?  Maybe not, just a right to oppose the bill.

What about the quesiton of the White House sending out Susan Rice to 5 major Sunday shows to essentially disseminate false information to the American people about the attack Benghazi.  Some of us would like to know who sent her out there to send out a knowingly false message and why.  Are the discussions protected in secrecy if the intent was to mislead?

Executive Privilege in Operation Fast and Furious: Is there is a legitimate and compelling public interest in knowing who authorized the sale/transport of these weapons?  Does it rise above the principle of EP? How else would we prevent this or something worse from happening again?  Congress appropriated the funds used but not the operation.  They were not fully informed prior, during or after the use of public funds.  Laws were likely broken (I believe) and people died.  An international alliance was put in jeopardy. What is our right to know, through the investigative committees of the House of Representatives?

The irony of asserting Executive Privilege in Operation Fast and Furious is that we were being told that no one in the Attorney General's Office or White House had any knowledge, documents or discussions whatsoever on this operation.  The assertion of privilege would seem to refute that.  Either they did know and authorized the operation or else the assertion is frivolous (“transparently invalid”) it would seem to me.  The assertion is designed to forestall the investigation past election day or indefinitely.

The 255 to 67 contempt vote including a majority within the President's own party voting against the White House is telling.
4795  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sen. Klobuchar took Ponzi schemer’s campaign contributions, didn’t prosecute on: October 19, 2012, 06:03:34 PM
Documents: Sen. Klobuchar took Ponzi schemer’s campaign contributions, didn’t prosecute

Documents obtained by The Daily Caller show that U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar helped keep a multibillion-dollar Ponzi schemer out of prison in the late 1990s when she was the County Attorney in Hennepin County, Minnesota.

That financial criminal, Tom Petters, presided over companies whose employees gave Klobuchar $8,500 for her re-election campaign, and would later contribute more than $120,000 toward her U.S. Senate run.

One of those companies’ vice presidents was Ted Mondale, a former state senator and son of former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale. Before taking office as Hennepin County Attorney, Klobuchar was a partner at the Minneapolis law form of Dorsey & Whitney, where Walter Mondale has practiced law since 1987.

Perhaps because of the lure of Petters’ campaign cash or his deep connection to Minnesota Democratic politics, Klobuchar used the power of her office in 1999 to ensure Petters was not charged with financial crimes. And despite significant evidence against him, she cleared the way for Petters to build his multibillion-dollar illegal empire by prosecuting only his early co-conspirators.

One of those co-conspirators, Richard Hettler, told The Daily Caller that Klobuchar was aware of what Petters was doing, yet willingly accepted campaign donations from Petters’ company and its employees.
4796  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sen. Claire McCaskill’s husband cut business deals in Senate Dining Room on: October 19, 2012, 06:00:37 PM
Whistle-blower audio: Sen. Claire McCaskill’s husband cut business deals in Senate Dining Room

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill’s husband used the U.S. Senate Dining Room to cut business deals selling tax credits tied to stimulus money, a whistle-blowing executive inside his company alleged on an audio recording exclusively obtained by The Daily Caller.

“The thing that irritated me about this was he [McCaskill’s husband Joseph Shepard] entertained these outside investors in the Senate Dining Room,” the whistle-blower said. “That’s where he closed the deal.”
4797  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Calif. official whounder-reported unemployment was Obama campaign donor on: October 19, 2012, 05:55:50 PM
Who knew?

Calif. official whose agency under-reported unemployment stats was Obama campaign donor

Marty Morgenstern, the secretary of the California agency that substantially under-reported unemployment claims last week, contributed to President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential election campaign, The Daily Caller has learned.

On Oct. 11, the federal government reported that weekly jobless claims were down significantly, suggesting a dramatic national increase in economic growth and a steep decline in layoffs.  Jobless claims, according to the Labor Department, had fallen by 30,000 to 339,000, their lowest level since February 2008.

The good news for the Obama administration spread quickly, with outlets like CNN and Bloomberg declaring, “Jobless claims fall to four-year low.”

But within hours, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Labor Department analysts announced that one major state had failed to fully document jobless claims. They declined to name the state.

Speculation among market watchers and economists initially focused on California, but the state’s Employment Development Department strongly denied that it had failed to properly document the data.

“Reports that California failed to fully report data to the U.S. Department of Labor, as required, are incorrect and irresponsible,” California Employment Development Department director Pam Harris said in a statement last week. “The California Employment Development Department, which administers the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program in the state, has reported all UI claims data and submitted the data on time.”

Early Thursday, the federal government finally revealed that California had, in fact, under-reported jobless data, skewing the national jobless claims results. This week’s updated jobs report corrected the error and showed unemployment claims spiking back up by 46,000 to 388,000.

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Morgenstern to lead the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency in 2011. The state agency oversees the Employment Development Department.

According to campaign disclosure records, Morgenstern donated $4,600 — the maximum amount allowed by law — to the 2008 Obama camapaign, beginning with a $1,000 contribution to Obama for America in February 2008. Morgenstern followed up that donation with a $1,300 contribution in June, and then a $2,300 payout in early September.

On all three disclosures, Morgenstern indicated that he was either ”not employed” or “retired.”

According to the Sacramento Business Journal, however, Morgenstern was employed since 2003 as a consultant for the liberal University of California education system.

California officials have denied wrongdoing.
4798  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 18, 2012, 11:43:34 PM
"...[Romney] doesn't [connect with voters], and you blame someone else"

My view is different than Crafty's in this sense, I am mostly satisfied with the Romney campaign and especially his debate performances including the second.  I thought Romney looked very well prepared for every question asked and gave clear and persuasive answers to each, under difficult circumstances.  There is always more he could have said, time permitting - but time didn't. I thought President Obama was way out of line in terms of false and deceptive charges and denials, a follow up for another thread.  I blame the moderator for failure in her assigned and agreed role.

"You are wrong on many things, Doug."  - I like to hear this.) I regularly hope I am wrong but end up disappointed.  wink

The Michelle Obama applause accusation seems to be true.  The audio has a lead partisan clapping loudly and a camera still shot indicates it was the First Lady - unless she brought her hands together to pray.  

NY Daily News

The real point though IMO was that the applause was one-sided and the so-called moderator did nothing about it.  It just compounded what was happening at the 'moderator' table.

Professional umpires assigning different strike zones to different hitters and pitchers...  I know it happens.  Is it professional?  

"[binders of women's resumes] would have been given to the winner of the election, no matter [who] it was."

If the story is a lie or embellishment, please link; plenty of staffers should know.  

The main point was the hiring, not the binders IMO.  He was ranked number one in the nation at putting women in top positions.  A Democratic Governor would have hired the same staff as a Republican Governor or hire just as many women?  We don't know that.  
4799  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 18, 2012, 10:38:17 AM
Her wikipedia entry says Crowley is divorced with grown children. 

I noticed the President was quick and sure with questioners' names.  I was impressed. 

...there are reports that Crowley was at the White House on Sunday. 

They were very clear at the beginning that the questions were known only to Crowley and her staff.  If she violated that there would be quite a consequence for her - to move up even higher in Washington media social circles.
4800  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Worst Moderating Presidential debate history, it was ugly on: October 18, 2012, 10:03:29 AM
The time difference in the first and the second is starting to accumulate when it is so blatant in the third and when it all goes the same direction.  The time was crucial in the third because nearly all of Obama's time from my point of view was spent making either false or misleading statement about his opponent or false and misleading statements about his own record.  Time is needed to rebut these and still answer the primary question of him in the debate, what would a Romney administration look like.

I did not notice Bigdog use the word 'professional' associated with the performance Candy, though I may have missed it.  Maybe we all agree here, except for the noted digression.

I wrote notes to myself throughout the debate and after question 6, I wrote that she was trying to keep order.  By question 9, by my count, she had horribly interjected herself into the debate as a participant.  She asked Gov Romney, "Why have you changed your mind?" on ak-47s, covering for a rebuttal point she saw the President miss.  Really? What pressing federal issue is out there about guns right now other than the dead Mexicans and US border guard scandal.  Looked to me like she was trying to help Obama carry Colorado using the movie theater shooting for political gain and Obama missed his opening. She needed this point made to show why she chose the question.

Then the "self-deport" followup, completely uncalled for, and all the other one sided interruptions.  "SIT DOWN GOV ROMNEY."  When did she say sit down Mr. President.  It was a moment of ugliness.  Are they not allowed to stand even during their opponent's time??

She made NO attempt to stop applause that real moderators don't tolerate.  The one-sided applause started to give away the phoniness of the setup; she was the one who picked the people by knowing their questions.  Little did we know who was applauding.

Then the doozy, sticking her nose in to call Romney a liar after all the misinformation she had tolerated to that point.  And she was wrong on her facts.
UPDATE: On that point the President and the moderator seemed to be openly collaborating.

That drew the biggest applause.  Turns out it was Michelle Obama leading the applause.  The television audience did not know that.  Instead of nipping it in the bud she blushed because it was she they were applauding.  Does the moderator have no control over the partisans allowed in the room?  If not, why are they allowed in the room?

She made a promise at the beginning that time to followup would be available at the end, but that wasn't true.  Pundits outside the room were keeping track of time discrepancies and she wasn't.  Instead she was looking for her openings to get herself in on one more big play for her team.  Did someone see it differently than that?!?

A professional hockey ref calls offside on Wayne Gretszky the same as he calls it on a first year unknown.  This lady didn't.  This replacement ref displayed her team's uniform and threw herself into it instead of moderating.  Participants get judged on style, not just substance.

Small time differences wouldn't normally matter except that our media and debate scorers count any lie or deception that is not immediately refuted as a debate point won.  And if refuted, they still score the point to the liar/deceiver because he had successfully put his opponent on defense.

Speaking of partisans, we have Bob Schieffer coming up next.

The Republican party and candidates may have signed on to a lineup of lefties for moderators because they were offered no other choice.  Out here in the heartland we did not give up our right to whine about Washington media lefties trying to control the process.

"...she wouldn't fit in Mitt's binder?"

Romney does exactly what every liberal would want any employer to do on pay equity.  He sought out, found and hired more women at senior high paying jobs, and Obama didn't.  For that, what do they do?  Thank Romney, honor him? No, ridicule.  Make fun of the process, or a word missing in a time limited sentence used to describe the process.  I assume he referred to binders of women's applications or resumes. - Hey guys, we found another shiny object! - Every minute that you visualize the binders of women you are not seeing 23 million unemployed, 47 million and still growing numbers of people dependent on food stamps and 1 in 6 in poverty.

'That's enough'.  'Sit down Gov. Romney.'  Most people give their dog more respect.
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