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51  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: August 13, 2015, 11:12:36 AM
"The phone call he says (a week before he announced) came after he decided to run."

Well, now that we have The Donald's word on that I feel better.

 smiley  If not his word, watch his actions.  A week before the announcement, were they already out hiring supporters?

Donald Trump reportedly paid actors $50 to cheer for him at his 2016 announcement

Team Trump: No, we didn’t hire actors for the launch
52  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: education on: August 13, 2015, 09:45:25 AM
How can holding down repayments, interests rates, and forgiveness timetables be good for anyone but those particular students who don't make the payments.

Why not hold our education system to the new standards they want to hold the medical system.  Pay for quality performance.  I propose that universities get no tuition paid for those graduates who can't get a decent job.

Like healthcare, education costs are high because of the third party (government) money being pumped into it.

"A July report from the New York Federal Reserve found that every additional dollar in aid and subsidized loans led colleges to raise tuition as much as 65 cents."

So what have we learned?  Hillary (and all Dems) want to double down on failure.  And most Republicans have no rebuttal, offer no alternative.
53  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: August 13, 2015, 09:27:41 AM
"From a Democratic standpoint, a moderate-conservative Republican ticket representing the two largest swing states would be cause for concern. In fact, Bush-Kasich would be scary, and Kasich-Rubio even more so."

Bush Kasich is most scary to me forget about the Democrats.  These two are Democrat-lites.

WSJ forgets that Bush senior went from an approval rating of over 90% from the Iraq Kuwait invasion to less than 50% by 1991.

Bush jr.  went from 90% to 26%.

But no matter.  He is their guy.

Kasich is a liberal with a Republican label.

Rubio I am still not sure.

I don't see why Cruz is mentioned as a plausible but Fiorina, Jindal, and others are not.

The WSJ may as well be the Huffington post as far as I am concerned.

That piece was by Bill Galston who is hired by the WSJ to write an opposing or different view than the editorial writers, as Al Hunt and others have done.  Crafty prefaced it with 'moderate Republican view'.  CCP comparison with huff post is about right.  But given the rino or centrist perspective, Bush-Kasich might be a dream ticket for him, and might win, which is better for America than when we let Obama win, or Bernie winning, or Hillary, etc.  I still hold out hope that a really sharp and talented true conservative can run win and change people's minds on some things.

Recent history tells us though that the pale shades of pastels don't in fact give us better results than painting in bold colors, paraphrasing someone successful in this business.

Bush and Kasich were two popular governors of two very key states. Almost a dream ticket.  Hillary is almost a dream candidate for Dems on paper too, but in fact she is miserable.  So we play the game and watch them perform...
54  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: August 13, 2015, 09:10:58 AM
I continue to entertain the notion that Bill Clinton's phone call to Trump the week before he announced may indicate a truly nefarious plot by the Clintons for Trump to play Ross Perot and by so doing tip the election to Hillary  , , , if she isn't on trial or in jail , , ,

Who knows the truth but Trump was clarifying that on radio yesterday.  The phone call he says (a week before he announced) came after he decided to run.  Clinton didn't encourage or discourage him to run and it wouldn't have mattered, he said.  Didn't really say what they did talk about.  Most likely Bill Clinton was asking him for money (just by calling up to schmooze), and didn't know yet that Trump was a candidate. 

As better evidence against conspiracy, Trump maintains that he has been the hardest on Hillary which may be true.  He was first (besides me) to openly doubt that she will be the nominee.
55  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: World Wide Real Estate Bubble Forming on: August 13, 2015, 08:58:21 AM
"Low interest rates and a flood of cash being pumped into economies by central banks..."

That's right, self inflicted wounds and unintended consequences.  Who has been warning about that??  (All of us here.)  How about quit doing that which is harming us instead of worrying about the value of real estate.

More dollars (or euros, yuan) chasing a stagnant amount of goods and services...  they have a term for that...  Maybe the real estate that hasn't changed didn't go up in value.  Maybe the currency we measure it with went down in value.  

“if too much capital comes into any asset class, generally not-so-good things tend to follow.”

A bubble means that values are too high and will come down.  But if you believed in free market dynamism, who cares if values go up or come back down as they seek their correct level.  

"Regulators are watching the market closely..."

And who is watching the 'regulators'?

Of course we are afraid of the consequences of weening ourselves (and other countries) off of QE, deficit spending, welfare abuse, corporate welfare, and everything else.  Someone is going to get hurt.
56  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: August 12, 2015, 02:09:51 PM
I am trying not to get my expectations up just to have them dashed, again, by the sleezy Clinton mafia and media but the Drudge headlines today are so pleasing.   A 25 year wait.

Hopefully they will get these grifters finally.

FBI seizes drives, etc.

Let's see, this means either a) the Obama political machine is now turning on her, opening the door for someone else, or b) big head fake set up to "clear" her, or c) it means nothing political at all, law enforcement professionals are doing their job and justice will run its course.

I think we can rule out c).

Bernie leading her is NH is probably what is causing a) above to be true.  Also having the top 4 Republicans lead her in crucial states puts the party back to the drawing board.  It would be easier to repeal the 22nd amendment (that limits Obama to two terms) than to elect her.

In her attack yesterday on Marco Rubio, she had a very good, Democrat point to make, and yet her delivery would not put her in the top ten of the Republicans.  

Look for Valerie Jarrett to usher in Elizabeth Warren or whoever their new choice is shortly.  I was hoping Dems would choose a moderate governor, but that also wouldn't sit well with the ruling regime.  Very hard to believe it will be Biden.  I see him as a head fake too.  They can take him down even easier than Hillary if they need to.
57  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: August 12, 2015, 01:59:03 PM
I find it remarkable that virtually no one in the Pravdas, FOX, or the Rep candidates themselves are not making a major point of showing how Trump and the other candidates are polling against Hillary.

IIRC there are 4 or 5 Rep candidates who are beating Hillary by a point or two in certain major primary states while Trump is down about 14%.

That could be right.  But another electoral angle is that if Trump can carry New York state, the math left for the Dems gets real scary.

People on the right need to start focusing soon on who can win.  That is one thing people can try to visualize as they see each one at the debate podium.  Trump failed and was covering up his failure in the post debate by making the story into a war between himself and the evil media.  But the evil media happened to be the conservative's favorite, Fox News and all their top headliners.  As someone said, if you can't handle Megyn Kelly, how are you going to handle Vladimir Putin?

Funny that he accused someone else of blowing hot air.

Another observation is that Trump is the Barack Obama of this cycle.  Walk right in with no experience. Stay vague on the issues and positions and win by name calling and lashing out with personal insults on anyone who challenges you.  Just what we need...  (

It bugs me that shows like Rush and Hannity (along with everyone else) are giving him more than even a frontrunner's share of coverage, and mostly without real scrutiny.
58  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Nate Silver, Trump winning the polls, losing the nomination on: August 12, 2015, 09:02:47 AM

the “election” these polls describe is hypothetical in at least five ways:

They contemplate a vote today, but we’re currently 174 days from the Iowa caucuses.
They contemplate a national primary, but states vote one at a time or in small groups.
They contemplate a race with 17 candidates, but several candidates will drop out before Iowa and several more will drop out before the other states vote.
They contemplate a winner-take-all vote, but most states are not winner-take-all.
They contemplate a vote among all Republican-leaning registered voters or adults, but in fact only a small fraction of them will turn out for primaries and caucuses.
(more at link)
59  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Valerie Jarret plays it both ways on: August 11, 2015, 08:33:15 PM
Valerie Jarrett, we hate the carried interest loophole - except when we save ourselves hundreds of thousands in taxes.

Fair to me to use the existing tax code, but imagine their attacks if it was a Republican doing it.
60  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Clinton Crime Family Financials on: August 11, 2015, 08:29:18 PM
A U2 concert with fellow conspirators is a business expense, right?  Er, I mean taxpayer expense.  Who would think to take their after tax earned income from the taxpayer to pay for personal travel when you "own" your own state-owned aircraft.  A concert with the Clintons is official business.  These people made him Governor.  And U2 is a corporate sponsor.

Terry McAuliffe Faces Scrutiny for Air Travel to U2 Concert with Bill, Hillary Clinton

Did they even pay with their own money for a ticket?
61  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: August 11, 2015, 08:22:18 PM
Kerry's email hacked

But I'm sure all of our private information, financial, health, census, etc., that they hold in all their departments is safe and secure...
62  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 11, 2015, 08:18:57 PM
"Minimum wage law does not require an employer to pay an employee more.  It bans employers from keeping employees whose worth is less."

Excellent articulation.

Thanks Crafty.  Other than perhaps Thomas Sowell on "Basic Economics", just saying the truth that no one else seems to be saying.

It's almost an oversight by the governmentists that they don't require employers to hire employees.  At this point they only put rules on everything after they are hired.

Here's this:

Wendy’s To Switch To Self Ordering And Automation To Avoid $15/hr Wage hike
63  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Morris: Hillary's server on: August 11, 2015, 07:55:32 PM
"taxpayers footed the bill for maintaining the data on both her personal and official email."

Interesting twist.  I had that same thought, that congress has (additional) oversight powers and responsibilities because of the taxpayer money involved.  Then I thought we heard that it was all on private money.  Now Morris says there it was taxpayer money running it.

We are entitled to her work product anyway, but this removes the gray area on the line between private and public business.  We own the 30,000 minute gap on her email tape.

BTW, what century does she live in to think a subpoena for email should be replied with printed pages.  What part of the "e" in "email" doesn't she understand?
64  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Environmental issues on: August 11, 2015, 09:05:31 AM
A link for ccp's post yesterday on river contamination in Colorado.

On another matter, an obvious but never stated point was made by a founder and defector from Greenpeace:

Does anyone know where "manmade" CO2 comes from?  

CO2 released into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels came from earth's atmosphere via decayed and stored plant life.  It isn't "manmade".  (Another case of liberals hijacking our language.)

Back when those plants were decaying and CO2 levels were ten times what they are now, the earth was colder and the ice caps were larger.  Go figure. It's almost as if there are other factors, solar for example, in play.

65  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: You'd have thought me a conspiracy theorist on: August 11, 2015, 08:52:48 AM

Important stuff in there.  It's time to take off the kid gloves and tear down the popularity of this guy on the basis of his policies. 

Rush L was talking about the clamor for an apology from Trump and said this:

" if anybody owes anybody an apology -- I'm dead serious about this -- it's Barack Obama and the Democrat Party for what they are doing and have done to this country.  I mean, there are real things of action taking place that are genuinely transformative and destructive.  "

When is Pres. Barack Obama going to apologize to America?  Never, of course.  That doesn't mean the demands for an apology shouldn't keep increasing until the day he leaves office and beyond.

Letting him off the hook for what he has done will lead to electing more of the same or worse in the future.

66  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 11, 2015, 08:18:11 AM
In tennis, we call that - an unforced error.  Who could have seen this coming?  (Everyone who reads the forum.)

Minimum wage law does not require an employer to pay an employee more.  It bans employers from keeping employees whose worth is less.

To continue this experiment for electorate learning purposes, I hope their reaction is to raise it to $20.  See what happens next.

It reminds me of when they passed a surcharge tax on yachts, giving millionaire-billionaire yacht owners an excuse to not buy a new boat and boat makers less demand.  As a result they started laying off shipbuilders in Maine, in the then-Senate majority leader's home state.  The tax got repealed quickly.,1121388&hl=en
67  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: August 10, 2015, 10:05:41 AM
ccp:  Agreed.  The moderators think the show is about them.  The future questioners from other networks will be worse with a few exceptions. 

It wasn't a debate except for a couple of sparring incidents; it was just series of very short interviews with candidates.

In my view, a candidate or political interview should be split about 50-50 worst case between confronting a candidate on a perceived shortcoming and letting the candidate give his or her vision of how things should be.

It doesn't have to be so clever or take up 31% of the candidate's limited time:

Iran poses a serious problem in the world. What would you do about it?

What is your view of what economic growth should be and how would you accomplish that?
68  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues and the War on Women on: August 10, 2015, 09:02:50 AM
" since the recession hit in December of 2007, 100% of all employment gains among women workers were netted by foreign workers, while the number of American women with jobs actually declined. Specifically, 9.041 million foreign-born women held jobs in December of 2007 compared to 10.028 million today – or a gain of roughly 1 million jobs. By contrast, 59.322 million US-born women held jobs in December of 2007 compared to 59.258 million today – or a loss of nearly 64 thousand jobs (even as the population of US-born women 16+ increased by more than 600,000). Overall, nearly 25 million foreign workers, men and women, hold jobs inside the United States."

Source:  BLS

69  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Carly Fiorina is now top tier on: August 10, 2015, 08:23:29 AM
She will be part of the top ten and perhaps the top tier of the top candidates.

See the new NBC poll, moving up from 2% to a tie for 4th place.
See the video in Crafty's previous post.  And see this on economic policy:
video at link

CHRIS WALLACE: What would President Fiorina do to jump-start this economy and be specific?

CARLY FIORINA: First, we have to remember what the engine of economic growth is in this nation. You know what it is? Small businesses. Family-owned businesses. Community-based businesses. I started out as a nine-person real estate firm typing and filing. That's how most people start. Two-thirds of misses are supported by small businesses. We're crushing them. That's why we have to roll back this regulatory burden. Take a 70,000 page tax code and make it three pages. Because guess what. When have a big costly complicated government. Only the big, the powerful, wealthy and well connected can deal with it. It's called crony capitalism. It is why we just reduce the size of government. So, we have to get small businesses up and growing again. To do so, we just reduce the power, the scope, the complexity of government.

CHRIS WALLACE: What would you do about taxes? Are you going to cut corporate taxes? Are you going to cut taxes on the higher income people? And if you do, or if you're going to campaign on that, you know that Hillary Clinton will say trickle down economics?

CARLY FIORINA: Yeah, we have about a 75,000 page tax code today. And that complexity favors the wealthy and the big and the well had connected because they have hire the accountants and lawyers to figure out how to make that complexity work for them. We got to get it down three. The lower over rate, close every loophole. Maybe there's one or two loopholes that really help the middle class, but most of these deductions and loopholes and complexities actually benefit the wealthy, the powerful, the well connected. But yes, our tax code isn't competitive anymore. It's ridiculous that we have the highest tax rate in the world when we're trying to attract jobs here. So lower every rate, close every loophole.

CHRIS WALLACE: So when Hillary Clinton says, "Yeah, and the rich are going to make out like bandits."

CARLY FIORINA: What I would point out to Hillary Clinton is that every single one of the policies that she is currently pursuing makes income inequality worse. Exhibit A: income inequality under the Obama administration. Exhibit B: every liberal state in this nation. I spent twelve years in the state of California, a state that's been ruled by liberals for a long time. And guess what you have: about a hundred and thirty billionaires--good for them--the highest poverty rates in the nation, the exodus of the middle class, the destruction of industry after industry after industry. Income inequality is worse under progressive policies, because progressive policies favor the wealthy, the well-connected, and the powerful.
70  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential- debate coverage continued, Rubio the winner? on: August 10, 2015, 12:06:48 AM
Cherry picking my coverage...

The Federalist:  "Marco Rubio is likely the most gifted and well-positioned candidate in GOP field, and this debate only reinforces that belief."

Byron York:  Marco Rubio had the only truly standout performance in the prime time debate.

Stephen Hayes, Weekly Standard:  Rubio wins the main event
Marco Rubio consistently gave strong and substantive answers that at times emphasized the compelling story of his family and at others demonstrated his depth of knowledge on the subject matter discussed. He told the audience that he would not be lectured by Hillary Clinton on the struggles of modern American families. “If I'm our nominee, how is Hillary Clinton going to lecture me about living paycheck to paycheck? I was raised paycheck to paycheck. How is she -- how is she going to lecture me -- how is she going to lecture me about student loans? I owed over $100,000 just four years ago.” If the debate had a winner, it was Rubio.

Dan Pfeifer, CNN, Winner: Marco Rubio. On a night of very uneven performances, Rubio showed flashes of why Democrats fear him most.

Bloomberg:  Why Marco Rubio May Have Won the First Republican Debate

Politico:  Marco Rubio steps out of Jeb’s shadow

CNBC:  No contest: Why Rubio is clear winner of debate
Rubio was polished, optimistic, strong on issues, from immigration to education to the economy

Besides all these positive reviews in mainstream and conservative publications, see also Glenn Beck and Powerline quoted in a previous post, both also very influential.  Pretty good publicity IMHO for a forty-something year old starting in 7th place.  The best path to the nomination and Presidency is to keep moving up slowly and steadily, not to jump off to a big lead for a brief moment. The best ticket right now is Rubio-Fiorina.  My two cents.

71  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Econ Humor, Keynesian Humor on: August 07, 2015, 04:06:38 PM
Krugman and Bernanke are walking down the street and see a pile of dog shit. Bernanke says “I’ll give you twenty thousand dollars to eat that pile of shit.” Krugman does it, gets paid, and they keep walking. After a while they see another pile of shit on the road. Seeing an opportunity for revenge, Krugman says “Tell you what, I’ll give YOU twenty grand to eat that pile of shit.” Bernanke does it, Krugman gives him back the money, and they keep walking. After a while Bernanke says “I’m feeling pretty sick. We both ate shit and neither of us is any richer.” Krugman answers “You’re missing the bigger picture. We’ve increased GDP by forty thousand dollars and created two jobs.”

Hahahahaha!  Good one, BBG!  It might be funnier if it didn't perfectly describe the wisdom guiding current economic policy.
72  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sen. Cluck Schumer D-NY opposing Iran deal on: August 07, 2015, 11:25:35 AM
Does that mean that everything Pres. Obama said about Republicans applies to the de facto Dem leader of the Senate?
73  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: August 07, 2015, 11:22:31 AM
Overall, I thought it was a well run debate with good questions and good to very good performances from most of the candidates.

The questioners in the early debate were not good, putting negativity and liberal, msm bias into every question.

The main event moderators/questioners were strong, but took more than 30% of the time away from the participants.

Glenn Beck along with his radio sidekicks just picked Marco Rubio as the big winner last night, not for any one answer but for his total presentation.

Paul Mirengoff of Powerline also picked Rubio:

Interestingly, both had been ruthless toward Rubio over immigration in the past.  

If Republicans want to win this election they would put Rubio and Fiorina together on a ticket and take the message out to everyone.  And then somehow put forward a Obamacare replacement package led by Ben Carson.

Krauthammer and others picked Trump as the big loser:

Trump was Trump, but in a different format.  If you liked him before, I don't see why you would like him less now, maybe just that he can't unite the party and win. Those who openly fought each other last night probably all lost.

I listened on the radio, missed a little, and saw parts on video highlights.  It seemed that some didn't have many opportunities to shine.  

Jeb probably disappointed, was all convoluted over common core, one of his weaknesses.  Christy was making a valid point and then became a jerk with the blowing hot air comment.  Senate Intelligence committee meetings are important, if not glamorous.  Walker held his ground, didn't screw up or stand out.  Huckabee is good at this format, but wrong on some policy choices.  Cruz is great on substance.  The question on him to me is whether he brings people in or turns them away. Carson is still a wild card, probably not going to be President as this narrows down, but a great guy who needs to play an important role changing the country and the electorate.
74  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness, A new low for the President on: August 06, 2015, 09:27:33 AM
First this from Iran thread,  Obama: Rockets Will Fall On Tel Aviv if Congress Kills Deal

Good grief.  If Iranian rockets fall on Tel Aviv it will be because they believe this President doesn't stand behind Israel.
I noticed this too, a new low for the President.  But really he is insulting Iranian hardliners by comparing with a group he despises more.

Krauthammer: Obama Comparing Republicans to Iranian Hardliners "A New Low For The President"

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: It's vintage Obama, the demonization of his opponent, the lumping them together with people chanting death to America, I must say is a new low for the president considering. Which is saying a lot considering how he does demonize the opposition. But what is even worse here is how delusional he is. He is pretending that those who chant death to America are some kind of KKK fringe in Iran. The people leading the chant of the Revolutionary Guard, the army, the parliamentary leaders and of course -- as he always calls them, Obama always does -- the Supreme Leader himself in a speech he made just a few days after the signing of the agreement the chants break out death to America, death to Israel and the Ayatollah said may Allah hear your prayers.

75  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, First Republican debate tonight on: August 06, 2015, 08:42:17 AM
Any predictions?

The story line coming in is that this is Donald Trump and the other nine.  Expect Trump to be better, more ready and more knowledgeable than most people expect.  The other nine need to ignore him in this format and put out their own best performance.  If you mention a candidate's name they get an automatic 30 seconds extra to respond.  If people keep challenging him, it will be all about him, especially the news story coming out of it.  In that sense, this is not a debate, just a question and answer session.

The media is looking for is gaffes.  I don't expect any, but who knows.

Each candidate is looking for the opportunity to say something memorable that will be the story.  We'll see about that, but they will be looking for their own best excerpts to make ads and campaign videos.

Candidates like Rubio, Walker and others need to move from having good favorables to being first choice of a larger number of people.

The other event, so called consolation round, is important too.  People will be looking for who should move up and who should move down for future events.  I would like to see Carly move up and maybe Huckabee move down.  Whoever moves up will get a boost in publicity coming into the next debate.  Soon this will be a game of momentum. 

76  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 57% of the people are persuadable for R's. Romney's 47% was off by 10%. on: August 06, 2015, 08:20:20 AM
Interestingly, the number 57% keeps coming up.  At this point where we have fully gotten to know Hillary, 57% don't trust her.
"42% of Americans consider her honest and trustworthy, while 57% don't."

Of course she isn't honest, so that means 42% believe the ends justify the means and 57% are willing to tell a pollster what is obvious in front of them.

Switching over to Iran, 57% think Obama is wrong on Iran:
"Poll: 57% of Americans disapprove of Obama’s policies on Iran, Only 2 percent said Obama is “being too tough” with Iran. Sixty-five percent said they believe Iran poses a real threat to national security."

The trustworthiness of the candidates and the popularity of the incumbent and his policies are crucial determinants of how this election will go.  Since Hillary is unlikely to be the nominee, the second number of people questioning the President on foreign policy and national security is even more important.  One party is going all out to appease the world's number one sponsor of terror.  The other is not.  And a good majority of the American seem to be aware of it.

I'm not saying the election is over.  I'm saying there are enough people out there who could be receptive to the right candidate with the right message.
77  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: August 05, 2015, 06:55:34 AM

It is revealing that even the strongest abortion supporters recognize there is only a small, technical point of difference between late term abortion and first degree murder.
78  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran deal, multilateralism means they don't need US support, right? on: August 04, 2015, 01:11:52 PM
If you believe Iran is going to comply with the terms of the 'treaty' if we do approve it but then if the US votes it down, Iran will have to comply with the terms of it anyway.

Iran will still want the sanctions dropped by Russia, China, Germany, Britain, the UN etc. even if the US doesn't join in and drop ours.  They are not going to turn down all that money and trade with all those other countries over a rebuke by the US Congress.  Even US companies would face no prosecution by this administration for violating old law they don't agree with.

We've gone from 'leading from behind' to just being irrelevant.

The agreement with Iran is not a treaty because ... ... ... ... ... . (?)
79  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: August 04, 2015, 11:35:00 AM
Insight: "Our practical choice is not between a tax-cut deficit and a budgetary surplus. It is between two kinds of deficits: a chronic deficit of inertia, as the unwanted result of inadequate revenues and a restricted economy; or a temporary deficit of transition, resulting from a tax cut designed to boost the economy, increase tax revenues, and achieve ... a budget surplus." —John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

Yes!  If he was alive today, still a Democrat and still held these views, he would be thrown out of the party on his ear.

I like Kennedy's term "restricted economy".  It's a little like Wesbury's plowhorse analogy, trudging forward but pulling too heavy of a load to get anywhere or solve anything.

Some will say that Kennedy faced a different circumstance; the top tax rate then was 90%.  But no one was paying that rate, we were hugely under-performing and the concepts today are the same.  In fact, today we face a far more globally competitive world.  Being stupid economically is costing us trillions of dollars and tens of millions of jobs.

What stops us from making tax policy more efficient and competitive today is not deficit or debt fear at 18 trillion and counting, but the fear that someone else will benefit more than us.
80  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on Hugh Hewitt on: August 04, 2015, 11:20:28 AM
Audio and transcript on Hewitt's blog:

Mostly a softball interview except that Hewitt takes the occasion to persuasively make the case that Trump should rule out running as a third party candidate.  I think Trump heard that and will do that.  Also Hewitt is pinning candidates down on planned parenthood funding de- funding. SInce Obama will veto it, the question is whether you would shut the govt down over this and Trump said he would.

As a professor of constitutional law, why doesn't Hewitt push or at least expose Trump on Kelo and takings?  Or about past support for Hillary, a Pelosi congress, etc.  No, just popular issues. 

For the most part, Trump handles himself well and it's easy to see why people take him seriously as a candidate.

Trump does not agree with me or us on everything but he would stand up to anyone and stand up for what he thinks is right.  People are tired of weasels and wimps. 

Like Rubio and others, Trump believes this country could be great again if we would just stop screwing everything up.
81  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Black market worms on: August 04, 2015, 10:56:02 AM

Small story, big problem.  Pretty describes all that is wrong with America (and its worse in other countries).  Washington is killing jobs and state and local governments can often times be even worse.

My challenge to the anti-business and anti-free market liberals is this, can you name all the laws you would be breaking if you just got up off your couch and started a successful lemonade stand?  The right answer is No you can't. You can't do that today and you can't even name all the laws you would be breaking.

These kids were not only selling worms but also had a sign!  The sign said something like, 'worms for sale'.  OMG  Are they licensed?  Is the area commercially zoned?  What about sales tax forms, income tax, hiring practices, minimum wage laws, underage workers, parking?

In Minneapolis around Christmas time at twenty degrees below zero, they shut down a church operation supplying free winter coats to the poor for a zoning violation.  And no one cares much or does anything about it.

Maybe we could legalize the worm trade, lemonade stands and under age lawn mowing libertarian matters before we legalize meth, let armed robbers out of prison early or restore felons' voting rights.
82  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy - Capital Gains Tax Myths, Stephen Moore on: August 04, 2015, 10:34:52 AM
Speaking of economic growth, tax policy is stifling it and no one seems to care.  Even here, this thread keeps slipping to the third page of political topics while the US still has the highest corporate tax rate in the world, we had more than 20 new tax increases under Obama, Hillary is proposing another doubling of the capital gains tax rate, and Marco Rubio proposes eliminating it.  Yawn.  Yet we are shorting ourselves the capital to employ 100 million American adults.  But so what, blame the rich, blame Republicans, blame Bush.

Let's bust the myths about tax rates on capital being too low and that raising them will raise money and solve problems.  Even articles like this mostly ignore that states like ours add another 10% of ordinary income tax to a 'gain' that is not a gain.


"the rate of new business startups has long been inversely related to capital gains taxes, according to a Cato Institute study. The higher the penalty on risk capital, the fewer new entrepreneurial ventures get started. If we want to accelerate the next generation of Ubers, Groupons, Home Depots and Googles, we need investors willing to put their money at risk, and if they are going to be taxed at 50 or 60 percent, they are more likely to take a pass."

Clinton's plan reveals such a deep and disturbing ignorance of the effects of the capital gains tax and its impact on growth that it's time to bust some of the key myths about how this tax affects the economy:

Myth 1) The tax on capital gains income is much lower than the tax on wages and salaries of the working class.

Clinton says she would merely tax income from capital at the same rate that middle-class Americans have taken from their paychecks. She would tax capital gains as ordinary income for those who make over about $450,000 a year. But this would make taxes on capital income punitive and here's why. First, most capital gains come from the sale of financial assets such as stocks. But publicly held companies have to pay corporate income tax at a rate of 35 percent. Capital gains tax is a second tax on that income when the stock is sold. So the actual, total tax rate on capital gains income is closer to 40-50 percent and Clinton would raise that to 60 percent.

Additionally, capital gains tax is a tax on the increase of the valuation of a stock, but is not adjusted for inflation. So when inflation is high, the capital "gain" can be mostly due to inflation. In other words, the gain can be illusory and the tax rate can even rise above 100 percent.

Myth 2) Raising the capital gains tax will raise billions of dollars for the government.

The Clinton plan is almost all pain with no gain. It's highly unlikely the tax hike will raise any money for the Treasury. If history is a guide, it will lose revenue. After the capital gains tax hike in 1986 from 20 percent to 28 percent, capital gains revenues actually fell from $44 billion a year to $27 billion a year by 1991. After Bill Clinton cut the capital gains tax down to 20 percent again, capital gains revenues surged from $54 billion in 1996 to $99 billion in 1999. Lower rates equal more revenue.

Myth 3)  Raising the capital gains tax is a good way to make the rich pay their "fair share" of taxes.

Despite Hillary Clinton's assurances that her plan is meant to discourage "short termism" in the boardroom, the real agenda here is hardly a secret: she wants to sock it to the rich. But the irony of this is it won't hurt the Warren Buffetts and the Wall Street hedge-fund managers much. They might have to pay a higher tax bill -- but more likely they will simply hold on to their stock longer to avoid the higher tax penalty. But the people who will get hurt are the middle class, minorities and young people -- the same group that has been clobbered during this so-called recovery.

Wages rise when workers can produce more, and they can produce more when they get smarter, better trained and have more capital to work with. A tax on capital is thus an invisible tax on wages. When Ronald Reagan and Hillary's husband Bill Clinton cut the capital gains tax, wages and productivity surged.

Myth 4) Raising capital gains taxes won't reduce investment.

Clinton herself says that businesses aren't investing enough -- and she's right -- so it's a head scratcher that she has come to believe that more investment will come from higher tax rates on investment. Back in the 1980s, even Democrats such as Bill Bradley and Dick Gephardt appreciated that high tax rates have a negative effect on the economy. Then, in the past decade, the orthodoxy on the Left became: "Tax rates don't matter at all." Now they think higher tax rates are good for us -- which may explain why Bernie Sanders of Vermont wants a tax rate of around 70 percent or higher on the rich.

Funding for venture capital in new enterprises and the rate of new business startups has long been inversely related to capital gains taxes, according to a Cato Institute study. The higher the penalty on risk capital, the fewer new entrepreneurial ventures get started. If we want to accelerate the next generation of Ubers, Groupons, Home Depots and Googles, we need investors willing to put their money at risk, and if they are going to be taxed at 50 or 60 percent, they are more likely to take a pass.

Myth 5) Raising the capital gains tax will help the economy.

The American Council for Capital Formation finds that the Hillary Clinton plan would raise the capital gains tax to nearly the highest in the industrial world. The U.S. already has the highest corporate tax rate in the world, so this would be a double whammy. The Tax Foundation finds that, bang for the buck, lowering the capital gains tax rate is one of the most pro-growth measures Congress could adopt. The optimal capital gains tax is zero.

By contrast, raising the capital gains rate will hurt small businesses, workers and American competitiveness -- and it won't raise any money. How this is fair is beyond me.
83  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The economy continues to improve! on: August 04, 2015, 10:16:14 AM

Major media reporting preliminary number of 2.3% as "major acceleration".  Really?

This economy governed with good policies could easily handle 4-5% sustained growth.  And that's the catch.  Not under these policies and we don't necessarily have a majority of the people who even want economic growth.
84  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion, guns on: August 04, 2015, 10:08:55 AM
On a billboard I saw in Brainerd MN this weekend:

Would it bother us more
if they used guns
85  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Hillbillary Clintons earnings since 2001 on: August 04, 2015, 10:06:16 AM
"In 2001, the year that Hillary claimed they were "dead broke," the couple earned a whopping $16,165,110!!!
Wouldn't we all like to be that dead broke!!!"

Morris nails this.  What value do they Clintons provide economically, outside of their elected jobs?  What product or service were they selling?  Who was buying?  Why were they buying?

There isn't an answer to this outside of corruption and the peddling of influence.
86  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Tampered Rulers and their Measurements on: August 03, 2015, 01:15:40 PM

" GISS homogenization cooled the past to add a spurious warming trend to all but one station."

Maybe we can discuss global warming someday after they provide honest data.
87  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, Republican Field, Stephen Hayse on: July 31, 2015, 09:10:35 AM
One question of each candidate;  (more at the link)

At the center of each candidacy lies a fundamental question, the answer to which will determine whether the candidate becomes the Republican nominee. Some of those questions are philosophical, some of them political. With all 16 candidates formally in the race as of last week, and with the first debate just two weeks away, here is a look at the field and those questions.

For nearly half of the candidates, the fundamental question is the simplest one in politics: Am I viable?

This is the question now facing Jindal, Santorum, Fiorina, Graham, and even Perry. The top 10 candidates will be invited to the Fox News debate in Cleveland on August 6. At press time, none of these candidates would qualify on the basis of the Real Clear Politics average of national polls. If you’re not in the debates, you have no shot.

Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson will both make the debates, but they face the same question. Huckabee is a good communicator, but he appeals largely to social conservatives, and his only hope is a strong showing in Iowa, where he’s currently running sixth. Carson has a strong grassroots following, and his early-state supporters seem more committed to their candidate than are the early backers of other candidates. His challenge is to expand his appeal beyond that core group.

Kasich: Will primary voters rally to a candidate arguing that the good Lord wants him to expand government?

Kasich, the governor of Ohio, entered the race with a 45-minute extemporaneous speech that served as a strong reminder of the importance of speechwriters. More than once, Kasich seemed to end up in a rhetorical cul de sac, pausing momentarily to wonder how he’d gotten there before abruptly heading out in a new direction.

There is an authenticity about Kasich that could well be appealing, particularly in a state like New Hampshire, where voters are often open to quirky Republicans. And if government experience were the most important qualification for the presidency, Kasich, with 18 years in the House of Representatives before his two terms as Ohio governor, would be the Republican nominee.

But Kasich, who portrays himself as a budget hawk, chose to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, arguing that anyone who decided otherwise would be disappointing God. “When you die and get to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping government small,” Kasich told  an Ohio lawmaker skeptical of his expansion. “But he is going to ask you what you did for the poor. You better have a good answer.”

It’s an argument without a limiting principle that could be used to justify any expansion of government. And Kasich’s Medicaid expansion is already over budget—some $1.4 billion over budget in just 18 months.

Christie: Will voters, and donors, give him a second look?

Four years ago, with Mitt Romney the odds-on favorite in the Republican primary, a group of six influential Iowa Republicans flew to New Jersey to implore Chris Christie to consider a presidential run. He declined. Christie is running this time, and none of those six men is supporting him. In the RCP average of polls, Christie registers a paltry 2.8 percent.

There are several explanations for this. Being governor of New Jersey means extra attention in the media capital of the world, particularly from the broadcast networks. That’s an advantage, but also a liability, as Christie discovered during the “Bridgegate” scandal in 2013. The story received widespread coverage on television and in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, newspapers with national readership. The governor of Oregon, forced to resign amid scandal, didn’t receive a fraction of the coverage that Christie has on the bridge.

Beyond that, conservatives have grown increasingly skeptical of Christie for reasons both substantive and symbolic. Christie, like Kasich, opted to expand Medicaid in New Jersey, a deal with the devil that will inevitably mean vastly more state-level spending when the federal support for the expansion ends. Christie once proclaimed that failure to reform Medicaid and other entitlements put America “on the path to ruin.” And in 2012, he said: “Obamacare on Medicaid to the states was extortion.” But facing reelection in a blue state in 2013, Christie agreed to the expansion, and he now defends it as necessary. That would be a problem for anyone, but it presents a particular challenge for Christie, who is running as a “telling-it-like-it-is” candidate who will deliver the hard truths on entitlements.

But for many conservatives, it was Christie’s embrace of Obama in the days before the 2012 presidential election that left them skeptical. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, as Christie sought federal help for his battered state, he toured the coast with Obama and offered praise for the president. It was a brief moment of little actual consequence, but for many conservative voters, it is an enduring memory.

Cruz: Can the mad-as-hell conservative base be converted to mad-as-hell supporters of Ted Cruz?

Cruz has money and arguably the clearest, most consistent message in the entire field: He’s had it with Washington, he’s had it with the Democrats who have expanded government, and he’s especially had it with the Republicans who have enabled them. The good news for Cruz is that large parts of the American electorate agree with him; the bad news is that they’re not yet prepared to make him their spokesman. Cruz, at 5.4 percent in the RCP average, correctly understands that Trump is occupying space that he’s fought for several years to own. And he correctly understands that Trump is only renting that real estate, so he’s been very friendly to Trump in the hopes of staking a claim to it when Trump is evicted.

But there’s a risk to this approach. If Cruz is seen as too close to him, Trump’s inevitable collapse, spectacular as it is likely to be, could damage Cruz, too.

Paul: Is the novelty wearing off?

For years, Rand Paul has attracted attention by being a different kind of Republican. He challenged the hawks who dominate the party and campaigned in places Republicans have ignored for too long. Time magazine dubbed him the “most interesting man in American politics.”

Are Republicans losing interest? Paul is at 5.6 percent in the RCP polling average, and his second-quarter fundraising totals were well below what many observers had expected.

Paul has inexplicably focused on issues where his libertarianism is out of step with the Republican base (national security and civil liberties) and spent less time on those where his party is naturally more libertarian (taxes, regulation, health care). Last week, Paul released a video in which he destroys the U.S. tax code in a variety of ways—chainsaw, bonfire, woodchipper. Perhaps the video is an attempt at a course correction, but it feels like desperation.

His anti-interventionism played better as a theory than it has in real life, with Barack Obama as its chief practitioner accumulating failures around the globe. So Paul has sounded less dovish in recent days, reversing his onetime embrace of Obama’s Iran deal and even suggesting last week that military force might be required if the mullahs move toward nuclear weapons. The irony is that, as Paul has tailored his idiosyncratic views to appeal to a more conventional conserv-ative electorate, he has begun to look more and more like the traditional politicians he deplores.

Bush: Is Jeb Bush the strong conservative reformer he was as governor of Florida or the more cautious and moderate Republican he has been over the past few years? During a brief press availability at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, on April 17, a reporter asked Jeb Bush whether he was comfortable with the growing perception of him as a “moderate” Republican. “No, look, I have a conservative record,” Bush replied, adding, in case there were any doubt, that he considers himself an “I’m-not-kidding conservative.” The coda: “Perhaps moderate in tone is misinterpreted to moderate in terms of core beliefs.”

And yet Bush has been vocal about his concern that the Republican party has become too conservative in recent years. He worried that Ronald Reagan wouldn’t have a place in the modern GOP. He famously said Republicans must be willing to “lose the primary to win the general,” a declaration that he wouldn’t allow himself to be pulled to the right in order to win the nomination. It was a lesson he learned from the 2012 Republican primary. He later described his feelings this way: “I used to be a conservative, and I watch these debates and I’m wondering, I don’t think I’ve changed but it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective. And that’s kind of where we are.” Beyond that, Bush backs comprehensive immigration reform—he says illegal immigration is often an “act of love”—and he remains an unwavering supporter of Common Core, the education standards loathed by many conservatives.

But the fact that many primary voters see him through the prism of Common Core and immigration could allow him to surprise in the debate. Conservatives who assume that Bush is moderate across the board might well be more open to supporting him when they learn he is not.

The other big question, of course, is his name. Even if voters warm to Bush over the course of the fall campaign, will they be willing to embrace the dynasty and throw out what will likely be at the heart of the Republican case against Hillary Clinton if she’s the Democratic nominee—that she’s a relic of a bygone era, a professional politician by marriage, with stale ideas and who doesn’t understand the lives of everyday Americans?

Rubio: Will voters see him as the Republican Obama?

Five years ago, when Rubio was running for Senate, many of those who saw him on the trail compared him to Barack Obama. At the time, it was the highest compliment they could imagine. But six years into the Obama administration, and in the context of a Republican primary, it’s not a compliment but a critique.

The similarities are obvious. Rubio, like Obama, is a great communicator, would come to the presidency with relatively limited experience, and would take office as a young man by historical standards. Rubio skeptics say: We’ve done this with Obama, and look how that turned out. But that assessment assumes that the problem with Obama was his lack of experience or relative youth. It wasn’t. As Rubio is fond of pointing out, Obama is a failed president because “his ideas don’t work.”

Rubio’s team pushes back hard on suggestions he’s like Obama, pointing to his experience as speaker of the Florida house and contrasting it with Obama’s unremarkable tenure as a state senator in Illinois. And they point out that Rubio will have had two more years of experience on national security, with seats on the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees, than Obama did when he took office.

But the smartest move for Rubio might be to embrace the comparison, rather than reject it. If Rubio can convince people that he would do as much to limit government as Obama has done to expand it, he will have a winning argument.

Walker: Will voters view Walker as a battle-tested, reform-driven governor with a string of electoral and policy victories, or will the changes he’s made, in tone and sometimes in substance, erode the reputation he built during his tenure in Wisconsin?

Walker ran for governor in 2010 on a pledge to create 250,000 jobs and balance the budget. He didn’t accomplish the former but did, after a nasty and exhausting fight, implement reforms that allowed him to achieve the latter. So the $3.6 billion deficit that Walker inherited was eliminated. He has cut taxes, reformed state welfare programs, and won election three times in a purple state.

But since floating his name as a potential candidate last winter, Walker has equivocated on several issues. Walker had been for comprehensive immigration reform, but now opposes such reform as “amnesty” and is open to greater restrictions even on legal immigration to protect American workers. He once opposed renewable fuel subsidies but now prefers a gradual phaseout. In his 2014 reelection campaign, he ran an ad in which he declared that he was pro-life but said the “final decision” is between “a woman and her doctor.”

Asked in a recent interview about these changes in position, or at least in tone, Walker told The Weekly Standard: “It’s totally overblown. The only position I’ve changed on is my position on immigration, which was a pretty limited position as a governor to begin with. There are a lot of people covering this race who don’t get how people have to talk in a state that’s as swing a state as we are. And talking in a way that doesn’t alienate people doesn’t equate to flipping positions. It means articulating it in a way that maybe isn’t the same red meat that they’ve heard from conservatives in Washington.”

But enthusiasm for Walker’s grit—demonstrated in his fight against public-sector unions and Democratic special interests during a failed recall attempt—remains. And many Republicans are in the mood for a fighter—or, as Walker prefers, a “fighter who can win” on “commonsense conservative reforms.”

But these days, GOP primary voters are behaving as if they would settle for a fighter who has no chance of winning, no common sense, and isn’t a conservative. Which brings us back to Donald Trump.

Trump is without question a fighter. He seems to spend much of his day fighting with his Republican rivals, mainstream journalists, high-profile pollsters—anyone, really, who has said anything negative about him.

But before his recent conversion, the views he expressed over the years would make him a mainstream Democrat. This is the great irony of the current moment in American political life: The man leading the primary of a party whose recent success owes largely to a shift rightward has never really been a Republican.

Trump described himself as “very liberal on health care” and was an advocate of a single-payer health insurance system, a view that puts him to the left of Barack Obama. He long considered himself “very pro-choice” and was in favor of drug legalization. Trump once called Mitt Romney’s self-deportation proposal “crazy” and “maniacal.” Trump said Obama’s $787 billion stimulus was “what we need” and added, “It looks like we have somebody that knows what he is doing finally in office.”

As those comments suggest, Trump didn’t think George W. Bush did a very good job in office. But he didn’t stop there. Trump said Bush was “evil.”

Trump’s financial support for Democrats over the years has been well documented, with checks to Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, and others. That’s no surprise, since he said in 2004, “I identify more as a Democrat.” He praised Nancy Pelosi as “the best” when she became speaker of the House in 2007. That same year, he said of a prospective Hillary Clinton in the White House: “I think Hillary would do a good job.”

To put it mildly, Trump is an uncomfortable fit in the Republican party. And that’s why he is unlikely to be there at the end of this process.

That doesn’t mean he won’t run for president. Trump’s political activism has its roots in the Reform party movement of the late 1990s. He flirted with a presidential bid in 1999 on the Reform party ticket. He has in recent days repeatedly declared his openness to running as an independent candidate in 2016. Last week, he told the Hill that “so many people want” him to run as an independent if he doesn’t win the GOP nod and acknowledged that revenge could play a role if he loses. “Absolutely, if they’re not fair, that could be a factor.”

If he does run, all of the strategizing, planning, and campaigning that those mentioned above are currently engaged in could well be for nothing. With an evenly divided electorate and an angry conservative base, if Trump runs as a third-party, right-wing populist he could well siphon off enough votes to make Hillary Clinton the next president.

On the other hand, perhaps Trump won’t run. And, given her current troubles, with polls showing more Americans disapproving than approving of her, Hillary seems increasingly not a terribly formidable candidate. She seems eminently beatable. But which Republican can win the nomination and defeat her?
88  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: July 31, 2015, 09:00:19 AM
So say Jeb could beat Hillary.  What have we won?  I say not much.
What's the point.  His father was great with Iraq with the caveat that he established a serious precedent of turning over our sovereignty to the court of public opinion on at least  war decisions.  His brother was great with 911.   But otherwise not much else.  Bushes are not able to reset conservative values.   I don't hear Jeb saying anything that is impressive, convincing, or even motivating that is not just  status quo, appeasing, compromising, in and bed with the lobbyists speak.
Jeb is Hillary lite IMHO.
I will stay home if it is him or someone like him.
Even Christie has my ear and has sounded better!   I might even be able to give HIM another chance.   shocked  But no more Bushes.

Let's say it somehow shakes out that it is not Trump or Bush.  What do we have left?  Top tier left is Walker, Rubio, Cruz.  Second tier who might move up: Kasich, Fiorina.  I would argue that all are good choices.  Of them, I think Rubio and Fiorina might be the most electable, Cruz  the most pure in his stances, and Governors Kasich and Walker having the closest executive experience for the job.

I think the unsettled side is with the Dems.  Republican candidates are all announced and known.
89  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: Hillary's friends in high places on: July 31, 2015, 08:45:59 AM
Good coverage Crafty of all these issues and good article here.  ccp and others might say say the Clintons always get away with this and I partly feel that way, but this is different.  It is was intentional, not something they backed into, setting up their own server, their own foundation, their own overlapping contacts, soliciting big money while knowing they were running for President.

One thing they didn't see coming was Benghazi.  They thought the Sec State job was all PR and setup to be the successor; Obama and Jarrett had special envoys reporting to them for all the trouble spots.  But the Libya collapse was Hillary's doing, not fitting at all with Obama's (lack of a) foreign policy.  She steered away from the plan and deposed a guy who gave up his nuclear ambitions and replaced him with al Qaeda.  If it wasn't obvious then, in hindsight it was kind of dumb.

Of course she had classified info going in and out or else how was she communicating?  If Ambassador Stevens was not emailing his whereabouts, mission and plans, then did she not even know his whereabouts, mission and plans?  Maybe she didn't; she was writing books about herself.  Was the attempt to keep classified off of this why he couldn't reach her in his warning cries for help?

Now she is at war with the NY Times and the AP among others. not Drudge and the vast right wing conspiracy.  A catchy phrase and a tear from drop-trow Bill isn't going to make this go away. 

As soon as Obama turns on her, it's over.

My fear is that while we succeed at exposing Hillary's defective moral character, we are failing to challenge the eventual nominee on the issues, Warren or whoever.
90  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: July 30, 2015, 11:10:49 AM
If I am not mistaken if Romney had matched Bush's 40% he would have won.

Winning an even slightly greater share of any and all of these demographic groups matters.  Black, Hispanic, gay, Jew, Catholic, single mom, soccer mom, urban dwellers, media people, academia, (martial artists?), etc. etc., we have to convince them that there are other viewpoints and it is okay to choose one that is not what everyone else you know is choosing.  Each time they see one more person slip over to the other side they face the possibility of being curious about what they are not seeing.

We have former liberals right here on the board...
91  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Money, the Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: July 30, 2015, 10:59:46 AM
Thanks Crafty.  One more example:  The US bought Alaska (Someone's Folly) and Britain leased Hong Kong.  99 years goes by quickly.  Who has the strategic advantage now?

If not for property taxes, debt, and a hundred other problems that could come up, it's better to own than rent.

Objectivist:  Yes, it is rare (but can be done) for people to be smart and disciplined enough to rent beneath their means and accumulate wealth outside of real estate.  My advice to some in similar situations is to rent inexpensively where you live but buy and own the land under your red state, dream home getaway where you plan to live either in retirement or economic collapse.

I know that you know this, but savings in dollar based investments may not be savings at all.  Real estate has ups and downs but like is partly limited in quantity and independent from the currency. 
92  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Money, the Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: July 29, 2015, 07:21:37 PM
Due to the bursting of the bubble, it makes perfect sense that lots of people no longer believe owning a home is a good investment. 

Non performance of the housing market does not explain worst homeownership rate in nearly a half century, IMHO.  I ask rental applicants all the time, why don't you just buy this house?  They laugh and then explain about needing years to get their income up and their credit rating restored.

Housing is tied to employment and income, and also spending choices that show up on credit reports.  Homeownership rate is tied to worforce participation rate, not the badly understated unemployment rate.  100% of the 37% of adults not in the workforce and 11% of the others are unemployed or underemployed.  The new, part time economy does not lend itself well to home ownership or credit restoration - as costs keep going up.  Housing demand will bump up if/when real employment and take-home income bumps up.

Almost NO ONE prefers renting to owning, waiting for the landlord to fix something, waiting for the landlord to raise your rent, having their house sold out from under them or their lease non renewed.  Renting isn't cheaper than buying when interest rates are below 4%. 

99% of renters I meet rent because they can't buy right now, not because of a risk averse investment strategy.  While interest rates went down for the best borrowers, every other borrowing requirement went up.

For those owning real estate without debt, the last downturn changed nothing.  I sold nothing, bought a couple more, and now the values are most of the way back in most locations.  Meanwhile rental demand increased making ownership even more desirable. 

  - Rental Manager, Ulysses Up  (pronounced: yo lease is up)
93  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: European matters - EU on: July 29, 2015, 06:53:43 PM
"The EU has a flag no one salutes, an anthem no one sings, a president no one can name, a parliament whose powers subtract from those of national legislatures, a bureaucracy no one admires or controls, and rules of fiscal rectitude that no member is penalized for ignoring."   - George Will
94  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2016 Presidential, Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review on Lee-Rubio Tax Plan on: July 29, 2015, 06:51:16 PM
A very different take than we have heard on this from WSJ etc.  "... it pursues supply-side goals on investment taxation too avidly".  That was my thought as well.


Of the top three candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, judging from the RealClearPolitics average of national polls, only one has released a detailed tax plan: Marco Rubio, the senator from Florida. Not surprisingly, then, his proposal — made along with Senator Mike Lee of Utah, who proposed an earlier version of it on his own — has become the focus of the party’s tax debate.

When New Jersey governor Chris Christie, currently in eighth place in that average, outlined his own plan, the editors of the Wall Street Journal praised it by saying it was better than Rubio’s. Stephen Moore, writing in favor of a flat tax in The Weekly Stan­dard, included an aside blasting the Rubio plan. This could be a useful debate for conservatives — if it is conducted on accurate premises. Judging from the press coverage, so far it has not been. The real flaws of the Lee-Rubio proposal are being obscured by misguided criticisms.

The Los Angeles Times, for example, reports that Rubio is trying to alter “party orthodoxy” on taxes by moving away from cutting the top income-tax rate: “Rubio’s plan tests whether Re­pub­lican primary voters are willing to go beyond that supply-side view.” Po­li­ti­co claims that Rubio is “running on a tax plan that tosses out decades of GOP allegiance to the idea of simply slashing rates across the board and expecting faster economic growth to follow.”

Such descriptions may hurt Rubio by making him look out of step with his party, or help him by making him look fresh and new. But they are false. Re­pub­li­can tax policy has never been purely about supply-side tax-rate cuts to spur economic growth. Especially when it has been politically successful — when it has actually changed tax policy — the GOP has combined supply-side tax-rate cuts with tax relief that puts money in middle-class families’ pockets. Rubio’s plan is squarely within that tradition.

 Supply-side economics has often been criticized, unfairly, as a cover for plutocratic interests. That’s because a particular concern for the tax rate paid by the very highest earners is built into its logic. They pay the highest, and therefore the most distortionary, rate. They are the ones who are most responsive to changes in their incentives to work, save, and invest. The real flaws of the Lee-Rubio proposal are being obscured by misguided criticisms.

And there’s another feature of a progressive income tax that requires a little unpacking: The top rate is the only one that acts as a marginal tax rate on every person who pays it. Let’s say you cut only the 15 percent tax rate that applies to married couples making between $18,000 and $74,000 in taxable income. Making it 10 percent would improve those couples’ incentives to work: Now instead of keeping 85 cents of every extra dollar they earn from the IRS, they would keep 90 cents, an increase of about 6 percent. But every couple that makes more than $74,000 would get the benefit of that tax cut, too, pocketing an extra $2,800 — and their incentives to earn would not have changed at all, because all of their earnings above that threshold would continue to be taxed at the same rates as before. That’s fine if the goal is to let people keep more of their money. But if the goal is to maximize the effect of a tax cut on incentives — if the tax cut is to be judged, that is, on supply-side terms — then the top rate is the one that most needs lowering.

All of this helps to explain why, when he evaluated the Reagan tax cuts in his book The Growth Experiment, Lawrence Lindsey concluded that the reduction of the highest income-tax rate — it went from 70 percent at the start of Reagan’s term to 28 percent at the end of it — had resulted in additional revenue, but the reduction of low-end tax rates had lost revenue. It’s why some supply-siders groused that George W. Bush’s reduction of the lowest tax rate was a waste of money. And it’s a large part of the reason that many supply-siders are enthusiastic about flat-tax proposals that would bring the top tax rate down a lot while raising the lower tax rates.

But Republican presidential nominees have never run on such proposals. They have never taken the only goal of tax policy to be maximizing economic growth while yielding a targeted level of revenues. Reagan could have offered a tax cut as large as the one he did while cutting the top rate much more, if he had left the lower tax rates alone and let bracket creep (whereby inflation pushed people into higher tax brackets) continue. But he wanted to cut middle-class taxes, he wanted a plan that could be enacted, and he wanted to be elected and reelected. So he offered across-the-board reductions in tax rates and an end to bracket creep. The

Republicans running for Con­gress in 1994 again offered middle-class tax relief in their Contract with America: Its major tax proposal was the creation of a $500 tax credit for children. In 1997 that proposal made it into law, paired with a capital-gains-tax cut. George W. Bush, running for president in 2000, also combined supply-side and middle-class tax cuts. He cut the capital-gains, dividend, and estate taxes and the top income-tax rate; he also cut most of the other income-tax rates and increased the tax credit for children to $1,000.

The Lee-Rubio plan, too, has supply-side elements. It eliminates the taxes on capital gains, dividends, and estates, and the alternative minimum tax. It cuts the top income-tax rate. It cuts the tax rate on business income and allows businesses to write off the expense of investments immediately. But it also has two major middle-class-friendly features: It expands the child credit, adding $2,500 to it and applying it against payroll taxes as well as income taxes. (The senators say the credit is necessary to correct for the way entitlements overtax parents, who contribute extra to the programs by raising children.) And it taxes a lot of income that now falls in the 25 percent bracket at 15 percent.

What isn’t new in the plan, then, is that it includes tax cuts other than tax-rate cuts, that it is not just a list of supply-side priorities, and that it expands the child credit. Politico noted that lowering the top tax rate from 39.6 to 35, as Lee-Rubio does, still leaves it “far higher than many Republicans would like.” That’s true, but it also leaves it in the ballpark of previous Republican proposals. It’s the rate George W. Bush and congressional Republicans enacted in 2001. We have had a top tax rate lower than 35 in only five of the last 80 years — and in those years, investment was taxed more heavily than it would be under Lee-Rubio. Re­pub­li­can tax policy has never been purely about supply-side tax-rate cuts to spur economic growth.

Some supply-siders argue that Lee-Rubio should have proposed bringing the top tax rate still lower, which would do more to improve incentives to work, save, and invest, and thus encourage growth. The Journal prefers Christie’s top rate of 28. But this lower rate would not be likely to have a large economic effect. First, we should expect diminishing returns. When Reagan cut the top rate from 70 to 50, the after-tax return on a dollar earned rose 67 percent. Cutting the top rate from 35 to 28 would raise it only 11 percent.

Second, Republicans have repeatedly overestimated the growth effects of income-tax rates — predicting a bust when Clinton raised taxes and a boom when George W. Bush lowered them. Neither occurred, and in fact growth rates were better under the higher Clinton income-tax rates than under the lower Bush ones. Any positive effect of lower tax rates on growth are small enough that other factors can overwhelm them.

Third, it’s not clear that getting the rate on high earners so far down is politically realistic. A tax package that combined some reduction in the top rate with tax cuts that directly benefitted the middle class would almost certainly stand a better chance of enactment. That is, after all, how such tax-rate reductions have been achieved before.

 Lee-Rubio does not break precedents, then, in its approach to the top tax rate. But other aspects of the plan are genuinely new. Over the last generation the payroll tax has become a bigger burden for the middle class than the income tax, but Republicans have generally left the payroll tax alone. Mitt Romney, for example, offered an across-the-board reduction in income-tax rates, but middle-class income-tax liability is too low for it to have helped people as much as previous proposals in that vein. Lee-Rubio reduces ­payroll-tax liabilities for many people. Lee-Rubio is also a bigger tax cut than most previous proposals: The Tax Foun­dation estimates that it would reduce federal revenues by $4 trillion over a decade unless it raised economic growth. Some Republican-primary candidates have run on zeroing out taxes on capital gains and dividends, but no nominee has. The proposed treatment of business is new, too, and reflects an increased concern about competition among countries for capital investment. And the child-credit proposal is also much larger than previous candidates have suggested.

Finally, Lee-Rubio raises taxes on some people. Single people making more than $75,000 and married people making more than $150,000 a year would pay a 35 percent tax rate on income above that amount. These are high earners: The Census Bureau reports that in 2013, the median income for married couples was $76,000. Many of these high earners are now in the 25, 28, and 33 percent brackets, so mar­gin­al tax rates would go up on them. A good many of them would, however, have lower total tax bills. Take a couple making $200,000 a year. The new rate structure in Lee-Rubio would leave them ahead: They would save more from the lower taxes on income between $75,000 and $150,000 than they would pay from the higher taxes on income above that level. They would come out even farther ahead if they had children.

Republican tax reforms have sometimes proposed raising tax rates and tax bills for some people. Most flat taxes, for example, would raise taxes on many more people (and on people with lower incomes) than Lee-Rubio would. Re­pub­li­can nominees, though, have usually avoided proposing tax increases on anyone.

We don’t yet know how the plan will play in the 2016 elections. Most Republican-primary voters have not been supply-side purists, which is why nominees have not been either. Voters might find the $4 trillion impact on revenues too large. And the combination of raising taxes on some affluent households while also nearly eliminating income-tax bills for wealthy people who derive most of their income from investments seems politically problematic, to say the least. Proposing to end the capital-gains tax, as opposed to cut it, was unwise: If it was meant to buy supply-side support for the plan, it has not worked. (The Journal hardly mentions that feature of the plan when it de­nounces it.)

The problem with Lee-Rubio, in other words, isn’t that it breaks with the Republican party’s supply-side traditions; it doesn’t. The problems are that it pursues supply-side goals on investment taxation too avidly, and that it’s too large. Put the plan on a diet and both problems are solved.
 — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor of National Review.
95  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: July 29, 2015, 06:34:41 PM
"It is all unraveling for Clinton. So, will the Obama safety net hold? If it doesn't, we will have a Republican president"

Take it from Dick.   And Romney was a great President too....  as predicted.

The right was wrong on that one and the demographic deck keeps getting stacked more steeply against us.  Still, for a major, leading candidate to drop from 50 to 43 in a short time based on factors that aren't going away is significant.  She also dropped to trailing key Republicans in swing states in polls.  Of course it's early and polls are flawed, but ths is not a good sign for her.

I am more worried about losing to some Democrat than losing to Hillary specifically.  They are name dropping not just Warren and Biden, but also Gore and now Kerry.  It's not too late for any of them because a shorter campaign means more excitement and less scrutiny.

We need to fight back against the governing philosophy common to all of them, not just watch and hope Hillary implodes.

Disclosure: Like Morris,  I was wrong with my last prediction and owe 1 dinner so far...
96  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Way Forward for the American Creed: Freedom Bumper Sticker on: July 29, 2015, 06:19:46 PM
Opportunity for All,
Favoritism for None.

   - Jim DeMint, Heritage Foundation
97  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Math of CO2 on: July 27, 2015, 11:57:41 AM
This will be an interesting series to track. I suspect those with a carbon fetish who bandy about a lot of math will be provided plenty of food for thought:

I agree that the math and science of CO2 is all quite interesting.

From the article:

I'm not sure how sea ice was increasing back to mean, historic levels while CO2 directly tied to 'warmth' was increasing.

In all the times I've warmed a freezer I've never seen ice cube tray ice increase.

Besides no new warmth in the last 19 years while measured CO2 levels kept increasing, I question the assumptions that fossil fuel addiction is permanent and that negative feedback mechanisms are insignificant.
98  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: More Recovery summer 2015! on: July 27, 2015, 11:34:44 AM

"credit card debt up 1,760%."

Don't we all know that credit card debt is now how we measure wealth and confidence, while available credit has replaced savings as your rainy day fund.

Credit card transactions are for those purchases that the government won't pay for directly, like taxes on the middle class.  While the government may not pay for everything, they have the power to wipe out all of your debts, ... except those owed to the government.
99  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: July 26, 2015, 10:13:05 PM

Ah, this is how you are wrong, Doug. These people aren't trading in baby body parts, it is tissue from products of Conception.
Because science!

Gallows humor but funny to see them squirm.

Fetus isn't a born baby obviously, it is the "little one".  Yes, one day after conception it doesn't look like a baby and one day before birth it does.

"a ten to twelve week fetus looks nothing like a term baby—and is medically incorrect."

That being their view, maybe we can all agree to ban abortion after 10-12 weeks rather than growing them out for harvesting and profits.

How about this, try telling a late term pregnant woman with a knife in her hand that it's not a baby in there and see who gets hurt.
100  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Abortion: The Science is Settled, the Fetus has UNIQUE DNA on: July 26, 2015, 05:09:22 PM
We've been through this before and I'm surprised and disappointed that Rachel doesn't jump back in with the topic front and center.

The fetus (Latin for 'little one') is:

a) alive

b). of the human species

...and a crucial point so often ignored by abortion advocates and apologists,

c). the fetus has UNIQUE DNA, distinct from the mother (and from the father and from everyone else.)

Choice and women's rights are great cliches and misnomers, but whose choice is it?  The mother has separate DNA, is very directly related, is in close proximity, is presumed to be looking out for the best interests of her baby, and has complete control only when she acting in that role and capacity.  She has no more right to kill her daughter than Adrian Peterson has to whoop his son.

It is a separate and distinct being.  Make no mistake, the science is settled.

Liberals including our own express more concern for the comfort of a chicken raised in captivity for food than they do for the most vulnerable and innocent human life.

On Mother's Day, we are thankful for all the things she did for us.  Among them, what was more valuable and irreplaceable than struggling through a successful pregnancy and giving live birth?

Was there a life inside the mother before live birth or not?  Science knows; certain political factions deny.  But then they get caught selling live, functional organs and tissue from that live, human, distinct being.

These body parts are used for research and someday will save lives... ?

If stranded on an island with no food, and help is too far away, would you kill, cut up and eat your friends?  Worst case, I hope you would say, only if you had to.  98% of these killings are out of convenience, not due to the mainvreasons they argue, rape, incest or a threat to the mother's life.

Do the research some other way.
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