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51  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy - ISIS on: February 04, 2015, 09:28:10 AM
King of Jordan furious over ISIS
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/after-isis-execution-angry-king-abdullah-quotes-clint-eastwood-to-u.s.-lawmakers/article/2559770

Krauthammer: Congress Should Declare War On The Islamic State
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/02/04/krauthammer_congress_should_declare_war_on_the_islamic_state.html

Pentagon intelligence lists Islamic State as threat to US:
http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-global-threats-20150204-story.html

President Obama, ISIS is / is not the JV team of terrorists, pick your quote:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2014/09/03/spinning-obamas-reference-to-isis-as-a-jv-team/
http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2014/09/07/obama-makes-stunning-reversal-isis-not-a-jv-team/

Previously from this administration:  Iraq was my greatest achievement.

It is hard not to merge the US Foreign Policy and Glibness threads.  

We can ask or answer the hypothetical question of what we should be doing if not for those last two Presidential elections, and we can ask what we should do with the pieces that are left when he leaves, but US Foreign Policy is linked to having a Commander in Chief, and the world is suffering from a US leadership vacuum.
52  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: No go zones on: February 03, 2015, 06:55:21 AM
http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/01/30/mark-steyn-on-europes-no-go-zones/

The left loves to deny real problems while creating imaginary ones.

Thank you GM and Mark Steyn (famous people caught reading the forum):

But we’re supposed to believe they’re not real, because they don’t have big “KEEP OUT OR DIE, INFIDEL!” billboards denoting their perimeter, and they’re not labeled “Muslim No-Go Zone #23″ on the official maps of major European cities...

Yet.  They don't mark the perimeter because they are actively expanding it.
53  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: February 03, 2015, 06:46:31 AM
Actually he says it remains the plow horse that has been his hypothesis all along.

That is a more accurate characterization than other reporting implying we are in an expansion fueled by the success of big government.  We have a positive income and wealth effect coming from gas costing as low as $1.72 yesterday in the heartland, half of what it used to cost and 1/4th of the administration's target.  Also an employment bump helped by unemployment benefits running out.

Meanwhile I see friends running medium sized businesses, playing defense instead of offense in a global economy, trying to work around paying the highest corporate income tax in the world not to mention our ever-expanding regulatory burden.

With these policies, why should the economy grow any faster?
54  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary's "lead" now below the margin of error, support below 50% on: February 02, 2015, 10:32:25 PM
Unfavorables already surpass favorables.

Nowhere to go from here, but - further down!

http://hotair.com/archives/2015/01/30/ppp-hillary-falls-within-moe-of-top-gop-candidates/
http://images.politico.com/global/2015/01/29/ppp_hrc-vulnerabilities_012015.html
http://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/elizabeth-warren-poll-hillary-clinton-2016-election-114754.html
55  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, Economic Growth Disappoints - Again. on: February 02, 2015, 10:12:41 PM
What did we have there, one good quarter in a row?

Q4 GDP Advance Estimate at 2.6% Disappoints Expectations
http://www.financialsense.com/contributors/doug-short/q4-gdp-advance-estimate-disappoints-expectations

Growth is back below average, median and 'breakeven' growth, as it should be expected with this policy mix.  Maybe Wesbury will see it in a more positive light...
56  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential - Romney exit benefits Rubio on: February 02, 2015, 10:05:31 PM
Without much supporting evidence, this CNN contributor says the Romney exit benefits Rubio. 
http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/30/opinion/navarrette-rubio-rising/index.html
57  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Yucca Mountain Safe to Store Nuclear Waste on: February 02, 2015, 09:36:47 PM
Yucca Mountain Safe to Store Nuclear Waste
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/barbara-hollingsworth/nuclear-regulatory-commission-yucca-mountain-safe-store-nuclear

Who knew?
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1072.msg78975#msg78975

Best safety record, even with Daichi, etc.  Now we know how to build them tsunami-proof.  Zero carbon emission, waste can be safely stored.  What is our next excuse to reject our best energy source?
58  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Why are US prices higher? on: February 02, 2015, 08:38:48 PM

On the same line, the southwest suburbs of Mpls (also) has more MRI machines than all of Canada.  Canada has a population of 35 million so this is screwed up by a factor between 10 and 20-fold.  (I don't know about the French)

The question I think is asking us to compare apples with oranges.  One is the price charged for immediate usage of available equipment.  The other is the hypothetically cost of a service  not available without unacceptable delay - in Canada, up to 270 days for a routine orthopedic procedure.

The US cost is inflated with government dollars and other third party money payers can push the buyers out of pocket cost toward zero.  The French cost is artificially low and doesn't likely provide enough incentive to increase the large fixed cost supply of these machines to meet the demand for their service at that price.  Countries like that limit the number served some other way such as queuing and service denial.

Imagine if we legalized the MRI service and let the forces of supply and demand set the price at market equilibrium.  Wouldn't that be better than these other misallocations?


59  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: India/Indian Ocean (and India-afpakia and India-China) on: January 31, 2015, 10:51:20 PM
This is something which seems like a good thing to me.

Agree!  About 6 years late, but a good thing.  With trouble in Russia, Pak, NK and China, how do you pivot to Asia without partnering with India, and Japan, and many others.
60  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fed report challenges Atkinsson on: January 31, 2015, 04:15:20 PM

I don't see any more reliable information here than in the reports they claim to refute.  "Found no evidence" means - what?

"An investigation by [Eric Holder's] Justice Department"...      (Reported by "Media Matters').   

They also have found nothing on Fast and Furious, IRS, Executive Privilege, and the changing and canceling of passed laws.

Stuck backspace key sounds like the video in Benghazi.   In June 2013, CBS News confirmed that the CBS News computer was breached, using what the network said were "sophisticated" methods. They did not identify the party or parties behind the breach. 

  - They didn't identify the party in the report but they launched a lawsuit against the Obama administrotion DOJ based on its results.  Right?  Maybe OIG does not detect "sophisticated" methods and

The DOJ OIG report means the government's starting point is to DENY the highly illegal (treasonous?) hacking of a private journalist's records.  We "found no evidence" doesn't mean evidence won't still be discovered.  And it does not mean a disinterested professional has taken a look, IMHO.

"As Post opinion writer Erik Wemple first reported, the review found that "Attkisson is not and has not been under investigation by the FBI.""

   - Maybe she was under investigation by the White House.  Would fit the pattern of the IRS scandal perfectly, starting top-down while leaving plausible deniability and document and communications stonewalling all along the trail.
61  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, Rubio, Paul, Cruz on: January 31, 2015, 01:43:29 AM
Thanks for the URL of the transcript Doug.
Again, http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/transcript-freedom-partners-forum-ted-cruz-rand-paul/story?id=28491534&singlePage=true

You're welcome.  Sorry I don't have the video link.  Transcripts from voice recognition make some errors so it took some effort to go through it. 

The discussion was mostly on economic policy, then drifted into some foreign policy.  On the economic side the debate was the 'mainstream' questioner versus the three of them.  Each had a turn saying they disagreed with the false premise of the question.  The contest between the three I think was to see who could express our principles best.

I selectively cut and pasted some here, shortened and chopped.  The full transcript is much longer.
------------------------
Jonathon Karl, ABC:  7 million new jobs, oil prices down... why should voters ever trust Republicans again

Ted Cruz:  The top 1% earn a higher share of our income nationally than any year since 1928. The simple truth is with big government those with resources are doing well.  We have today the lowest labor force participation since 1978. Ninety-two million Americans aren't working. And you wanna talk about what's making life hard for working men and women, wage stagnation. Median wages today are equal to what they were in 1996, for 20 years.

Rand Paul: the reason I would say the economy's getting better is despite the president and despite the president's policies. One of the things that has led the resurgence is oil and gas boom. The oil and gas boom's being done on private land, not public land. We're not allowed to drill on public land. This president should take no credit for any kind of recovery we have.

Marco Rubio:  One of the significant reasons why the unemployment rate has gotten lower is 'cause less people are looking for work. ... this is not a cyclical downturn that we went through simply. It is a massive structural change in the very nature of the economy. ... we are increasingly less globally competitive for investment and for innovation because of taxes, because of regulation. And quite frankly, because of anti-business rhetoric from Washington. ... There are better jobs that could potentially take their place. But they're either not being created in this country because of tax policy, regulatory policy, the national debt, Obamacare, or too many of our people don't have the 21st century skills they need for that. ... wage stagnation is happening at a time when the cost of everything is going up dramatically.

Karl: ...increasing gap between rich and poor, is it the job of government to try to lessen that gap?

Cruz:  We should be fighting for the little guy who has dreams and hopes and desires.  ...   in the last six years that income mobility has gotten harder and harder for people to achieve.

Rubio:   income inequality is a symptom of a bigger problem. Opportunity inequality. ... we have safety net programs that don't cure poverty. ... if you are a major corporation or a very wealthy multi-national company you might not like big government but you can afford to deal with it.  If you're trying to start a business out of the spare bedroom of your home, you can't do any of that.

Rand Paul:  income inequality, Interestingly, worse in states led by Democrats, in cities led by Democrats and in countries led by Democrats. ...   if you're an ordinary person in our country and you're trying to save to get ahead you put your money in the bank and it gets zero.  It's because of the Federal Reserve keeping interest rate low. Why do we keep it low? Because we have this massive debt that we've gotta pay off with new money, with cheap money. And so it's all intertwined. And it's-- income inequality is indirectly, if not directly, related to big government.

Cruz:  government has two important levers to facilitate job creation and create an environment where the private sector can create jobs. And those two levers are tax reform and regulatory reform. And every single time in our history that we have simplified taxes, reduced the burden, reduced the compliance cost, simplified regulation so that small businesses which create two-thirds of all new jobs can do that. We've seen an economic boom, we've seen people climb out of poverty into prosperity. That was true in the 1920s, it was true in the 1960s, it was true in the 1980s. We know how to fix this.

Paul:  government has a role and a safety net but it needs to be transitory and it needs to be a step towards a job. ...  We have to have government for certain things that the private world can't do. But we should minimize what government does, maximize the productive sector. And you'll get more jobs created.

Minimum Wage

Cruz:  I gave a floor speech on the Senate floor with three simple charts, $10.10, the proposed Obama minimum wage. And then the next chart Marco just referenced was $0.00 which is the real Obama minimum wage because when you have the lowest labor force participation since 1978 to the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs under the Obama economy that's their minimum wage.  And then let me tell you the third number I had up there was $46.98. $46.98 is the average hourly wage of an oil and gas worker in North Dakota. And what I wanna see is an awful lot more people making $40 and $50 and $60 an hour and an awful lot less people making zero dollars a week. ...let me give you an example of this increase to $10.10 that Obama was urging. The Congressional budget office estimated up to one million people would lose their jobs. And the people who would lose their jobs are low-income,

PAUL: The minimum wage is only harmful when it's above the market wage. Okay, so when it's above the market wage it causes unemployment.

RUBIO: I'm not calling to repeal the minimum wage. I'm not saying to get rid of it as a practical matter. I think it is what it is and we don't-- that's a disruption that we don't need with all so many other disruptions happening.   ...all this focus that the president has on the minimum wage is a cure-all for the, you know, the problems being faced by working Americans is not only a waste of time, I think it shows how un-serious he really is about dealing with the challenges of our time.

Karl:  Paul Ryan had put out this plan as you all know to address the issue of poverty. And what he has proposed is an expansion of the earned income tax credit financed by closing tax loopholes. And he has specifically mentioned-- closing, you know, ending tax benefits to the oil and gas industry. And using the revenue saved there, estimates are $4 billion to $7 billion a year-- to pay for an expansion of the earned income tax credit.  do you agree with that principle of expanding federal spending on anti-poverty programs but doing them Ryan would say in a smarter way using it by closing some tax loopholes.

PAUL: When you look at the earned income tax credit, it has about a 25% fraud rate. We're looking at $20 billion to $30 billion. ... If you want to help people who are of lower wage income, working class folks, I think the better way, rather than giving something that's refundable is to give them a deducting against their social security tax so they're working and you get the deduction for work.

I'm for 100% expensing in the first year of everything you spend on your business because then you spend more and you'd buy more and your business would grow.

Rubio:  I've worked with, for example, scholars at American Enterprise Institute on a concept called wage enhancement.  It would replace the earned income tax credit instead with something called a wage enhancement, people between $15,000 and $40,000 a year... And here's why that's better. First it's tied to your paycheck as opposed to simply your tax return. As Rand just alluded to a moment ago there was significant amount of fraud in the earned income tax credit program because people will file on the return, claim that they are supporting children, some of which sometimes don't even live in the United States, some of which are not their children, they're nephews and nieces and cousins.And there is significant fraud in the EITC program. A wage enhancement would be directly tied to what you're making.  it's the same funds but you're delivering it through a different mechanism tied directly to work.

CRUZ: [Tax Reform] Yes, even revenue neutral. Though I'll tell you the fixation on revenue neutral is somewhat misguided in Washington because at least up 'till now they've used static scoring instead of dynamic scoring. So they don't look at the growth effects.

But the benefits of tax reform, if you're number one, simplifying the tax code, you reduce the compliance that cost the hundreds of billions of dollars of deadweight loss that is lost every year in tax compliance. Number two, if you do that, if you broaden the base and lower the rates, the top marginal rate is what affects the next marginal action.

But number three, look, the biggest value of tax reform is it disempowers politicians.

Cruz:  Since World War II our economy has averaged 3.3% growth.  There were only two four-year periods where growth was less than 1%, 1979 to 1982, coming out of Jimmy Carter, and 2008 to 2012. You want to turn around the deficits and debt. Let's get back to historic levels of 3%, 4%, 5% growth. That's how you turn around the deficit and debt.

Defense budget

Rubio:  every time you cut research and development in the military are eliminated options for a future commander in chief in the battlefield. We can never lose the technological edge.

Cuba

Cruz:  my aunt, my father's kid sister, was thrown in jail and tortured by Castro's goons. The human rights abuses there--it is a cruel, horrible, totalitarian regime.

When Soviet Union collapsed Venezuela stepped in as the benefactor keeping the Castros in power. right now oil prices have collapsed, Venezuela's economy is in free-fall. And at the exact moment when Cuba is reeling, this administration steps in with an economic lifeline.

In Cuba every foreign investment goes through the government, every foreign currency goes directly to the government. They pay the Cubans in pesos which means this will result in billions of dollars more for the Castro regime.   this deal will keep the Castros in power and it makes it less likely that when Fidel and Raul die they will move to a free society.

Iran: 

Rubio:  let me just add this on Iran, I think there's a distinction between Russia and Iran, The Soviet Union was terrible. It was a communist government. But it was a traditional nation state that made decisions on the cost benefit analysis of the nation state. Iran is run by radical Shia cleric who doesn't view himself as the leader of Iran. He views himself as the leader of global Islam. And he views it as his obligation to bring the whole world under the flag of Islam.

Paul:  ... try the diplomatic option as long as we can.

Cruz:  I think the threat of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons capability is the single greatest national security threat facing the United States today I believe we are repeating the mistakes of the Clinton administration in the 1990s with respect to North Korea.

when you have religious leaders who glorify death or suicide, ordinary cost benefit doesn't work. Cost benefit prevents a lot of people from wrapping dynamite around their chest and walking into a mall. But the problem is if Iran ever acquired nuclear weapons I think the odds are unacceptably high that it would use those nuclear weapons

Paul:  Are you ready to send ground troops in Iran? Are you ready to bomb 'em? Are you ready to send 100,000 troops? Are you ready to send them into Iraq? Do you want 'em in Syria? Do you want 'em in Libya?

Rubio:  let me tell you about negotiations, it is a tactic that Iran is using and here's why, in 2003 the world told Iran, "You cannot have any enrichment capability." Then it became, "Okay, you can enrich but only up to 20%."

Then it became, "Okay, you can enrich over 20% but you have to ship it overseas." Now it's, "Okay, you can enrich it 20% but you can only use it to a research reactor." At this pace in five years we're gonna build the bomb for them. I mean, that's the direction this is going. They use negotiations as a tactic. And they are trying to buy as much time as possible to acquire the capability of being able to build a weapon. And once they do, they don't even have to build a weapon. They just have to prove that they have a delivery system, which they're continuing to develop, unabated and untouched by the sanctions, a weapon design that they can easily buy from multiple people around the world and the last is the enrichment capability. And if you can enrich at 3%, you can enrich at weapon grade. It's the same equipment, it just takes a little longer.

JONATHAN KARL: But Senator Paul, ask the question, so what do you want, you wanna bomb Iran?

RUBIO: I think there's a risk of a nuclear Iran is so high that nothing should ever be off the table.

Cruz:  ... Either they will cease or we will stop them.


62  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Transcript: Rubio, Cruz and Paul debate, Freedom Partners conference on: January 30, 2015, 12:20:42 PM
75 minutes if you can find the video.  I plan to read this fairly long transcript:
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/transcript-freedom-partners-forum-ted-cruz-rand-paul/story?id=28491534&singlePage=true

Rand Paul supports Obama's approach on Iran. 
Marco Rubio says the threat of a nuclear Iran is so great that no option should be off the table.  (Read at the link to find out Ted Cruz' views...)

In a straw poll of attendees, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida came out ahead of four other would-be GOP presidential candidates who had been invited.
http://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/koch-donors-marco-rubio-2016-114673.html#ixzz3QKX74q2T
63  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: January 30, 2015, 11:52:19 AM
Yes, Romney is out.  Now I like him again, a politician listening to his constituents!

ccp who lives in NJ nailed it on Chris Christie.  His ratio of popularity to name recognition is lousy.  (Same with Palin.)  See the 538 site.  He lacks the story of a turnaround in his state compared with his potential contenders, Walker, Kasich, Jindal, Jeb, Rick Perry, etc.  I don't think many people even want to hear about a good story of a turnaround in a different state.

Huck is aiming only at southerners, having some fun with the process, and not running to win.

Nice post below by a Rand Paul supporter: "he's got what it takes to win the general vs. Hillary in a LANDSLIDE. He actually is better than Hillary on a lot of issues that matter to people on the left and independents with issues like war policy, drug policy, privacy, etc... but yet he's still awesomely pro-gun, pro-life, small government."

But that doesn't make any sense.  Hillary will win the liberal vote unless she is challenged from the left.  What part of the fact they don't want small government, pro-life, pro-gun does he not understand?  He may win over some people previously non-political, but not a liberal.  This will be a landslide only if one contender falls on his or her face, not because we (or they) are that good.

Rand's problem is that his foreign policy views do not fit the timing of accelerating threats around the globe.  He will run a good, grass roots race but not win the nomination.

Pundits and professional journalists are calling Rubio's book tour "well-timed".  Rubio allegedly getting early donor support:  http://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/koch-donors-marco-rubio-2016-114673.html  The book is also well-named, American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone.  I also like the name of Jeb's campaign, Right to Rise.  Same theme: let's expand upward mobility.

I heard Krauthammer clarify his bet on Marco Rubio.  The question, he said, was how would he bet $100 if he was in Vegas today.  He went the highest on Rubio because of having the best chance of winning relative to his longshot odds, not because of having the highest likelihood of winning.

Ruthless assessment by Jay Cost in the Weekly Standard today of the Democratic field.
http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/democratic-bench-shockingly-weak_830664.html
The Democrats appear institutionally incapable of offering more than one person worthy of consideration.
 
Hillary is reportedly delaying her launch to July while hired aides work on a message for her.  Good grief.  That gives me a little more time to save up for the nice dinner I will owe ccp.

More dropouts expected as potential candidates see how hard this is.  Donors don't give up money easily and delegates don't commit support easily.  Some like Santorum won't care and will fight anyway.  Many surprises to come.  I'm still waiting to hear from Hickenlooper!  Warren is in the moment Hillary admits she isn't.  Besides me, Obama, Warren and Clinton may already know that.  See Wash Post:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/01/30/what-if-hillary-doesnt-run/




64  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: January 29, 2015, 04:40:36 PM
Also, US is now or about to be the world's largest energy producer.

The massive layoffs in the energy sector tend to show otherwise.

The forecast for gas prices is to stay down and the forecast for production is up.  Sounds like a win both ways. http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/report/us_oil.cfm 

The expansion of drilling may be stopped by low oil prices, but I doubt they will close existing operations.
65  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education on: January 29, 2015, 12:39:41 PM
Aren't the highest paid university people the football coaches?   Maybe the basketball coaches?

Worse than an active coach's, superintendent's or University President's salary is the severance that we pay them to not work after they fail at their job.
66  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: January 29, 2015, 12:29:02 PM
I guess the question is this (coral bleaching that hasn't happened yet) manmade?

More importantly, when did Crafty start reading Mother Jones?!  cheesy
67  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: January 29, 2015, 12:19:46 PM
Objectivist:  "It's time if you haven't already - to make sure you have food supplies, water, firearms, and GOLD & SILVER.  Paper investments will be worth next-to-nothing.  IGNORE AT YOUR PERIL - Please read the article below carefully and take it seriously.  There is not much time left. If you don't have at least 50% of your liquid assets in gold and silver - you will be very sorry later this year.  Don't be foolish - it's easy to stay in denial and tell yourself this is nothing more than alarmism:"


Our side tends to be wrong on severity and especially timing of these things.  Like oil prices, the US economy as a whole is a bit of a futures market.  The last time the economy tanked corresponded exactly with when it became clear that America would be run by one, far-left party for the foreseeable future.  The changing of the House in 2010 offset that some damage.  Gridlock is better than lunging to the left.  The changing of the Senate now has offset that a little more.  The prospect that Hillary will either govern more centrist or better yet lose is encouraging.  The US economy is enormous and has absorbed at least some this political and governmental damage.  We have at least a 50-50 shot at turning this ship around in the two years.  I believe we survived the worst and people are ready to connect to a message better than give up and let your bankrupt government support you.  There is also positive movement around the globe for this message.  Sweden has rolled back a part of the biggest entitlement state on the planet.  Australia and Canada have turned for the better.  France rolled back its worst tax and is starting to understand security threats we all face.  America is one leader and one election away from moving back in the direction of freedom, IMHO.

That said, I am 100% invested in hard assets (real estate) and zero in dollar-based paper.  I wouldn't either buy equities or bet against them right now.  I survived the worst R.E. collapse in memory.  If there is any rule of law left after the next meltdown, I will charge my rents in gold, silver, copper, barter or whatever people are exchanging for value.  
68  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ted Cruz Iowa speech on: January 29, 2015, 11:58:08 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ou25iiRxWCQ
69  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-- Europe, Walter Russell Mead, Putin still thinks he can win on: January 29, 2015, 11:51:27 AM
WRM, my favorite Democrat, is always a very worthwhile read:

http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/01/27/in-it-to-win-it/

The post-1990 European order has taken much more damage than much of U.S. elite opinion has fully understood, and that damage poses much greater dangers to vital U.S. interests than most people think. Intelligent U.S. engagement in the rethinking and reforming of Europe is as necessary now as it was earlier in the 20th century.
...

From the Kremlin’s perspective, the world may have looked better a year ago when oil was expensive and Moscow’s coffers were flush. But while Russia had some ugly surprises in 2014, Putin seems to believe that the false foundations underneath the imposing façade of the West continue to erode at an accelerating pace. It does not take a strong push to knock over a house of cards; Putin, one suspects, still thinks he can win. He is certainly acting that way.
70  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cuba (and Glibness), Castro wants Guantanamo back, and damages! on: January 29, 2015, 11:40:42 AM
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/article8520950.html

"Cuban President Raul Castro demanded on Wednesday that the United States return the U.S. base at Guantánamo Bay, lift the half-century trade embargo on Cuba and compensate his country for damages before the two nations re-establish normal relations."
-----------------------------------

As a student of contract law, I point out that any counteroffer is a rejection of Obama's offer of normalization, and makes the original offer no longer valid or binding.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offer_and_acceptance

What a joke, Barack Obama and Raul Castro negotiating what is in the best interests of their countries.  If this wasn't real, it would make a good SNL skit - without help from comedy writers.
71  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Education, Ann Coulter: How much is that degree worth? on: January 29, 2015, 11:24:08 AM
I like the Carly Fiorina line:  She worked as a secretary after getting a degree in Medieval History - all dressed up and nowhere to go!

Ann Coulter unnecessarily rips the college education in this column, especially my daughter's major, but some of the points are quite good:

"The GOP needs to hold tobacco company-style hearings, hauling in the presidents of various universities and asking them to justify their multimillion-dollar salaries."

"We want professors explaining, under penalty of perjury, exactly how much they make per hour for their rigorous schedules of two classes a week, summers off, and full-year "sabbaticals" every few terms."

Especially this:

"If colleges really believe their product is worth anything, why don't they guarantee their own student loans?" !!!

http://townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/2015/01/28/how-much-is-that-psychology-degree-worth-n1949717


72  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Energy Politics & Science: Whatever Happened to Peak Oil? History’s Hysteria on: January 29, 2015, 10:51:48 AM
A short, clever, educational video made by the Pacific Research Institute featuring the charismatic wink Steve Hayward of Powerline:

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/01/whatever-happened-to-peak-oil.php

73  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Scott Walker on: January 29, 2015, 10:46:40 AM

Very good speech. 

Here is a very good ad:

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/DanielDoherty/2015/01/28/walker-ad-n1949558

I don't think he will win but he most certainly has my vote if nominated.
74  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: January 29, 2015, 10:34:32 AM
Hugh Hewitt, who I like, is sure that Hillary is running and is the Dem nominee and says the R candidate needs to study and be an expert on the records of both Bill and Hillary Clinton (long, sordid, and often criminal history) in order to win.  (The DB forum could be offered up as a resource.)  Hewitt takes liberal and media guests on his radio show and in particular likes to pin them down on what are her accomplishments.  On the release of a most recent Hillary biography, the author could not name a positive accomplishment of hers at State.

Hewitt:  "...the GOP nominee should be the individual best positioned to beat her, which means first knowing her history and especially her record at State and her time as the architect of Obamacare 1.0 from 1993-1994. It means knowing her endorsement of the president's immigration executive order and her Twitter applause of the president's State of the Union including its doomed plan to tax 529 plans.
Yes, it means even reading her ghastly and grindingly dull memoirs. And it means preparing, memorizing and delivering a concise recollection of the Bill Clinton years, one that always ends as his tenure did with the name Marc Rich.
To be the GOP nominee coming out of Cleveland should require knowing everything about Hillary and Bill and being able to effortlessly detail her almost unbelievable record of failing upwards over her twenty-five years in the Beltway."

I love his summation of her career, "failing upwards".

Hewitt, continued:  "It is a huge advantage for the GOP to know their opponent this far out."  ...  "Every great coach --Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, yes, even Belichick-- would kill for a year and a half to prepare a game plan for one opponent on whom the tape in the vault is endless."
http://townhall.com/columnists/hughhewitt/2015/01/29/draft-n1949979
75  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Pentagon distrusted Hillary on Libya, contacted Kadaffy on: January 29, 2015, 10:20:51 AM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/28/hillary-clinton-undercut-on-libya-war-by-pentagon-/
BTW, Rand Paul made a point the other night worth noting.  Kadaffy gave up his nuke program to us and look what happened to him.  Why would Iran trust us now?
No one will. Because of the dems, we are a weak enemy and a treacherous ally.

President Obama is Iran's greatest ally, stopping the two countries that would attack their nuclear facilities from doing so.
76  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Marco Rubio in Senate hearings: A short course on Iran on: January 28, 2015, 10:52:36 PM
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/01/rubios-short-course-on-iran.php

Please watch the video.

Interestingly, of all the allegations of facts and analyses, the Deputy Sec of State is able to correct or counter none of them.

Has anyone ever heard Hillary or Jeb  or or Mitt or Huck or ... ever dive in with this level of depth and clarity?
77  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Reminder, this is the electorate on: January 28, 2015, 12:19:38 AM

Yes, and the dangers mentioned of di-hydrogen monoxide.  People immersed in it are dying, yet no one will ban it.  http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html
78  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: January 27, 2015, 04:06:54 PM
I am pretty excited about the run to Iowa and NH, for both parties. For real.

Bigdog, You are missed here!  Your thoughts on the current scene?  Let me know if you wold like to meet up at an Iowa political event.  
79  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential - Rubio on: January 27, 2015, 04:06:37 PM
ccp:  "Sure I like Rubio but I am not sure if he has already peaked.   Not sure."

Look at the skill he exhibits in his first sentence in the Megan Kelly interview on broken families that Crafty posted (Rubio thread):

"So let's be clear from the beginning, there are courageous single parents out there that are raising their children in less than ideal settings, and they're doing a great job and those kids are going to succeed.  But statistically speaking..., (we know, that children that are raised in a home with two parents do better)."  

This is without notes, teleprompters or handlers as far as I can tell.  His is prepared and knows what he wants to say.  He presents core conservative ideas and principles in a non-threatening way, intelligently and intuitively, and with passion!  Compare that with Romney 2012 (or whoever).  When Romney was caught in his 47% comment, he couldn't find the words to defuse that in days that followed, while Rubio has defused potentially similar criticisms of single families in his prefacing remark.

Any one of them might implode at anytime, but he has already gone out there and exposed himself on all the key issues, and always seems ready for the reaction he gets from his detractors.

Immigration is supposedly the one thing he can't overcome, except that:  he sees both sides of the issue, he truly favors a secure border, he has already tried engaging up close and personal with the duplicitous left on this and failed.  He is less threatening to independent voters who have a friends or relatives living "in the shadows" than the rest of would be, and he is more likely to get a good outcome on immigration than a perfectly conservative position that would not win in a general election.

You don't think he would look good, look sharp, hold his ground standing next to Hillary and offer a better alternative, a better future that people in the middle and non-political can relate to?  Appeal to young voters, women voters, Hispanics, even gain ground with blacks?  Without losing ground with the base, conservatives, whites and males?  I do.

The Rubio agenda reads something like the Heritage Index of Economic Freedom where we now rank out of the top ten, behind New Zealand, Estonia and Mauritius, among others.  I ought to be a no-brainer to support moving up on this list - in the direction of restoring our freedoms, but most can't or won't articulate that.

It is the Governors who have the executive experience.  But they will be tripped up when they can't name the leaders of India, China, Japan and the UK, etc.  Hillary is loving the idea of telling us about her last dinner with each of them (while Bill was at the camp for old timers and underage nubiles).  Mike Pence has both congressional and executive experience.  But will he create this kind of excitement?  Do people want to hear about the business successes in Indiana (Orville Redenbacher is what he came up with)?  Probably not.  They want to hear about the shining city on the hill and visualize their families doing well there.  Otherwise they will take whoever offers them the biggest safety net.
80  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: January 27, 2015, 02:45:32 PM
We could let the free market actually determine prices and let free individual determine what kind of health care they wanted to obtain, and insurance companies could compete for business.   shocked

Exactly.  And free choices and competition are the only way that costs come down.  Now welcome to a world where the right answer is not the right answer.  Also, that is the reason why R's haven't easily settled on a solution.  The question at the moment is, what canl realistically move us in that direction.  What will turn the liberal wedge upside down?  What reverses Cloward-Piven and the current, rules for radicals sequence?

We've created generations of people for whom working for a living is an abstraction. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloward%E2%80%93Piven_strategy

Now we need to create generations of people where the vast majority have a stake in the success of our society and feel it.  Healthcare is a big part of it.  Too many people today are ready to give up on working and earning more in order to qualify for free healthcare for life.  How do we show them the opportunity to grow their incomes to the point where market price for healthcare is affordable and acceptable?

On our current course, the government is on track to make up 66% of healthcare spending.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisconover/2012/08/07/takeover-government-on-track-to-make-up-66-of-healthcare-spending-obamacare/
An element of dependency comes with that. (!)

Immediate elimination of the federal government's (mostly unconstitutional) role in healthcare opens the door for the endless and successful, taking-away-Granny's-meds, commercials and guarantees losses in elections.  Every cut in O-care will elicit the Republicans-want-to-kill-you response, but the accusation sticks better with some proposals than with others.

The Republican plans listed above do not remove the federal government but hopefully remove the dynamic where people give up and take whatever the government will give them.  The plans listed have some level of government support based on need, yet leave people with choices and, more importantly, a stake in their costs and coverage, resulting in what GM wrote above - free markets determining prices, individuals determining what kind of health care they want, and insurance companies competing for business.

The so-called ACA does none of what it promised to do.  We will not end it by standing out on a precipice and giving our opponents a clear shot to take us down.  (MHO)
81  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: January 27, 2015, 11:20:28 AM
This is from a progressive site, but the point is dead on:   The Reps are years past where they should have a list of bullet points to answer the question presented here:

http://www.ifyouonlynews.com/politics/boehner-mcconnell-humiliated-when-asked-about-gop-obamacare-alternatives-they-still-got-nothin-video/

Republicans have alternative plans, but they don't have a consensus on one - or leadership.  They can't do anything until 2017, but they can't do anything then, either, if they don't get clear and persuasive and win the argument about where we need to be heading.  

http://www.burr.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=5103477b-cca0-2f3a-dd0e-a7ac35366eb4
http://2017project.org/

http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1411.msg84940#msg84940
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/394161/getting-beyond-obamacare-ramesh-ponnuru

Republicans need to reassure conservatives that they really will repeal Obamacare if given the chance and reassure the public at large that they will replace it in a way that does not leave millions of beneficiaries bereft. They could accomplish both of these tasks at once if they devised a conservative health-care plan that replaces Obamacare without threatening people’s coverage. Then they could commit themselves to that plan without making swing voters anxious, and thereby begin showing conservatives that they have a real plan to get rid of the law.

This course of action does not amount to searching for a unicorn. Several plans that meet these criteria have been put forward, such as the CARE Act, proposed by Senators Orrin Hatch, Richard Burr, and Tom Coburn, and a plan put forth by the 2017 Project, a conservative nonprofit (links above). The key step would be to change the tax treatment of health insurance. We now have a tax break for employer-provided health insurance, including fairly expensive employer-provided insurance. That break should be flattened — so that it no longer rewards people for choosing the most expensive insurance options, and so that people who do not have access to employer-provided plans can use an equivalent tax break to buy insurance on the individual market.

A replacement plan should also make existing entitlement programs more market-friendly. Most of Medicaid should be converted into subsidies that help beneficiaries buy into this enlarged individual market. Ideally, Medicare, too, would be converted into a system in which private plans compete for the business of empowered consumers, as almost all Republicans have already endorsed.

Plans along these lines have been estimated to be competitive with Obamacare on the number of people insured, and superior to it in cost and choice of doctors. A higher proportion of the insured would have protection from large medical expenses, and coverage would generally be of higher quality than Medicaid (which is responsible for most of Obamacare’s expansion of coverage). The resulting system would feature lower premiums and taxes than Obamacare. It would lack the law’s centralizing Medicare board and essential-benefits package, its employer mandate, and its individual mandate. It could be structured to avoid discouraging work, as Obamacare’s subsidies do.
82  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2016 (Vice) Presidential: Carly Fiorina on: January 27, 2015, 10:25:58 AM
Crafty, previously:  "She was distinctly unimpressive when she ran here in CA"
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This speech was perhaps the biggest surprise in the recent event in Iowa - the contest to selected as Rubio's running mate.   wink

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/01/26/carly_fiorina_to_hillary_clinton_flying_is_an_activity_not_an_accomplishment.html

It is possible that she choked in her recent Senate race because she knew these views did not fit with that audience, the California electorate.  Still she only lost 52-42 in a far left state.

She makes very powerful and persuasive points about government getting too big.  For wherever her candidacy leads, it is a very positive thing for the process to have a sharp and experienced woman up on the stage making the conservative case.

She has met Putin, knows Netanyahu, understand cyber-warfare and the Chinese policy supporting theft of our technology.  She explained beautifully how big businesses can hire lawyers to deal with over-regulation while small businesses cannot.

And she didn't wear a pant suit.

Fiorina has degrees from Stanford and MIT.  Breast cancer survivor.  Worked as a secretary out of college, worked her way up at AT&T/Lucent.  She was named Fortune magazine's most powerful woman in business prior to being chosen CEO at HP.  She led the world's largest technology company 5 years through troubled times with mixed results.  

She was quite comfortable taking on Hillary Clinton directly.  Took a jab at the Putin reset button, said I'll tell you what difference it makes regarding Benghazi, and asserted that flying is an activity, not an accomplishment.

83  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe, No Go Zones(?) continued on: January 25, 2015, 04:25:53 PM
The authorities in the various countries don't admit the "no-go" terminology.  But read the Swedish Police report in Swedish (with the help of Google translate) and see if these same things are not happening at times in similar areas within these other countries, UK, France, Germany, etc.  The borders within Europe are open.

...loosely connected networks, broad-based youth environment.
...criminal settlements which manifest itself in serious violence in public places, various forms of extortion
and unlawful influence.
...Witnesses don't come forward. Difficulty to get people to testify.  Police vehicles attacked.
 ...establishes an informal power structure ultimately benefits the criminal actors.
...the public's fear of reprisal led to the ordinary justice system to some extent being sidelined

55 specific areas in 22 cities with these characteristics are identified on detailed maps. 

No mention of a religion in the demographics, or of "no-go zones".  It is only on the opinion pages that observers call these areas no-go zones for police or non-Muslims.  The official police report refers to the situation as "serious" and "worrisome".

https://polisen.se/Global/www%20och%20Intrapolis/Rapporter-utredningar/01%20Polisen%20nationellt/Ovriga%20rapporter-utredningar/Kriminella%20natverk%20med%20stor%20paverkan%20i%20lokalsamhallet%20Sekretesspr%2014.pdf
84  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Seattle's minimum wage claims. Correction: "SeaTac" population 26k on: January 25, 2015, 01:11:12 PM

In Seattle, the adoption of a $15 per hour minimum wage begins April 1, 2015.  The legislation will phase-in a $15 per hour minimum wage annually over 3 to 7 years, depending on employer size.
http://www.seattle.gov/council/issues/MinimumWage/default.html

(You were duped, and so was I most of the way through writing a reply!)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The question on minimum wage is not how much to pay, but who should decide. 

The journalism here is quite misleading.  This policy is for a little municipality called SeaTac, population 26k located in the overpriced airport area of Seattle Tacoma.  It affects a .007 proportion of the (3.6 million) Seattle metropolitan area.  Airport areas are notoriously over-priced because of a captive audience.  That means the nation should do this??  (Seattle itself is only 18% of the "Seattle" metro area.) 

Alternatives to paying minimum wage workers include installing more labor saving innovations and setting up shop elsewhere.  Neither happens instantly.  From automated gas pumps to automated teller machines to automated french fry cookers, the effects are seen in the longer term. 

Even if you believe in having our all-knowing government meddle in minimum wage law, the correct number for each industry and each location is different.  Note that this experiment is in one city, not a metropolitan area, a whole state, much less a nation.   

You've got to love the thought process of the liberal commentary:  "They forgot the words of wisdom from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in an address given in Cleveland, Ohio on October 16, 1936  "It is to the real advantage of every producer, every manufacturer and every merchant to cooperate in the improvement of working conditions, because the best customer of American industry is the well-paid worker." 

That of course has absolutely NOTHING to do with the minimum wage situation around the airport.  Maids don't rent rooms at The Ritz or buy many Boeing products!  What they do is end up on public support when jobs disappear.

"The biggest sign that the higher wage did not impact Seatac however comes with the news that the Seatac airport will be undergoing a half-billion dollar renovation and expansion."

Huh?  The public sector expanding means what??  Good grief!  Are these liberal sources coming from Crafty's facebook friends?  )

The minimum wage is entry pay for mostly unskilled work - the bottom wrung of the economic ladder.  The worker is supposed to gain skills and experience and move up the ladder.  But not if the government forces entry level work to be ever more lucrative, or if it causes the elimination of the first step on the ladder for more and more people.

What percent of American households live off of minimum wage with no other support? Almost none.  The average family income of a minimum wage worker is $53,000.
http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/02/who-earns-the-minimum-wage-suburban-teenagers-not-single-parents
http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2011.htm

False reporting of a false issue, IMHO.
85  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe, Jindal, No Go dispute, 55 Police No Go Zones in Sweden on: January 25, 2015, 12:00:00 PM
Bobby Jindal's allegation of "No Go" zones in Europe set off a firestorm last week here on the left, and in parts of Europe. 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/19/bobby-jindal-muslims_n_6503998.html
http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/01/21/bobby-jindal-defends-no-go-zones-myth-foxs-john/202225

"Muslim immigrants have created "no-go zones" in Europe where non-Muslims are not welcome."
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/01/15/jindal-no-go-zones-muslim-europe/21825173/

Others have said entire cities such as Birmingham are such, and have had to back down from erroneous statements.  The mayor of Paris is suing Fox News. http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2015/01/city-of-paris-to-sue-fox-news-201302.html  (I assume these Paris "suburbs" are not in Paris.)

Here on the forum, we have documented the looting of Jewish grocery stores in France, the car fires of Clichy-sous-Bois, Villiers-le-Bel, the inability of Sweden to host a Davis Cup tennis match versus Israel, and massive riots that broke out over that.   
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=977.msg26295#msg26295 
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=977.msg28181#msg28181
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfK7Yal64S0&x-yt-ts=1421914688&x-yt-cl=84503534
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxX27Pe-AH0&x-yt-ts=1421914688&x-yt-cl=84503534

I don't know about no-go zones in the UK, but bring forward this post documenting 55 police no go zones in Sweden:
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=977.msg84433#msg84433
A place formerly known as Sweden now has 55 Police No Go Zones
« Reply #435 on: October 30, 2014»
The Swedish police has released a map of 55 areas where they publicly admit to having surrendered control to the criminal gangs. The report describes outright attacks on police officers trying to enter the areas, which is a step up from the previous problem with attacks on mailmen, fire trucks, ambulances and similar services; it used to be that fire trucks and ambulances had to wait for police escort to enter the areas, but now the police themselves need protection.

The no-go areas heavily coincides with the map of the 186 “exclusion areas” aka. crowded, predominantly muslim immigrant ghettos, where education is low, employment is lower, and the only local business thriving is that of the drug dealing (which takes place openly and continues to do brisk business.)
http://swedenreport.org/2014/10/29/swedish-police-55-official-no-go-zones/
http://polisen.se/Global/www%20och%20Intrapolis/Rapporter-utredningar/01%20Polisen%20nationellt/Ovriga%20rapporter-utredningar/Kriminella%20natverk%20med%20stor%20paverkan%20i%20lokalsamhallet%20Sekretesspr%2014.pdf
http://www.svd.se/opinion/ledarsidan/55-no-go-zoner-i-sverige-minner-om-parallellsamhallen_4051399.svd
---------------------------

On a related matter, I see that Powerline yesterday picked up on my 2013 post of "A Jew in Malmo, Sweden":
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=977.msg76275#msg76275
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/01/jewish-like-me-in-malmo.php
Maybe not really a Jew in Malmo, but a Scandinavian wore a kippah to see the reaction.
--------------------------

My thought on this controversy is that it is good to force people like the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the Mayor of Paris to make sure and make pubic that this is NOT happening!  That is Jindal's point, no-go zones within western allies must not stand.  Religious intolerance in places like Tehran and Hebron is enough.
--------------------------
As stated elsewhere by ccp, this isn't about militant Islamists attacking Jews.  It is about militant Islamists attacking Jews first.  Their war is against all others.
86  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Two lakes in Greenland on: January 24, 2015, 06:59:40 PM

Interesting phenomenon.  Odd that the author finds a natural occurrence he doesn't understand to be "catastrophic".
87  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: Real unemployment rate is 11%, Bernie Sanders on: January 24, 2015, 09:29:42 AM
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/01/23/dem_sen_bernie_sanders_the_reality_is_that_real_unemployment_is_not_55_percent.html
88  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science, Methane Deceptions on: January 24, 2015, 09:25:06 AM
http://m.townhall.com/columnists/pauldriessen/2015/01/24/methane-deceptions-n1947451#
89  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio on: January 23, 2015, 05:12:40 PM
I watched the full 32 minutes of the interview.  I agree, he handled things very well.   Not only that, but he impressed me as having more heft than I previously had seen.  He definitely moved up in my opinion.

Moving up in the polls - with support from women!
http://m.washingtonexaminer.com/poll-rubio-surges-to-second-just-3-points-behind-romney/article/2559163
90  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: January 15, 2015, 05:55:04 PM
ccp:  "I know of one."
Doug, do you mean Rubio?

Yes.  I think he is saying now exactly what he plans to say in the general election and while governing.  He doesn't say he is more conservative than some other Republican.  He is saying this is the agenda we need, economic freedom and strength, and here is how we can do it.  He doesn't have an authenticity problem or need to shift directions later.


ccp:  What is your take a Jindal?   All know he is not a front runner but he appears to want to run.

GM:Jindal would be one I could support.

(Doug)  Me, too.  Jindal would be just fine with me.  Two term governor, smart and conservative, young and qualified.  Not a boring white guy.  He is not my first choice because I don't rank him first for persuasive skills and connecting with people, but he could make a fine President if elected.  Pundits are saying a little bit condescendingly that he is running for Vice President.  He would be great for that too.

Louisiana is the median population state, 25th, (8 times larger than Howard Dean's Vermont).  Major port, major cities, major energy producer, diverse economy, mixed race population, divided politics. Survived plenty of troubles.  Being a two term governor of La. is significant, executive, governing experience.

People who know him say he is brilliant, but thinks and talks at a mile a minute and people can't follow him.  So when he gave a national response speech, they told him to slow it down and he sounded like he was reading to children.  He needs to be himself, communicate clearly and persuasively, and let the chips fall.
91  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: January 14, 2015, 11:36:51 PM
Mittens can run to the right of Jeb and still be to the left of the base.

 rolleyes

Yes.  He will run the to the right of Jeb, he governed to the left of Jeb, and the main problem he needs to overcome is a lack of authenticity.

Michael Barone asks if there is someone who can run with the same platform in the primaries, the general election and to govern.   
http://m.townhall.com/columnists/michaelbarone/michaelbarone/2015/01/13/can-jeb-bush--or-anyone--come-up-with-a-platform-for-primaries-general-and-presidency-n1941918

I know of one. 
92  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio on: January 14, 2015, 11:26:01 PM
People might remember that it was Katie Couric who tripped up newcomer Sarah Palin in 2008.  So who did Marco Rubio choose for his first book interview this week?  None other than Katie Couric.  She came at him hard, in her own snitty, snippy, snotty sort of way, and he handled it quite well IMHO.  Here is a link to it:http://news.yahoo.com/katie-couric-interviews-senator-marco-rubio-on-cuba-and-2016-presidential-election-033914562.html
93  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: January 13, 2015, 11:12:04 PM
This is quite a good interview with a journalist who was a witness on the scene in Paris.http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/01/the-power-line-show-episode-7-claire-berlinski-reporting-from-paris.php
94  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: January 13, 2015, 07:48:56 PM
Paul Ryan is out.

Romney is in.  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-30799373

Elizabeth Warren now says she will not run.  (Assuming Hillary is in.)

This is starting up early!

Stealing the photo from Crafty's post, how do we compete with the accomplishments, good looks and charisma of this woman?

95  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: January 13, 2015, 07:43:18 PM
Latest news in the Hillary drama, they have hired the North American marketing manager of CocaCola to join the campaign. 
What are they planning to sell??
http://www.wsj.com/articles/coca-cola-marketing-exec-wendy-clark-expected-to-advise-hillary-clinton-1420848130?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_management

Maybe it was Bill that hired her:


96  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: January 11, 2015, 12:16:17 PM
Great comments by ccp.  Jeb did a good job with Florida as Governor.  He had good circumstances, Republican legislature, Marco Rubio Speaker, no income tax etc.  He wasn't run by his father or big brother, was his own man.  He has a couple of issue problems to resolve if he wants conservative support and he doesn't seem to want to do that.

Like Walker,  Chris Christie stood up to unions.  Unlike Walker, he didn't turn the rest of the problems in the state around. Maybe couldn't have because it is a Dem state, but didn't.  NJ is not either his fault nor his accomplishment.  He has a medium record, upset a lot of R's with his 2012 Obama embrace, has a controversial personality and like most governors has no real record on foreign policy.

With Jeb and Mitt maybe in, Chris Christie is one more Rino to split the moderate-establishment wing vote, so we should hope all of those get in - and lose.    smiley
97  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: January 09, 2015, 11:50:09 AM
GM: "Ted Cruz or bust."
Crafty: "as a Presidential candidate he would suck and our next President will be Hillary."

And I was hoping we would reach consensus by now.  smiley

My view on Cruz is in between these two.  He is a high risk choice, but maybe one worth taking.  Like Gingrich last time, he is one guy you wish was there on the stage when our candidate has no answer to lying liberalism.

Ted Cruz will be accused of shutting the government down.  17% of it for 16 days.  But, on the ticket and in the media, he can answer that.  He didn't shut it down, Barack Obama and Harry Reid did.  The Republican budget funded everything except the exact part they were sent there to stop. 

He will be accused of being the far, extreme right.  But is he also the guy that makes sense of those conservative positions to the persuadable?  Hillary, if she runs and is nominated, will be candidate of the status quo.  Cruz would be new guy on the stage arguing for change.  That said, I don't think he can win the nomination.

Waiting to hear from obj, ccp, and others!

We want someone a) who can win, and b) who can turn this country around.  If you can't win, you can't turn the country around.  If you win but govern Dem-lite and can't defend good policies, then you set the stage for failure, like last time.

One of these people, we hope and pray, is the next leader who can connect, persuade, move the debate and the people.  Who is that?
98  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: January 08, 2015, 07:23:24 PM
Yes, great history and analysis!  What a meddled market!  The Fed is still propping things up with money and the government still has too many intervention programs.  As PP suggests, what happens to values when mortgage rates go up (and incomes are flat)?  It won't be pretty.  And the only reason rates aren't going up is because demand is so soft in the economy.  The policy makers have not allowed housing to correct (proven in pp's figures).  

The financial crisis is over, stop the emergency programs.  Cut back on these efforts to get people to buy a home without saving for the down payment.  3% down is not a commitment or security against value fluctuation.  Allow interest rates to right-size.  People need to save, not just borrow.  There is no balance to it.  Most of all, housing affordability is a function of income, not about houses.  We need to grow the economy and grow incomes if we want people to afford homes.
 
I agree with PP that they are "engaging in a conspiracy to commit fraud".  We still have too big to fail and live in a bailout world.  Values are still inflated. If knowing about risk causes them to lose out on a profit, then covering their eyes works just fine, from their point of view.  If they miscalculate, fail, and collapse, it won't be the first time.  It's not like they will lose their house.  They might not even lose their bonus. 
99  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: January 08, 2015, 06:56:14 PM
Thanks for the detailed response. 

Romney has learned a lot I'm sure.  I agree he earned credibility on calling some things right, that his economic plan would have worked and the people wish he had won last time in hindsight.  But some of the key part I think we need is not in him.  In a nutshell, he opposed Reagan, expanded government when he had the chance, and couldn't defend capitalism or his own work in the free enterprise system when pressed.  I will vote for him again if that's all there is, but he is not the leader that will change minds of millions or bring a new generation over to our side.  I will not forget that he choked and backed off when Candy Crowley (wrongfully) stepped into the debate.   Why was he making that (valid) accusation against the President of the United States in a scheduled debate if he was ready, willing and able to back it up?  He lacked the fire in the belly then and is likely to have even less now.  Speaking of Christy at the convention, what happened to Romney there?  They had a week of free media and gained nothing from it.  He mostly played defense.  He is a good man.  Too bad he didn't step up when he had the chance.

Rand Paul.  "Which candidate would you trust to be your son's commander in chief while serving in the middle east?"  - I would trust him to have the least casualties in foreign lands, but also to make us the least secure at home.  ISIS has captured strategic territory, revenue sources, weapons, and is breeding a new generation of terrorists through gender slavery and rape.  Time for us take a little breather?

Does boring white guy (Pence, Walker) mean ruled out because they are unelectable? 

I didn't know white male was a disqualifier. wink  And aren't they all boring to the general electorate when they talk about key issues, taxes, spending, entitlements, regulations, budgets, security, foreign entanglements, monetary policy, judiciary philosophy, etc.  That's why they turn to boxers, briefs and what's in your playlist.  For Obama, it was Greek columns and speeches full of nothingness.   If we don't choose Carson, Bachmann, Fiorina, or Jindal, Cruz, Rubio, Ayotte, Haley... then might we have to get behind a boring white guy??

One other observation.  No names were added to the list (so far).  With almost all ruled out, we are down to very few good choices.
100  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: January 08, 2015, 12:06:33 PM
Rough translation (through google) of Denny's Spanish language post today:

Maduro was humiliated in Russia

DolarToday / Jan 6 , 2015 @ 7:00 a.m.

Nicolas Maduro was humiliated in Russia when received by an official of third rank of the Putin administration , Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation , Sergey Ryabkov Alexeevich.

Despite the humiliation received, Maduro expressed " solidarity with the government of President Putin to claim destabilizing USA ", he said the minister.

The Minister for Communication and Information, Jacqueline Faria, reported that this visit of Venezuelan president to Russia is a pre-destined for an international tour that will take work to China and nations of OPEC (OPEC).

" Technical stop in Moscow at the top of this presidential tour of China, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Algeria ," he wrote in his JacquelinePSUV account , which also published photos of the game , which can be seen participating in the meeting Minister for Economy , Finance and Public Banking, Rodolfo Marco Torres, and Chancellor Delcy Rodríguez .

Maduro began Sunday trip to the People's Republic of China to strengthen bilateral cooperation relations diplomatic, economic and commercial character with this nation.

During his visit to China , Maduro will meet with President Xi Jinping and also participate in the first China - ministerial forum Community of Latin American and Caribbean States ( CELAC) which will be held on 8 and 9 January in Beijing.

Later, he will tour countries of the OPEC in order to address the issue of falling oil prices.

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