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5051  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 07, 2012, 12:17:45 PM
I agree with you on his weaknesses.

"a) were the opposition to Romney not divided, he would be losing;"

But he has multiple opponents now because none of them seal the deal either.  Each had an opportunity.

"b) he lacks the ability to go after Obamacare"

He is poorly positioned to make the argument but his promise to repeal it is in stark contrast to Obama's position.  I don't see exactly how you repeal it or pass anything else when even in a perfect electoral storm they will still lack 60 votes in the Senate.

"c) his wins have come by outspending his opponents-- he will not have this advantage against Baraq, quite the contrary;"

This is true, but in the debates I think he was attacked the most and also super-pacs of the others mostly went after him.  He will have no money advantage against Obama, but no shortage of money either.

"d) he has patrician's guilt complex and will crumple under race baiting and class warfare attacks"

Agree on the first part. 

Romney is conceding that high income earners will see their deductions limited (something to appease the fairness/income inequality argument with), but went on to rather courageously cut their marginal tax rates by the same 20% as all other groups.  He wants to 'preserve the progressivity' in the current tax code, which is bad but the only alternative remaining will be to exacerbate it.  I have seen him Romney change course, but I have not seen him crumble - if that makes any sense.

We are not in the brainstorming time of a year or two ago trying to figure out who could make the perfect President.  The selection process for Republicans is largely over unless something very new develops.  The main alternative still standing, Santorum, isn't the right guy either.  So we are down to electing Romney and trying to shape the actual policies through the congressional elections, or losing our country - that is my take.

Earlier when Newt was being ignored, the tea party bet the farm on Hermann Cain.  I still wonder who it should have been.  Perry, I had hoped - not ready, not the right guy.  Very few are ready. Too bad it isn't Newt making his surge now - without errors!  Almost none have clarity, vision and discipline.  Newt had maybe 2 of those 3.  Romney, who knows.  He has the positioning to win. The hope that he can rise up out of this, win, and be a great President is all I think we have left.

5052  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: March 07, 2012, 11:07:52 AM
"Proliferation of unneeded and redundant Medical Devices on every corner is just one of the reasons our Healthcare system is out of control......."

Good grief, what does that mean?  Will the new medical device excise tax help us to quash these cures gone wild?

"Cost per day for hospital charges averaged $3,949 in the U.S."

Costs are higher than people can afford because of THIRD PARTY PAY.

5053  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics - Jon Stewart on Rush on: March 07, 2012, 10:56:01 AM
For balance on the forum, Jon Stewart having his liberal fun attacking Rush:
5054  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential Super Tuesday on: March 07, 2012, 10:52:59 AM
Strange to me that the media line (other than that WSJ piece) while Romney wins 6 more states is how Romney can't close it out.  No offense to the others, but really it was Tim Pawlenty who couldn't close it out, and Rick Perry and Hermann Cain and Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, not to mention the crowd on the sidelines who didn't find the gumption to jump in at all, Christie, Daniels, Jeb Bush, Palin et al.

Did someone say winning the Presidency was supposed to be easy?

True it was a brutal campaign.  And through it we learned that Mitt Romney was... faithful to his wife, successful and clean as a whistle in business, paid his taxes, gained executive experience in government, built the best organization, raised the most money, performed solid and consistent in the debates (biggest slipup was the $10,000 bet), is positioned as strong on defense, strong on border security, has a 20% across the board tax rate cut proposal (Reagan only got 25% through), and is not conservative enough for the farthest right elements in his own party.  He has won in the east, the west, the south (FL) and the midwest.  How could anyone position himself better for a general election?

Mitt Romney in 2012 is a far better candidate than John McCain of 2008 who only lost by 7 points to a magical figure who now must run on a record of cluelessness, damage and drift.

Santorum won 3 states that are safe for any Republican in Nov and Newt won his home state decisively.
5055  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 06, 2012, 09:50:49 PM
"Carbonite's stock price seems to be falling faster than Sandra Fluke's undergarments."

I wonder if they will be forced to apologize - and whether the apology will be sincere enough?

Very funny and telling that a right to bear arms never included an obligation for someone else to pay for it - if you even have a right to bear arms at Georgetown University.

There is something about the concept of insurance the activists don't understand.  You insure against expenses uncertain or unforeseen, the regular bills you simply pay.  She is saying the fact women need this is a certainty, not a risk.  For expenses that directly come with life's activities that you choose, like skis for skiers and boxing gloves for boxers, don't you just pay those bills, or do you expect someone else to coercively pay them for you?
5056  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 06, 2012, 04:58:56 PM
"I had hopes for Cantor as a voice for our cause, but I have been sorely disappointed in several interviews I have seen of him in recent months.  He sounded far too "inside baseball" and sounded like he was being coopted by the process."

I can't remember when I had seen him but I think I had a similar reaction.  Rubio has sight of the big picture and articulates it best.  It is hard to say which of the inside guys who know the legislation like Ryan or Cantor will be able to communicate big picture best with America if Rubio should either slip or decline the job.  BTW Santarum fell far too far into that inside game in the last debate as well.  Title XX? I was reading the debate and didn't know how to pronounce it.  How many know viewers what it is and whether it is good or bad.  This is a big picture / directional election.  What did Rubio say - if it doesn't help create jobs, I'm not supporting it.

Yes Morris is out of his element as we all are without actual intelligence briefings, but what he says makes sense.  Bombing the reactor site has risks and retaliations associated with it and may only set Iran back a couple of years.  Not disrupting this project and having Pakistan / AQ AND Iran all nuclear is unthinkable.

Another war I heard is that in times of war incumbents are reelected (ex: FDR, a failed economic President).  Obama may want the war.

Of course this is all cynical; they are really only thinking of the best interests of our nation.
5057  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 06, 2012, 02:18:36 PM
Yes, a little reverse protest if Rush listeners all canceled contracts with Carbonite and sent back their sleep number beds.
5058  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 06, 2012, 02:14:08 PM
"If he was not doing this the real intent of Iran vis a vis Israel would not be so obvious and thus almost no chance of stopping them from nucs."

His constant saber rattling always raises up oil prices, but you hit a good point: if going nuclear and wiping out Israel was his intention, why wouldn't he hide it?  He has always looked like he was inviting attack and I don't understand why.  Maybe we can get some insane people who relate better to analyze his logic and motives.

Pakistan was far more secretive about their nuclear program IIRC.
5059  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Santorum, wasn't ready to be front runner on: March 06, 2012, 02:05:38 PM
My first Rachel Maddow post? (Maybe I wrote that one other time)  She refers to the Santarum campaign as Amateur Hour and is partly right.  It wasn't only Santorum but not getting on the ballot in Virginia and in parts of must-win Ohio.  Also: "as recently as mid-February, didn't have a national press secretary, a national headquarters, a pollster, or any paid advance staffers to ensure his campaign events run smoothly."

When you run for President, you have to figure out all of the things that have to happen, like getting on the ballots, and work the clock backwards to cover everything that needed to be done.  I think Pawlenty had his plan mapped and realized that he couldn't have zero momentum and zero money at that point and then find funding and staff and volunteers to move 10,000 people in Virginia and have simultaneous motion in 18 congressional districts in Ohio, and all the others.

Obama had no executive experience EXCEPT: he ran a flawless national campaign to win the Presidency.  I'm sure others ran it but still - responsibility goes to the top of the organization.

Santorum ran based mostly on Senate experience and his own compromised version of conservatism.  He got as far as he could without great staff or money, but running a 50 state national campaign is not a one-man job.  He didn't know he had won Iowa and didn't act like a front runner when he finally took the lead.

Now Gallup has Romney up over Santorum 38-22, approaching a 2-1 lead coming into super-"chooseday" today.

We will know more later today.  Gingrich will win his home state of Georgia, Ron Paul might win Alaska in a low turnout caucus, Santorum with his previous momentum might have had the most votes of the day and still have a good showing, but the opportunity if there was one was lost and Romney will take the most delegates and actually start to take on the role of inevitable nominee.
5060  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 06, 2012, 11:29:17 AM
"You know the why is Congress' approval at an all time low.  I don't recall them ever asking Democrats this."

If you favor either the R. agenda coming out of the House and lost in the Senate, or the Harry Reid Obama agenda with no chance of passing in the House, you disapprove of the performance in congress.  Independents hate partisan bickering so that makes all three groups in disapproval of divided government.

Instead of arguing forever it would be nice if one side or the other would win the argument.  Dems won the elections of 2006-2008 but not on a clear agenda (hope/change and we are not Geo. Bush).  That is the challenge for Romney now.  He needs to be clear about vision with all its details and win.  Sneaking out a win, even a sweep of the Presidency, House and Senate is not enough.  He needs clear and specific support of the people on the critical items of the agenda.

It was Tip O'Neill's House that passed the Reagan tax cuts against the leadership of the house.  Sure they screwed it up in delays and compromises but they got it done:

Reagan’s 3-Year, 25% Cut in Tax Rate Voted by Wide Margins in the House and Senate
Published: July 30, 1981

In a decisive victory for President Reagan, the House of Representatives today approved the Administration's tax cut bill.

The measure provides for three years of reductions totalling 25 percent in individual tax rates and major reductions in taxes paid by business and by oil producers.

The key vote, 238 to 195, gave Mr. Reagan a third upset victory over the Democratic House majority on fiscal issues. The President won by virtue of the same coalition of Republicans and Southern Democrats that brought him victory in May on the budget resolution and in June on the budget reconciliation bill.
5061  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 06, 2012, 11:11:51 AM
"Look here:" (signed legislation)

CCP, You will have to look very deep through the links at the link because the names of the bills are often opposite or no correlation to the content.  For example, mandating what people previously deemed to be unaffordable and removing the most effective restraints on costs is called the 'affordable care act'.

Good news to hear of a new post office coming to Staten Island.  Is that a growth industry or a growth market, does anyone know?

Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, that was the extension of perhaps the best way to lower tax revenues while creating the least marginal incentive to produce more or create jobs.  It doesn't create jobs and FICA wasn't supposed to be tax in the first place; it is an "insurance contribution".  They didn't even get the year right, it was an extension of a program that also didn't create jobs in 2011.

I would be more impressed with their record if they had repealed 203 laws.
5062  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 06, 2012, 10:51:26 AM
"...nary a peep from President Baraq about his fellow Christian..."

You are kind to give him the benefit of the doubt on his religion but the phrase 'his fellow Christian' has a dissonance to it.  I hesitate to call myself a Christian around real Christians if I attend only a few times a year as a non-member of a church.  The point is valid though, what is the supposed leader of the free world going to say or do about the most horrific violations of freedom of religion around the globe.  Nothing. 

Nothing that sounds like: 'Mr. Ahmadinejad, if you seek peace, tear down this wall!'
More cognitive dissonance and glibness on Iran: Pres. Obama has been clarifying his policy toward Iran this week.  Now that it's clear can someone please explain it to me.

We are committed to pursuing patience while Iran perfects its nuclear arsenal OR we are committed to taking action to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power?  I heard him say both but which is it?

5063  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - VP Cantor on: March 06, 2012, 10:29:03 AM
CCP, I agree with you about Eric Cantor, not that he will be VP but that he will be in serious consideration.  Everybody's first pick seems to be Marco Rubio but that is far from certain.  I don't think being a Jewish will matter, but is historic if he becomes President.

'Balancing' a ticket is not always the best strategy; it did not work with Bob Dole picking Jack Kemp or John McCain picking Sarah Palin.  Palin wasn't fully ready and Kemp choked I think because he was uncomfortable answering for the views and record of his running mate. 

If we eliminate Speaker Boehner from consideration, Cantor is the highest ranking member of his party currently in power.  Even then, he is a complete unknown across the country, see below.  I find him to be thoughtful and articulate but we never know how people rise to that kind of challenge.  Putting him on the ballot would also put the record of action of the Republican House on the table for discussion, right while Pres. Obama is trying to blame a do-nothing congress.

The only Eric Cantor national approval ratings I could find:

CNN/ORC Poll. July 18-20, 2011. N=1,009 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.
Favorable  18
Unfavorable  21
Never heard of  46
Unsure   15
Pretty much meaningless numbers, a somewhat fresh face with good experience, but from a congress with 80+% overall disapproval.
5064  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 05, 2012, 05:11:13 PM
"Obama made 65 domestic trips over 104 days, and six trips to eight countries over 22 days. Not counting six vacation trips over 32 days. He took 196 helicopter trips, signed 203 pieces of legislation and squeezed in 29 rounds of left-handed golf."

Paraphrasing a wise man (Crafty Dog), I wish he had played more golf.
5065  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics, Sandra Fluke, the advertisers, the video on: March 05, 2012, 05:08:08 PM
Swim goggles?  While I was writing this discussion moved forward.

Why is this women's rights?  Isn't there a man involved if contraception is needed?  Make him pay to have sex.  Oops, that would be pr..........!
"...several advertisers are pulling ads"

An acquaintance runs one of those companies who 'suspended' their advertising.  He is/was liberal (from my perspective) before this episode just as Rush was conservative and controversial before this.  They advertise to both sides and the middle because that is exactly who uses their product.  They buy enough time to get celebs of all leanings to personally endorse them.  Having to pull the advertising is a setback for the investment they made over a couple of decades building a  business position in that market.  It will appease others but those few with loud voices will not double their purchases nor would that make up the difference if they could.

Interesting would be to know the actual number of complaints that came from actual Rush listeners, rather than detractors.  Roughly zero.  With the apology in place and the scandal fading, the Rush show will still be numero uno on the radio.  They will have to either jump back in to the outrage of these protestors or watch a competitor take that spot.  We will see and I will try to follow up.

Rush's words were vulgar and degrading and the big companies had to respond once the crisis was manufactured, but this is not the Tiger Woods scandal, no one got hit with a golf club, nor is it the biggest threat his show has faced.  It is more a sign of how an energized, small group can make something happen quickly.
Rush was trying to make a point of humor that money for sex has some analogy to prostitution.  The slut comment was a misstep.  We don't know that but could guess she does not have long term, meaningful relationships with men. Whoops scratch that - there go our advertisers.

Sandra Fluke in her own words:

Past President of Georgetown Students for Reproductive Justice, she sounds so sweet until she gets going with her demands for justice.  Then she is more like the welfare lady of a video that went by a couple of months ago.

Is this a right, an entitlement, something congress cannot deny and that must be provided by someone else for free?!  Not just free, but EASY to come by?!  This is a law school.  Which constitution are they studying?

She says she should not have to pay a whole summer's salary for her sexual freedom, you should, when the rest of her year is consumed by her studying at taxpayer expense to derail our form of government.

Rush wasn't far off.
5066  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Men & Women on: March 05, 2012, 03:44:48 PM
In the one breath gender discrimination is still rampant and in the next breath all these 'attractive' single women are burdened with the fact that success in their careers is intimidating men.  Which is it?

Not to judge specific people whom I don't know but by 'attractive' I think you mean visually appealing.  If they are high CEO's, boss of many men, maybe they are not the type men are 'attracted to' for forming family partnerships with.  As you intimate, they made other choices. These women commonly insist on finding a man equal to them in career, not a man with time on his hands and willing to be supported and home with the children.  The men equal to them in their careers tend to be married.  I'm sure they will tell you that, or you can have these successful, attractive single women give me a call to discuss this fuirther.

Written before but I am not very sympathetic to the plight of discrimination of the majority having grown up in a family of high achieving women, and having worked in companies large, medium and small where results always mattered more than gender - or anything else.  The on-to-college rate for girls at my daughter's large public high school is very nearly 100%.  Women make up 57% of college students.  Pretty soon we will have to be offering preferences to men if the alleged discrimination has any scientific basis to it.
5067  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / NY Times: That Old, Out-dated Constitution is like Windows 3.1 on: March 05, 2012, 03:16:27 PM
I came into this thinking it is a gotcha story about liberal, anti-American media but really it is expressing a view held by many, including perhaps all liberals (?), many people who want a new constitutional convention, and at least 2 and maybe 4 Supreme Court Justices.
NYT Says 'Old' Constitution Outdated for Failing to Guarantee 'Entitlements' Like Health Care

By CLAY WATERS, Editor of Media Research Center TimesWatch site,  Feb 11, 2012

Sorry, Founders: The "terse and old" U.S. Constitution has been ruled out of date by Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak for failing to provide such "rights" as free health care.

Liptak made the front of Tuesday's New York Times "Sidebar" news analysis, "'We the People' Loses Followers," the paper's most e-mailed and viewed news story of the morning.

Liptak arrives at his judgment via a new study by two law professors. The analysis, at least after being filtered through Liptak's coverage, seems to hew to the liberal ideology of the Constitution as a "living document," (i.e. whatever a liberal wants it to mean), conflating genuine rights like freedom of religion with entitlements like free health care: "But the Constitution is out of step with the rest of the world in failing to protect, at least in so many words, a right to travel, the presumption of innocence and entitlement to food, education and health care."

Liptak wrote:

The Constitution has seen better days.

Sure, it is the nation's founding document and sacred text. And it is the oldest written national constitution still in force anywhere in the world. But its influence is waning.


There are lots of possible reasons. The United States Constitution is terse and old, and it guarantees relatively few rights. The commitment of some members of the Supreme Court to interpreting the Constitution according to its original meaning in the 18th century may send the signal that it is of little current use to, say, a new African nation. And the Constitution's waning influence may be part of a general decline in American power and prestige.

In an interview, Professor Law identified a central reason for the trend: the availability of newer, sexier and more powerful operating systems in the constitutional marketplace. "Nobody wants to copy Windows 3.1," he said.

In a television interview during a visit to Egypt last week, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court seemed to agree. "I would not look to the United States Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012," she said. She recommended, instead, the South African Constitution, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the European Convention on Human Rights.

The rights guaranteed by the American Constitution are parsimonious by international standards, and they are frozen in amber. As Sanford Levinson wrote in 2006 in "Our Undemocratic Constitution," "the U.S. Constitution is the most difficult to amend of any constitution currently existing in the world today." (Yugoslavia used to hold that title, but Yugoslavia did not work out.)


Americans recognize rights not widely protected, including ones to a speedy and public trial, and are outliers in prohibiting government establishment of religion. But the Constitution is out of step with the rest of the world in failing to protect, at least in so many words, a right to travel, the presumption of innocence and entitlement to food, education and health care.

Liptak failed to differentiate between rights retained by the people from the power of the government, like freedom of speech and religion, and entitlements, which are transfers of money and services established by government either via majority rule (i.e. voting) or judicial fiat. Examples include food stamps, welfare payments, and "free" health care.

Liptak turned up his nose at the right conservatives would say protects all the other ones, the Second Amendment:

It has its idiosyncrasies. Only 2 percent of the world's constitutions protect, as the Second Amendment does, a right to bear arms. (Its brothers in arms are Guatemala and Mexico.)

Several "rights" enshrined by the Times via the study (shown in a separate graphic) need unpacking. What exactly does the generic phrase "Women's rights" entail? Access to abortion? And does "Freedom of Movement" include the "right" to other people's tax money in the form of welfare benefits, as the Supreme Court ruled in the late 1960s? Details from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law: "Shapiro v. Thompson (1968) considered the constitutionality of a state law that established a one-year residency requirement for welfare recipients. The Court struck down the law, finding it a violation of the "right to travel" (really, more the right to migrate)."
5068  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: March 05, 2012, 02:46:45 PM
"Bottom line: with an improving pace of economic growth and more inflation, another round of quantitative easing is simply not going to happen."

So the downward spiral of the dollar will be limited to the recklessness already done.  (I don't know which emoticon to follow that with.)

Wesbury has a current job with an investment house that is (mostly) non-political, but he knows that the economic answer to what is happening is political.  We chose this disaster; now we argue and track tenths of a percent of low single digit growth up from the worst economy since the great depression.  At this rate the economy will be hitting on all cylinders by when??

The more 'growth' we have without solving other underlying problems, the more gas prices will go up over the summer and kill off more and more industries - like travel, tourism, manufacturing, product delivery, and commuting to work.  Aka: an economy 'built to last'?

Growth and inflation/devaluation occurring simultaneously without tax brackets indexed to inflation guarantees that a higher proportion of resources is moved over to the public sector - working against the possibility of sustained private sector growth. 

It is hard to be optimistic about investment performance before reforms are seriously contemplated. 
5069  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 05, 2012, 02:16:40 PM
Already covered in this thread, but there is quite a news story going around about how Pres. Obama is now talking tough about Iran.  I can't justify the time to read or analyze his words because he so seldom means what he says, especially in 'prepared' remarks.  Iran has been emboldened by weakness.  This didn't start under Obama's watch but it has festered and grown.  It could be argued under Bush that a) we were busy in Iraq and b) still had time to act.

After all that was wrong in other intelligence, it is impossible to know what is right in Iran, but at this point it is very possibly the legacy of Barack Obama that Iran went nuclear under his watch.  Now admitting the danger of that makes it even worse for his legacy if he fails to act.

In related matters, there was a string of negative global security news stories this morning (Iran, China military expenditures, Yemen rebellion) with the same central theme IMO, adversaries and enemies are emboldened around the world by American weakness. 

Where were we when the Iranians rose up in 2009-2010 against the theocratic, military dictatorship? AWOL 

While he was learning and growing into the office, opportunities were lost and dangers escalated.
5070  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Issues: Contraception is the issue?? on: March 05, 2012, 12:52:56 PM
Stephanoplous brought this up in a debate when there was no issue whatsoever in any state over access to contraception.  Now it is David Gregory's first question to a major party candidate for President on Meet the Press.  Good grief.  Newt handles him well.  Yet Gregory sticks to the script completely ignoring the answer already given. Just terrible, terrible journalism.  Falsehood after falsehood advanced in the question, repeatedly, AFTER being corrected.

The framing was false.

Who is responsible for firing these people?
5071  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 05, 2012, 12:33:38 PM
CCP:  "First time I ever recall Rush apologizing."

He lost some advertisers over this and key R's were distancing themselves from his comment.  He didn't take back the meaning of it.  He apologized for the 'insulting word choices'.
5072  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Vetting of the President Part I, by Andrew Breitbart on: March 05, 2012, 12:27:00 PM
Start with the link, must enlarge the poster to see he is on the agenda, 'The Love Song of Saul Alinsky' "with Special Post-Show Discussions. Panelists include: (among others *) (state) Sen. Barack Obama.

* Read on to find out who are the others.  Breitbart wrote:

So, what’s in the play? It truly is a love song to Alinsky. In the first few minutes of the play, Alinsky plays Moses – yes, the Biblical Moses – talking to God. The play glorifies Alinsky stealing food from restaurants and organizing others to do the same, explaining, “I saw it as a practical use of social ecology: you had members of the intellectual community, the hope of the future, eating regularly for six months, staying alive till they could make their contributions to society.”

In an introspective moment, Alinsky rips America: “My country … ‘tis of whatthehell / And justice up a tree … How much can you sell / What’s in it for me.” He grins about manipulating the Christian community to back his programs. He talks in glowing terms about engaging in Chicago politics with former Mayor Kelly. He rips the McCarthy committee, mocking, “Everyone was there, when you think back – Cotton Mather, Hester Prynn, Anne Hutchinson, Tom Paine, Tom Jefferson … Brandeis, Holmes … Gene Debs and the socialists … Huey Long … Imperial Wizards of all stripes … Father Coughlin and his money machine … Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd … and a kicking chorus of sterilized reactionaries singing O Come, All Ye Faithful …”

And Alinsky talks about being the first occupier – shutting down the O’Hare Airport by occupying all the toilet stalls, using chewing gum to “tie up the city, stop all traffic, and the shopping, in the Loop, and let everyone at City Hall know attention must be paid, and maybe we should talk about it.” As Alinsky says, “Students of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your juicy fruit.”

The play finishes with Alinsky announcing he’d rather go to Hell than Heaven. Why? “More comfortable there. You see, all my life I’ve been with the Have-Nots: here you’re a Have-Not if you’re short of money, there you’re a Have-Not if you’re short of virtue. I’d be asking more questions, organizing them. They’re my kind of people – Hell would be Heaven for me.”

That’s The Love Song of Saul Alinsky. It’s radical leftist stuff, and it revels in its radical leftism.

And that’s Barack Obama, our president, on the poster.

This is who Barack Obama was. This was before Barack Obama ran for Congress in 2000—challenging former Black Panther Bobby L. Rush from the left in a daring but unsuccessful bid.

This was also the period just before Barack Obama served with Bill Ayers, from 1999 through 2002 on the board of the Woods Foundation. They gave capital to support the Midwest Academy, a leftist training institute steeped in the doctrines of -- you guessed it! -- Saul Alinsky, and whose alumni now dominate the Obama administration and its top political allies inside and out of Congress.

Stanley Kurtz, author of Radical-in-Chief

, described the Midwest Academy as a "crypto-socialist organization.” Yet almost no one has heard of Midwest Academy, because the media does not want you to know that the president is a radical's radical whose presidency itself is a love song to a socialist "community organizer."

The reason Newt Gingrich surged in the Republican primary contest in January is that he was attempting to do the press's job by finding out who the current occupant of the White House actually is. Millions also want to know, but the mainstream media is clearly not planning to vet the President anytime soon. Quite the opposite.

For example, Miner tries to turn Obama’s appearance on the Alinsky panel into a plus for the president:

    Obama was on the panel that talked about Alinsky the last Sunday of the play's run at the Blue Rider Theatre in Pilsen. Neither Pam Dickler, who directed the Terrapin Theatre production, nor Gary Houston, who played Alinsky, can remember a word Obama said. But he impressed them. "You never would have known he was a politician," says Dickler. "He never said anything at all about himself. He came alone, watched the play, and during the panel discussion was entirely on point and brilliant. That evening I called my father, who's a political junkie, and told him to watch out for this man, he's going places." Houston was just as taken by Obama—though he remembers him arriving in a group.

But is it a good thing to impress the sort of people who show up to laud The Love Song of Saul Alinsky? Here are the other members of the Obama panel:

Leon Despres: Despres knew Saul Alinsky for nearly 50 years, and together they established the modern concept of “community organizing.” Despres worked with secret Communist and Soviet spy Lee Pressman to support strikers at Republic Steel in Chicago in 1937; the strike ended in tragedy when 14 rioting strikers were killed and many wounded in a hail of police bullets.  Despres worked with another Communist Party front, the Chicago Civil Liberties Committee, but eventually left because of the “Stalinism” of its leaders.

Also in 1937, Despres and his wife delivered a suitcase of “clothing” to Leon Trotsky, then hiding out from Stalin’s assassins in Mexico City. Despres and his wife not only met with the exiled Russian Communist, but Despres’s wife sat for a portrait with Trotsky pal and Marxist muralist Diego Rivera while Leon took Rivera’s wife Frida Kahlo to the movies.

Quentin Young: From 1970 until at least 1992, Quentin Young was active in the Communist Party front organization, the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights – a group dedicated to outlawing government surveillance of radical organizations.  He was also a member of the Young Communist League. Young, a confidante and physician to Barack Obama, is credited with having heavily influenced the President’s views on healthcare policy.

Timuel Black: An icon of the Chicago left, Black was originally denied officer training because military intelligence claimed he had secretly joined the Communist Party. Black also worked closely with the Socialist Party in the 1950s, becoming president of the local chapter of the Negro American Labor Council, a organization founded by Socialist Party leader A. Phillip Randolph.

In the early ‘60s Black was a leader of the Hyde Park Community Peace Center, where he worked alongside former radical Trotskyist Sydney Lens and the aforementioned Communist Dr. Quentin Young.  Black served as a contributing editor to the Hyde Park/Kenwood Voices, a newspaper run by Communist Party member David S. Canter. By 1970, Timuel Black was serving on the advisory council of the Communist Party controlled Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights.

Timuel Black says he has been friends with domestic terrorists William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, “going back to 1968, since long before I knew Barack.” In April 2002, Black, Dohrn and Democratic Socialists of America member Richard Rorty spoke together on a panel entitled “Intellectuals: Who Needs Them?” The panel was the first of two in a public gathering jointly sponsored by The Center for Public Intellectuals and the University of Illinois, Chicago. Bill Ayers and Barack Obama spoke together on in the second panel at that gathering. Communist academic Harold Rogers chaired Timuel Black’s unsuccessful campaign for Illinois State Representative.

Studs Terkel: A sponsor of the Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace in 1949, which was arranged by a Communist Party USA front organization known as the National Council of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions.

Roberta Lynch: A leading member of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and a leader of the radical Marxist New American Movement (NAM).

Are we expected to believe that “Baraka Obama” was a countervailing voice of reason on a panel of radicals?
The reason that Obama's Alinskyite past, and his many appearances in political photography and video from the 1990s, are conspicuously missing from the national dialogue is that State Senator Barack Obama's reinvention as a reasonable and moderate Democratic politician could not withstand scrutiny of his political life. 

Because the mainstream media did not explore his roots, the American public remains largely ignorant of the degree to which Obama’s work with ACORN and his love of Alinsky were symbolic of his true political will.

If any of the candidates can resist the media, and parlay Newt’s strategy into a nomination, we’ll have the choice between an imperfect but well-known Republican and the real “Baraka” Obama, not the manufactured one the media prefers.
5073  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - This Is the Big One on: March 05, 2012, 12:12:04 PM
George Will on Drudge is predicting Mitt can't win.  Repubs should be happy to win the house and try to get control of the Senate.  I predict otherwise.  Obama will lose and Mitt will win.

Bill Krystal (famous people reading the forum) makes the point that this is the big one and we who care have to do everything we can to win it.  Will apparently is saying if the presidential is lost at least go out and win congress.  That is not enough.

2010 was quite an election for Republicans after the country got to know Obama, Pelosi and Obamacare.  Now there are five parts remaining; all are must-wins to save the republic: 1) Must win the Presidency, as Krystal points out, can't repeal Obamacare and the rest without the White House. 2) Hold the House. 3) Win the Senate, but that still is not 60 votes 4) Win the public - and that means not for the day on Nov 6 2012, but with mandate and like-minded thinking with force and leverage to get things done and repealed through a roadblocked Senate.  5) The Supreme Court.  As bigdog said (something like) it is not rule by the elites because we choose who nominates and confirms them.  So choose wisely!

Will’s Wrong
12:05 PM, Mar 2, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL

The estimable George Will is almost ready to hoist the white flag on the 2012 presidential election. Neither Mitt Romney nor Rick Santorum, he writes in his column for this Sunday (an advance copy of which was obtained by Politico), “seems likely to be elected.” And while conservatives, Will advises, should vote for whichever is nominated, there may well “come a point when … conservatives turn their energies to a goal much more attainable than . . . electing Romney or Santorum president. It is the goal of retaining control of the House and winning control of the Senate. . . . [C]onservatives this year should have as their primary goal making sure Republicans wield all the gavels in Congress in 2013.”

After all, Will argues, if Republicans control Congress, “their committee majorities will serve as fine-mesh filters, removing President Obama’s initiatives from the stream of legislation. . . . [A] re-elected Obama — a lame duck at noon next Jan. 20 — would have a substantially reduced capacity to do harm.”

Rarely has an intelligent man been so wrong.

By every objective measure, the GOP has a reasonable chance to defeat President Obama—probably between 1-in-3 and 1-in-2. Given this opportunity, it would be crazy not to do everything one can to effectuate an outcome so devoutly to be desired. This doesn't mean falling in line early behind an inevitable nominee or suppressing criticism of the likely nominee. If some of us have tried to expand the presidential field, it's because we've been unconvinced that the current field offers us the best hope of victory. If some of us have resisted Romney inevitability, or an early Romney coronation, it's because we don't think that Romney's nomination—or at least his easy and early nomination—would increase Republican chances of winning the presidency. Others differ on these questions. But whatever differences conservatives have in March about candidates, strategy and tactics should not affect our determination in the fall, when there is a Republican nominee, to turn our energies to defeating President Obama.

Why? Obamacare. Iran. Debt. The military. The Court.

Obamacare can't be reversed from Congress. Iran can't be denied nuclear weapons by Congress. The debt crisis can't be fundamentally addressed by Congress. The military can't be protected from being hollowed out by Congress. Judges can't be appointed by Congress.

If you think the country's in decent shape, go for control of Congress. If you think it's the mid-1990s again, go for control of Congress. If you're fatalistic about American decline abroad and the end of limited, constitutional government at home, go for control of Congress. If current trends don't deeply alarm you, or if you think alarm is futile because the rot is too deep, the decline too long-standing, the problems too un-fixable—then, go for control of Congress. Try to limit the damage and slow the collapse.

But if you reject such fatalism as a failure of nerve, and such declinism as a failure of understanding—and conservatives should—then do everything you can to win the White House. Perhaps always, but certainly in 2012—there is no substitute for victory.
5074  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: March 05, 2012, 11:16:25 AM
"I don't know the solution, but the WSJ's Subscriber Agreement (similar to most other publications) is quite clear...."

The solution from our point of view is to do no harm to them, and from their point of view to send a friendly letter or cancel my subscription anytime they find me to be an annoyance.

The WSJ is not run by the lawyers.  The business side of the publication is thrilled to have their columns quoted and talked about across the talk shows and the internet - right up to the point of where is starts to take money out of their pocket. 
5075  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant - protected material discussion on: March 05, 2012, 11:08:35 AM
From Media Issues, edited and added here.  The gist of it is that we are being careful not to harm or damage them as we promote their product.  From the comments above, I often only put only passages of interest in my post, but putting the entire column in protects the context and integrity of the piece. There is a tradeoff between protecting content and getting the word out so that there will be awareness and demand for their content.  A couple of my own thoughts to add using the Wall Street Journal as an example:

a) There is an expectation when you subscribe that you will share content with a small or reasonable amount of people such as their eagerness to have it in the waiting room of the dental office - or the public library.  Granted that the online world is more complicated and they write rules starkly to protect them when necessary, but there is no indication that people come here for the purpose of getting around that subscription cost they otherwise would have paid themselves.  If anything the random promotion and discussion of stories and columns makes people more likely to subscribe.

b) Their own promotional strategy is to give away a mixture of free and protected content to draw attention, praise and subscriptions.  Often times my own awareness of a good column comes from their own efforts to submit material to other best of the web sites like Real Clear Politics for widespread dissemination to non-subscribers across the internet.

c) I post some things because they are expressing my own viewpoint, but give credit to the source as a matter of honesty.  Pulling out just the passage that supports my view may not preserve the context or meaning intended by the author.

d) I often suggest people subscribe and include subscription links as Crafty has done for various publications.  Here's one (save over 80%!):

e) The content is intentionally mixed to get non-subscribers lured part way in, but as you read signed in as a subscriber there is no indication provided as to what is or is not protected.  Note that this discussion started as a reader was pulled part way in requesting more.

f) My own awareness of the WSJ editorial page began after my economics professor passed photocopies around of his own contributions.  My copy got lost or damaged.  I replaced it at the library and found out that he was only being published for his opposing view and that the lead editorials (opposite view) made far more sense.  While the liberal universities were pushing Keynesian economics as the only way to proceed in macroeconomics, the WSJ lead editorial was writing that "Keynes is Dead" in the late 1970s with simultaneously exploding inflation and unemployment.  Former editor Robert Bartley was a genius at putting a team together and current editorial page editor, Green Bay Wisc. native Paul Gigot, is one of the most insightful people in Washington IMHO.

g) Besides reading and subscribing, I have contributed material to the editorial page that they had no hesitation in using.  They credited me but forwarded no payment.  Other times it appears that they have been reading the forum before writing - without credit.   We have rules here too!  "© 2011 Dog Brothers, Inc. Martial Arts"  I don't think they want to risk having a cease and desist order be mutual!    wink

"The adventure continues."
5076  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues - protected material on: March 05, 2012, 09:59:59 AM
A discussion of note went by on a different thread about copyrights while I was gone. There is a tradeoff between protecting content and getting the word out so that there will be awareness and demand for content.  A couple of my own thoughts to add.

Using the Wall Street Journal as an example:

a) There is an expectation when you subscribe that you will share content with a small or reasonable amount of people such as their eagerness to have it in the waiting room of the dental office - or the public library.  Somewhere I read in the online world that is sharing with 4 people, but in the example above such as at the public library all day that is certainly more.  There is no indication that people come here for the purpose of getting around that subscription cost they otherwise have paid themnselves.  If anything the random promotion and discussion of stories and columns would make people more likely to subscribe.

b) Their own promotional strategy is to give away a mixture of free and protected content to draw attention, praise and subscriptions.  Often times my own awareness of a good column comes from their own efforts to submit material to other best of the web sites like Real Clear Politics for widespread dissemination.

c) I post some things because they are expressing my own viewpoint, but give credit to the source as a matter of honesty.

d) I often suggest people subscribe and include subscription links as Crafty has done for various publications.  Here's one (save over 80%!):

e) The content is intentionally mixed to get non-subscribers lured part way in, but as you read signed in as a subscriber there is no indication provided as to was is or is not protected.  Note that this discussion started as a reader was pulled part way in requesting more.

f) My own awareness of the WSJ editorial page began after my economics professor passed photocopies around of his own contributions.  My copy got lost or damaged.  I replaced it at the library and found out that he was only being published for his opposing view and that the lead editorials made far more sense.  While the liberal universities were pushing Keynesian economics as the only way to proceed in macroeconomics, the WSJ lead editorial was writing that "Keynes is Dead" in the late 1970s with simultaneously exploding inflation and unemployment.  Former editor Robert Bartley was a genius at putting a team together and current editorial page editor, Green Bay Wisc. native Paul Gigot is one of the most insightful people in Washington IMHO.

g) Besides reading and subscribing, I have contributed material to the editorial page that they had no hesitation in using.  They credited me but forward no payment.  Other times it appears that they have been reading the forum before writing - without credit.  I don't think they want to risk having a cease and desist order being mutual!   wink

"The adventure continues."
5077  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Men & Women on: March 04, 2012, 07:10:52 PM
Raising the children is not a 'daily chore', it is an honor and a privilege and a gift beyond anything that you know.

Yes, men can raise children.  I did it.  But besides being plumbed differently, women are actually wired differently - in general.  The freedom to have careers should not pull with it a stigma for choosing not to.  Some women want to be homemakers and raise children.  That does not mean zero other work ever outside the home in a dynamic economy, which is why your 7% stat is highly misleading.  Taking months or years out of the continuity in your career has an enormous and measurable negative impact on future income - for any gender.

"why doesn't the husband stay home and raise the children while his wife supports the family."

Unless you are that husband or that wife, what on earth business of ours/yours is it to second guess what they do, and what happened to a right of privacy?

Two parents both work today for one reason more than any other: the public sector is directly consuming nearly half the resources in the economy and it is more than half if you count the private sector time directly spent on government regulation compliance activities.

Equal is a synonym for same.  The genders are not the same.  Ending discrimination (that happened how long ago?) is not the same as making gender differences go away.

The Equal Rights Amendment failed to be ratified.  Why?

"Following Doug's logic ..."  Of all your strong points, that has never been one of them.   wink
5078  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: March 04, 2012, 01:27:26 PM
Yes, Canada and Rest of the World benefited from the advances and care available that came out of what freedoms we had left in our healthcare system.  

Rule One in economics: tax something and you will get less of it.

Rule One in Obamanomics: New excise tax on medical devices.

I had a discussion last week with a person who is head of strategy for a major medical device manufacturer. I did not know the person's politics but asked if the new tax on their product would be helpful to them. The answer was No.

Killing off the medical device industry here hurts people everywhere.

Side Effects: Obamacare Tax Will Kill Jobs, Strangle Medical Device Industry

Alyene Senger and Brett Ryan,  February 14, 2012

Last week, the IRS released its proposed plan to implement the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices designed to help foot the bill for Obamacare.

Harmful effects of the health law’s new taxes and requirements on business continue to emerge as its implementation continues. As Heritage’s Curtis Dubay explains, “All tax increases have negative economic effects because higher taxes take resources from the productive hands of the private sector and transfer them to the wasteful hands of politicians.”

As the National Center for Policy Analysis shows, the medical device manufacturer tax is already hurting Americans by reducing employment:

    In November 2011, device maker Stryker Corporation announced its intention to layoff 1,000 workers in order to cut costs in advance of the tax.

    Another firm, Covidien Plc, announced the layoff of 200 U.S. workers and plans to offshore production to Mexico and Costa Rica.

Congress can legislate who collects a tax, but it cannot legislate who actually bears the tax’s economic burden. So it is surprising only to Congress that American workers have to bear the brunt of a tax that Congress assumed device manufacturers would pay.
5079  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Men & Women on: March 04, 2012, 11:28:48 AM
"Your POV seeks to disrespect and degrade a choice that millions of parents make..."

I could not help but notice and be offended reading a view that washing his dishes and fetching his drink is put on the same plane as raising his family.  I visualize a fat slob on the couch belching after his 3rd beer and demanding another from the woman/wife who chose this man as the love of her life now trapped doing all the work with no options as if that is an issue or reality in true stay-at-home-by-choice relationships.  As a single parent I cannot tell you the value of having one person available to observe and communicate everything that is happening with the children and having the other free to hunt and gather or whatever it is we do today to responsibly pay for the enormous costs that make up living even frugally in today's society.  One side or the other of that simply does not get done without an amazing partnership.
5080  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Nuclear Power - Fukushima aftermath revisited on: March 04, 2012, 11:12:54 AM
Death toll from earthquake-tsunami: 20364. 

Deaths directly resulting from the nuclear accident: 5
Time magazine, of all places, is noticing that the risk for those exposed to the Fukushima release of dying from cancer has increased 0.001%.

Meanwhile we hopefully learned: a) how to build to withstand the worst earthquake imaginable, and also b) not to build in a known, worst-imaginable earthquake zones.

"scientists have begun to compile early assessments of the health impacts of Fukushima—and the conclusions are less than catastrophic. Researchers speaking at a conference for the Health Physics Society said that the health threat to Japanese from radiation exposure looks to be extremely low. Even the brave workers who stayed behind at the plant had radiation exposure that was more than 10 times lower than that levels received by the half-million people who helped entomb the Chernobyl reaction more than two decades ago. They estimated that the risk of getting cancer for those exposed would increase 0.002%, and the risk of dying from cancer would rise by 0.001%. “I received more radiation on my transcontinental flights from Tokyo to Washington than I did at the reactor site,” said John Boice, a professor at Vanderbilt University and the incoming president of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements."
5081  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Issues - NY Times: Leftist Takeover, Now They Tell Us! on: March 04, 2012, 10:53:50 AM
John Hinderacker at Powerline has been a consistent media critic of this publication with no quest for truth of its own.

A reader writes:

    From today’s New York Times:

        During the McGovern-Mondale era, the Democrats were exactly where the Republicans are now: the party had been taken over by its most extreme liberal faction, and it had lost touch with the core concerns of the middle class….Those terrible losses in 1972 and, especially, in 1984 were the Democrats’ shock therapy.

        What happened in the interim? In effect, moderate Democrats wrested the party back from its most liberal wing….“We had become a party that had stopped worrying about people who were working and only focused on people who weren’t working,” [Al] From told me. “The party didn’t understand how big a concern crime was. It had stopped talking about opportunity and growth.”

Just for fun, I looked up the Times editorials in 1972 and 1984 in which the paper endorsed George McGovern and Walter Mondale, respectively. Needless to say, those editorials contain no trace of any acknowledgement that the Democrats were in the grip of the party’s far-left wing, or that either candidate had “stopped talking about opportunity and growth,” had “lost touch with the core concerns of the middle class,” or was “focused on people who weren’t working.”

On the contrary. Here is what the Times had to say about McGovern back in 1972:

    The New York Times urges the election of George McGovern for President of the United States. We believe that Senator McGovern’s approach to public questions, his humanitarian philosophy and humane scale of values, his courage and forthrightness can offer a new kind of leadership in American political life. …

    A McGovern administration, the Times believes, would reverse the unmistakable drift in Washington away from government of, by and for the people. …

    On virtually every major issue from the war to taxes, from education to environment, from civil liberties to national defense, Mr. McGovern…seems to us to be moving with the right priorities, with faith in the common man, and within the democratic framework.

Which is to say that McGovern was just about as left-wing as the Times editorial board. This is what the Times had to say about Walter Mondale when it endorsed him in 1984:

    [Mondale's] election would mean franker, fairer decisions on the hard economic choices that the President has concealed during the campaign. Mr. Mondale would offer an enlightened and humane conception of what Government should, and should not, do. Most of all, he would bring to the White House the will to control nuclear weapons. …

    Walter Mondale believes in a sturdy defense. He also stands in the middle of the bipartisan community that long ago learned to abandon the fruitless quest for nuclear superiority. In this election, he represents all those Republicans and Democrats determined to tame the nuclear threat.

    Lawyer Mondale offers pragmatic skill at making the best of reality. … Walter Mondale has all the dramatic flair of a trigonometry teacher. His Nordic upbringing makes it hard for him to brag. The first debate may have been the high point of his political personality. But there’s power in his plainness.

    Precisely by not dramatizing issues, he has consistently produced consensus and agreement, as a Senator and as Jimmy Carter’s Vice President.

In the Times’s view at the time, Mondale was trudging stolidly down the middle of the road. Meanwhile, it is interesting to see that the paper’s current obsessions were just as prominent 28 years ago:

    Who is likely to do better in arms negotiations in the next term, Walter Mondale or the President who tickles the religious right by reviling the Soviet Union as an Evil Empire?

    To Henry Steele Commager, the historian, the 1983 speech in which Mr. Reagan described the Russians in that way was “the worst Presidential speech in American history, and I’ve read them all” – not because it was undiplomatic but because “No other Presidential speech has ever so flagrantly allied the government with religion. There was a gross appeal to religious prejudice.”

Religious prejudice? What a bizarre way of looking at the Cold War! Of course, it goes without saying that the Times failed either to foresee or to wish for the downfall of the Evil Empire.

One final digression before returning to the main point: the 1984 edition of the Times should be applauded for its concern about deficit spending:

    Unless most economists are crazy, the country can’t keep borrowing $200 billion a year.

Give the paper its due; it was right. Deficit spending of $200 billion a year couldn’t continue. The Democrats had to increase the deficit to over $1 trillion to cover their extravagant spending habit.

The Times, of course, has no credibility at all, but it is nice to see that after more than a quarter century, it is willing to publish a column by its own reporter that admits the truth about the inept candidates that it backed out of partisan fervor and ideological extremism.
5082  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: R.I.P. Andrew Breitbart on: March 04, 2012, 10:45:48 AM
Lesson from Breitbart is that the media is the problem.  This site (dog brothers public forum) is a perfect example of what he was also trying to do - reach through all the information out there and try to get at the truth.

A big part of what they did at Drudge was release stories that the big media had on their desk but weren't releasing.  Interesting that besides being part of the genius behind the Drudge Report, Breitbart also helped found the Huffington Post.
5083  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Uninsured of Health Care on: March 04, 2012, 10:35:08 AM
"The number of chronically uninsured people who would prefer to have insurance but can’t afford it is likely 10-12 million people"

Yes, out of 310 million people.  Other proposals on the table as alternatives to Obamacare including end of pre-existing conditions clauses, tort reform and allowing cross state line competition would have shrunk the 10 million figure significantly.

'Can't afford it' is a function of two variables: income and cost of health care.  One party's policies have the effect of lowering national income or at least stopping its growth, while implementing hundreds and huindreds of programs that drive up the cost of health care.  The other party is struggling within itself to decide how large the (negative0 role of government should be.
5084  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Policy: Britain - Highest marginal rate up, Revenues decreased. Who knew? on: February 25, 2012, 07:02:13 AM

    FEBRUARY 23, 2012

David Cameron's Tax Lesson
A 50% tax rate yields less revenue than advertised.

Speaking of higher taxes (and President Obama always does), there's news from once fair Britannia.

Preliminary figures out this week show that Britain's 50% top marginal income-tax rate may have reduced tax revenue from top earners by as much as 5%, compared to the old 40% top rate (That's a 25% increase!). Tax revenue from those filing self-assessments due January 31 was down some Ł500 million
5085  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: February 24, 2012, 01:10:39 PM
You did not educate me.  Put the insults in a private message so that I can not read them over there.
5086  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: February 24, 2012, 12:43:45 PM
"But let's move on."

I was right about wasting my time.  I don't come here for escalating insults.
5087  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Forrest Gump of Energy Economics (Stupid is as stupid does) WSJ on: February 24, 2012, 10:08:04 AM
Caught between Glibness and Energy, I put one article at each location.

'Stupid' and Oil Prices
Obama's Forrest Gump analysis of rising gas prices.

'The American people aren't stupid," thundered President Obama yesterday in Miami, ridiculing Republicans who are blaming him for rising gasoline prices. Let's hope he's right, because not even Forrest Gump could believe the logic of what Mr. Obama is trying to sell.

To wit, that a) gasoline prices are beyond his control, but b) to the extent oil and gas production is rising in America, his energy policies deserve all the credit, and c) higher prices are one more reason to raise taxes on oil and gas drillers while handing even more subsidies to his friends in green energy. Where to begin?

It's true enough that oil prices can't be commanded from the Oval Office, so in that sense Mr. Obama's disavowal of blame is a rare show of humility in the face of market forces. Would that he showed similar modesty in trying to command the tides of home prices, car sales ("cash for clunkers"), or the production of electric batteries.

The oil price surge has several likely sources. One is the turmoil in the Middle East, especially new fears of a supply shock from a conflict with Iran. But it's worth recalling that Mr. Obama also blamed the last oil-price surge, in spring 2011, on the Libyan uprising. Moammar Gadhafi is now gone and Libyan oil production is coming back on stream, yet oil prices dipped only briefly below $90 a barrel and have been rising since October. Something else must be going on.

Mr. Obama yesterday blamed rising demand from the likes of Brazil and China, and there is something to that as well. But this energy demand is also not new, and if anything Chinese and Brazilian economic growth has been slowing in recent months.

Another suspect—one Mr. Obama doesn't like to mention—is U.S. monetary policy. Oil is traded in dollars, and its price therefore rises when the value of the dollar falls, all else being equal. The Federal Reserve throughout Mr. Obama's term has pursued the easiest monetary policy in modern times, expressly to revive the housing market. It has done so with the private support and urging of the White House and through Mr. Obama's appointees who are now a majority on the Fed's Board of Governors.

Enlarge Image
Associated Press

Oil staged its last price surge along with other commodity prices when the Fed revved up its second burst of "quantitative easing" in 2010-2011. Prices stabilized when QE2 ended. But in recent months the Fed has again signaled its commitment to near-zero interest rates first through 2013, and recently through 2014. Commodity prices, including oil, have since begun another surge, and hedge funds have begun to bet on commodity plays again. John Paulson says he's betting on gold, the ultimate hedge against a falling dollar.

Fed officials and Mr. Obama want to take credit for easy money if stock-market and housing prices rise, but then deny any responsibility if commodity prices rise too, causing food and energy prices to soar for consumers. They can't have it both ways, as not-so-stupid Americans intuitively understand when they buy groceries or gas. This is the double-edged sword of an economic recovery "built to last" on easy money rather than on sound fiscal and regulatory policies.

As for domestic energy, Mr. Obama rightly points to the rising share of U.S. oil consumption now produced at home. But this trend began in the late Bush Administration, which opened up large new areas on and offshore for oil and gas drilling that are now coming on stream. Mr. Obama sneered at expanded drilling as a candidate in 2008 and for most of his term has done little to expand it.

In early 2010, he proposed to open some new areas to drilling but shut that down after the Gulf oil spill. According to the Greater New Orleans Gulf Permits Index for January 31, over the previous three months the feds issued an average of three deep-water drilling permits a month compared to the historical average of seven. Over the same three months, the feds approved an average of 4.7 shallow-water permits a month, compared to the historical average of 14.7.

Approval of an offshore drilling plan now takes 92 days, 31 more than the historical average. And so far in 2012, an average of 23% of all drilling plans have been approved, compared to the average of 73.4%.

Oh, and don't forget the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have increased the delivery of oil from Canada and North Dakota's Bakken Shale to Gulf Coast refineries, replacing oil from Venezuela.

The reality is that most of the increase in U.S. oil and gas production has come despite the Obama Administration. It is flowing from the shale boom, which is the result of private technological advances and investment. Mr. Obama has seen the energy sun rise and is crowing like a rooster that he made it happen.

Mr. Obama yesterday also repeated his proposal that now is the time to raise taxes on oil and gas companies, as if doing so will make them more likely to drill. He must not believe the economic truism that when you tax something you get less of it, including fewer of the new jobs they've created.

We'd almost feel sorry for Mr. Obama's gas-price predicament if it weren't a case of rough justice. The President has deliberately sought to raise the price of energy throughout the economy via his cap-and-trade agenda. He is now getting his wish, albeit a little too overtly for political comfort. Mr. Obama has also spent three years blaming George W. Bush for every economic ill. If Mr. Obama now feels frustrated by economic events beyond his control, perhaps he should call Mr. Bush for consolation.

A version of this article appeared Feb. 24, 2012, on page A12 in some U.S. editions of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: 'Stupid' and Oil Prices. (Subscribe at
5088  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness: He wanted gas prices up 83% on: February 24, 2012, 10:00:26 AM
Gas prices are the issue that won't go away in the election.  The only way they can go down is if the economy tanks bringing demand with it.  Keep in mind he also wanted electricity prices to rise substantially.  If he was running now as a first time candidate, it would be as a fringe candidate making Ron Paul look centrist.

Walter Russell Mead has it about right:  "If you are a politician who wants to raise the price of gas, you have two choices in America: you can persuade the military leadership to install you in office through a coup d’etat, or you can lie to the voters and pursue your agenda on the sly."

(Now he is taking credit for the North Dakota boom which happened only because it is not federal land that he controls.)

February 23, 2012
Rising Gas Prices: All Part of Obama’s Plan?

Politico is shedding some light on a three year-old sound bite that continues to haunt the Obama Administration: Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s comments that American gas prices should be as high as Europe’s:

    “Somehow,” Chu said, “we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”

Unsurprisingly, Republicans have latched on to these comments as evidence that the Obama Administration is out of touch with regular Americans and harbors an agenda favoring green special interests over the needs of American businesses. With gas prices rising to the point where they threaten the already-fragile economic recovery, this figures to be a potent weapon against the president in the upcoming election.

While this position may be slightly unfair to the President (Mr. Chu was not yet in the Administration at the time he made the remarks, so any link between it and administration policy is tenuous), the quote devastatingly reveals just how tone-deaf and myopic white-collar, progressive intellectualism can be. The delusion that jacking up energy prices is part of a “good government” agenda is one of the pieces of insanity that keeps the blue intelligentsia from consolidating its position as a natural governing class.

More surprising here is that Politico is jumping on the bandwagon—although it notes that Chu’s remarks have been detrimental to Obama, the piece laments that the goal of raising gas prices doesn’t get the sympathetic attention it obviously deserves, given the support of numerous “experts.” With thinking like this dominating media and intellectual circles, it’s little wonder that the mainstream media is perceived as elitist and out of touch.

What most Americans mean by energy policy is this: government policies that aim to make energy as abundant and cheap as possible, given some very basic environmental concerns (no oil on the beach). No other approach can get you elected.

For Politico, the reason more politicians don’t discuss these ideas more favorably is that they have something called a ‘survival instinct’. Politicians who boast about their successful initiatives to raise the price of gasoline don’t last.  If you are a politician who wants to raise the price of gas, you have two choices in America: you can persuade the military leadership to install you in office through a coup d’etat, or you can lie to the voters and pursue your agenda on the sly.

A number of Democrats seem to have chosen the second option. The significance of the Chu sound bite is that some voters think President Obama has a stealth energy agenda, and rising gas prices tend to strengthen that perception.

5089  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: February 24, 2012, 09:33:04 AM
I don't find that pointing out elephants in a room productive on a 4th try to someone who denies seeing them on the first 3.

A home INVASION with a criminal in a home is not like losing a couple of 20s in the wash.  Yes, if you don't see that you are simply wrong and I should stop there.  A known criminal of unknown limits and capacities and presumed dangerous was in the home where you secure your family even if you are a family of one.  You really need that explained further?

Shooting at the ground is not using lethal force, shooting in the head or chest is.  It was to scare someone who has no qualms about scaring others.  Actually kind of funny that the guy with nerves of steel to do that in the first place got scared and ran. If just the fact that it is a gun makes it lethal, then backing your car out of the garage while your neighbor is outdoors is the use of lethal force also.  The car is also a lethal weapon.  Would you like case law cited on that?

I see this from the point of view as a father homeowner whose daughter could have been home, wishing I could explain to you as a husband whose wife could have been home.  I don't believe that wouldn't bother you, like I said, just wasting my time. To the neighbor it is empathy for that situation and desire to not have it next at his house.

In this TYPE of break-in, how did he (the burglar) know for sure she (a hypothetical wife or daughter or whoever that someone might want to protect) wasn't home.  He didn't.  He was still willing to enter not knowing no one was home for sure.  How did we know AS IT HAPPENED he was unarmed.  We didn't.  Do we know on sight of him if he not is also a rapist and a murderer?  No, we don't.  But we KNOW he is a CRIMINAL IN OUR HOME and those are other things criminals in homes do.  If he is so comfortable entering, got away with it and  knows his way around now and knows what else to take next time, why wouldn't he come back?  He probably would.  You say insurable loss? FYI if you didn't know, they steal the insured stuff and then they come back to get the new stuff that the insurance company buys to replace it. Have you ever had your home invaded?  Would he the criminal kill her with his bare hands or other implement within reach next time if she was home and startled him?  Yes, it's possible. Should she worry about that every moment she is home and thinks about it?  Yes, that would be a perfectly normal reaction. Keyword TERROR. Will she be home next time?  Yeah, maybe.  Will she now live in fear? Yes, that would make sense.  Or have to sell, move and leave her home to try to escape that fear.  Should the neighbor rationally believe that his home and his family is next if the guy gets away with this one so close and within sight of his home without incident?  Yes.

Was he right to discharge his firearm safely, but illegally?  That depends on his judgment of the likelihood of prosecution and size and scope of the expected penalty as opposed to the cost of doing nothing when you could have scared off that intruder forever. 

Do I believe that you, a double major college graduate, really don't get that a home invasion is an INVASION, and is not equivalent to losing a couple of 20s in the wash? Just an insurable loss? No. I don't.

But we have been through this before.
5090  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: February 24, 2012, 12:01:30 AM
Reminds of when you thought the French supermarket wasn't vandalized.  A waste of my time. Let's not answer each other's posts.
5091  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: February 23, 2012, 07:14:34 PM
"Home burglary, someone invading your home and your privacy, even when no one is home, while of course terrible, is not, by definition, a violent crime."

If your wife walks out of the bathroom to discover the 'unarmed' (how do we know that at the time) burglar who only wants the necklace, not to rape, torture and kill her (how do we know that at the time), then has she only lost a necklace, or some CDs?  No!  She has lost perhaps forever the feeling of safety and security that she once had in the privacy of her own home.

I honestly don't know what you don't get about that unless you and your wife have no capacity for fear or a personal feeling of violation.

Yes, he 'should have' called the police instead.  The odds that the police would apprehend him if the call is made as the man is leaving: near zero.

The odds that he will return to that home or that neighborhood if the job was successful: extremely high.

The odds that he will return after thinking he was shot at while escaping: zero.

Seems to me the shot fired harmlessly will cause him extreme fear that he deserves to feel and cause him to not return, which is protecting the neighbor's home too.  A firecracker might have served the same purpose; he just didn't have one handy and also no doubt illegal.

Of course we don't want to encourage people to take the law into their own hands or to discharge weapons in residential areas for no good reason, but in this case a pretty good result came out of it -  at least until they sue or prosecute or the wrong guy. (IMHO)
5092  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process on: February 23, 2012, 06:52:20 PM

2nd try. If this works I will fix the original. 

Also found it on Youtube at lower resolution:
5093  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government programs - explained by Judge Judy on: February 23, 2012, 04:16:55 PM
7 minutes of Judge Judy (no commercials) allegedly pulled by CBS off of Youtube:

Judge Judy: "That is what we are creating." "Him." "I'm sending this tape to congress."

Besides taxpayers paying his rent, he is getting $88,000 to learn to play guitar?

More than half of US households receive government check.

Watch until the end; the plot turns quickly.

Welcome to my world.
5094  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Ron Paul on: February 23, 2012, 03:21:06 PM
"RP is now #2 in delegates?"

Bringing the bulk of those supporters to support the eventual nominee will be quite a challenge; some will never do it.  I don't know if Ron Paul has endorsed any Republican candidates for the general election since Reagan.

RP is only growing stronger in his (anti-) foreign policy views. He talks about the number of US bases surrounding Iran, implying that their claim of needing the weapons for defense is real and saying that it is ridiculous for us to fear Iran having a few nukes.  The Soviets had 30,000 of them - no problem (except that we were about one election from having to all learn Russian.)  Paul is much more open to compromise on taxes and spending than foreign affairs.

Funny point in the debate transcript, the moderator asked the other 3 their view on Syria, then said (something like): moving on... Rep. Paul said - um, excuse me?  Moderator says 'okay, quickly'.  Paul said: I'll be quick - with a one minute response.  Perhaps the first time the moderator ever agreed with the rest of us: RP, we already know, without asking, your view on intervention in Syria. 
5095  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential: Romney Tax Plan on: February 23, 2012, 02:44:12 PM

Romney's Tax Reboot
His 20% marginal rate cut changes the tax reform debate.

One oddity of this Republican Presidential primary season is that front-runner Mitt Romney has had by far the least inspiring tax plan. That changed yesterday when the former Massachusetts Governor took a dive into the deep end of the tax reform debate with a proposal that includes a 20% across-the-board cut in income tax rates. Now we're getting somewhere.

The rate cut follows the Reagan formula of applying to anyone who pays income taxes. The current 35% tax rate (set to rise to 41% in 2013 including deduction and exemption phase-outs) would fall to 28%, the 33% rate to 26.4%, the 28% rate to 22.4%, the 25% rate to 20%, the 15% rate to 12%, and the 10% rate to 8%.

As an economic matter, this is the most effective kind of tax cut because it applies at the margin, meaning the next dollar of income earned. A mountain of economic research shows that a marginal-rate cut does far more than tax holidays or targeted tax credits to change the incentives to invest and hire workers, and thus provides the most economic lift.

The proposal from Mitt Romney, above, provides a tax contrast with Rick Santorum.

This is especially true because the vast majority of businesses in America today aren't corporations. They're sole proprietorships, partnerships or Subchapter S firms whose profits are "passed through," as the jargon goes, to the owners and are taxed at the individual rate. These noncorporate firms account for over half of all business income, according to IRS data. By lowering their taxes and making the rates permanent, Mr. Romney's plan would do much to make the U.S. more job and investment friendly.

By contrast, President Obama's proposal yesterday (see below) to cut the corporate rate to 28% from 35% wouldn't apply to this "pass-through" business income. It would thus favor big corporations at the expense of smaller businesses that file as individuals and would see their marginal rate rise to 41% or more under Mr. Obama's plan to raise individual tax rates.

Mr. Romney has already proposed a cut in the corporate tax rate to 25% from 35%, and by adding the cut in the business pass-through rate to 28% he is proposing the more ambitious and far more economically potent reform.

The Obama campaign will attack his plan as favoring the rich, but it would do so even if Mr. Romney proposed no tax cut. Now Mr. Romney will have a better response because in return for cutting rates he says he would also close loopholes and deductions that have become shelters from high tax rates.

Mr. Romney made the mistake yesterday of distinguishing between deductions for "middle-income families," which he said would be preserved, and for the "top 1%," which he said would be on the table. This sounds like a pollster's bad advice. It merely plays into Mr. Obama's class-war theme when Mr. Romney should be stressing growth. But at least Mr. Romney says all deductions would be on the reform table, including those for mortgage interest, state and local taxes and health care.

The Romney campaign is also shrewd to say it will assume some dynamic revenue feedback from his marginal-rate cuts. This does not mean that the tax cuts will entirely "pay for themselves" right away. It does mean that it can safely assume that his proposal would recapture about one-third of the revenue loss from the rate reductions through more investment and economic growth.

That's a defensible and conservative estimate based on historical experience with rate reductions. Tax revenues soared after the Reagan 1981 tax cuts (the Gipper cut rates across the board by 25%) and the Bush 2003 rate reductions. The 2003 investment tax cut was expected to lose revenue, but the gain in jobs and business activity produced $786 billion more in revenue from 2003-2007.
Related Video

Editorial board member Steve Moore breaks down Mitt Romney's and President Obama's tax plans.

Economists Greg Mankiw and Glenn Hubbard, who are both advising Mr. Romney, have done studies documenting the feedback effects of marginal-rate tax cuts. So has Harvard's Martin Feldstein, among others.

All of this should also help Mr. Romney politically, if he makes the case well and with confidence. Conservative voters who have wondered if he is one of them can now see a tangible proposal that will be a governing priority, not merely a pledge to fight for reform some day. It gives him something to fight for beyond his business biography.

The Romney proposal will also provide a tax contrast with Rick Santorum. The Pennsylvania Senator favors a top tax rate of 28% but he also wants to triple the child tax credit to $3,000. He'd have a hard time credibly doing both without blowing up the budget because the tax credit has almost no revenue feedback effect. It's a social gesture with little or no impact on economic growth.

Meanwhile, on corporate taxes, Mr. Romney's tax cut applies to all companies equally. Mr. Santorum would cut the rate in half for most companies, except manufacturers would pay 0%. This is a form of industrial policy that would have every company lobbying to qualify as a manufacturer and would defeat the tax neutrality that is a main goal of tax reform.

Now that he has the right policy, Mr. Romney's main challenge will be selling it without apology. He has resisted tax cuts for individuals lest he be criticized for helping the rich, and he sometimes sounds guilty about his own wealth. But voters will sense if Mr. Romney doesn't believe what he says or if he shrinks from making a forthright case for it.

The only way to defeat Mr. Obama's politics of envy is with the politics of growth and rising opportunity. Voters don't really care about a candidate's wealth as long as they conclude he has a plan to increase theirs.
5096  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: February 23, 2012, 12:03:47 PM
JDN, Entering one's home when you are home or not home has a TERROR affect on the family and the neighborhood; that is not just a property crime and that is MY opinion, not the law.  Almost grazing their cheek with a bullet if you have that ability does no harm either by your standard if you think the only damage of forcible entry with a stranger in a family home is the loss of CDs.  I was clear BTW about not advocating breaking the law so don't take my comment out of its context.  Thank you.

You wrote yourself: "This is not a good case for the DA."

Why not?  Because he didn't do anything wrong.
5097  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: February 23, 2012, 11:38:00 AM
Good constitutional discussion over on gay issues thread.  This part in particular by bigdog is noteworthy.

"I think "the people" do have a say.  First, they elect (sort of, at least ) the president who nominates.  Second, they elect the senators who confirm.  Third, they have the ability, especially through interest groups or other bodies, to file amicus briefs with the Court.  Fourth, federal judges are appointed for life... with good behavior.  There is an impeachment mechanism in place, if "the people" were willing to push it.  Fifth, as noted elsewhere, Congress can change (appellate) jurisdiction.  The people could push for that."

When I read the quote of Justice Ginsburg preferring the South African constitution to ours, it made me think of impeachment.  Not for her own freedom of speech but if any of her Court opinions were derived from some standard other than the U.S. constitution.

Our ongoing criticisms and second guessing of court decisions as I see it is our way of staying active and informed.  The say that the people have on the court through the selection process has been my first answer to anyone who says there is no difference between the parties or the candidates.  There is quite a difference it seems to me between the appointees of Bush versus Obama even though Justices often surprise or disappoint.

I remember that a major, public, conservative uproar brought down the Harriet Miers appointment of Pres. Bush.  There was a smaller conservative protest to Pres. Reagan's selection of Arizona moderate Sandra Day O'Connor that perhaps should have been heeded.
5098  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: February 23, 2012, 10:45:09 AM
I am not advocating anyone break the law, just enjoying the freedom of this venue to disagree with laws and try to distinguish between right or wrong.

I couldn't disagree more strongly with the idea presented that a home invasion, a stranger with known criminal capacity forcibly or wrongfully entering the structure you bought or built to separate yourself and your family from such strangers, is only an insurable property crime??  To me, that is very wrong.  By entering, they put your irreplaceables into an unacceptable risk of danger, IMHO. 

My thought is that if a person willing to threaten or scare a family to that extreme extent received a shot from a neighbor that hit only his earring, that would also only be an insurable property crime. 

Who is the victim of the shot into the ground?
5099  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential: Text of GOP debate Mesa Arizona, 2/23/2012 on: February 23, 2012, 10:18:02 AM

I read the transcript this morning, did not see the debate.  In general I would say each got to clarify his positions somewhat and no new ground was really broken.  All 4 seem a little more cautious about practicing scorched earth politics as they each now trail the failed President in the polls.  All 3 (except Ron Paul) seem to be in pretty close agreement over foreign policy.

The earmark discussion was interesting.  When funds are not earmarked by congress all goes to the executive branch.  The real question was how all these things get lumped on to other bills and how the line item veto that would solve this was struck down by the court.
Adding a comment, Santorum's defense of endorsing Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey was that Specter was chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and promised Santorum he would move the President's conservative Supreme Court picks through a 51-49 senate where the 51 included some very Democrat-like moderates.

Romney answered one charge against Romneycare from Santorum, that Santrum had endorsed him as a good conservative in 2008 - well after Romneycare.
5100  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: February 22, 2012, 12:14:23 PM
The readings referred by bigdog regarding the Disabilities Act remind of why it is much better top make private and charitable accommodations than to attempt to solve individual problems through an act of congress.  One example, the court became the governing body of the PGA Tour.  Even in professional sports they are no longer free to make and enforce their own rules.
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