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5101  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: July 09, 2012, 10:47:35 AM
I was wrong about Supreme Court resignations.  I'm glad they are all feeling well though I don't think very highly of some of their opinions.
5102  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - State of the Race, Jay Cost on: July 09, 2012, 10:41:27 AM
There is quite a contrast in polls out there, swing states and nationally.  Latest Rasmussen has Romney by 1% nationally, Gallup has Obama by 2%.

Intrade where people put money on their bet has Obama with 56% chance of winning at the moment.

Obama won 2008 by 7% nationally so Romney needs at least a 8-9% swing to be assured a victory.  One take is that Iowa is the dead center of the political nation.  Obama won Iowa by 9.54% in 2008.  Rasmussen had Romney up by 1 in late June, a 10.5% swing.

Another key state is Colorado, where 3 counties allegedly reflect the national swing in these elections:

Jay Cost, now with Weekly Standard is one of the best analysts on polling and electoral politics.  He points out 4 factors running against Obama.  Cost maintains that Obama is 1) unpopular with approval consistently below 50%, 2) impressions are set, difficult to change. 3) The economy is hurting Obama, and 4) Romney still has plenty of time to define himself in a very positive sense.
5103  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc) on: July 09, 2012, 10:17:03 AM
Yes, a very odd report.  "I wonder what is going on beneath the surface here." 

Placating the opportunistic oppressors who backstab us around the globe it would appear, while elsewhere we backstab our real friends and allies.

From the article: "Calibrating a long-range China policy may be the greatest challenge for the U.S. administration’s pivot to the Asia-Pacific region."

I would add that dealing effectively with the current, unelected regime of China is, to me, only a short term goal.

At what point in a nation's economic development do a billion plus people deserve the basic human right of consensual government?  That might have enormous foreign policy and defense implications for the U.S.  I haven't heard much from this administration on the world stage about that, no tear down this wall speech from the Nobel prize winner in chief, though he did report Arizona to the UN for oppression.
5104  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Elite athletes: Roger Federer at Wimbledon on: July 07, 2012, 12:57:12 AM
Interesting recap below of a historic Wimbledon match today, 16-time Grand Slam event winner Roger Federer defeated current world number one Novak Djokovic today in 4 sets.  Serving at around 130 mph, Federer had 12 aces and no double faults.  Hitting at full power on the run for four hours against the best in the world, his total unforced errors were in single digits.  I didn't watch but that is an amazing performance.  Finals are on Sunday morning US time.
5105  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness gives the Dem radio address in May 2004, Jobs gain was 4 times bigger! on: July 06, 2012, 10:37:17 PM
A MUST LISTEN audio.  Cognitive Dissonance is just putting it nicely.  Full of shit is a better description.
After the economy added 310,000 jobs in May 2004 and the unemployment rate was 5.6%, then-candidate Barack Obama used the Democrat weekly radio address to attack the Bush administration for citing good economic numbers.

“For the past few weeks, President Bush and members of his administration have traveled the nation to celebrate recent improved economic statistics. Well, I’ve been traveling too, all over this large and diverse state. In cities and suburbs, downstate and upstate, I’ve heard from people who say it’s way too early to claim victory when it comes to our economy,” Obama says in the Democrats’ radio address from June 26, 2004.

“After three dismal years of job-loss, we all welcome encouraging statistics,” Obama acknowledges in the 2004 address. “But for most Americans, the health of our economy is measured in a different and more personal way: If I lose my job, where will I find one that pays as well and offers real benefits? Can I afford health-care coverage on my own, or the cost of sending my children to college? Will I ever be able to save and retire with dignity and security? These are the questions I hear hardworking people asking. For them, the basic rewards of a middle-class life, rewards that we once took for granted, have become an elusive dream.”
5106  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: More go on disability pay than take new jobs, IBD on: July 06, 2012, 10:29:51 PM

Disability Ranks Outpace New Jobs In Obama Recovery


More workers joined the federal government's disability program in June than got new jobs, according to two new government reports, a clear indicator of how bleak the nation's jobs picture is after three full years of economic recovery.
5107  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / What Romney Needs to Say About Romneycare, By Mona Charen on: July 06, 2012, 10:26:01 PM
What Romney Needs to Say About Romneycare

By Mona Charen - July 6, 2012
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Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom's blunder -- telling an interviewer that Romney believes the individual mandate is not a tax -- was politically dumb, if revealing. It suggests that the Romney camp continues to struggle with the ghost of Romneycare. Romney's subsequent attempt at clarification, saying that it's a tax because the Supreme Court said it is, though, "I agreed with the dissent," succeeded only in further confusing matters.

The campaign desperately needs clarity on this issue. It needs also to shake that worrying tentativeness on Romneycare -- a timidity that suggests to voters that Romney has something to hide.

The answer to the question: "Wasn't Romneycare exactly the same thing as Obamacare?" is, to quote Nancy Pelosi, "Are you serious?" The Massachusetts law contained an individual mandate, which states -- unlike the federal government -- are allowed to impose. But it did not consist of 2,700 pages of new regulations; 159 new boards and commissions; and more than $500 billion in new taxes (and counting); the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a rationing board whose decisions are unreviewable by the courts and practically untouchable by Congress itself; restrictions on religious liberty; Medicare cuts; affirmative action mandates for medical and dental schools; huge new authority over one-seventh of the U.S. economy for the Secretary of Health and Human Services; and open-ended regulations of the way doctors and others perform their jobs.

Beyond that, a glance at the history of Romneycare in Massachusetts shows that Romney's instincts and initiatives were for free-market reforms. An 85 percent Democratic legislature thwarted his best efforts, and a Democratic successor as governor twisted the law's trajectory dramatically.

Before Romney's time, Massachusetts had enacted a number of laws that made its health care system needlessly expensive. All policies offered in the state were required to cover expensive treatments such as substance abuse counseling and infertility. In 1996, the state passed a law requiring "guaranteed issue" and "community rating" -- meaning people could wait until they got sick to purchase health insurance. Naturally, rates skyrocketed. In addition, a 1986 federal law required hospital emergency rooms to treat all patients, regardless of ability to pay.

Romney's idea was to permit Massachusetts insurers to sell catastrophic plans. As Avik Roy explained in Forbes, "Shorn of the costly mandates and restrictions originating in earlier state laws, these plans, called 'Commonwealth Care Basic,' could cost much less. Romney also proposed merging the non-group and small-group markets, so as to give individuals access to the more cost-effective plans available to small businesses." Romney's plan would also have involved a degree of cost sharing so that those receiving subsidies would have an incentive to minimize their consumption.

Romney agreed to the mandate, believing that Massachusetts citizens would get the opportunity to purchase inexpensive, catastrophic plans. But the legislature, together with Romney's successor as governor, Deval Patrick, changed the law to require insurers to offer three tiers of coverage -- all of them far beyond catastrophic care. Perhaps Romney ought to have foreseen what future legislatures and governors would do -- but that's a far cry from the accusation that Romneycare was indistinguishable from Obamacare.

Romney's proposed reforms included fraud prevention measures for Medicaid, requiring the income of both parents to be considered in children's Medicaid eligibility, medical malpractice tort reform, and giving individuals the same treatment as small businesses in the purchase of health plans. He envisioned a system of increased competition and choice.

The bill that passed the legislature contained a number of features Romney couldn't countenance. He opposed the mandate, preferring to permit individuals to post a $10,000 bond in lieu of insurance. The legislature overrode him. He vetoed the employer mandate, coverage for illegal aliens, the creation of a new bureaucracy to be called The Public Health Council, a provision limiting improvements to Medicaid, and one expanding Medicaid coverage to include dental care. His vetoes were overridden.

The health reform law Romney introduced -- as opposed to the one that was implemented by his successor -- stressed competition, reduced regulation and expanded choice for the consumer.

It was a mistake for Romney to sign the bill. As Avik Roy put it, "The individual mandate was a loaded gun that Romney handed to his opponents, who used it to force individuals to buy comprehensive insurance they didn't need." But Romney's bona fides as a free-market advocate and critic of Obamacare are not undermined by Romneycare. He can rightly claim that he foresaw, and attempted to prevent, the consequences of heavy-handed government control of the health care market.
5108  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics - Jobs Deficit from breakeven jobs growth on: July 06, 2012, 10:18:36 PM
Others follow up on a point I attempted to make yesterday.  I was writing about 'breakeven' real GDP growth.  This writer says the US economy must create 125,000 new jobs per month to break even.  Article below I(fox News) says that 191,000 new workers come here every month.  Roughly 92% of them need to find new jobs to keep our 8% unemployment rate at 'breakeven' levels.  80,000 jobs in a country of 310 million people does not do that!

Friday, July 6, 2012
U.S. Jobs Deficit Grows by 47,000 in June

Going Around in Circles

~ “If you're lost in the woods and you feel like you're walking in circles, you probably are.” ~ Discovery News

- By: Larry Walker, Jr. -

According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the U.S. economy needs to create a minimum of 127,000 each month in order to keep pace with population growth. And based on today’s Employment Situation Report, the economy created just 80,000 jobs in June. That means the jobs deficit increased by another 47,000 last month. Yet, according to Barack Obama, "That's a step in the right direction.” However, according to economic common sense, it’s another step towards stagnation, then decay and dissolution.

He added, “We can't be satisfied because our goal was never to just keep on working to get back to where we were back in 2007.” So according to Obama, his goal was never to just keep working to get back to where we were in 2007, a day when we had 4,805,000 jobs more than we have currently. “I want to get back to a time when middle-class families and those working to get into the middle class have some basic security,” he said. We are left to wonder what time that was – the 1920’s, 50’s, 60’s, 80’s, 90’s, or the 2000’s. But based on the latest jobs report, that time could have been any year prior to Obama’s term.

Americans faced another disappointing jobs picture today. Of course, we could go through the numbers again. With the working age population growing by 191,000 last month, 80,000 more jobs doesn’t even come close to absorbing all these new workers, let alone employing those who have long been out of work. And then there’s the most important number of all: for 41 months, the unemployment rate has been above 8 percent.
5109  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: July 05, 2012, 06:46:50 PM
Michael Barone also reports on the positive news of a successful national election held Sunday in Mexico.

"...Pena will not bring back the old PRI system. He won based on his record as governor of the state of Mexico and his fame as the husband of a telenovela actress.

He has promised to get rid of the law prohibiting Pemex from making contracts with private oil service firms, one of the hallmarks of the old PRI system.

It's not clear whether he'll keep that promise, or whether he'll continue Calderon's aggressive fight against drug traffickers. As for immigration, it appears that the flow of Mexicans to the U.S. has been reversed since 2007.

What is clear is that Mexico has become a neighbor much easier to live with.

Also Brett Stephens/WSJ: Miracle in Mexico

..."From the year Nafta came into force till the present, Mexico's GDP per capita (in purchasing power parity) more than doubled, to $15,000 from $7,000." ...
5110  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics - John Taylor on: July 05, 2012, 06:13:48 PM
Excellent insights.  Please put Prof. Taylor on the short list for Bernancke replacement. 

5111  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: July 05, 2012, 05:57:39 PM
Aren't we in fact moving backwards based on population growth and other factors when reported GDP 'growth' is this low.  If economists made the economic and demographic adjustments that government spending budgets are required to use, then Obamanomic growth would be at prolonged negative levels, fitting the rough definition of a recession we are allegedly not in.

My view is the economists with their generally accepted measurements and definitions are parsing words pretty carefully to say this backward moving economy is not in recession.  

Call it stagnation, malaise or stuck, but the tide is not rising, much less lifting all boats.  MHO.

Put it this way:  While we were mostly not in recession by these measurements, we lost 40% of our wealth!  There is something wrong with this picture.
5112  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / A legislative act repugnant to the constitution is void,Marshall in Marbury on: July 05, 2012, 05:39:29 PM
"The government of the United States is of the latter description. The powers of the legislature are defined and limited; and that those limits may not be mistaken, or forgotten, the Constitution is written. To what purpose are powers limited, and to what purpose is that limitation committed to writing, if these limits may, at any time, be passed by those intended to be restrained? The distinction between a government with limited and unlimited powers is abolished if those limits do not confine the persons on whom they are imposed, and if acts prohibited and acts allowed are of equal obligation. It is a proposition too plain to be contested, that the Constitution controls any legislative act repugnant to it; or, that the legislature may alter the Constitution by an ordinary act."
"Certainly all those who have framed written constitutions contemplate them as forming the fundamental and paramount law of the nation, and consequently, the theory of every such government must be, that an act of the legislature, repugnant to the constitution, is void."

   - Chief Justice John Marshall writing in Marbury v. Madison 1803
5113  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: July 05, 2012, 05:11:14 PM

"the indexes are consistent with other data suggesting real GDP growth of 1% to 1.5% in Q2."

"No sign of a recession in any of these numbers."

I notice that Brian Wesbury and all other economists or economic reporting firm or agency do not use CBO / OMB / Washington DC baseline budgeting rules for GDP reporting.  A question for Wesbury (or Scott Grannis etc.):  If they were required to adjust GDP reporting for 'baseline growth', then what would be magnitude of the economic growth or contraction we are currently experiencing?

My math:

Baseline (breakeven) growth  = 3.1%
Current 'real' GDP  = 1.9%  (or 1.0 or 1.5%)

Current growth deficit is between  1.2% and 2.1%.

At this rate of growth (contraction), we have full employment and a balanced budget ... ... ... NEVER!

Corrections to this and other opinions requested.
5114  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: July 03, 2012, 05:28:59 PM
First, must celebrate that we agree on that golf swing. No big deal. I cant play violin, bt O dont go out and play it in frpmt of pepple every weekend before I learn. There is something delusional exposed there.

Not 13 acres but the 100 year old MacG compound has all the lakelife features. Y'all should come sometime. None of it revolves around money except the EXORBITANT property taxes. It is the government that wants only
 rich people at these places.

Pres Reagan was out of Washington a third of his Presidency?  GOOD!!
5115  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: July 03, 2012, 03:43:51 PM
In terms of popularity of the Court, no one likes when they rule against you but...

I disagreed strongly with the ruling relating to funeral protests.  That said, because they sided with a basic freedom, freedom of speech I perhaps admire them more not less for disagreeing with me.  When they tromp all over our individual rights and liberties, that is another matter.  I have no respect for them and all their manufactured, hypocritical constructions whatsoever.

At age 78 Justice Kennedy grows a limited government backbone.  Where was that in Kelo?

At age 57 Chief Justice Roberts decides he'd rather be a politician.  It's not too late your honor to change careers.

Liberal appointees / liberal justices prove over and over and over that they only vote their own political views on the Court.

Restraint in the pursuit of freedom isn't what won any of our freedoms. 
5116  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Chief Justice Roberts - You Can't Be Serious! on: July 03, 2012, 03:05:43 PM
I took a cooling off period following the Obamacare stunner and I am still fuming mad.  

1) This point of Bigdog's is most insightful: " is the "opinion of a majority of the court" (note: wording matters; NOT "majority opinion of the court..."

I still have more reading to do, but 5 justices did not agree on much.  5 so-called conservatives found a limitat in the commerce clause but that revelation turns out meaningless as a new path is paved to make the biggest expansion EVER in government control of and participation in commerce without 5 justicec relying on the commerce clause.

2) My neighbor's dog barking is taxing.  Regulations are taxing on the economy.  Can this be ruled a tax? Sure.  But that is not what it is.

3) My title "You can't be serious!" comes from the famous John McEnroe line he hollered at chair umpires like Roberts every time they ruled a close line call against him.  I still play tennis at a nationally competitive level and have a theory different from Roberts on close line calls.  If a ball is a millionth of an inch out and no one but you with your perfect vantage point can possibly see it out, all others see it as in, and even you don't see it out for the first month after you look at it, then you do not call it out.  Roberts did not see it as a tax.  Proponents didn't see it as a tax.  8 other justices didn't see it as a tax.  It wasn't written as a tax.  Clever reconsiderations do not make it into what it isn't supposed to be.  It includes at least two dozen new taxes and it is most certainly taxing on the economy and on certain people but the act itself is a government takeover of a major sector of the economy with a shift of responsibility of all the the decisions that go with that.  In its entirety, it is not a tax, it is commerce control.  If it takes you a month to see it as something you couldn't see previously and no one else can see and you still can't articulate why by your publication deadline or convince even one of your peers seeing the same line call, then perhaps it is not.  If you must see it as no one else sees it, then write a one justice dissent, not side with people who see it totally differently to decide in favor of a government takeover of the American economy over all individual liberties on a single-justice, manufactured theory.

4) Where are unenumerated rights in the challenge to the law?  We had some rights and they are gone.  One is a right to the policy I had before Obamacare which is gone, another is the right to merely pay fee for service as we do with almost everything else and yet another would be the privacy to not have to tell the government at all about the private matters of your health services procurement.  55 million have been aborted since Roe v Wade based on a right of privacy in so-called healthcare but when it does not directly enable the killing of the most innocent most in need of protection, the right of privacy is nowhere to be found?

5) Is the default priority restraint from the legislative process or truth to the meanings contained in our limited government constitution.

6) A mandate to buy government approved health insurance is not constitutional, but a penalty on not buying it is.  Good grief.

7) The Wichard Filburn point posted is well taken.  This is terrible law and a cause or enabler of what keeps going wrong on the Court, IMHO.

7) There is NOT a silver lining in this ruling.  Maybe we will rise up and take the law and the tyrants down.  Maybe we will not.  But the limited government meaning of our constitution just keeps getting ever-smaller and it makes me sick to my stomach.

8.) Romney's adviser did not call it a tax because that would mean Romney's mandate was a tax.

9) Obamacare's effect on the economy however is a trillion and a half dollar tax and worse, yet every economist says you don't raise taxes in a recession.  We just did!
5117  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: July 03, 2012, 02:10:07 PM
JDN, Nothing too shocking in the story.  You must have been gone from Wisc too long to remember that going up to the lake with family over the 4th is rather routine in the north country.  Looks like they have a boat, a deck, a beach and went to town for ice cream.  Sounds nice.  You should try it!

For the record, my beef with Obama's golf is not that he plays, but that he is so bad at it and obsessed with it.  Strangely he puts it above things like family while raising two small children, not just national security. 

A sample:  It might go back to 1960s ski lessons since anyone taught the up-down method, lol.

Did Romney take more vacations than Obama as President?  Hopefully we will learn the answer to that soon. 
5118  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: June 28, 2012, 11:11:15 AM
Just reading headlines so far, looks like J Roberts agreed the mandate is a tax, even though it specifically could not have passed as a tax and our two faced Pres famously said it was not a tax.  They overturn our language, not just our constotution.

We cant require citizenship papers, but they can stop you for healthcare papers.

The first step in lowering healthcare costs in America was to hire more IRS agents.  George Orwell could not write a creepier script.
5119  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: June 28, 2012, 10:05:25 AM
Court affirms that you have no Individual rights on healthcare, not a right to choose fee for service, not even a right of privacy.
5120  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: June 28, 2012, 09:41:27 AM
There are no limits on government.
5121  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, & "discrimination" on: June 26, 2012, 04:26:52 PM
I don't mean to intrude, but I must confess to not seeing the logic of blaming Title IX on this. There are many local land grant colleges with many sports which feature male athletes from other states. Is Title IX to blame for Big 12 and Big Ten recruiting football players in the South? And, colleges and universities have been recruiting international talent for years. Of course, many of those were for academic

Intrusions always welcome!

Blame seems so negative, I am just saying there is an unambiguous cause and effect relationship. Title IX causes the full rides offered in non-revenue women's sports and the full rides cause those spots to be taken by player better than available locally. Some might find that to be a good thing. I'm just saying it's a fact.

Schorlarships in men's revenue sports are not caused by Title IX, they are limited by it. The local policy choice may have the same effect, but I don't see the parallel to Title IX.

5122  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, & "discrimination" on: June 26, 2012, 01:07:56 PM
... but fhe unintended consequence of Title IX is that local girls here can no longer play for the University.
"the local girls can no longer play for the University".  Why not if they are good enough?  It they are not good enough, they can play for a smaller college.  Or even on Club teams."

Or they can just to hell but what I wrote was that they can not play Div I for the local land grant University because of Title IX.  The state taxpayer pays instead for world class players from foreign countries to take those spots. In my daughter's sport, a 3 time state champion plays 6th (last) singles. How many local girls do you think are better than that?
5123  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: June 26, 2012, 12:43:44 PM
During a lame duck sessiom I think not. There would no political ptessure to close debate and allow a vote.   Right now is the timing. If.there is a timely resignation and a timely and qualified nominee, then there is pressure on the minority to allow the Senate to perform it's constitutonal function before the fall term of the Court.

The reasons for a retirement would need to be personal and 16 years of limited government greatness is beyond wishful, but there actually could be a long stretch coming where a far left replacement would not be in the cards.

Strangely, I hope both those justices stay on.
5124  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bailout Economics: Henry Ford on: June 25, 2012, 04:07:30 PM
"Failure is the oppprtunity to begin again more intelligently."
5125  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / (Constitutional Law and related matters) Resignations? on: June 25, 2012, 04:00:37 PM
Dem Pres, Dem Senate today, both trailing  in real polls. Breyer 73 and male, Ginsberg 79.  Are ya feelin lucky?

Resigning Friday would look cynically political and pessimistic.

I don't rule it out. 

R's could stop only on cloture. A tough precedent to set just before switching to the majority.
5126  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: June 25, 2012, 03:37:08 PM
Interesting timing for resignation(s)!   I would regard it as quite unlikely that an Obama nominee could get affirmed before January!

I look forward to reading good analysis of the AZ case.

I can't open this right now but it should be the Scalia dissent.

Both Gov Brewer and Pres Obama declared victory. Obama ICE not taking AZ cases?

I reserve what I think of this court and these decisions until Thurs.
5127  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Steyn on: June 25, 2012, 03:04:55 PM
Love Steyn!  Please post it when you have a moment.
5128  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness, reminder that MB is largely secular on: June 25, 2012, 10:51:18 AM
With all the worries about Egypt and GM not here to point this out, but we can rest assured that Pres Obama's Dir of Intelligence Klapper told us last year that the Muslim Brotherhood is largely secular.  Who knew?

I can't link right now but see Mark Steyn's column today.
5129  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, & "discrimination" on: June 25, 2012, 10:16:43 AM
Cute story that a big Olympic star in a BIG money sport could get a break, but fhe unintended consequence of Title IX is that local girls here can no longer play for the University.
5130  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: June 25, 2012, 09:56:26 AM
Update, AZ law partly upheld, partly struck down, healthcare ruling Thurs, resignations Friday. (?)
5131  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed,Constitutional Law, Supreme Court watch on: June 25, 2012, 09:50:48 AM
3 big things: Obamacare strike down, AZ immigration law upheld?, and .will Breyer and or Ginsburg step down this week  before we head into 16 years of the Romney Rubio surge to limited govt greatness.

ACA: Maybe the ruling will be out before I finish typing into my handheld. I was hoping we could all get our armchair opinions posted first. Procrastination crept in because it is hard to find a constitutional issue. The power isn't authorized. A wise Latina can see that. ?

Proponents pretend there was no other way, but there are plenty, such as tax and spend more. They know how to do that. Or fee for service, works for every other industry.

Proponents compare to state car insurance laws, but that is state and you can opt out.

Proponents say it is no different than ths Mass mandate, but that would be true only if 49 states copied them, not a new federal mandate.

Proponents say it is no different than a federally mandated social security retirement plan, but that is very carefully framed in federal law as nothing more than a current account tax and spend law.

Obamacare is an expansion of federal powers that requires a new amendment to implement.  4 justices know  that. 5 will vote to strike down. J. Sotomayer faces the toughest choice of her life. Is she obligated to uphold that old document of limits on government or is she more beholden to symbolically stand with the people who got her there - to uphold the limits on government.

The suspense for me will be to read what utter nonsense on which the dissenters base their dissent.  I plan to read that section first.  What is their view on the limits of government, if not this, then what?

Other views?
5132  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness Executive Privilege on: June 22, 2012, 10:22:07 AM
Thanks to BD for links provided. I will read those over the weekend.  I would rather thw Pres be an expert on this than me.

It is a delicate balance between separation and oversight.

I would settle as a matter of principle for Dems in the White House to govern with whatever princples they espoused when those roles were reversed.

How naive of me!

The response ads to a Romney the flipflopper charge keep gettimg easier.

I know about border agent Terry murder and 800 violent crimes inside Mexico, but who died and what taxpayer funds were sqaundered on Dick Cheney's energy task force?  I don't recall young Barack the constitutional scholar bucking his party to come to the previous administration's defense.

5133  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness- Cleveland ecenomic speech on: June 22, 2012, 09:57:25 AM
More than a dozen I and me references, but one word missing was capital.

Labor without capital, in a word,.is  ...  unemployed.

Maybe we can discuss capital / capitalism during the Obama second term over on the crime and punishment thread.
5134  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: June 21, 2012, 11:43:38 PM
Missing in the charming futile analysis is that the shoe is more often on the other foot.

if Executive Privilege is absolute, Cpngressional Oversight is non existent. EP has a specificpurpose. This isn't it.
5135  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: June 21, 2012, 03:13:50 PM
The vulnerability learned about Romney in 2008 was the flip flop. He was known to be competent, informed, experienced, moderate, common sense centrist.

Obama in June 2012 is happy to give up the flip flop card for reasons unknown.
5136  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: June 21, 2012, 03:05:13 PM
What would be the value of housing if not still subsidized by government?Significantly lower. Housing is distorted by govt - but tied to income. Housing can't recover until employment and personal income recovers.
5137  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America on: June 19, 2012, 11:34:38 AM
JDN,  Where you find a couple of apparent contradictions in translation from the words written thousands of years ago, I notice you did not quote "Thou Shalt Not Kill" written / spoken with extreme clarity, the contradictions today are resolved in Judeo-Christianity 100% on the side of peace.  Islam needs to do that. I don't know how.

Either way, we are not at war with a billion people.  Only with those at war with us.
5138  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: European matters: Monarchy on: June 19, 2012, 11:18:02 AM
A strange comment I heard and will try to repeat / paraphrase
  On PBS a couple of weeks ago John McLaughlin asked Pat Buchanan during the Queen's celebration why Monarchy survives in Europe but not here:

'There was a time in Europe when all the adventurous, free-spirited people who sought out imdividual freedoms and self rule left (for the new world) and those who preferred to be ruled stayed.'

(The EU perhaps is another iteration of rule from afar somewhat lacking in consent of the governed.)

Maybe our European friends on the board have a different view...
5139  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: European matters, Wesbury: Should Germany leave the EMU? on: June 19, 2012, 10:48:05 AM
This proposition makes perfect sense. Brits don't want a monetary union. France just elected the far left. Greece, Portugal, Italy,Spain, even Ireland aren't proving worthy.    Eternal bailouts do not fix underlying problems.

The original aim of the monetary union as I understood it was that membership would cause fiscal responsibility because losing that status would be unthinkable.

That was worth a try but didn't work.
5140  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 18, 2012, 03:12:58 PM
You say brilliant with repetition yet never address the objections raised or questions posed. 

Tedious is putting it kindly.
5141  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 18, 2012, 11:10:44 AM
The question to me was not the Obama flip flop; that is most obvious.  The qestion was the legal merit and substance of what he said previously.  He presents himself to be a constitutional scholar.  So was he right that he cannot act unilaterally or was be wrong?
5142  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 17, 2012, 11:20:34 PM
Lalalala, it is all so simple, but absolutely no comment on the fact that Obama 2011 and half of 2012 disagrees with Obama's June 2012 campaign decision.  If it is all so simple, so right, so obvious, why didn't he issue the executive order sooner?  Why did he make the 2011 statement?

"round up 12 million illegal immigrants and deport them all"

Is it fun or challenging to argue with straw?
5143  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 17, 2012, 11:06:36 PM
I suppose the law and the punishment is the same whether you are spying for an enemy or spying for an ally, probably not contemplated in the law.

I don't have enough information to know what I think of the Jonathon Pollard case, but in that I hope we are in cooperation with Israel on intelligence and defense matters it would seem this is a case more suitable for a Presidential pardon than most of Hugh Rodham's bought friends.

If this were Russia, Communist China, Iran or VenezChavezuela, you know we would chomping at the bit to appease them.
5144  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / re. How does the Housing fiasco of 'that decade' fit into the Presidential race? on: June 17, 2012, 06:56:56 PM
Crafty brings up a couple of good points on this. 

On the housing question, I would say  Romney is more inoculated than vulnerable.  Far left Mother Jones took their best shot at him here:

Romney was accused of being invested (to a very small extent) in the GSAs. Mother Jones says Romeny misled because the investment was in a mutual fund,  not truly a blind trust as Romney had stated in a debate exchange with Newt.  Either way it was others hired to invest a portion of his money into government backed securities that would not be fully diversified without touching the federally controlled mortgage market.

From the Boston Globe and Mother Jones again (  "On his financial disclosure statement filed last month, Romney reported owning between $250,001 and $500,000 (out of hundreds of millions) in a mutual fund that invests in debt notes of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, among other government entities."

Without trivializing $15,001 of interest that the rest of us would kill for (figuratively), that is not a close financial tie, inappropriate, bought off, or otherwise. Romney was 0.1% invested in GSAs with no say whatsoever in policy.

Now take a look at Barack Obama.  Crafty wrote: "Baraq is the #2 all time recipient of FM donations!  (and that was accomplished in a mere 18 months!)"

Let me add one more exclamation point of my own:   ! 

With all due respect to the President of the United States running for reelection, this JERK blames everyone but himself for a mess he says he "inherited", but he not only voted present on failed policies and botched regulations but mostly voted NOT PRESENT out on the campaign.  At the most crucial moment of a federal housing market needing reform he was in fact ON THE TAKE to NOT REFORM the housing GSAs.

Crafty:  "... the authorship of the bubble is laid DIRECTLY at Baraq's door!   
I would focus on the housing bubble some more.   In my opinion, the housing bubble was the epicenter of everything else.   The FMs and the CRA caused misallocation of investment into housing and other real estate.  The loan guarantees of the FMs removed moral hazard from the system and surprise! banks acted badly!  Making loans without caring whether they were paid off (and being pressured to make them by the CRA) and then bundling them into products to sell downstream, which bought them thinking that because the mortagages were bundled they were buying a diversified product-- that was guaranteed by the FMs anyway-- the progresses solution of more regulation of the bad greedy banks misses the point entirely-- the FMs guarantee provoked and enabled the bad behavior.  Multiply the dynamic several fold by the Fed's deranged easy money, low interest rate policies and VOILA! a bubble was born!  The masses thought it real, and the stupid amongst them borrowed against it and spent it."

You are exactly right economically.  The politics of it is another story.  Pundits should jump in but I don't think Romney wants to play the 2008 collapse blame game.

Romney could blame Obama for what happened 'under Bush', but really Sen. Barack Obama chose to be a complete non-factor during his brief Senatorial time in Washington.  That partial Senate term was a squandered opportunity, just like his Presidency.

If the larger story line is that Obama is corrupt and on the take, then his tie to FNMA's donations at that crucial juncture is the silver bullet.  But the story line of this June 2012 is that things are broken and our incumbent, amateur in chief is in way over his head pretending he has some fix now after 3 1/2 years squandered.

I see this as a counterpunch opportunity for Romney.  Instead of 30 debates in the primaries there will likely be 2 in the finals.  Obama will most certainly make this tired, lame, blame everyone but himself excuse and leave Romney with a there-you-go-again table setting.  Here is my help for Romney to reply: 

'Alright Mr. President, let's talk about 'that decade' for a moment and both of our roles in it.  When our country needed to host the world for the first post-9/11 Olympics while security was in question and the Olympic committee was in shambles, I was honored to be chosen for a reputation of leadership competence, to assemble a team, to lead the effort from start to finish, to chase the corruption out and heightened security in.  By all accounts this major event was a total success.   And you were where?  Doing what?  With the most amazing oratory of a generation you rose from a state senator to become the leading voice of the left wing of the Democratic party in this country just as they were taking control of the US Congress 6 years ago.  That was when job growth hit 50 consecutive months, unemployment was 4.6% and the deficit was one tenth of what it is today.  Instead of taking your position of media attention to warn against the looming dangers of irresponsible lending as the federal housing bubble was expanding, it turns out you were one of the two politicians on their payroll, arguing for regulators to leave them alone and let them go even further down that reckless path.  Now, instead of apologizing, you have the AUDACITY to stand here today and tell us it was someone else's fault.  Mr. President, with all due respect, you didn't lead then, you didn't lead us out of this as President and you aren't going to fix things now.  Mr. President, for the good of the country, please step aside and let someone else lead this great country back on track.'
5145  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 17, 2012, 02:31:42 PM
What I don't understand about the Obama/JDN plan is that if you repeal Article Two of the Constitution, who would be Commander in Chief?

Can you have a President just selectively choose which of his responsibilities he wants to do and then what, have well organized militias step in and do the rest?

Did you miss this link of the President making excuses to Hispanics one year ago? Please watch!  Obama the constitutionalist opposes Obama's policy:

George W Bush, McCain, Jeb Bush and other Republicans, Lugar I'm sure, favor some form of amnesty without using the a-word that polls so terribly.  Reagan signed a deal with the devil Nov 6 1986 trading some form of amnesty for border security later that never happened.

Crafty mentions unemployment of our youth, but the ease of gang and terrorist mobility is reason enough to ask the federal government to do their job.

Democrats want no ID check coming in, no ID check for voting and then the power to pass laws that apply to other people and not to yourself, like raising tax rates on only the wealthiest Americans.

Maybe after we remove the meaning of the word marriage from the dictionary we can get rid of the concept of sovereignty too.  All true libs want is one world government anyway.
Text of Pres. Obama from one year ago.  Read carefully.  Was he lying to us then or is he lying to us now?

 With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed — and I know that everybody here at Bell is studying hard so you know that we’ve got three branches of government. Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws.

There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.

5146  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Syria on: June 16, 2012, 05:59:55 PM
"Marc:  I forget where, but I heard conversation recently that seemed reliable to me that pointed out that Assad has major chem-bio capabilities ready to use.  Whether he uses them or the Islamist fascist opposition gets ahold of them is a big deal-- something to think about."

From unreliable sources, the WMD that disappeared out of Iraq was trucked into Syria. 

Largely unreported was the followup story from the Israeli strike on an alleged Syrian nuclear weapon facility:,7340,L-4062001,00.html  If it takes 5 years to re-build, guess what, it has been 5 years.
5147  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 16, 2012, 05:53:19 PM
[From Pres.2012]  "Contrary to his own previous statements on the subject, with his Executive Order BO today blew off his responsibilities under our Constitution to enforce the immigration laws. ... "

Note that this topic went dormant since Jan.  Illegal immigration is down because of the bad economy.  People instead are going home.  Still it needs to be solved - and mass deportation of otherwise law abiding citizens is mostly not going to happen.  

Reactions to Obama's move:

1) Already mentioned, it is abuse of power and a shirk of his constitutional responsibilities.

2) It is an Obama flip flop.  He already said it would be inappropriate for the executive branch to act unilaterally.  They had already done everything they could legally do.  Must see video link below.

3) Picking off the low hanging fruit first undermines a larger idea of acting comprehensively.

4) Roughly 100% of the voters are going to see this as a cynical political ploy to win votes though many with a direct family, neighbor or friend stake in it will see that as worth it.  The Hispanic vote was only 9% of the total 2008 vote and Obama won 67% of them.  Hispanics make a crucial difference in certain swing states.  Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona come to mind.

5)  Conservatives and people who respect our laws may have to in the end make concessions on some existing illegal immigrants.  If the end game is concessions, too bad to look like the enemy of Hispanics during the negotiations.  Romney and Rubio are mindful of this.  They need to win the election to have any power over this or anything else going forward.  But out of that caving and compromise should have come permanent border security, for one thing.  

6)  Romney risks perception of flip-flop-flip with his next move as he went pretty hardline on illegals during the chase for the Republican nomination.

7)  There are other areas of political/economic opportunity: expanding LEGAL immigration of scientists, engineers and business owners from around the world where Republicans still can lead.
Krauthammer, out and out lawlessness:

John Yoo, Executive overreach:

Romney: Obama immigration move makes long term fix harder

Shock Video: Obama Admits He Can’t Do What He Did Today
5148  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants Nigel Farage and the Euro collapse on: June 16, 2012, 05:24:51 PM
Now this is a rant! 
Subject: The coming collapse of the Euro

Wow. Thanks for that post!  Does anyone feel like they were warned?

The problem (IMO) isn't the Euro, but the failure of the countries within the Euro to pursue responsible economic policies. 

I wonder if any of our 'members of Parliament' used their time on the floor here with that kind of passion and that level of clarity warning us about Fannie Mae, CRAp or ACA before they collapse(d) us.
5149  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Economist writes about the US - India Alliance/Friendship on: June 16, 2012, 05:14:37 PM
Very worthwhile read IMO.

India and America
Less than allies, more than friends
America and India try to define a new sort of relationship

Jun 16th 2012 | DELHI | from the print edition  The Economist

“TWO cities where people rarely agree on much of anything” was how Robert Blake, an assistant secretary at the American State Department, described Washington and Delhi this month. It was a joke but, in context, was rather close to the bone. Touting a blossoming friendship, America and India still find plenty to bicker about.

His speech was looking forward to the third annual US-India “Strategic Dialogue”, which brought together senior figures from both countries in Washington, DC, on June 13th. This is a celebration of a partnership by which both countries set great store. Yet the list of issues on which they are at odds is dispiritingly long: Afghanistan, Iran, nuclear trade, climate change, market access, arms sales and more. If this is partnership, some in both capitals ask, what would rivalry look like?

The impetus seems to have gone out of a relationship in which America invested so much under George W Bush. His decision, in 2005, to press for international acceptance of India’s civil nuclear programme, ending a ban on foreign assistance imposed because of India’s refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, was meant to usher in a new era of co-operation and trust. Some of that evaporated early in the presidency of Barack Obama. India resented and successfully resisted his appointment of an envoy with a brief to meddle in India’s dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir. And it was alarmed by his effort to recast relations with China, and talk of a “G2”.

In America, meanwhile, the prizes won by Mr Bush’s huge concession to India can seem at best disappointing. Indian legislation about the liability for nuclear accidents in effect closes to American companies the very market Mr Bush sacrificed so much to prise open. Disgruntlement grew last year when American firms lost their bid to supply India with 126 jetfighters—India’s biggest-ever defence contract—to European competitors. Both sides have moved on, but still, says Daniel Twining, of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a think-tank in Washington, “even the most ebullient supporters” of the partnership in America are “a bit depressed”.

Mr Twining, who worked on the partnership in the Bush administration, says that both sides remain confident in its long-term benefits—perhaps so confident that they neglect the mundane business of actually building it. Two factors, however, are pushing America to reinvigorate ties with India. The near-collapse in its relations with Pakistan gives India an even greater significance in America’s hopes for stability in Afghanistan when most NATO troops leave in 2014. And America’s aspirations for co-operative relations with China have degenerated into a more blatant if undeclared form of strategic competition, as America rebalances its entire military posture towards Asia.

So American leaders are again talking up the India relationship. In Delhi this month Leon Panetta, the defence secretary, called India a “linchpin” of the “rebalancing” strategy. After this week’s dialogue, Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, noted that “the strategic fundamentals of our relationship are pushing our two countries’ interests into closer convergence.”

But India fears being left in the lurch as NATO skedaddles out of Afghanistan. Its security priority is to receive credible reassurances on plans for stabilising Afghanistan and ensuring it never again becomes a Talibanised client of Pakistan.

America, for its part, wants to see India further reduce imports of oil from Iran, with which Indian leaders like to boast of their “civilisational” ties. But on the eve of the dialogue, Mrs Clinton announced that India, unlike China or even Singapore, had already done enough to earn a waiver from American sanctions.

Hopes that something concrete might emerge from the dialogue were largely invested in economics. The two sides agreed to work on a bilateral investment treaty to unlock the huge potential for co-operation. In fact the one area where ties are flourishing—the jetfighter disappointment aside —is defence. India has become the world’s largest arms importer, and American exporters are benefiting, with more than $8 billion in sales in recent years.

Overall, however, America’s economic ties with India do not come close to the huge, symbiotic relations it has with China. India itself now does more trade with China ($74 billion in 2011) than it does with America ($58 billion). American officials would like to see the balance tip more in their country’s favour.

The unstated logic in both America and India behind the drive for closer relations is as a warning to China not to overreach itself and drive them into a fully fledged military alliance. It is still far short of that—more like a mutual feeling that India and America are closer in strategic and political outlook to each other than they are to China. For that reason, America has no qualms about India’s “Look East” policy of engagement with the rest of Asia, or even with its contemplating membership of the China-led regional security grouping focused on Central Asia, the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation.

Experience elsewhere in Asia suggests that America’s confidence in the long-term strength of its partnership with India need not be shaken even if China’s economic links with India continue to outpace its own. The great paradox of Asian strategy today is that the closer countries find themselves bound up with China economically, the more they seek the reassurance of American security.
5150  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: June 16, 2012, 05:08:07 PM
Obj:  "even if he is replaced (and I believe he will be) our work has only begun."

Yes!  Isn't that the truth.

Crafty wrote:  "Question presented:  Can we focus attention on the housing bubble and its true causes or are we estopped from doing so by things in MR's record?"

I don't know any connection between Romney and the housing problem other than that plenty of other Republicans had their fingerprints all over it.  The point to me in housing is to be moving in a direction AWAY from government activism in markets.

Crafty continued:  "Idea:  I'm thinking that it might be effective to "abandon" the Bush rate cuts (which I am not persuaded were all that well desinged to begin with-- but at the moment I don't have the time to see what we have concerning them in the Tax thread) in the name of "lower rates, broader base with less loopholes". "

The country, even if it chooses well, has a timing problem.  IIRC the so-called Bush tax cuts expire this time on 12/31/2012.  Even Bill Clinton gets it that having that investment punishment marker looming will tank the economy further.  Also see Christina Romer's writings on that.  The Romney plan and Ryan plans are good enough IMO if fully implemented.  If growth minded Republicans sweep 2012 and IF these packages could get through a less than 60 vote majority QUICKLY, a much better tax plan as Crafty suggests could be made retroactive back to 1/1/2013.  Problem is that in the meantime the impending increases that never really materialize still will do serious economic damage during the period of uncertainty.  This needs to be fixed now.

We will see if famous people read the forum on that.

Obama believes George Bush screwed up left field so badly that no can play it.

Romney is saying that even if you concede that point to Obama, he is admitting he can't fix it. 

It was bad in the fall of 2008, and the investment collapse had an unemployment fallout.  But the Bush-Pelosi-Obama recession ended in June of 2009.  The 1.2% growth (?) record of the last 3 years since then is all on President Obama and his failed policies.  Growth should be five times greater right now IMO. 

Decline/stagnation was a policy choice.  That's enough of it.
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