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5251  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: May 26, 2011, 12:45:41 PM
"If you require on a state level, proof of legal status for employment or government goodies, you'll see many illegals self-deport."

GM, If we had a rule like that and applied it evenly to all employers, all employees and all applicants, wouldn't that be discriminatory?   wink
5252  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness - Chrysler SUVs saved the co. on: May 26, 2011, 12:42:37 PM
"Obama plans to make this “success” (auto bailouts) a centerpiece of his 2012 campaign"

BBG, maybe his fund raisers can be called Cash for Clunkers...

"But there is one inconvenient truth you won't hear ... Chrysler wouldn't be here had it not defied its green White House masters. Chrysler's return to profitability is a direct result of the fabulous success of its SUVs.

From The Detroit News:
5253  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: May 26, 2011, 12:26:27 PM
I love that joke! From the more liberal jurisdictions I thought the ending would be that he got the ticket for driving a pickup truck.
5254  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: May 26, 2011, 12:01:50 PM
Crafty wrote: "... just what are the standards for determining the line between state and federal responsibility in this sort of thing?"

I would add that charity and neighborly assistance used to be the norm.

During Katrina, the US Coast Guard helicopters flew from rooftop to rooftop until there was no one left to rescue.  I do not know of any purse tightening, scary conservative who opposes that type of use of federal resources.

Monday morning after our tornado I bought a chain saw with my 'self-insurance settlement' and began cutting a path to get a ladder to a roof to start rebuilding.  Nowhere else within sight or earshot had work begun within 24 hours of the twister.  The work that began was to see office dressed people wandering through with clipboards and cameras preparing their cases for third party pay.  

I was impressed to see our postal carrier climb through the debris between homes right on schedule.  He told me the mayor and councilman were on the block (safely above the damage).  Mark me down as a cynic and a skeptic, but they weren't looking for survivors or helping people dig out of their homes; it was a photo opp to begin the case for federal emergency assistance.

When is it federal, when is it state, when is it local, when is it private, when is it charity, when do neighbors pull together and lend a hand ... there is no easy answer or criteria but when we are talking about money and checks after the fact, rather than equipment emergency and manpower to save lives, there will be pork, waste and fraud within those funds. Discussing that should not be off-limits.  The 'quote' under Cantor's picture is not what he said.  The "Duh" that the writers put to "priority" apparently don't know the meaning of that word.  You put a priority AHEAD of something else, not just with everything else. The further away the money comes from the more abuse I would expect to find.  I couldn't help but ponder from my roof with helicopters for gawkers circling, where is my bailout?  So I took the free bottle of water that the Salvation Army tossed up.  (It was the electricity, not the water, that was off.)

North Minneapolis may be near blight now, but when these neighborhoods were built 90 years ago, homes were built solid - with basements well below frostline.  No comparison to Joplin with a type 5, but only 4% of tornadoes are stronger than what cut right through this major metro, yet no one who was able to take cover in their homes and basements was killed.  

Like the argument of smaller efficient cars taking the brunt in a crash, the feds will pay you to build homes with energy star ideas like in floor heat instead of basements with no consideration for where to take caver when the storm hits.  

I can't tell the shame I feel when the Minnesota politicians petition the federal government for cold weather assistance.  Who knew about cold weather?  But in winter it is our turn to dip into the sugar jar if we are going to pay the rest of the year for hurricane damages to people who build in hurricane zones, earthquake funds to people who live on fault lines, tornado assistance to people who build to in 'tornado alley', flood payments to people who build in the flood plain, etc etc.

Horrific in Joplin are the deaths IMO, not the property damage no matter how devastating.  Money after the fact does not bring the deaths back to life and Cantor did not say no federal money. I'm sure no one yet knows what part of this loss is insured.  $3 billion to Washington is a rounding error and who says the feds should pay all of it and why is not okay to question in Washington whether that will be a priority, putting it ahead of something else, or a debt or mini-QE that we will never repay.

Mpls damage estimated at a couple hundred million dollars means that 0.000001 of total assets in MN were wiped out, most of it insured.  That is not something that that a local community could not absorb or rebuild - at least if not for the $44 billion/yr MN already sends to the federal government alone.   JMHO.
5255  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment on: May 25, 2011, 11:19:19 AM
"Justice Kennedy's opinion included an array of anecdotes regarding prison conditions in California, where "as many as 54 prisoners may share a single toilet" "

  - I don't have time to study a case now, but that sounds like the foundation of a solid argument ...  to fund an additional toilet.  How does a factual statement have the words "as many as"..."may" in it?
5256  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Tim Pawlenty on: May 24, 2011, 11:43:28 AM
Tim Pawlenty announced he was turning against ethanol supports - in Iowa - yesterday, announcing support for raising the retirement age - in Florida - today, and unveiling his plans on financial reforms - on Wall Street - tomorrow. 

Courage to Stand.

What did O'bama/Biden/Pelosi/Reid get done this week?
5257  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: May 24, 2011, 11:30:56 AM
"China has warned that an “attack” on Pakistan will be taken as an attack on China"

Just thinking aloud here, but maybe we can cut out the middle man.
5258  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 24, 2011, 11:28:11 AM
"where do you start in negotiations with these people?"

From a position of strength.  Giving what they want before negotiations and weakening yourself is no place to start.

"And while they are despicable, so are regimes in North Korea, Iran, et all and we do negotiate with them.  Why are Hamas different?"

On trade, we took opposite paths with China and Cuba; neither strategy delivered change inside the repressive regimes.  Note that N.K. has nukes and Iran wields regional power and energy power.  Nothing went well enough in any other example to risk destruction of an ally. The ones who would risk destruction of Israel don't consider it an ally.  Obama speaks out of both sides of his mouth so I have no idea what his real view of Israel is.  Mentioned already was that the Palestinian leaders of terror are elected leaders, which takes quick fixes like deposing or regime change off the table, until it comes from within.

"Ignoring the Hamas obviously isn't going to work either."

What does Israel want from them, other than to stop attacking.  Has any previous gift / giveback of land stopped the attacks? (No.)

What I don't get is why all the focus from Obama for a certain failure, does he think he is on the brink of a breakthrough? Is his strategy so deep, clever and well-thought out that no one sees it?  Judging his performance in other areas like our economy, energy supply, budget deficit, etc. I would say no. Was he wishing for the public lecture on Israeli survival he received from Netanyahu as part of some larger strategy or thinking Bibi would roll over when the cameras were on? Quite a naive and stupid misjudgment unless I am missing something.  What point is there in making Israel look bad for choosing survival over destruction?
Crafty already asked: "a) Why was this speech sprung upon the Israelis?  Why did BO not give N. a heads up with sufficient time for some backchannel communications? b) What the hell does "contiguous" mean in this context?  That Gaza and the West Bank will be connected?!?..."

Great question regarding contiguous! Someone please post Obama's ultimate peace map... seriously, with survival, not just an Jewish-Israeli graveyard.

Per capita income for Palestinians is about $1100 in real purchasing power.  For Israel that is close to $30,000?? (  Failed state vs. free society.  That looks to me like the place to start.  Maybe thinking outside the box, our leader with all his deep thinking advisers could suggest some humanitarian path for advancement and self sufficiency along these lines instead of just the endless quest for land grab and terror support.

I would think a 10 year waiting period after all the countries in the region drop their destruction of Israel platform and after the last missile is fired on them would be reasonable before we even ask Israel to negotiate or offer concessions.

Has our current leader with his immense knowledge of history ever explicitly articulated what a good thing it is that the bloody tyrant who paid $25,000 per suicide bombing is gone?
"How do you negotiate with someone who stated purpose is serve as Allah's servant by killing you and yours?"

Why wouldn't those people be more comfortable inside an Arab or Muslim land  instead of living with their most hated enemy and waging eternal war.  Why not have American push that direction, while supporting the survival of Israel, our ally.  'Crazy talk.'
5259  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Prayer and Daily Expression of Gratitude on: May 24, 2011, 12:07:39 AM
Amen to that BD. Worst in 60 years...

Nothing like Joplin MO, but yesterday was my first tornado ever as a property owner - Minneapolis was hit hard also. God Bless my tenants who ran for to their basements and found safety while the funnel ran through.  I have some cleanup to do, these are 2 story homes buried in debris with pieces of the homes knocked off.  Streets closed, schools closed, all wires down, power off, helicopters circling and 9pm curfew. It wasn't looting at the liquor store where the whole top blew off according to the owner they were taking the bottles out on the honor system when he got there. Lots of photos today but it looks about like this in every direction:
5260  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 22, 2011, 06:35:39 PM
Among the short short list of people who know more about the security of Israel than Pres. Obama, this is Gene Simmons of Kiss:
5261  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Fed, Monetary Policy, Inflation: Silver Dollar Irony, Nothaus v. Bernanke on: May 22, 2011, 06:02:29 PM
This could go in the thread of very bad humor or WTF...

Via Powerline: "Our friend Seth Lipsky wasn't able to make it to the press conference, but he took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to pose four questions for Bernanke. Here is the third of the four questions Seth served up:" (all 4 are linked below)

    Mr. Chairman, last month a federal jury in North Carolina convicted a man named Bernard von NotHaus of counterfeiting U.S. coins. His medallions, which he called "Liberty Dollars," were made of silver. When he sold them he was getting about $20 for a medallion containing an ounce of silver, and now the coin is worth nearly twice that amount in U.S. dollars.

    Yet the dollars you issued back when Mr. von NotHaus was in business have plunged in value to but a fraction of the silver or gold they were worth when you issued them. Mr. von NotHaus may be going to jail for years, and yet here you are. I don't mean to suggest in any way that you broke any law, but how do you feel about this situation?
5262  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential: Herman Cain on Fox News Sunday on: May 22, 2011, 05:56:12 PM
I tuned in at the awkward moment described at the first link where Cain appeared to not know what Chris Wallace meant by 'right of return' in the Israel-Palestinian issue.  Wallace jumped back in to elaborated as he was not looking for a gotcha moment to advance his career (unlike Gibson, Couric with Palin) and since there is more than one right of return issue possible.  Cain still looked a bit lost for details.

On Afghanistan, I have previously appreciated his point about people without all the information second guessing the war effort and strategy.  However... running for Commander in Chief, communicator in chief, he should have plenty to say about goals, decision criteria, etc. for a question about America's longest running war.

Did anyone see the entire interview?
5263  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bin Laden dead on: May 22, 2011, 02:34:19 PM
I am skeptical of that story.  Could involve elements of truth and new discovery of facts but seems unlikely that they and no one else know the whole story.  Let's see if the embassy snitch gets the reward.

"Clinton made sure that the vice president was made aware of the situation."

For one thing, I don't think the players on the inside would screw around much with the secrecy set up for the operation, other than Obama who has the power to declassify anything and choose who knows.  Regarding the role of Valerie Jarret, I believe Obama sought political advice when he needed to sleep on it and then approved it with no operational follow up.  Maybe his most trusted adviser is Jarret.  I just don't believe one freelance journalist, if he knows the Pak or Afghan embassy story that is completely new, would also be first to know and tell the whole story inside the west wing story - with all the behind the scenes details.

"Too bad she's not President versus Obama...."

 - Very sad that out of 300 million Americans that Obama, H.Clinton and McCain were the last 3 people standing for that position.  (People, get involved earlier in the process!)

If enough people inside Pakistan knew OBL's whereabouts, how could Obama know he had months to sit still on the information and then strike with complete surprise?  The CIA sets up a safe house in the neighborhood, within view(?), where home visits by military police are routine, and no one in Pakistan knew that either??...

The courier story makes more sense to me.  OBL had more than 30 tapes delivered to the media, with delays and safeguards.  I'm sure we were at least trying to track the movement of those from the first one.  Interesting that bin Laden was denying his involvement in the released tapes but proved his involvement in one that American forces found:  I think we will be waiting longer than the JFK assassination to get the whole story.  Be patient.

BTW, does anyway believe that the trusted couriers were sneaking porn into the compound for themselves, without bin Laden's approval?  The villains of the Batman series were more authentic than this fraudulent religious freak.
5264  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: May 21, 2011, 11:03:17 AM
We could have gov't get the hell out of healthcare and let the free market price it. I know, just crazy talk.....   rolleyes

That would solve it, but for some reason we can't.
5265  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential, Recent college grads sour on Obama, surveys say on: May 21, 2011, 11:02:00 AM
Regarding race baiting of conservative blacks and sexism against conservative women:  Yes of course this happens-- but my sense of things is that the rubber band on this sort of excrement is about to snap back-- people are getting fed up with this crap and Bachman and Cain are ideally suited to be the tip of the spear on this IMHO.

You make a good point.  Also for the next year Republicans will be judged by the field of candidates, not the nominee.  Nothing looks more stereotypical than having 12-16 white guys on the stage for a year, all wearing the same suit, same tie, same age, same background, and saying the same things.

Obama's dual base of rich elitist whites along with the unproductive inner city vote of all colors is mostly not going to switch teams; they've just lost enthusiasm because the expectation of getting big results for doing nothing is gone.  The ground game in the inner city is still ACORN, the anti-capitalism, pro-big-government and welfare rights organization but under a new name.  They will be supporting leftism over color.  Likewise for the ground game within academia, teachers union etc.

A ray of hope with young voters:;_ylt=Ase0UH_am0IDPFioAHCKdJSyFz4D;_ylu=X3oDMTNtaDU5ajA0BGFzc2V0A2RhaWx5Y2FsbGVyLzIwMTEwNTIwL3JlY2VudGNvbGxlZ2VncmFkc3NvdXJvbm9iYW1hc3VydmV5c3NheQRwb3MDMTUE

Recent college grads sour on Obama, surveys say

A very large proportion of recent university graduates have soured on President Barack Obama, and many will vote GOP or stay at home in the 2012 election, according to two new surveys of younger voters.

“These rock-solid Obama constituents are free-agents,” said Kellyanne Conway, president of The Polling Company, based in Washington, D.C. She recently completed a large survey of college grads, and “they’re shopping around, considering their options, [and] a fair number will say at home and sit it out,” she said.

The scope of this disengagement from Obama is suggested by an informal survey of 500 post-grads by Joe Maddalone, founder of Maddalone Global Strategies. Of his sample, 93 percent are aged between 22 and 28, 67 percent are male and 83 percent voted for Obama in 2008. But only 27 percent are committed to voting for Obama again, and 80 percent said they would consider voting for a Republican, said New York-based Maddalone.

That’s a drop of almost 60 points in support for Obama among this influential class of younger post-grad voters,

The challenge as posed in the first paragraph is to get a significant portion of these people who are tempted to sit out converted over to pro-growth, limited government conservatism.  If they just sit out a cycle, Republicans could win this one by default, but the seesaw battle of stagnation, hating incumbents and getting nothing good accomplished continues.
5266  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential: Bachmann, Cain on: May 20, 2011, 06:07:01 PM
One point IMO with Bachmann-Cain is that it is upset down.  He is the executive.

I have defended Bachmann plenty, mostly because she is criticized so strongly.  She is smart and conservative but a bit of a lightning rod for liberals and independents who hate and distrust anyone or anything far right.  A few gaffes along the way, but has done plenty of good for the conservative cause.  Her opponents for her congressional seat keep underestimating her as she keeps winning reelection against huge liberal money in Minnesota's most conservative district, the so-called x-urbs, a ring across the northern metro and outward.

GM is right on both counts.  Cain somehow gets no credit for being black and hugely successful because he is a conservative.  Bachmann, like Palin, is a freak to ordinary liberal to independent women for raising so many children and having conservative views especially in education.

She is somewhat self-appointed as a tea party leader.  I like Marco Rubio's explanation of not joining that legislative group.  Paraphrasing: the tea party by definition is the grass roots leading the elected officials, not the other way around.  Taking that distinction further, I would say that Rubio with a million vote win in a key swing state is an example of attracting people to the movement, while Bachmann is well liked I think only by people who are already very conservative.  Bachmann could not similarly be elected to the senate in Minnesota.

For Bachmann, not brilliant, but the smartest person in the room in this youtube committee hearing clip with Barney Frank presiding and Bachmann questions Bernanke and Geithner about the constitutionality of all the tarp funds and federal bailouts of non-financial institutions.  Bernanke at least had an answer.  Geithner is a blathering idiot and Barney Frank's talk at the end is beyond words.:
5267  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: May 20, 2011, 12:57:00 PM
It makes some sense, but being the smartest guy in the room doesn't help if no one can follow you.

In the 90s, his opponents wrongly took his words 'whither on the vine', a statement about some antiquated bureaucracy, to make it look like a death sentence for all seniors.  It worked because he had already been painted as enemy of the women, children and the elderly.  This is different.  It was his allies who blew their fuse.   It worked because conservatives are already skeptical about his conservatism.

The clarification is wonkish and vague.  "My plan will... "  I'm sure he will have his own specific plan for us to judge the merits.  Like Romney, he is still talking about increased government involvement in health care and producing sound bites for Republican opponents.  He has been in close contact with Paul Ryan for 4 years.  If he is the leader of this movement, where was plan then to show the public when Washington was deeming PelosiObamaCare passed and ramming it down our throats?

If Newt ran a perfect campaign and hit all the right notes on every issue with every group, he still faced an insurmountable problem IMO.  As a loose cannon, drawing questions on himself and alienating friends, GM unfortunately has this about right.
5268  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: May 20, 2011, 12:13:10 PM
From the Newt discussion, thanks CCP, this is worth pursuing here:

Newt:"Citizens should not be able to cheat their neighbors by not buying insurance, particularly when they can afford it, and expect others to pay for their care when they need it"

CCP: Good point.  There is no easy answer to this.
CCP: People don't get insurance because they can't pay for it, can't get it (preexisting condition), or take a chance.

But all these groups know they can show up in an ER and they will get treated.
Above on this thread page, Lawrence Tribe put it this way (in a BD post):  "Individuals who don’t purchase insurance they can afford have made a choice to take a free ride on the health care system."
I feel bad about posting my honest and accurate reaction to Tribe/BD: ("Bullsh*t") because that seemed to end the discussion, but as one healthy self-employed person with enough assets to be disqualified from state plans who now has lapse in coverage, I can say that none of the above is the reason.  In fact, the Republican counter-proposal to Obamacare of last year would have solved my problem, but Dems are not going to allow any partial fixes to pass while Utopia is pending in court.

I paid almost 20 years of major medical coverage when I went self-employed without receiving an insurance dime paid out toward my health care.  Now I desperately want to be covered again but can't find any plan to fit my need.  My illiquid assets are my coverage.  Yes I will be treated in any emergency room or any other medical facility and it will be FEE FOR SERVICE just like it was when I was covered and just like it is for ever other product or service I procure in the economy almost anywhere in the world.  That does not make me a leach on society.  I will be paying the bill.  Not Prof. Tribe or anyone else. 

I am victim of the 12 cent rule.  My experience is that every dollar 100% of every healthcare product and service I have procured was paid by me out of my pocket and watched like a hawk, in addition to the tens of thousands I paid in premiums.  But I pay 100% in a world where everyone else is paying only 0.12 of every dollar of service and don't give a rip what it costs.

Third party pay is the problem, not the solution.  I would LOVE to pay fair market value for medical services I can afford and medical coverage beyond what I can afford, but that would be beyond the value of any bond that Newt would require.
When mandatory car insurance started, we also had the option of posting 'bond' up to minimum coverage in lieu of sharing risk with worse drivers.  That alternative should have been 'post assets of your choosing' - in a free society - and furthermore that partial freedom provision quietly went away once people became acclimated with mandatory insurance.

5269  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential, Rick Perry continued on: May 20, 2011, 11:22:32 AM
From 'The Way Forward' April 21, 2010,  Freki: "I am from Texas and I don't like Perry.  He is a POLITICIAN = weasel.  I do not trust him.  I am a conservative and I did not vote for him in the primary.  If he gets the Republican nomination for Pres he will be better than a liberal but I would classify him as a progressive republican.  Voter beware.  IMHO  - Freki

Commentators are observing that Rick Perry is saying he is out but acting like he is in.  The weasel/politician comment is consistent with that.  There aren't many big names or big state, multiple term Governors left to enter. 

I wrote that I would support our former gov. Pawlenty as conservative enough and possibly electable, but many MN conservatives dislike him and say similar things to Freki's comments on Perry.  I've also shared the story that I was wearing his conservative opponent's sticker on my lapel when I first met him.  OTOH, Pawlenty was house majority leader at the time, won that election and reelection and got things done, like fighting off further moves to the left in the land of 10,000 taxes.  His conservative primary opponent was an outsider, a common sense businessman who got painted early as the scary extremist in the race, not by Pawlenty but by the media and by association.

From Freki or anyone, looking for more details and examples on Perry.  The politician thing is only partly a negative for this job, someone has to do it  wink and the weasel is a clever and successful creature able to prey on animals larger than themselves... 

Texas seems to be the leading state in the nation now after California fell off the edge.  The deadline for a serious campaign I'm guessing is probably early Sept.  If Perry gets in, it could be with a steamroller of momentum.  The more informed we are when it happens, the better off we will be.
5270  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: May 20, 2011, 10:20:49 AM
"The way I remember it the Gingrich Congress exercised control over Clinton spending, cornered him into a major welfare reform, cut the capital gains tax rate, and ran a budget surplus"

All true, and more. Obviously the electoral success of 1994 was based on his vision and direct leadership.  The hemisphere wide free trade agreement (Reagan's vision) was an accomplishment of Clinton with the majority of Republicans and a minority of Dems while Newt was whip.  The capital gains cut was hugely important in the economic growth that employed the nation and balanced the budget, overcoming the slow growth of Clinton's earlier tax hike.  Welfare reform brought pride to the inner city and temporarily changed the direction of the role of government.  Also the telecom deregulation act of 1996 spurred phenomenal growth in conjunction with a friendlier investment environment.  Reelection of those congresses 5 times (even after Gingrich) bolster the point of his success.  The ethics charges forcing him out I believe proved to be bogus and unfair, like what Palin faced after drawing attention in Alaska.

If the Presidential race comes down to who has done the most so far for the conservative movement, Gingrich has already won and there is no second place.  If he is the nominee, I am his supporter.

Jay Cost, not talking about Gingrich, says the party is seeking conservative, authentic and exciting.  Gingrich is now trying to prove he is still conservative.  He has problems with authenticity.  The excitement he is stirring unfortunately is from Democrats.  He quickly clarified and reversed the remarks made Sunday, but damage is already done (and it isn't the first time). According to [Dem] party sources, they plan to use Gingrich's assault on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's plan in a bid to knock down every Republican who voted for it, and every Republican voted for it.

Figuring out Newt's positions is too hard.  I still see him now as more of a strategy and policy guy behind the scenes than as the candidate and the face of the movement.  (I prefer lower key and less excitement, but I'm the midwesterner here.) You can't govern effectively with high disapprovals.  You can't lead effectively without building up your teammates.  You can't win the general election without support from independents, and for sure you don't win by splitting the conservative movement.

His openness for ideas in the American Solutions project was extremely admirable.  Maybe I am too early on this but I say the time for brainstorming is over.  It is time to tell us what you came up with - in crystal clear clarity.

Here he is explaining the Meet the Press fiasco on the Rush L show.  It is for the newcomers IMO (Palin with Charlie Gibson/Couric, Bachmann on Chris Mathews) to fall into a media trap.  The seasoned professional like Newt should instead have led the Meet the Press host into a conservative trap.

RUSH: ... Let's try to cut to the chase here. There seems to be some confusion over your position -- or people's understanding of your position -- on the individual mandate, and it goes back to Meet the Press on Sunday where you seemed to say that you were for a mandate, then later said you weren't; and it sounded to some people like you were being critical of Paul Ryan when you used the term "social engineering" to describe parts of his Medicare solution in his budget. What is "social engineering"? What does that mean to you? I'm not sure I understand.

GINGRICH: Well, can I just take the two one step at a time?

RUSH: Yeah.

GINGRICH: David Gregory brought up an 18-year-old interview, in 1993, on Hillarycare, which we were in the process of defeating. And in 1993, the conservative alternative to government-run health care was you buying your own insurance. Now, I still have not seen the total interview. What I should have said to him is, "Gee, why don't you play the rest of the interview? Let's see the context of that conversation," but that was an 18-year-old tape about a totally different fight when we were trying to stop Hillarycare from taking over health care.

RUSH: But, Newt, I've got some quotes from you from 2004 and 2006, I think, basically advocating the same principle that it's not fair that somebody should be treated if they don't have insurance.

GINGRICH: (garbled) I'm giving a speech in New Hampshire next week outlining how we can apply the Tenth Amendment to solving health problems and how we can use patient power and do it with zero mandates. No federal mandate, no state mandate. This is a topic [John] Goodman and I worked on now for a decade. He's probably the leader -- you know John well -- of this kind of solution. I'm opposed to any federal mandate. I do not believe any state should adopt a mandate. I think there are ways to solve the problem without a mandate. But we're trying to solve three things: Preserve American freedom; ensure that people can have health care; and have some sense of responsibility that if you do get health care, you ought to pay for it -- which is the opposite of the liberal position that you ought to have free health care and somebody else ought to take care of you. So I think that's a very... That position is very clear.

RUSH: Okay, what was the point of the Republican --

GINGRICH: And by the way, I talked with Paul Ryan about this two days ago and I look forward to very much to continuing to work with him -- and, as you know, I endorsed his budget. I wrote a newsletter endorsing his budget. I think it's a very courageous step in the right direction. He concedes that the Medicare part of it is the beginning of a conversation. It's not a final document; it's not the last bill, and I want us to have an approach which allows everyone in the country to be engaged, to understand that it is a better Medicare system that is fiscally gonna survive and that -- if designed right -- will lead to more innovation, more choices, and better outcomes.

So, I think he and I are pretty much on track. What I was trying to say that day -- and I was answering a very specific question by David Gregory which, by the way, had nothing to do with the budget vote. I would have voted "yes" on the Ryan budget. It had to do with this question -- and I'd be curious, Rush, to hear your answer. "If there was a major change that affected the lives of every American..." and not necessarily in Medicare, "...a major change that affected the lives of all Americans, and the party in power had failed to convince the American people that it was the right thing to do, should that party impose that change against the will of the American people?"
RUSH: No, but you've just described the entire Obama administration agenda.

GINGRICH: Right, and all I was trying to say that day was: It's fundamentally wrong for Obama to try to impose a left-wing America against the will of the American people. I believe as a center-right majority we are the will of the American people. I believe we can get a majority for what we want --

RUSH: (sigh)

GINGRICH: -- but that's not what David Gregory asked me. He said, "Would it be okay for us to impose against the will...?" It was a very specific question he asked.

RUSH: Newt, this is very difficult. You're on a cell phone, and because of that you can't hear questions I'm trying to ask you. So this is a bit frustrating for me 'cause I want to go back to three or four answers ago. You yourself said that it was the conservative position in '93 to support a mandate. The Heritage Foundation even had a paper back then supporting a mandate in opposition to Hillarycare, as you said, 'cause they were trying to eventually get to single-payer. Heritage later said: You know, it's not workable; it's not constitutional; it doesn't work out.

I know that's what Gregory was asking you about, but still: People can produce quotes from more recently than 1993 of you advocating posting a bond or having a mandate that people buy insurance, under the premise that it's not fair that somebody not buying insurance should be able to waltz into an emergency room and get treated. So the question is: Why, back in 1993, was it the conservative position to support a mandate in opposition to Hillarycare?

GINGRICH: I think we went through a long evolution, and I've been part of that. I mean, I'll be clear: I think I've reached conclusions different over an 18-year period than I would have in 1993. In '93, we were narrowly focused on trying to beat Hillary, the Hillarycare project. We weren't thinking fundamentally about resetting the country, and I give Heritage a great deal of credit, and I give John Goodman at the National Center for Policy Analysis a great deal of credit.

They, more than anybody else, began the process of thinking through: "If you were not gonna mandate because it's wrong -- at either the federal or state level -- to impose that on people, how could you design a system that encouraged people to be fiscally responsible, to pay for the things they got, and at the same time enable them to buy health insurance if they wanted to? I've consistently said all along: You could never impose a universal mandate. You'd have to have alternatives that allowed people to find ways to not be forced into buying insurance, because I'm very aware of the fact that there are substantial number of people...

I have a good friend who's a Christian scientist, and she said to me, "You know, it would violate my religious freedom for you to impose on me health insurance since I don't believe in using it." Now, I thought... That, frankly, I thought was a very compelling argument. That was part of the evolution as we thought this through, and in the speech I'll give next in New Hampshire I'm gonna outline the patient power model that John Goodman has been building; and I'm gonna suggest that we want to apply the Tenth Amendment to return most of these decisions back to the states and to recognize that Washington has been a grand failure at trying to solve health care in a centralized way.

RUSH: Now, look, this is really uncomfortable for me because you know that we've known each other a long time and I've had such -- and still do -- profound respect, admiration, and even envy for your intellect at times. But there's just some things that are confusing me. There's a June 2007 op-ed in the Des Moines Register, and you wrote, "Personal responsibility extends to the purchase of health insurance. Citizens should not be able to cheat their neighbors by not buying insurance, particularly when they can afford it, and expect others to pay for their care when they need it."

An "individual mandate," you added, should be applied "when the larger health-care system has been fundamentally changed." The reason why all of this matters now is that 26 states are suing the Obama administration over the Commerce Clause violation of an individual mandate, and yet it appears that there are some on our side who have also supported this, and your appearance on Sunday with Gregory... I know he was going back to 1993, but when you answered it also with the "social engineering" side of it. I don't think it's good left or right, that's why people thought that it was a slam at Paul Ryan.

And so that's why this stuff is there and is not going away, because it seems that they can go back into archives and find where you have continually supported it even since 1993, and in the current context of us opposing all of Obamacare because we think the fastest way to beat it is to knock down the unconstitutionality of a mandate it just offers confusion here -- and that's why people are constantly asking you about this. What they want is a satisfying, reassuring answer. They just don't want to think you're not conservative anymore, Newt.

GINGRICH: Well, look, let me say a couple things that you can verify. When Bill McCollum as attorney general took the lead in the 26-state suit, I actively personally supported him. I encouraged him. I spoke out in his favor. I helped him get coverage. When [Virginia Attorney General Ken] Cuccinelli took the lead was the first person to file a lawsuit, I actively encouraged him and supported him. At the Center for Health Transformation we have been wrestling for nine years with the question: How do you have an affordable health system when you realize if you talk to hospital administrators, people have been taught over the last half century that health is their right, and they don't have to pay for it. So you have people who earn 75 or a hundred thousand dollars a year who won't pay their hospital bills. They just say, "I'm not doing it," and we were wrestling with what's the technique? How do you find personal responsibility without infringing on people's liberty.

RUSH: Right.

GINGRICH: As I said, my conclusion ultimately was that these various efforts were going to work -- and I have opposed the Obamacare proposal largely from the Center for Health Transformation for two and a half years. The three best charts destroying Obamacare's credibility all exist at, and they combine, have 115 square feet of charts that you put up a wall. They're amazing. We did all that work, and we actively, aggressively have opposed Obamacare at every stage.

RUSH: All right. Newt Gingrich is with us.

RUSH: We're back with Newt Gingrich here on the EIB Network. Okay, we want everybody to be responsible for their health care, but you now oppose mandates. So how do we solve that?

GINGRICH: Well, John Goodman has developed an entire approach in which he would give everyone the same tax break if they wanted to buy insurance, and the people who didn't want to buy insurance wouldn't be compelled to. Their share of the tax break would go into a high-risk pool. And if something did happen to them, they would then be eligible for the high-risk pool, but they would also be limited to the high-risk pool. And so they wouldn't have -- you wouldn't have -- an automatic assumption that you would be able to go be taken care of except through the high-risk pool because you'd made the voluntary decision you wanted to live at risk. He wrote a book several years ago called Patient Power and we began meeting at the American Enterprise Institute about these ideas in about 2001 -- and he's really, I think, probably the leading student of developing a personal freedom approach to how you solve the health problem.

RUSH: "The health problem" in a lot of people's minds exists precisely because of government, and therefore to a lot of people -- and I'll throw myself in with them -- the government's the last place the solution to this problem should be. The government messed it up; the government continues to mess it up. There's no evidence or proof that people in government are any smarter than people in the health care business to fix what's wrong. Why do we continue to accept the premise?

I mean, you're in a little bit of a trouble here simply because everybody's accepting the premise put forth by the liberals that government must fix, must police, must control health care because only they can do it fairly. We've gotten ourselves into a circumstance... I saw a statistic the other day that explains why we're in this mess. Of every $1 spent on health care, only 12¢ is paid for by the patient. Imagine, Newt, if you only had to pay 12% of every meal you ate. You wouldn't care what it costs, and that's where we are now, and government has created that circumstance.

GINGRICH: You're right.

RUSH: Getting government out of this is the solution to it.

GINGRICH: Right, and that's why my program will be among the most bold in American history at saying -- not just on this topic, but of many other topics -- we have to have a fundamental break with the last 80 years going back to 1932; that we've had a steady migration towards Washington and a steady migration towards bureaucracy, and a steady migration towards redistribution -- and if we're serious about stopping it, this will be the most decisive break since 1932. I wrote a book in 2002 called Saving Lives & Saving Money, which made exactly your argument.

It said: No third-party payment model ever works because you'd never have the buyer-seller relationship, and you only get satisfaction when the person getting this good or service is paying something and the person who's providing the good or service is getting something and they're looking each other in the eye and the system works. Now, how you migrate back to that is very complicated and you have to do it in a way that the country understands it and will accept it. So in Medicaid I will be proposing that we implement the Tenth Amendment by block granting all Medicaid back to the states, letting the states figure out what to do with it and recognizing that Washington has failed and that we need the experiments of the governors and the state legislatures trying to solve health for the poor.

RUSH: Okay, so you're signing on with the Ryan plan, essentially?

GINGRICH: Oh, yeah. I signed on for that part of the Ryan plan from day one. I've advocated consistently from day one, and, you know, I --

RUSH: What did you call to apologize to him for?
GINGRICH: I have talked to him for years; and my wife, Callista, has known him since he was an intern. We're big fans of Paul Ryan. But the second thing I would do, though, is I -- and this is the part of what probably got me in trouble so let me be very open about it. I believe we are better off as conservatives who believe in markets, to design choice for people so people can make the decision that this is better for them.

And when I was chairing the Medicare taskforce in '96, we initially designed Medicare Advantage to be attractive to people, so they would voluntarily go to it. Well, 25% of all seniors have found  Medicare Advantage to be something they like. We began building in health savings accounts, 'cause we want people to decide they like controlling their own money. I would like to see Congressman Tom Price's bill, which allows private contracting on a voluntary basis. I mean, one of these we learned in 1996 with extensive focus groups is senior citizens love to be allowed to choose.

They hate to be forced to choose, and so you want to say to them, "If you would like to have private contracting, if you would like to be allowed to spend your own money, if you're in a position where you'd like to do things your own way, why wouldn't we give you that freedom? We don't have the government require you to buy a government house after 65 or go in a government vacation or pick up a government car. So why not liberate Medicare to the point where seniors can choose?" and then the marketplace -- doctors, hospitals, pharmacies -- they've gotta organize competitively. So it's a more desirable future to accept the conservative personal choice option over the government bureaucrat-control option.

RUSH: Okay, now, I need to ask you because this is something you said on Sunday with Gregory that you didn't believe in "left wing or right-wing social engineering." What is that? Define social engineering for me.

GINGRICH: It's very straightforward. It's when the government comes in and tells you how to live your life and what you're gonna do, whether the values that lead it to do that are left-wing values or the values that lead it to do that are right-wing values. I believe in personal freedom. I believe in your right to lead your life. I believe that we are endowed by the Declaration of Independence, by Our Creator with the right to pursue happiness --and I want a government that is much more humble about its ability to tell you what to do, whether it's people on either side of the ideological spectrum. By the way, it was not a reference to Paul Ryan. There was no reference to Paul Ryan in that answer.

RUSH: Well, then what did you apologize to him about?

GINGRICH: Because it was interpreted in a way which was causing trouble, which he doesn't need or deserve, and was causing the House Republicans trouble. One of my closest friends -- somebody I truly, deeply respect -- e-mailed me and said, "You know, your answer hits every Republican who voted for the budget." Well, my answer wasn't about the budget. I promptly went back and said publicly, and continue to say: "I would have voted for the Ryan budget. I think it's a very important first step in the right direction," and I have consistently said that from the time that Paul first briefed me on it weeks before he introduced it -- and I've been talking with Paul Ryan about budget matters for the last four years.
5271  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential - Presidents choosing Justices on: May 19, 2011, 07:41:17 PM
"...if Republicans offer a philosophy that all classes get equal justice (I know this may be more idealistic more than realistic) and an equal playing field..."
   - Yes, yes, yes!  All the targeted goodies, takings and policies that require waivers are exactly the opposite.

"Doug, you rightly point out the disgrace that wealthy people can have bribing local governments  to literally force people off their property  for business deals.  Well this is a local issue I guess but this has got to stop.  This is one example of unfairness due to economic class."

No.  Unfairness due to bad governing policies.  I don't blame the rich for buying what was made legal and available to them.  I blame the Justices on the court who fail to recognize liberty and oppose tyranny.

It starts with Presidents appointing justices who respect founding principles, and they have not.  Then moves to the Senate confirm that we are continuing founding principles for a new justice's lifetime, and they have not.  Choosing Justices is right above Commander in Chief in the importance of Presidential duties IMO.  Also the most important vote of each Senator.

I wasted years studying the economic relationships of scarcity, demand, products, services, behavior of willing sellers and price theory only to now live in a country where transactions are decided by a politburo of elitists, who know best which private party is best suited to own which parcel.  The Court approved the power of local government to change private ownership by coercion based on money and false promises - the land at Kelo v. New London CT is still bulldozed and vacant.  They can declare my property no longer mine and your property no longer yours; decide it would be better used by someone else, then pay unjust compensation determined another panel of elitists who know better than a market what a life savings or a family home is worth.  That isn't the fault of people who covet.  It is the failure of the people sworn to uphold our guarantee against oppression and tyranny to do so.

Hard to say what these elitists who place no value on consent in transactions or privacy in our homes and businesses deserve.  One thought is to have Governor Huckebee pardon some inmates to move into their homes and offices to enjoy some legalized, unconsensual activity.  When they are done we can ask the inmates to send over what they think is 'just compensation'.

The deciding vote in Kelo was Justice Kennedy who sits in the seat President Reagan chose Robert Bork to serve.  VP Biden was head of the Judiciary Committee that invented the process called 'Borking' a candidate, elevating judicial nomination discord and leading to legalized private takings. President Obama in his minute in the senate, besides voting against raising the debt ceiling, voted against both Supreme Court nominees of his predecessor.  People say conservatives need to compromise more and reach to the middle to win.  With wins like these, how will we know when we lose.
In comparison to Reagan's time, we have the opportunity next year to choose someone who will govern where Reagan would like to have governed instead of where he did.  And they don't Reagan's charisma to pull it off.  Just a clear and focused return to basic common sense and time tested principles.
5272  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Head injury/brain damage/concussion in hockey: What's your head worth? on: May 18, 2011, 11:57:38 AM
Crafty: "I'm looking for leads on good sources of data concerning just how much impact a human skull/brain can safely take."

I recall an ad for helmet breakthroughs that ran during the high school championships.  I finally went back to dig that out.  It is called the Messier Project, M11

A news story this week:  NHL star Derek Boogaard was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment Friday, five months after he sustained a season-ending concussion with the New York Rangers.  There was a delay to announce cause of death; now they say suicide.  The family has donated his brain at his request to research: "... spokeswoman for the Boston University School of Medicine confirmed Sunday that his brain will be examined for signs of a degenerative disease often found in athletes who sustain repeated hits to the head." BU Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy I think will be a good place to start for existing research.

A more simple answer to your question.  Your sport and so many others I think need to figure out how to keep the intensity up but get the impact to the head down.  The better we are able to measure damage, the more we are going to find.  'What's your head worth?'
(Update: The NHL death above is now called accidental overdose, oxycontin and alcohol.)
5273  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Rest in Peace, Harmon Killebrew on: May 18, 2011, 11:21:35 AM
Thank you CCP!  Harmon Killebrew was my childhood hero.  Class act!  It took very little charting to figure where to sit in left field and be guaranteed Killebrew home run baseball.  Mostly from pre-game batting practice but I think I got one every time I went to the ballpark.  Pretty amazing for a little kid, to sit some 400 feet away and have your favorite player hit it right into your glove.
5274  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: May 18, 2011, 11:01:00 AM
(From Health Care Policy thread)

Crafty: "This seems to me to be a very pertinent and troubling question."

Doug: "...given the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment, why isn't a waiver for one - automatically a waiver for all?

The Equal Protection Clause... "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction  the equal protection of the laws"... As written it applied only to state governments, but it has since been interpreted to apply to the Federal Government of the United States as well.
I would like a waiver from the 16th amendment (federal power to tax income) if waivers are available and equal protection is subordinated.


5275  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, budget process on: May 18, 2011, 10:50:17 AM
(From Political Economics)
"This could also belong in the Budget thread.
Maybe I am missing something, but IIRC all spending bills must originate in the House of Representataives-- which is controlled by the Republicans.  So why don't they just pass spending bills as they see fit and leave it to the Senate and BO to take the blame for not passing it?"

You are correct.  It doesn't get spent without originating in the House.  The President's budget (if there was one) gets a hearing only if a house member introduces it in committee (as I understand it).

The problems are spin and ownership.

If Republicans suddenly did what I just suggested - spend within our means (2.2 trillion/yr) now by not raising the debt limit - they will look insincere and inconsistent.  They were willing to spend 3.6T a minute ago.

If Republicans force something like a 3.6T budget, take it or leave it, then the trillion and half dollar deficit becomes theirs, along with all the allege hardship that 'underspending' will cause, hitting women and children the hardest.

Our lead-from-behind President wanted R's to go first so he could accuse and attack.  R's want the Pres. to go first to show they are making serious cuts - while still authorizing trillion plus dollar deficits.

It's an ugly situation.

The answer pragmatically is to identify everything federal that needs to end and everything federal that needs to be downsized, then write a multi-year phaseout that gets us to a balanced budget and full employment in a short period of time.  And stick to it.

One principle they could try to uphold would be to end everything now that they told us was temporary emergency spending.
5276  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 18, 2011, 07:50:40 AM
"With no Huckabee, who in GOP will stand for jobs, middle class?
By David Frum,"

All of them do, just not in the class warfare manner he might like.  He hits it right in the closing.  If more government, more regulation and more taxes are what people want, it most certainly will be there for you on the ballot.  Just hopefully not on the Republican side.
5277  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: May 18, 2011, 07:38:02 AM
For all the accusations of no compromise, what if we said no more deficit spending right now.  The recession ended 2 years ago.  The Keynesian flood experiment of stimulus spending failed miserably to stimulate.  The resulting dependency on government is harming our families and destroying our cities.  Make do with what we actually take in is not even on the table.  Too extreme.

We take in about 2.2 trillion a year right now and are already borrowed to the hilt.  What is the correct amount of spending for that level of income?  A do-nothing congress could actually solve this right now.
5278  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: May 18, 2011, 07:01:51 AM
I can pose this under constitutional questions as well, but in terms of health care policy, given the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment, why isn't a waiver for one - automatically a waiver for all?
The Equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, provides that "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction  the equal protection of the laws".[1]  The Equal Protection Clause can be seen as an attempt to secure the promise of the United States' professed commitment to the proposition that "all men are created equal"[2]  by empowering the judiciary to enforce that principle against the states.[3]  As written it applied only to state governments, but it has since been interpreted to apply to the Federal Government of the United States as well.
5279  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: May 17, 2011, 11:20:21 AM
I am not persuaded by the Huffington Post piece that quotes pseudonym authors and political spokesmen as saying that we may or may not have been able to get this same information other ways, while intermingling the terms enhanced and torture as having the same meaning.  Nor am I impressed with the false, straw argument that if [the Bush people] had all the information back then, why didn't they go get him.  No one said they did.

These techniques led to these pieces of a puzzle and no interragatees were injured.  People could instead be thankful, but that doesn't sell books.

Look at what used to happen at Abu Ghraib with electric currents running through basement water with increasing levels of current, or perhaps the story of Dujail for which Saddam was hanged for definitions of real torture.  They weren't using sleep deprivation or trickery.

Who has the author 'built rapport' with that is comparable to the guy who destroyed 4 fully loaded jetairliners, the trade towers at the opening of business, the Pentagon, and personally beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl for the making of a video?  Again, he should be thankful that what was done in questioning had any success.

"But they comprise violations of human dignity, as codified by the United Nations..."

The statement above seems intentionally vague.  In all this discussion, I am not seeing what the international laws are or really who has the jurisdiction.  The attorney general of the United States sought out and published detailed opinions of what constitutes torture and what constitutes enhanced techniques within the bounds of legality and decency.  (Every liberal conveniently disagrees though they enjoy the period of relative safety that has followed.)  No appendages were cut off, no eyes poked out, no beheading.  Seriously, who do these people think we are dealing with?

What laws, what court and what rights of due process was former President Bush going to get if he had traveled to Switzerland and been arrested by 'international police' for performing best efforts to protect the United States of America?

In contract law, an agreement can't bind one party  without binding the other. Treaties and international accords are different? KSM has rights??  I've said earlier, if these organizations' authority supersede US law, let's get out now.
5280  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment on: May 17, 2011, 10:04:53 AM
"I have taught my children never to assume that a person with a badge at the door is a police officer and to call the police..."

I like this advice and the forethought involved.  If it is police with no warrant but worthy reasons, no harm is done with a 911 call.  If it is false and criminal, the earliest alert has been made.

For hot pursuit to the wrong house or imminent destruction of evidence when you are innocent, you know that is not the case, but that does not change the minds of the officers. 

Seems to me there is ground in between granting permission and actively resisting.  In hot pursuit or imminent destruction, misguided or not, they will be coming in whether you open the door or not.  I still like the idea that for kids home alone or for wife and kids with any doubt, you don't open the door. 
5281  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / California rated worst state for business by CEOs, Wisconsin surges forward on: May 16, 2011, 12:54:08 PM
First a context.  When America was the greatest nation, California was the greatest state.  Calif still is and always I suppose will be the most important state.  There is no perfect fix for the nation that doesn't include turning things around over on the left coast.

This piece is about all states, is titled about Wisconsin surging forward, but if public union reforms in Wisconsin succeed, they can become the road map for Calif and other states...

States of Business
Wisconsin jumps ahead in a new CEO survey.

The verdict is still out on the political staying power of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's collective bargaining and other reforms. But if the opinion of American business counts for anything, he's already helped the Badger State.

Chief Executive magazine recently completed its annual survey of CEOs on the best and worst states for business. The 500 CEOs graded the states on taxes and regulation, the quality of the work force and living environment, among other categories. Wisconsin made the biggest jump of any state, and one of the largest in the history of the survey, rising to 24th from 41st in 2010 and 43rd in 2009. Louisiana continued its rise, moving up 13 spots to 27th on the basis of its improvements in tax climate and deregulation. Indiana moved up 10 spots to sixth.

The Wisconsin jump is especially notable because Mr. Walker and a new GOP legislature only took office in January. This suggests that Big Labor's attempt to make Mr. Walker a national political target had the ironic result of making Wisconsin more appealing to business executives. "Indiana and Wisconsin's governors have been outspoken about wanting to be more business friendly," says Chief Executive director for digital media Michael Bamberger.

CEOs don't make investment decisions based solely on such impressions, but they can get a state a hearing it might not have previously received. Wisconsin still ranked 33rd among all states for taxation, and its grades on other categories didn't change radically. But a company's relationship with employees was also on CEOs' minds. "Rules that make it hard, if not impossible, to separate from a non-productive employee make companies fearful to hire or locate in a state," one CEO wrote.

Texas led the survey for the seventh straight year, followed by North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Georgia. As for the five worst states, you will not be surprised to learn that they are, in descending order, Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois, New York and California. Tax-raising Illinois has dropped 40 places in five years and, as the magazine puts it, "is now in a death spiral."
5282  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Issues: NY Times Editorialists - Selective and Self-Serving on: May 16, 2011, 12:41:28 PM
A must read IMO.  This comes from a competitor, an opinion column in the WSJ, but the points he ties together are damning, and cover a lot of ground.

Corporate Turkeys
The birdbrained phony populism of the New York Times Co.


AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, a case the U.S. Supreme Court decided last month, deals with a somewhat obscure question of statutory interpretation--namely, the circumstances under which the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925 permits states to supersede provisions in business contracts providing that disputes be settled by arbitration rather than lawsuits. The editors of the New York Times, in an overwrought editorial today, frame the decision as an act of class warfare.

The justices reversed a decision of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that held California state law permitted Vincent and Liza Concepcion to launch a class-action suit against AT&T. The company had offered them two free phones as part of a service contract, then charged them $30.22 in sales tax on the devices. (It's unclear, and tangential to the case, why their grievance is with AT&T and not with the state of California, which presumably mandated the collection of the tax.) By 5-4, the court held that the Concepcions were bound by a provision of the contract in which they agreed to forswear class-action complaints.

That distresses the Times editorialists. They describe the decision as "a devastating blow to consumer rights" that entails "major setbacks for individuals who may not have the resources to challenge big companies." The subheadline reads: "The five conservatives of the Supreme Court chose corporations over everyone else."

At least the New York Times editorialists and the liberals of the Supreme Court can be counted on to choose the little guy over corporations. Except when they don't, of course. Contrast today's editorial with one from June 24, 2005, in which the Times cheered Kelo v. New London, another 5-4 ruling vindicating the interests of corporations against those of individuals.

Kelo was the decision of a liberal majority (including Justice Anthony Kennedy, who also voted with the majority in AT&T Mobility.) It held that the Constitution permits the government to seize private land in the "public interest," then convey the condemned land to a private corporation so that a city "can shore up its tax base and attract badly needed jobs."

In that case, the Times scoffed at individual rights, crowing that Kelo "is a setback to the 'property rights' movement, which is trying to block government from imposing reasonable zoning and environmental regulations."

The Kelo decision prompted a political backlash, which the Times criticized in another editorial, on June 26, 2006:

    The ruling set off talk of "eminent domain abuse." What has been lost in the discussion is the good that eminent domain can do. It has long been a key tool by which cities can upgrade deteriorating neighborhoods and assemble land for affordable housing. (The New York Times benefited from eminent domain in clearing the land for the new building it is constructing opposite the Port Authority Bus Terminal.)

Affordable housing for the New York Times Co. What great news for the little guy!

This is reminiscent of the Times's opposition to free speech in the wake of last year's Citizens United v. FEC decision. In that case, the Times's hatred of corporations led it to the bizarre position that, the First Amendment notwithstanding, government has the power to censor core political speech when corporations engage in it.

Well, most corporations. As we noted back then, the Times editorial did not mention that one class of corporations was exempt from the "campaign finance" law in question: media corporations such as the New York Times Co. Indeed, were it not for this special privilege, the Times would have been in violation of the law it championed every time it endorsed a candidate for federal office.

The Times editorialists pose as class warriors against corporations, but in fact are selective and self-serving. Never get into a foxhole with the Old Gray Lady; you will find she is an unfaithful ally.
5283  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: May 16, 2011, 12:27:00 PM
Weaknesses and errors from Newt are sad because of his amazing accomplishments and amazing upside potential. 

Newt is called by so many the smartest guy in the room but his brain keeps working outward to what else can we do, instead of like Reagan, narrowing and simplifying things down to 2 or 3 essential causes and focusing tirelessly on getting them accomplished.

Besides the why he did it, what was he lobbying for when he sat down with Nancy Pelosi?  More restrictions on energy production and use, right as we were shooting our private economy in the foot from several directions creating government induced misery.  Besides misjudging the problem, there was a government-based solution?  And Nancy Pelosi could be the partner to get us there?  I don't believe that.

How do we fight Obama over an unconstitutional mandate by backing a mandate? 

How do we win with the Ryan plan while sabotaging the Ryan plan?  For one thing, Ryan is extremely open to comment and better ideas.  That criticism could have happened in private and a much improved plan could have come out of it in a nation changing press conference.

If Newt had soared to frontrunner, how was the media supposed to diplomatically ask the new wife about how this beautiful romance and partnership began.  Newt should know better than anyone, conservatives are held to a higher standard.  We are all human but you can not live your life less moral than your liberal opponent.

And the McCain experience should have told Newt, you don't bring conservatism to the mainstream by first pissing off all the conservatives.

Smarts includes both book smarts and street smarts/common sense.  Lacking of either is a lacking in smarts.
5284  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Issues, Powerline Blog: Free Speech? on: May 16, 2011, 11:47:50 AM
One media story went by this winter without hardly a word, especially at the source.

Powerline blog is a very influential conservative new media outlet (they brought down Dan Rather for one thing), run by 3 guys, friends from college out of Dartmouth, 2 in Minneapolis and one in Washington, all attorneys sidelining in political commentary since about the beginning of new media, but the names changed a few months ago.

Paul Mirengoff wrote an off-the cuff reaction to the Tucson service for the fatalities of the shooting.  He wrote something like that he didn't personally care for the music at the service, lengthy and of some native American origin and didn't see how it fit - none of the victims were native American. 

The next day he apologized and very shortly after that the post was removed and he was out.  I read that post, found his music observation odd or unnecessary, but certainly an apology or retraction would have sufficed for those who were offended, if that was truly the issue.

Hardly an explanation and no public good byes were posted.  Apparently he works for a very influential law firm working some huge case and some client insisted him off of Powerline or the firm loses the mega-client.  He decided to keep his day job for now.  At about that same time Steven Hayward, formerly of Reason, AEI, Weekly Standard, National Review, quietly joined the group and started posting very ably.

I think Mirengoff will be back on Powerline at some point, when he is done with that law firm or when they are done with that client, and the rotten details of wrongful oppression of free speech in America will be told.
5285  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Issues, Krugman/NY Times: Hostage Taking?? on: May 16, 2011, 11:18:37 AM
Any genocidal analogy to the holocaust is off-limits, but tying spending or budget reform to new debt authorization is Hostage Taking??
5286  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential, George Will narrows the field on: May 16, 2011, 11:12:43 AM

“This is the most open scramble on the Republican side since 1940 when Wendell Willkie came out of the woodwork and swept the field,” Will said. “I think — people are complaining this is not off to a brisk start. I think that’s wrong. I think we know with reasonable certainty that standing up there on the West front of the Capitol on Jan. 20, 2013 will be one of three people: Obama, [former Minnesota Gov. Tim] Pawlenty and [Indiana Gov. Mitch] Daniels. I think that’s it.”
5287  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 16, 2011, 11:08:04 AM
Good Presidents persuade the middle and bad ones dupe them.  Today one side is fixated on persuasion the other is re-sharpening their skills on the dupe.
The capture of Saddam had a 7 week bump.  OBL is bigger and the mission was more impressive.  Let a couple months and a couple of new policy fights go by.  Let's see what polls are saying at the end of the summer.

The one who "assembled the team" and "directed the mission" is the same one who hasn't even started to dither on Syria - or private sector U.S. investment and jobs.  Even a Middle East on fire won't hit home like the new, record levels of the broader Misery Index measures. 

HW Bush still had good likability when the voters decided they were done with him as President.
5288  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: May 16, 2011, 10:38:51 AM
Newt is in... and getting some bad publicity regarding his Sunday show appearance on Meet the Press.

"By transparently running to the middle and sabotaging the Ryan budget, by implicitly accepting the single most offensive piece of policy of the Obama presidency, Gingrich has mortally wounded his presidential aspirations; unfortunately, he's done great damage to the GOP brand at the same time. But perhaps that's no surprise from a man who did an ad sitting on a couch with Nancy Pelosi to warn us all about the dangers of man-made climate change."

(That wasn't the worst of what they said about his candidacy.)

Meet the Press link.
If not for new problems he starts for himself every day, relating to experience he is one guy who would have known how to get positive legislation through congress.
5289  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics - Ohio State Univ. study on Jobs created or saved on: May 16, 2011, 09:54:13 AM
"Charlie Brown as the kicker and Lucy as the football holder"

Lucy representing Leftist policies and Charlie Brown representing a trusting nation.

 A Verdict on Obama's "Stimulus" Plan
May 15, 2011 John Hinderacker

Economists Timothy Conley and Bill Dupor have studied (36 page pdf)
the effects of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the purported stimulus bill) with great rigor. Earlier this week, they reported their findings in a paper titled "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Public Sector Jobs Saved, Private Sector Jobs Forestalled." The paper is dense and rather lengthy, and requires considerable study. Here, however, is the bottom line:

    Our benchmark results suggest that the ARRA created/saved approximately 450 thousand state and local government jobs and destroyed/forestalled roughly one million private sector jobs. State and local government jobs were saved because ARRA funds were largely used to offset state revenue shortfalls and Medicaid increases rather than boost private sector employment. The majority of destroyed/forestalled jobs were in growth industries including health, education, professional and business services.

So the American people borrowed and spent close to a trillion dollars to destroy a net of more than one-half million jobs. Does President Obama understand this? I very much doubt it. When he expressed puzzlement at the idea that the stimulus money may not have been well-spent, and said that "spending equals stimulus," a shocking level of economic ignorance.

5290  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 15, 2011, 12:35:50 PM
Cain raises the bar for everyone. 

Why didn't people say Obama was unelectable?

The flaw I have seen is his support for the Fair Tax which I think is a bad idea.  I have just tried defend him against charges that are false.  He is capable and plenty qualified.  Zogby has him running first among those who are in the race:

Huckebee is out and I think out Palin likely out.  Huntsman probably in.  Daniels?  The field is almost set.  There aren't many others hovering in superhero costumes that I can see.
5291  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 15, 2011, 10:41:04 AM
On the 4th try or so, if we can't identify a position that is too extreme I will just assume it is a color that is too black.
5292  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: May 15, 2011, 09:33:09 AM
Mundell:  On the first point, that surprised me too.  Brilliant guy, I will look into what he was saying.  On the second point , no more than 2% growth which is horrible, he was right on the money so far.  Q1 was 1.8%, surprising everyone else.
5293  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Herman Cain on: May 15, 2011, 09:25:47 AM
Chosen head of the law review (school paper) counts (without ever writing).  Chosen head of the Federal Reserve for a 7 state region doesn't.  Losing one election makes you a loser (politically), having your opponent pulled off the ballot with information you learned working for your opponent, and winning unopposed makes you slime, uh a winner.

I'll never get all these rules down.  

McCain was unelectable, BTW, and he won about a dozen US Senate terms.  Bush won the nomination and election twice but couldn't articulate what he stood for.  A guy speaks out passionately from the heart for a decade on what this country needs to get going again and they call it - entertainment.  Maybe they should have him on the black entertainment awards, I didn't see him there.  You say his show ran 10 years.  The Dick van Dyke show only ran for 5.  10 is a pretty good run in entertainment.  Why was he canceled?  (He wasn't) You still missed his career at Coca Cola, btw.  They understand profits in business where elected officials understand taxes and contributions from business.  He doesn't understand pizza, he understands business and he understands America and what needs to be brought back.  Running a major market radio show is a business.  Reagan came from an entertainment background and spoke out on the issues of the nation for decades.  In hindsight at least, the serious presidential historians called it - preparation!

The biggest conservative convention - this year - for their keynote speaker chose Herman Cain.

We've had one debate.  Most thought the winner was - Herman Cain.  Is that still just entertainment, it doesn't matter who wins the debates?

"Don't chase windmills."  Huh

Let's go back to the old way.  You get to choose who you like and say why.  And we get to choose who we like.  I am looking for a leader who says what he means and means what he(or she) says.  Cain for one presents himself as a very serious man.

Did anyone mention a mathematics degree, masters at Purdue in computer science (11 years before MS-DOS 1.0), ballistics in the US Navy, head of the national restaurant association, 4 years at the fed, Coca cola, Pillsbury, Burger King, Godfathers.  From big corporations to entrepreneur.  From the most profitable companies to turning around one that was not, to public service to 10 years in communications, to running for President, to having some poster put you and your admirers down for chasing at windmills.

'Saying the right things' (and doing the right things), that is what I'm looking for.  If you can show me evidence of insincerity, that is another matter.  On the other side (Obama) I can show you plenty.

Unelectable is a term we can use after the election.  Someone is going to set themselves apart from a very crowded field in the new majority party and he or she will be taken seriously, win or lose.

One thing both Pawlenty and Cain are doing right is stepping forward and running.  Others are looking for someone who is not running, not forming the committees, not doing the groundwork, not at the debates, but come sweep them off their feet.  

Funny that no one wrote off Trump because his experience was only private sector, and nothing close to the background described above.  They finally wrote him off for being a nut.  
5294  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 14, 2011, 10:32:39 PM
Herman Cain: Why trivialize his amazing business career or post about it if you have no idea.  Working his way to the top tier up of 2 large, prestigious, American companies.  Arranging a buyout and turnaround of a major division.  Who else do you know that has done that?  Why list his experience and skip over the fact that he was also chair of the Kansas City Fed.  (Did you really not know that?)  So you call him a radio announcer...  Why dwell on losing once?  Who didn't? Maybe he fits more as an executive than as a legislator.  Let's at least have an adult conversation.  He is a serious man and has every right to run, even with very dark colored skin.  Obama and all his administration lacked private sector experience to an extreme.  Cain has it.  Lacks other things.  No one in this contest has a perfect resume, especially the incumbent.

GM: "What was Obama's experience again?"

Even with 4 years in office, what is his experience.  That is answered something like this, I succeeded at ... and ...  For the most part he had led us incompetently in the wrong direction.  Thank God for the incompetent part or he would have led us further - in the wrong direction.
5295  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: May 14, 2011, 10:15:49 PM
"Take away my deductions, and in essence you have raised taxes"

I think George W Bush put it this way: "You keep more of your own money."

In both cases, people ignore the effects of marginal rates and incentives and disincentives, that is... the amount you would keep of what you make on the next dollar of income, instead talk about divvying up the slices of a fixed pie. 

It isn't a zero-sum, fixed pie economy.  Income, in the aggregate, is not a fixed amount to divide.  If you can't see that in decades of looking at varying policies tied to widely ranging results, I don't know how to make you see it.

To those who deny the role that incentives play in policy and in the economy, I have no way (beyond the hundreds and hundreds of posts) of trying to persuade you.   sad

Reagan's domestic spending, BTW, was his compromise.  You write and link about his spending without acknowledging that all that spending came out of a Dem congress and that he sold 1/3 of his soul to get what he needed on tax rate reductions, economic turnaround and military readiness to compete with and bring down an existence threatening enemy.

JDN, you are roughly my age and lived through those same times.  If you think Reagan wanted to grow the size and power of government over people's lives or are willing to make that false inference, I once again do not know how to make you see it differently.
5296  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 14, 2011, 12:53:24 PM
I am humbled and heartened by JDN's move to the right, from Huntsman to Pawlenty.  In that spirit, I will match and raise you one by moving myself further to the right, from Tim Pawlenty to Herman Cain.   wink
No offense meant to BBG's post, but to those who always say there are no good choices, I say: jump in.
Pawlenty has been the beneficiary of mostly great press for a second tier candidate.  Real Clear Politics found an obscure liberal site (Washington Post) today that compares him with Dukakis  competing with me to be the master of botched analogies.

Yes, similarities and Dukakis did win his endorsement.  Small differences.  Dukakis was running to end the Reagan era of economic growth on a Mondale-lite anti-growth platform.  Pawlenty is running to end the stagnation of Carter-Mondale-Obama with a pro-growth agenda.  Just stay on message.

Pawlenty needs to avoid jumping in the Dukakis tank, whatever the equivalent is for him.  He is not Reagan, so don't try to be Reagan, or anyone or anything else.  My favorite line, posted elsewhere and adapted here: In a world where you can be anything  ... even President of the United States  ...  Be yourself.
5297  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: May 14, 2011, 12:35:59 PM
Back to Jdn's reply to me recently, repeating and clarifying: HW Bush did not compromise.  He was duped.  The Tefra Reagan example witht eh wikipedia description of it is not an example of raising tax rates similar to what Dems want now.  After and including Tefra, rates under Reagan dropped from 70% to 28% and revenues exploded.  To discuss this intelligently, we will need to obsessively distinguish between the following:

a) tax rates applied to income earned

b) tax revenues - actual, and

c) the BS static analysis calculations made by idiots in high places who use super computers to assess policy impact but put in the false assumption that incentives and disincentives have no affect on economic behavior.
5298  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: May 14, 2011, 12:24:28 PM
"I don't understand how the end of QE2 can not mean the beginning of strong increases in interest rates."

Agree- if that meant an impending tightening of money.  I believe he is saying/predicting that quantitative expansion, no matter what it is called, or if it is hidden or denied, will continue.

Paul Volcker in 81-82 tightened money before the productive incentives of Reagan-Kemp-Roth kicked in and the economy tanked.  Bernanke has shown no inclination of heading down that path.  In fact he said the opposite.  The dual mandate to him means that unemployment is of equal importance to the value of the dollar.
5299  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nuclear Power on: May 14, 2011, 11:12:09 AM
Yes, the horrific earthquake/tsunami experience in Japan gives us an amazing opportunity to check, learn, update and improve the safety of nuclear power.  Real information is just starting to come in.  Let's keep this debate / discussion alive beyond the crisis.  We still need electricity, one way or another.
5300  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: May 14, 2011, 11:08:00 AM
The observation Stiglitz made was that "We are all Keynesians now" at the financial crisis point of roughly Sept 2008.

That meant Bush the outgoing President, McCain and Obama which means the incoming President no matter who wins, the entire Pelosi-Reid congress that was destined for one reelection and all the columnists and Ivy league economists that he knows.

My point was that before that and after that they were all proven wrong, no matter who they cocktail with.

Making money available during a financial contraction (Monetary policy) is different than running multiple trillions of dollars of deficits for multiple years (Keynesian fiscal policy) with no measurable positive affect.  It is hitting the wrong problem with the wrong solution.

FYI for JDN, Stiglitz colleague at Columbia Robert Mundell has a Nobel prize in Economics as well and holds a very different policy view, unless he has done an about face since designing the Reagan-Volcker two pronged solution to the two-pronged problems of stagflation last time we went down this road.

Mundell Sees U.S. Growing 2% at Most in 2011 After Confidence `Devastated'
Dec 27, 2010 3:51 PM CT

Robert Mundell, Nobel Prize winning economist and Columbia University professor.

Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Mundell of Columbia University and Bloomberg Businessweek's Peter Coy talk about the outlook for the U.S. economy. They speak with Carol Massar on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)

The U.S. economy will probably grow no more than 2 percent in 2011, less than what’s needed to lower unemployment, Nobel-prize winning economist Robert Mundell said.

“I don’t see economic growth as being any better than 2 percent,” the Columbia University economics professor said in an interview today on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smarts” with Carol Massar. “You had this financial shock to the economy which devastated confidence, and there is nothing around the corner that looks like it’s going to be a strong push for the economy.”

The economy grew at an average 2.9 percent annual rate in the five quarters since the worst recession in seven decades ended in June 2009. That pace of recovery has lowered unemployment from a peak of 10.1 percent in October 2009 to 9.8 percent last month.

Mundell, 78, said the Fed’s unconventional monetary policy actions, known as quantitative easing, had the undesired effect of strengthening the dollar.

“The Fed policy was working three or four times before, but then it was cut off because the dollar soared and that’s what really broke the back of the economy,” he said. The Fed has been “negligent” in not taking into account the influence a rising dollar would have on the economy, he said.
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