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5351  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 14, 2010, 12:39:22 PM
JDN,here are a few points back.  a) I don't bash Obama because it's fashionable. I post heartfelt views here because I can.   b) If 0.6B extra for one of our greatest problems out of 4000B in spending strikes you as 'significant', I don't know what to say except we can watch and see what the results will be.  It strikes me as small, insignificant and coming 100% from political advisers saying that is enough to say we did something, and not at all from border security advisers that see this for what it is to me, an invasion threatening our national security.  c) I can't imagine that this small step could begin to offset the acceleration of the surge inward that I would expect from all the loose talk about amnesty for those who do come in.

"With 12 million plus illegal immigrants some form of amnesty needs to be worked out."   
   - Where else could that level of logic be applied?  How about tax evasion or child abduction.  Look, everyone is doing it.

"I prefer to have illegals in school versus running wild on the street or in gangs."
   - Do I prefer if I am mugged that the money that was formerly mine go toward nutritional snacks for the mugger's children?  Again, I have no ability to follow your logic past the word illegal or that a crime was committed.  And why would you think that they don't vote?  They are counted in the U.S. Census, correct? Propose making the borders open and unattended if that is your wish, and have an up or down vote on it, but do we have to keep playing games with national security and national sovereignty.

"...on Bush's watch ... Where was the outrage then?"
   - Come on JDN, at least argue seriously.  I refuse to believe as informed as you are that you were not aware of the earthquake sized fault line in the Republican Party over borders and immigration under Bush.  For an indicator, political conservatives make up about 40% of the electorate.  When Bush's approvals dropped into the 20s after proposing 'comprehensive' immigration reform that put him close to the proportion of people in the poll who did not understand the question.

"frankly, I don't understand why the Republican party cannot appeal to Mexicans."
    - There it is, the nut of the matter.  We have a hard enough time selling the outrageous idea of having a little freedom and security to Americans in 50 states.  They had to witness Obama-Pelosi economics in action to get any idea what we were talking about.  Now we have to translate and sell to 3rd world countries.  Maybe run political ads in the prestigious Mexico City market or a comprehensive reachout program to the gangs in Nuevo Laredo to start exposing them to our ideas and founding principles before they come and before they are told on the way in to always vote Dem if you want to get the benefits, amnesty and programs that you deserve for your troubles.  What about the Chinese, JDN?  Why don't they have equal rights in America?  If we are going to not enforce borders over land, why is it fair to check everyone at our airports and sea ports?  How many of the 3879000000 disadvantaged people from Asia would need to come here before you would see a security or sovereignty problem?
5352  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Esquire: Long piece on Gingrich on: August 14, 2010, 12:00:11 AM
First must comment on CCP's post of Geo. Will writing about Netanyahu.  I love it that one of his heroes/mentors is Churchill, and no he was not bound to become a close personal drinking buddy with Barack Obama, lol.

I thought I was clicking on a positive piece on Newt when I clicked on "Newt Gingrich: The Indispensable Republican" and kept the tab open until I had time to read it in its entirety.  Apologies in advance for posting/linking a second hit piece on Gingrich in a short time, but this is what is being written.  I didn't realize that Newt is already the front runner in polls and in money. I'm sure that is why the attacks have begun.  If you can wade through the obviously anti-Newt, anti-conservative, anti-Republican slant of the writing, I think you will find in this long piece covers his strengths and accomplishments and his weaknesses and vulnerabilities very thoroughly.  The bizarre writing style wanders in and out of interviews with none other than the ex-wife Marianne and with Newt.  He writes what people said sometimes in quotes and sometimes not. I wouldn't assume any/all of the covered facts or personal accusations and stories are completely true but I will guess that contents of this will become the centerpiece of the future attacks against him.  I don't expect him to answer any of it, just to move forward with whatever his new blueprint for the country will be.
5353  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 13, 2010, 06:10:36 PM
CCP, I brought this quote over from your Cheryl Crow story:  "I remember someone who was not an American citizen once told me (decades ago) "the world is a joke,  Always Remember I tell you this.  The world is a joke".  His context was that it wasn't fair I was an American citizen and he was not.  I had privileges and lived in the greatest country and he did not - only because of a twist of faith.  I was born here he was not.  The longer I live the more I have come to agree he was right.  I always remembered he told me that wondering if one day I would agree with him."

The world is not a joke; it is more of a puzzle, and figuring things out for ourselves isn't good enough.  We need to articulate and persuade and hold certain things without compromise and sometimes to rise up and sometimes to risk all and fight wars to preserve that which we value.

We have (or had) the greatest country on earth.  We need to protect what we have.  We exclude most outsiders, but we don't prevent them from adopting our principles or copying any of our good qualities such as personal and economic freedom, limited government and a market-based, competitive economy into their homeland.

Instead people in these same countries where they love to escape speak mostly the language of anti-Americanism and choose governments opposite to our founding principles. And so do we.
5354  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Non-market Economics vs. market discipline on: August 13, 2010, 05:51:09 PM
CCP: "And make no mistake about it - you can't give access to care to 45 million without costs skyrocketing.  Thus we will have rationing, restrictions, waits, and the rest."

A market has participants like buyers, sellers, investors, etc.  A non-market like Healthcare has who knows what anymore, lobbyists, interests, special interests, union representatives, gatekeepers, caseworkers, and former professionals who are now public employees or worse.

My experience currently that I find relevant is with a public utility which is a government sanctioned monopoly.  Aug. 1,  I called for electrical service because it was shut off on my tenants who had moved out.  (Aug. 1 was a Sunday, they don't answer phones.) August 2, never got passed 'on-hold'.  Aug. 3 got my urgent need heard and secretly entered.  Unfortunately they didn't tell anybody and my request died.  Aug. 11 reached again told same thing.  Aug 12, got someone out to verify old tenant gone.  He said power back on probably 'tomorrow. Aug 13, told possibly 2 more weeks to get electric service - which involves re-connecting 3 wires on the pole, 5 minutes of work once a truck actually pulls in. 

3-4 weeks without electricity, is this a 3rd world country? No, it's one of the wealthiest metros in the world.  A rental home is my place of business.  I can't  clean carpets, light or show the place or collect any revenue while I wait - like a fool.  I even bought a generator and created a new set of problems without solving any.  Meanwhile, major damage sets in.  I am unable to operate a sump pump or a dehumifier, water damage and mold is setting in.  'Customer Service Rep' today said, "we don't care about that..."

Why did this happen?  No competition.  Where else am I going to go?  Nowhere and they know it.  And frankly, no oversight.  I contacted the public utility commission.  They wrote back saying to download forms and file a complaint if not resolved.  That is a neat trick without electricity.  I'll use maybe a magic wand. 

Soon that will be ALL of healthcare.  One supplier, government sanctioned.  If they tell you to wait in line, you can wait in line.  If you leave and come back - go to the end of the line.  If you ask how long, they can tell you any answer, or no answer, with no consequence and no oversight.  If you wish to file a complaint, again - wait in line - you weren't the first to think of that.

I let my health coverage lapse lately.  10+ plus years self employed with absolutely no payout from the policy.  New laws say they will have to let me back in at the same price as the people who kept coverage.  That is not insurance and the new system will have no resemblance to a market.
5355  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: August 13, 2010, 05:03:33 PM
"The alleged serial killer is a Christian from  Ramle."

I respectfully offer different wording, alleged Christian, former Christian, pretend Christian,was born to a Christian family, or raised Christian, etc.  Practicing Christians are constrained by the  Commandments.
5356  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Kagan confirmed, decades of bad votes and opinions to follow on: August 08, 2010, 11:16:01 PM
I would love to eat my words on this.  Maybe she will grow from who she is to being a serious interpreter of the law.  But she got there without any indication of it. What I hoped from this process is that from the conservative questioners people would get an idea of how a great justice would approach the job.  I never had an opportunity to watch, listen or read the proceedings.  Unfortunately I don't think anyone else except a few insiders did either.  So on we go with another lifetime appointment of someone committed to uphold liberal programs and causes no matter what the words of the framers specifically say.  The only good thing that happened was that the opponents didn't at all hold up the choice of the President or the vote of the majority as required by the constitution.  Maybe that will pay off someday soon when the tables politically are turned.  - Doug
August 5, 2010 Paul Mirengoff

The Senate has confirmed Elena Kagan. The vote was 63-37. Five Republicans joined every Democrat except Ben Nelson to vote "yes." The five Republicans were, as expected, Senators Snowe, Collins, Graham, Gregg, and Lugar.

The "no" vote tally was pretty high -- up from 31 in Sotomayor's case -- but there's really no way for conservatives to put a positive spin on Kagan's confirmation.

To get a sense of what it means, think of the three big constitutional decisions rendered by district courts in the past week or two. They are: (1) Judge Bolton's grant of a preliminary injunction blocking key portions of Arizona's immigration enforcement law, (2) Judge Hudson's ruling permitting the Commonwealth of Virginia to proceed with its lawsuit challenging the portion of Obamacare that requires individuals to purchase insurance, and (3) Judge Walker's outrageous ruling that California's Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage, is unconstitutional.

If these matters reach the Supreme Court, as seems likely, I have no doubt that Kagan will side with those who challenge the Arizona immigration law and Proposition 8, and with the government in the case of Virginia's challenge to Obama care. But that's just the tip of the iceberg -- probably less than one year's worth of bad jurisprudence. Kagan is only 50 years old, so we can expect at least 25 years of the same sort of leftist assault on our traditional freedoms and the rights of our states.

The only way Kagan's confirmation doesn't become a disaster is if we are able to elect Republicans presidents pretty consistently during the next 22 years or so, starting in 2012, and thus can keep Kagan busy writing dissents.
5357  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: Ryan answers Krugman on: August 08, 2010, 02:17:53 PM
I know no one here is reading or following Krugman, our nation's Keynesian-Marxist spiritual leader, but here is Paul Ryan's reply to Krugman's latest attack on the 'Ryan Roadmap':

Despite watching European welfare states collapse under the weight of their own debt, those running Washington are leading us down precisely the same path. With the debt surpassing $13 trillion, we can no longer avoid having a serious discussion about how to address the unsustainable growth of government.

Unfortunately, rather than make meaningful contributions to this conversation and bring solutions to the table, Democrats have attempted to win this debate by default. Relying on demagoguery and distortion, the left would prefer that entitlements - often labeled the "third rail" of American politics - remain untouchable, and the column by Paul Krugman of The New York Times is indicative of the partisan attacks leveled against the plan I've offered, a "Roadmap for America's Future."

When I introduced the "Roadmap," my hope was that it would spur an open and honest discussion about how our nation can address its fiscal challenges. If we are truly committed to developing real solutions, this discussion must be free of the inflammatory rhetoric that has derailed past reform efforts. In keeping with this spirit, it is necessary to clarify some of the inaccurate claims and distortions made recently regarding the "Roadmap."

The assertion by Krugman and others that the revenue assumptions in the "Roadmap" are overly optimistic and that my staff directed the Congressional Budget Office not to analyze the tax elements of the "Roadmap" is a deliberate attempt to misinform and mislead.

I asked the CBO to analyze the long-term revenue impact of the "Roadmap," but officials declined to do so because revenue estimates are the jurisdiction of the Joint Tax Committee. The Joint Tax Committee does not produce revenue estimates beyond the 10-year window, and so I worked with Treasury Department tax officials in setting the tax reform rates to keep revenues consistent with their historical average.

What critics such as Krugman fail to understand is that our looming debt crisis is driven by the explosive growth of government spending - not from a lack of tax revenue.

Krugman also recycles the disingenuous claim that the "Roadmap" - the only proposal certified to make our entitlement programs solvent - would "end Medicare as we know it."

Ironically, doing nothing, as Democrats would prefer, is certain to end entitlement programs as we know them, and in the process, beneficiaries would face painful cuts to these programs. Conversely, the "Roadmap" would pre-empt these cuts in a way that prevents unnecessary disruptions for current beneficiaries.

It reforms Medicare and Social Security so those in and near retirement (55 and older) will see no change in their benefits while preserving these programs for future generations of Americans. We do not have a choice on whether Medicare and Social Security will change from their current structure - the true debate is if and how these programs will be made solvent.

Far from the "radical" label that critics have tried to pin on it, the Medicare reforms in the "Roadmap" are based on suggestions made by the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare, chaired by Sen. John Breaux (D-La.). That commission recommended in 1999 "modeling a system on the one members of Congress use to obtain health care coverage for themselves and their families." With respect to Medicare and Social Security, the "Roadmap" puts in place systems similar to those members of Congress have. There has been support across the political spectrum for these types of reforms.

By dismissing credible proposals as "flimflam," critics such as Krugman contribute nothing to the debate. Standing on the sidelines shouting "boo" amounts to condemning our people to a future of managed decline. Absent serious reform, spending on entitlement programs and interest on government debt will consume more and more of the federal budget, resulting in falling standards of living and higher taxes as we try to sustain an ever larger social welfare state.

The American people deserve a serious and civil discussion about how to reduce our exploding debt and deficit. By relying on ad-hominem attacks and discredited claims, Krugman and others are missing an opportunity to contribute to this discussion and are only polarizing and paralyzing attempts to solve our nation's fiscal problems.

I reject the notion that these problems are too big or too difficult to tackle or that it is acceptable to leave future generations of Americans an inferior standard of living than we enjoy. The "Roadmap" shows that a European-style social welfare state is not inevitable, that it is not too late for our nation to choose a different path and that we can do so in a way that preserves our freedoms and traditions.

5358  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 08, 2010, 02:03:36 PM
"Panic setting in at WH over economy"

The panic at the White House is over the loss of political power.  The economic carnage is really not that surprising based on their stubborn adherence to anti-growth policies.

Kudlow is right.  4% growth is needed to move at all out of this conundrum. Economists typically consider breakeven 'growth' to be around 3.1%  Anything less is moving in the wrong direction.

But sustained 4% growth is not possible with anti-growth, anti-wealth, anti-private-sector policies.  Divided government alone, after the election, is not going to fix that.  The Dem party needs to reform its views economically from the inside, but it is the liberals representatives in liberal districts that will survive this and the moderate Dems in conservative leaning districts that will be leaving congress.
5359  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: Chief Economic Adviser Cristina Romer - Out on: August 08, 2010, 11:06:41 AM
Regarding the Romer research paper that demonstrated that an exogenous tax increase, like the one coming Jan. 1, will be HIGHLY CONTRACTIONARY.  Crafty wrote (over at Tax Policy): "Isn't C. Romer that chunky bureaucratic drone female who is BO's chief economist?  Fascinating that she would think this AND publish it!'

We were all over this one, Romer is OUT.  Gone like McChrystal. Publishing economic consequences of irresponsible policies is now considered insubordination.  Let me guess, she wants to spend more time with family...

Christina Romer, chair of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, to resign

5360  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Way Forward - Need Leaders and Leadership on: August 08, 2010, 10:38:32 AM
I watched R-leader Rep. Boehner today on Meet the Press.  Very lousy interview mostly because of the interviewer.  Boehner looked a couple of times like he needed a script and much of the times like he was reading from one.  He was being careful to not make news by saying something controversial, mostly missed the opportunity to set a positive agenda and draw in new people to the cause.  Mike Pence followed and was far more personable.  Paul Ryan is more articulate, disciplined and persuasive.  Boehner is a good guy and I would give him a B as minority leader but someone new, more dynamic and visionary should be the next Speaker.  Boehner did say they would be introducing something of an agenda or campaign platform after Labor Day.  Looking forward to it!

At the RNC, I might give Michael Steele a D for his job performance so far, yet would still probably keep him for his term.  More important over there is the behind the scenes work at the RNC which is probably D work too, but who knows.  I don't understand that a first black President spends his time reaching out to liberal elites, offers the inner city of America only free, borrowed money, and then a black RNC Chair reaching out only to known rich Republican donors.  Where is the real outreach?  Michael Steele IMO should use his position to round up a rainbow coalition of free thinkers and take the message directly into the worst inner-city neighborhoods in this country that it is the economic freedoms, not the government programs, that brings prosperity.  Not with the expectation of suddenly winning the minority vote, but to at least put the word out that there is a conservative viewpoint to consider and plenty of intelligent people of color and different ethnicities are joining in.

Nationwide, the grassroots tea party movement and the broadbased rejection at the opinion poll level of the Pelosi-Obama agenda has been phenomenal.  Leadership for the most part is lagging or missing so far.
5361  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 06, 2010, 11:03:46 AM
Hey CCP,  (You should bring your last post over to here)
"why don't [networks] give us the real objective picture about illegals."

The latest news from our metro we are up 19 Somalians from Minneapolis charged with Al Qaida-tied terrorist activities.  This is not about heritage, it is about right to know and control who comes in, what for, and how long they will be staying.

As argued on L. issues, our cops can follow any one of us for nothing and watch for a screwup to pull us over, but feds don't track people they know came in, then insist we play 'don't ask, don't tell' across the fruited plain.

It's not good for security.  The good news is that now it is on the radar screen politically and this is a pivotal year.
In Minneapolis, 19 people have been charged in the FBI's investigation into a terror recruiting operation
Read the detailed timeline too long to post. The ties of terror to twin cities communities and the revolving door travel in and out of MN to terror locations is freightening and that is just the part we know about.
5362  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Prop 8 Gay Marriage on: August 06, 2010, 10:28:17 AM
As I understand it a Calif. Federal judge struck down Prop.8 which was the right of the state to define the participants in a marriage.  The judge recognized marriage as a fundamental right and therefore too heavy a burden for any other factor to justify denying anyone that right.

But the fundamental part of marriage is that one man and one woman can make this commitment to become what we call husband and wife.  Anything else is a new right, a new definition, a new tradition.

There was an important point made on another issue on the board about equal circumstance that applies and the entire progressive tax collection systems and entitlement payment systems are built on it, called equal circumstance  One taxpayer is taxed differently on his next dollar earned than another taxpayer. The reason that passes for 'equal protection' is that IF either person were in the other's circumstance, they would be treated the same as the other.

Isn't that EXACTLY the same as a gay person's opportunity to marry.  One gay man has the same right to fall in love and marry one woman and become husband and wife as anyone else does, and receive all the rights, burdens and privileges.. A former governor of New Jersey comes to mind; he had children, filed joint returns, spousal privilege, all of it.  Same with Billie-Jean King, a married woman who happened to be lesbian, and I assume thousands or millions of other people.  They didn't get all they wanted in life out of their marriage; neither do plenty of heteros, but they did have the fundamental right.  Man-woman marriage for a gay person is just as likely and accessible as other areas of established law such as the possibility of an actively practicing physician qualifying for food stamps of a homeless man being levied with a yacht tax.  It is what we call equal protection, different circumstances.

This issue will be settled once and for all just like all the other great divisive issues of our time.  It will come down to what mood Anthony Kennedy is in that day.
5363  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Coulter on anchor babies and the 14th on: August 06, 2010, 09:35:04 AM
I regret to say that Ann Coulter makes more sense on this than our friends here who argued the opposite.  Quotes like this if actual are very persuasive: 

The very author of the citizenship clause, Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan, expressly said: "This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers."
5364  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iraq- Mission Accomplished version 2.0, Obama's weird victory lap on: August 06, 2010, 09:24:19 AM
Ralph Peters in the NY Post has a good read on the situation IMO:

President's weird 'victory' lap

One president gave his premature "Mission Accomplished" speech about Iraq on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Now another has given his own version as part of a Chicago-ward-politics sales pitch to disabled veterans.

The difference is that the first guy was sincere.

President Obama's pork-barrel speech to the Disabled Veterans of America yesterday (if you want to help our vets, shut up and do it) would have drawn a blush from those Soviet propagandists who cropped purged Politburo members from Stalin-era photographs.

Ignoring his own opposition to the liberation of Iraq, supporting our troops and the surge, Obama spoke as if all's well in Baghdad -- thanks to him.

As part of his weird victory lap, the president rightfully praised the way "our troops adapted and adjusted" to the insurgency in Iraq, then stressed that 90,000 service members have come home during his administration.

He preened that we'll meet his Aug. 31 deadline to transition "from combat to supporting and training Iraqi security forces" and reaffirmed that we'll remove the last of our troops in 2012. But the portion of yesterday's speech that focused on Iraq left out . . . Iraq.

While that country has passed its military crisis, it's now in political turmoil -- from which our government has utterly disengaged. We won that war, but we still can lose the peace. Obama shunned the fact that, almost half a year after its last national election, Iraq doesn't have a new government. Determined to abandon "Bush's war," Obama's been AWOL in Baghdad.

His neglect may prove disastrous. And the saddest aspect is that the Iraqis wanted us to step in and act as referees, to press them to get past their political differences.

The Iraqi elections were so close that both main camps claimed victory. In the macho atmosphere of Iraq, neither side could back down or compromise after that without an excuse ("Those mean Americans made me do it!"). Our essential and dirt-cheap role would have been to hand the posturing parties a fig leaf.

We've seen this before, in the Balkans, where all sides wanted to stop fighting but were too macho to be the first to suggest a truce. When American troops arrived, they had their excuse. We just don't get it that a key role for our soldiers and diplomats is to enable foreign parties to do what they already want to do themselves.

The situation in Iraq this year didn't call for more troops. Those force reductions were fine. But after hearing for years about the supremacy of political over military solutions, it was odd to witness this administration's neglect of basic statesmanship (which opened the door to the Iranians).

The problem is that this White House and its left-wing base now believe their own propaganda that Iraq was just a distraction, that Afghanistan's all that matters.

So when his script reached the part about Afghanistan yesterday, the president spoke with the rhetoric of a warlord, insisting that "we are going on the offensive against the Taliban" and "we will disrupt, we will dismantle and we will ultimately defeat al Qaeda."

Apart from sounding like George W. Bush (after extensive training by a public-speaking coach), it was noteworthy that, in the course of rattling his light saber, Obama didn't mention his deadline for troop withdrawals from Afghanistan next year.

We'll see how that one goes. Meanwhile, the really-big-booboo aspect of his speech was Obama's utter refusal to acknowledge that Iraq matters to us at all, that it has any strategic value. Yet Iraq, not Afghanistan, lies at the heart of the Middle East, has a profound psychological grip on the Arab world, possesses a critical geo-strategic location -- and, yes, has a lot of oil.

Even a sloppy, kinda-sorta, not-downright-awful outcome in Iraq improves the Middle East enormously. But all this administration cares about is getting out. We're in danger of throwing away seven years of sacrifices -- many made by those disabled veterans to whom Obama pandered -- because our president won't tell our diplomats to step up.

Sure, some on the left would delight in a belated disaster in Iraq to spite the long-gone bogeyman, George W. Bush. I do not believe President Obama is among them. He just doesn't understand the stakes in Baghdad -- and doesn't want to.

But, then, he never has.
5365  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: August 06, 2010, 07:57:53 AM
Craftt  VERY interesting post, very plausible.  All makes sense except for asking what Obama will do?   Calculate exactly what the right thing is and he will do the opposite.  If a response fast and strong is called for, he will announce commissions, sponsor UN resolutions and condemn the wrong side.
5366  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 05, 2010, 11:15:04 AM
The pardon question is interesting.  I don't see how that would grant citizenship.  For the Pres. to grant blanket citizenship appears to be outside of his powers. If it requires congress, hard to believe any amnesty deal could get through right now that allowed immediate voting to change the next election.  He would love to have the amnesty citizenship legacy with healthcare, even as a one-termer, still I don't think he could get a that deal through 60 senators before or after the correcting midterms and not through the House either.  People are upset about this in places like Nebraska, not just Arizona.  Suing AZ and stirring up the controversy is helping him presumably with Hispanics and maybe that is his intent, but it is not helping him overall - his Gallup approval sunk to 41 this week.

An email is circulating that attributes the following to Gov. Jan Brewer.  I can't find that she said it, but these are the points she could have / should have made back to the protesting Phoenix Suns.  Those who complain about Arizona law seem to have their own obsession with 'secure borders'.

'What if the owners of the Suns discovered that hordes of people were sneaking into games without paying? What if they had a good idea who the gate-crashers are, but the ushers and security personnel were not allowed to ask these folks to produce their ticket stubs, thus non-paying attendees couldn't be ejected. Furthermore, what if Suns' ownership was expected to provide those who sneaked in with complimentary eats and drink? And what if, on those days when a gate-crasher became ill or injured, the Suns had to provide free medical care and shelter?'
5367  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Maxine Waters on Corruption on: August 04, 2010, 12:02:49 AM
We could all use a little talk about the evils of corruption.  Here is Maxine Waters 1995 giving an impassioned lecture about the (bogus) accusations against then Speaker Gingrich:

Compliments of CSPAN and pointed out by Drudge.

"The American public does not appreciate double standards."  "...[Gingrich] must account for any and all of the wrongdoing!" [and suffer the consequences]

5368  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Abortion - Partial Birth, After Birth, What is Birth? on: August 03, 2010, 06:15:25 PM
If anyone admitted being offended by abortion, by partial birth abortion, or by the thought of a Doctor chasing a botched abortion newborn around the hospital room to fulfill her 'choice' , then maybe they could use this footage of Barbara Boxer equivocating on the senate floor some years ago against her now.  George Will mentioned this video after being accused of taking her statement below out of context.  What she did say is that a baby is born when the mom takes it home from the hospital.  Pressed harder she said, it's born when the mom holds it in her arms. She clearly didn't like being asked if it had constitutional rights when all but a foot or a toe is delivered. 

Remember that our sinking Commander in Chief is just to the left of Barbara Boxer on this issue.

Will wrote: "when asked during a Senate debate whether the baby has a right to life if it slips entirely out of the birth canal before being killed, she replied that the baby acquires that right when it leaves the hospital: “When you bring your baby home.” Fiorina believes that science—the astonishing clarity of sonograms showing the moving fingers and beating hearts of fetuses; neonatal medicine improving the viability of very premature infants; the increasing abilities of medicine to treat ailing fetuses in utero—is changing Americans’ sensibilities and enlarging the portion of the public that describes itself as pro-life."

Maybe we will see just how pro-life the elusive Republican Hispanic vote is in this contest when forced to choose between basic values and massive government.
5369  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics of Health Care: New Heath Care System Chart on: August 03, 2010, 12:22:03 PM
Somehow last week I put this under Health Thread instead of Politics of Health Care.  This is no joke; this is actual charting of the new system as researched and published at the Joint Economic Committee.  Please click on the link and enlarge the pdf to see the details:
5370  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Music: Jerry Garcia on: August 03, 2010, 12:14:48 PM
A nice post on powerline over the weekend about one of my guitar heroes.  Unlike CCP's experience, Garcia always gave credit to his lyricist and to the original writers of the songs he performed even though he normally changed the songs musically to his liking.  The song below is from BB King. 

Today is the anniversary of Jerry Garcia's birth and an appropriate occasion to remember his contribution to American popular music. Garcia made his mark as a musician and songwriter with the Grateful Dead, but at heart he remained an unreconstructed devotee of folk, bluegrass and country music. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of folk music in particular. Garcia's devotion to traditional American music was the source of the Dead's commercial breakthrough with the beautiful Workingman's Dead and American Beauty albums in 1970 .

Garcia's inventive work with the Dead on electric guitar is well known; less so is his work on acoustic guitar with mandolin virtuoso David Grisman. Garcia had a long friendship with Grisman dating back to 1964 based on their mutual love of bluegrass music. Garcia recruited Grisman to make a key instrumental contribution to American Beauty. In the mid-1970's Garcia joined forces with Grisman in the bluegrass ensemble Old and In the Way.

Garcia played distinctive Scruggs-style banjo while Grisman, Peter Rowan (guitar), John Kahn (bass) and Vassar Clements (fiddle) filled out the group.

Garcia and Grisman continued recording together mostly for fun over the years. In the atmospheric video below they play an acoustic version of B.B. King's "The Thrill is Gone." In his biography of Garcia, Blair Jackson quotes the director of the video (the son of one of the Dead's drummers) regarding Garcia: "We cut his hair, put him in a suit and tie, and had him there for twelve hours." The director quotes Garcia saying, "I'd never do this for the Grateful Dead, never in a million years."

Garcia died of a massive heart attack at age 53 in 1995 while in treatment for a nasty heroin habit. Jackson suggests that Garcia was persuaded to enter treatment because of the toll his habit was taking on his health and his playing. The devastation wrought by drugs on so many talented musicians of the 1960's is a story that remains to be told.
5371  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / ObamPelosiCare makes more sense when you see this simple flow chart on: July 29, 2010, 03:14:13 PM
5372  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues: Prop 187 on: July 29, 2010, 02:58:34 PM
Curious Crafty if you could expand on your observations from Prop. 187.  There are/were a minority of Republicans in the state but a majority of Californians supported it, so how was it so completely spun against R's?  Did it go too far or are you saying it shouldn't have been pushed at all??

I still thing the best course besides securing the border is to scale back welfare and transfer payments of all types to all people, so that illegals or Hispanics are not singled out and illegals aren't lured in for the wrong reasons.

Every amnesty card should include an enforced promissory note for one share of our total debt paid over let's say 30 years with interest.
5373  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: July 29, 2010, 02:45:25 PM
"What freedom don't you have now that you had pre-PATRIOT act?"

I would second that question.  I'm angry about freedoms we have lost, but the Patriot Act isn't of that at least on my list.  If Khalid from Pashtun tries to reach Ahkbar in the London subway with some last minute details and because some sand got in his phone keyboard he dials your number instead, 10 minutes before detonation, and then his phone is recovered with your number in it, you might expect to have a little scrutiny coming from a curious government. I would hope. 

The Healthcare Act OTOH is going to take away all kinds of liberties, choices and privacies that we once enjoyed.
5374  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: July 29, 2010, 02:29:46 PM
CCP,  The female equivalent might be shopping, not gazing at men.  I think the brains are wired differently.  Who thinks up these studies anyway, charts the minutes that they stare, proves they lived longer and then bills back the government for research?  Pretty good work if you can arrange it.
5375  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / stocks and savings on: July 28, 2010, 02:58:07 PM
The 10 myths are excellent.  I have become pro-mutual funds, but buying 2 or 3 similar ones is not diversification.  A couple of thoughts on the topics:

We live in a debt society now.  Your total savings for rainy day 'is now called 'available credit'.  Tucking money away is when you buy down your debt, high interest first.  Making a bold move toward security is to max up those equity credit lines while you can.  I can't imagine tucking money away intentionally in a bank at 1% when you expect inflation to be 3% going possibly to the mid-teens. 

My grandpa said about business, don't take on partners.  The stock is a share of ownership but you share that ownership with fickle people that lean with the wind regarding their ownership and with people who buy and sell in the millisecond with realtime computer programs - not exactly teammates.  I used to chase after the individual stocks.  Now I would say invest in your own business if you can, where you have some control over it, or pick out a fund from a place like T Rowe Price ( where you can get any fraction of it in or out any day without a direct fee and yet can participate in the market with at least some level of professional management.  (MHO)
5376  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: July 28, 2010, 02:16:41 PM
A true story can come from anywhere, but it seems when they brag about superior healthcare in other countries, they refer to coverage more than outcomes.
5377  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc. on: July 28, 2010, 02:11:40 PM
CCP, I don't know anything about her either but I also suspect she will be known (and attacked) soon.  I know that on Obama's statements he is more false than true on every point.  This will spill over to media issues quickly because so far nine out of nine hits searching 'Google News' with her name point to blog or opinion sites, not network, wire or newspaper coverage. 
5378  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WhisleBlower Files FEC Complaint: ACORN-Obama Campaign Illegal Coordination on: July 28, 2010, 10:46:59 AM
Candidate Obama lied in a Presidential debate about his (illegal) relationship with ACORN.

Anita Monchief released ACORN's version of the Obama Donor list that is more complete than anything the FEC or public had:   Obama has denied this is the list.  She has put it out now for the public to judge.

The purpose of Obama giving the secret list to ACORN was for them to work the list again and get around the laws regarding maxed-out presidential donors for additional contributions. 

She went to the New York Times MONTHS before the election with the list.  They wouldn't report anything they found to be "game changing" so close to the election.  Now she is filling a formal FEC complaint:

"As a confidential source for the New York Times, I turned this document over to reporter Stephanie Strom months before the 2008 presidential elections and though the list includes information more complete than what the Obama campaign turned over to the Federal Election Commission, the NYT decided to bury the story."

"Strom and I used pseudonymous e-mail addresses while communicating and in 2008, Strom wrote:"

    “I’m calling a halt to my efforts. I just had two unpleasant calls with the Obama campaign, wherein the spokesman was screaming and yelling and cursing me, calling me a rightwing nut and a conspiracy theorist and everything else…”

After this weeks revelations about the efforts of the liberal media to cover-up or spike stories damaging to Obama, Strom’s next words are even more telling:

    “What’s happened is that the campaign has answered some of my questions on the record — but when I sought on-the-record answers to my questions about the meeting and about the list, the campaign insisted on speaking only on background. When I asked why, I got the barrage I described earlier. Clearly, I’ve hit a nerve with what you’ve told me. The campaign knows that having the allegations of meeting attributed to ‘former employees’ — and there are more than one of you talking — and having an anonymous denial of the meeting makes it harder for me to get it into the paper.”

In 2008 the liberal media provided the cover needed for Obama to get elected, but two years later, questions remain about his relationship with ACORN and it has been clear that Obama has lied repeatedly to the American people. Its time to get Obama and ACORN on the record about what really happened with the donor lists in 2007 and 2008.

The release of the Obama donor list to the public will be followed by a formal complaint to the FEC, which both Obama and ACORN will have to respond to – on-the-record.

In 2009, the Democrat controlled Judiciary Committee heard testimony from attorney Heather Heidelbaugh, who read my 2008 testimony against ACORN into Congressional record. Evidence, and sworn testimony were among the facts ignored by the members of the committee:

    “Based on the testimony, Project Vote, ACORN and other ACORN affiliated entities illegally coordinated activities with the Obama presidential campaign, converting the expenditures by Project Vote, ACORN and ACORN affiliated entities to illegal, excessive corporate contributions to the Obama presidential campaign, in violation of federal law.”

Video from the final 2008 debate, ACORN answer at the 2 minute mark, but watch it all for context and see: Lie, lie, lie.
5379  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: July 28, 2010, 09:52:01 AM
"The lobbies are financing elections and reelections, that has corrupted the process."

The lobbyists and campaign contributions make perfect sense when they are used to defend the business or industry against legislation that would harm them.  But you would think that any proposed legislation designed with preferential treatment for an individual business or industry would be instantly rejected as opposing our founding principles.  Not so. 

5380  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Policy: Dick Armey on: July 27, 2010, 06:03:47 PM
I heard this on the radio without knowing the discussion:

"After they take your income, they will come for your things."

Property tax is one example where you are taxed for mere ownership, even though the ownership is lawful and made with after-tax dollars.  My property taxes are greater than my income.

The other of course is the estate tax where is taxed for the mere accumulation of AFTER TAX DOLLARS!

Both are going up.  They raise for the rich first, and then on you.   Fight them at every step.  Don't agree to any new taxes or any increases IMO.  It is much like parenting of 2-3 year olds.  How else will they ever learn to behave within limits?
5381  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / ACTION item: Retire Harry Reid, Support competitive Senate and House candidates on: July 27, 2010, 02:19:50 PM
Rarick and Crafty's posts on Sharron Angle are right on the money.  She would be a breath of fresh air in the senate.  She could send Harry Reid packing and take away any charge that a new Republican congress would be a return to politics of the past.  Republican leadership of the past will have a very hard time controlling people like Sharron Angle or Rand Paul.

Harry Reid symbolizes all that is wrong - for Nevada and for the U.S.  Very seldom is there much we can do to change the course of history, but everyone should stop right now and look at where they can best make a difference within their own means.  Pick out some meaningful house races and a few senate races if you can and send in something.  My theory is that if your contribution is small it still improves their momentum in terms of money and contributor count and smaller amounts help the PR campaign by lowering the average contribution.  Or send large amounts or make your own sign - whatever it is you can do.  I mostly sat and watched as Al franken stole our state and nationalized healthcare.  Do whatever it is that will leave you in November and the next 2 years with no regrets.  Do it EARLY in the election cycle where it can do the most good.  Harry Reid is well funded, but really better suited for retirement.

Take back this country!

Donate to Sharron Angle, $61 for her 61st birthday or ??

Rand Paul:

Other competitive races can be identified here as races that lean or are toss-ups -
5382  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics: A few cracks in Obama's Hispanic support on: July 27, 2010, 01:21:40 PM
First, Freki - the Thomas Sowell clip was excellent.  You can put him in with Madison and Jefferson for timeless wisdom in my view.
Posted previously, Dems generally win Hispanic vote by about 60-40.  For Obama that was 67% to 31%.  Getting back to 60-40 would be something and anything approaching 50-50 would be political landscape changing.  With immigration fights heating up, things could also turn the other way unless Republicans are able to SOON make a strong, winning argument  about economic growth and opportunity issues.  (Abortion opposition and family issues comprise another area of potential Hispanic-GOP agreement. According to Zogby, Hispanics support a pro-life position by a 78-21 percent margin.)  Business as usual for the GOP  brings a fall in Hispanic Dem support, not a rise in GOP support.  Note that the President of mixed color with his own personal appeal is not on the ballot, so this year the choice will fall back to issues and the quality local candidates.

Poll: A few cracks in Obama's Hispanic support

By LIZ SIDOTI (AP) – 9 hours ago

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's once solid support among Hispanics is showing a few cracks, a troubling sign for Democrats desperate to get this critical constituency excited about helping the party hold onto Congress this fall.

Hispanics still overwhelmingly favor the Democratic Party over the GOP, and a majority still think Obama is doing a good job, according to an Associated Press-Univision poll of more than 1,500 Hispanics.

But the survey, also sponsored by The Nielsen Company and Stanford University, shows Obama gets only lukewarm ratings on issues important to Hispanics — and that could bode poorly for the president and his party.

For a group that supported Obama so heavily in 2008 and in his first year in office, only 43 percent of Hispanics surveyed said Obama is adequately addressing their needs, with the economy a major concern. Another 32 percent were on the fence, while 21 percent said he'd done a poor job.

That's somewhat understandable, given that far more Hispanics have faced job losses and financial stress than the U.S. population in general.

An unfulfilled promise to overhaul the nation's patchwork immigration system, which Hispanics overwhelmingly want to see fixed, also may be to blame. That's despite the fact that Obama is challenging an Arizona law that requires police, while enforcing other laws, to question a person's immigration status if officers have a reasonable suspicion he or she is in the country illegally.

Still, 57 percent of Hispanics approve of the president's overall job performance compared with 44 percent among the general population in the latest AP national polling.

"It's been tough, but I think he's been doing a fair job," says Tony Marte, 33, a physical education teacher in Miami who is a Nicaraguan native. He voted for Obama in 2008 and, so far, likes how Obama has handled the economy.

But Marte's not satisfied with Obama's work on immigration reform. "Nothing has been done," he says, adding that between now and 2012, Obama should "be looking out for the groups that put him up there. The Latinos. The minorities." He says he'll probably back Obama again but "we'll see."

The political power of Hispanics now and in the future cannot be overstated. They are the nation's fastest-growing minority group and the government projects they will account for 30 percent of the population by 2050, doubling in size from today.

Democrats long have had an advantage among Hispanics and maintained it even as George W. Bush chipped away at that support. Obama erased the GOP inroads during his 2008 campaign, winning 67 percent of their vote to 31 percent for Republican nominee John McCain. And Hispanics consistently gave Obama exceptionally strong marks in his first year as president.

With the first midterm congressional elections of Obama's presidency in three months, the poll shows a whopping 50 percent of Hispanics citizens call themselves Democrats, while just 15 percent say they are Republicans.

Among Hispanics, 42 percent rate the economy and the recession as the country's biggest problem; unemployment and a lack of jobs come in at 23 percent.

Ascencion Menjivar, a Honduran native who is a cook in Washington, isn't sold on the administration's approach to creating jobs and is waiting for a solution to get the economy back on track. "I think it'll be a long process," says Menjivar, 30. Still, he says Obama — "a genius" — eventually will make it happen.

Patricia Hernandez Blanco of Miami, 38, is less confident that recovery is under way. "I'm not sure it's improving," she says. Even so, this Cuban who voted for McCain says she would now cast a ballot for Obama.

Re-electing Obama would be "really stupid," counters Carlos Toledo of Puerto Rico, an independent voter, clothing store manager and self-defense instructor in Washington. Toledo, 35, disagrees with Obama's economic policies and says he worries about joblessness as budgets are cut and money is spent on wars despite the country's debt.

Behind economic woes, immigration comes in second in importance.

Since the controversy over the Arizona law erupted in April, Hispanics who mostly speak English at home gave Obama higher marks on his handling of their top issues than did Hispanics who primarily speak Spanish and who tend to be more recent immigrants or non-citizens.

Analysts say it's possible that the more English-dominant Hispanics rallied around the president following the enactment of the Arizona law and his challenge to it; some 40 percent of them approved of his performance on their key issues before Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the law in April, but the figure rose to 52 percent in the weeks after.

The poll also showed that two years after witnessing Hillary Rodham Clinton's White House bid, Hispanics are twice as likely to expect to see a woman than a fellow Hispanic become president.

Some 59 percent said it is likely that a woman will be elected president sometime in the next two decades, while just 29 percent thought it likely that a Hispanic will be elected president over that period. And, 34 percent of non-citizen Hispanics thought the country is likely to have a Hispanic president, compared with 27 percent of citizens.

A significant percentage of Latinos — 41 percent — said they are more likely to vote for a candidate who is Hispanic.

The AP-Univision Poll was conducted from March 11 to June 3 by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. Using a sample of Hispanic households provided by The Nielsen Company, 1,521 Hispanics were interviewed in English and Spanish, mostly by mail but also by telephone and the Internet. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Stanford University's participation in the study was made possible by a grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
5383  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Way Forward? Hit piece on Gingrich on: July 27, 2010, 12:39:05 PM
I like Newt and I will vote for him if he is the nominee.  I don't endorse these criticisms.  If any or all are partly true that still doesn't tell a fraction of the amazing story of what Newt accomplished.  This criticism comes from the right but these things always get lapped up by leftists  Supporters of Newt should aware and ready to answer the critics' charges against him - that's all I'm saying by posting (linking).
On Gingrich: A legacy of surrender
By HOWARD RICH | 7/26/10
(Howard Rich is chairman of Americans for Limited Government.)
5384  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Border Violatons - How they are handled in countries around the world on: July 27, 2010, 12:25:12 PM
Reader beware, unsourced, but I can verify part of it knowing the family of one of the hikers held in Iran.

Border Violatons - How they are handled in countries around the world

If you cross the North Korean border illegally you get 12 years hard labor.

If you cross the Iranian border illegally you are detained indefinitely.

If you cross the Afghan border illegally, you get shot.

If you cross the Saudi Arabian border illegally you will be jailed.

If you cross the Chinese border illegally you may never be heard from again.

If you cross the Venezuelan border illegally you will be branded a spy and your fate will be sealed.

If you cross the Mexican borders illegally you will jailed for two years.

If you cross the Cuban border illegally you will be thrown into political prison to rot.
If you cross the United States border illegally you get:
1 - A job
2 - A driver's license
3 - A Social Security card
4 - Welfare
5 - Food stamps
6 - Credit cards
7 - Subsidized rent or a loan to buy a house
8 - Free education
9 - Free health care
10 - A lobbyist in Washington
11 - Billions of dollars in public documents printed in your language
12 - The right to carry the flag of your country - the one you walked out on - while you call America racist and protest that you don't get enough respect.
5385  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: Corporate profits decoupled from jobs, Robert Reich on: July 27, 2010, 12:22:01 PM
Time permitting I will try to post and answer the thought leaders of left-economics like Krugman, Reich and Obama.  Reich hits his facts mostly right on this one.  These companies scaled back unprofitable operations, improved productivity and made money.  Problem is that he mentions ONLY big businesses that are CLOSELY TIED to big government: GM, Ford, GE.  These companies IMO have more in common with big government than they do with free enterprise.  He fails to mention the reasons WHY they move operations off-shore: tax rates, regulations, energy availability, labor rules etc. etc. All the things he favors.

In this story, we see the 'success' of the chosen companies with their teams of lawyers and lobbyists that have successfully gamed the system to make money while employing fewer and fewer in the US.  That is an accomplishment for them - at our expense with wind turbine tax credits for GE, hybrid tax credits for auto makers, artificial barriers to entry keeping competition down, etc.  The story of the American economy today is everything that is not in this story.  What are the rest of us supposed to do, the ones who did not have lobbyists cutting special deals, the ones who play by the rules and end up just having to pay for all the burdens we put on investors, employers, risk-takers and heaven forbid anyone who ends up eeking out a profit.

As an alternative, how about we all compete EVENLY on a level playing field, in a system designed to compete successfully in the 2010's globally competitive markets.
The Great Decoupling Of Corporate Profits From Jobs
Robert Reich |  Jul. 27, 2010
5386  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Liberal Environmentalist says Manmade GW case is Tenuous, no evidence on: July 27, 2010, 11:58:43 AM
Very persuasive IMO.
5387  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Immigration issues: Obama ordered Holder to sue Arizona? on: July 26, 2010, 02:03:01 PM
Obama ordered Holder to sue Arizona?  Rich Lowry questioning Rep. Steve King R-IA

LOWRY: Now, this judge, Susan, is a Democratic appointee. And she sounds very skeptical I think very understandably. This lawsuit just on common sense grounds makes no sense. Basically you have the federal government saying we don't want a state to tell us about people who are here illegally, violating federal law. That makes no sense.

KING: It is what it sounds like, Rich. And we know that the law was written in order to mirror federal law and not to go expand beyond the limits of federal law. When the federal government takes a position it's a matter of principle. I'd be curious what principle that might be.

I'm convinced and I think that Eric Holder essentially admitted that President Obama ordered him to sue Arizona. And I asked him before the Judiciary Committee when he was under oath point to a constitutional violation, a statutory violation or a federal case law that Arizona law would have violated. He could not answer any of those questions. That was about five minutes before Ted Poe asked him, have you read the bill?

It was politically motivated. He admitted essentially that the president ordered him to sue Arizona.

What was principle? They couldn't articulate that principle, now they're trying.

LOWRY: You know, that's an excellent point. And there's a real radicalism to this lawsuit because what the administration is basically saying, the law is written by Congress, by you guys, doesn't matter. What's there on paper doesn't matter.

What basically does matter is what the administration decides to enforce by picking and choosing. So I see this suit as an assault on your institution as much as it's an assault against Arizona.

KING: Which it is. And it's a new legal principle as far as I'm concerned. They write in this — in the DOJ's lawsuit that Congress has entrusted and in fact implies that Congress has directed the executive branch to establish this careful balance between the Department of Justice, Homeland Security and the State Department.

Now this careful balance was nothing in our legislation. We expect all laws to be enforced. And they're making this careful balance argument. And then they argue that if a state interferes with that delicate balance or that careful balance, then it throws it out of balance, therefore it should be preempted.

And there's another argument that I don't know if it's made in anybody's brief at this point. But if they will argue the Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution grants the federal government exclusive authority to establish immigration law because it says that Congress shall have the power to establish an uniformed naturalization policy.

In the same sentence it says Congress shall have the authority to establish a uniformed bankruptcy policy across the country. So if this would be — if they invalidate Arizona's law on that argument it will then, I think, put the bankruptcy laws in jeopardy in all of our states as well.,2933,597704,00.html
5388  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China's Political Awakening? on: July 26, 2010, 01:37:01 PM
Very interesting coverage and realistic analysis, IMO.

China’s Political Awakening?
July 14, 2010

The current labour unrest isn’t as apolitical as it looks. But don’t expect an early change in China’s autocratic leadership.

By Minxin Pei

The ongoing labour unrest in China is seen by many as a labour market response to uncompetitive wages offered by foreign companies. And, to a large extent, this is true. Changing demographics are reducing the supply of ultra-cheap young labourers from the countryside to coastal export-processing zones, giving labour more bargaining power.

But explaining China’s newly assertive workers purely on economic grounds misses the larger—and more interesting—political context. For labour activism is only one of the many signs of a broader political re-awakening in Chinese civil society.

For years, Western observers have been disheartened by the lack of political change in China. Modernization theory predicts that rapid economic progress should help liberalize the political system, but this hasn’t occurred in China since 1989. Until now.

In addition to migrant workers who have risked their jobs and personal safety in joining the strikes, China has seen other forms of civic activism and political assertiveness at the grassroots level.

What’s interesting about this new political reawakening is that on the surface it doesn’t look all that political. Instead of calling for democracy and freedom, participants in these activities focus on issues directly related to their economic interests, property rights and social justice. Examples include fighting off local governments’ attempts to build polluting factories, seize farmers’ land without compensation and evict urban residents from their homes. Criticism of government policy and performance in delivering public services and protecting social justice are routine in Chinese publications and on-line venues. And, of course, the ostensibly apolitical nature of such civic activism makes it much harder for the Communist Party to suppress it with brutal force.

Several forces have contributed to the reawakening. Clearly, the information revolution—a direct result of economic modernization—has helped change values and reduced the costs of organizing collective action. It has also magnified the political impact of such moves (even inspiring copycat action), while the rapidity with which the latest labour unrest has spread would have been inconceivable without the assistance of the Internet and cell phones.

Rising physical mobility of the population is another factor—as ordinary Chinese citizens have more opportunities to compare how conditions differ among China’s diverse localities, they acquire a greater awareness of the political and social injustice of their own surroundings and become less tolerant of such injustices.

In an important sense, the Communist Party’s own populist rhetoric has fuelled the expectations of Chinese society and, ironically, de-legitimized many of Beijing’s post-1989 policies that contributed to China’s rapid economic growth, such as courting foreign businesses, reducing social spending to boost investment and forcing tens of millions of ordinary Chinese to make enormous personal sacrifices (accepting low wages and losing their land and apartments for the sake of rapid economic growth). Now the Chinese government faces a dilemma: it has raised the people’s expectations, but meeting those expectations would be economically costly (more redistribution and social welfare) and politically risky (greater popular political participation).

The delayed political awakening of China’s civil society will have profound consequences. Economically, it will make it much harder for the government to continue to pursue its post-Tiananmen strategy of promoting economic growth at all cost. Politically, it may lead to greater disunity within the elites since some of them may be tempted to exploit rising populism for personal political advantage.

For a one-party regime for which elite unity is critical, any deep schisms within its top leadership could trigger a chain of de-stabilizing events. In addition, if the Chinese authorities fail to end the current labour unrest in foreign-invested firms, disgruntlement will likely spread to workers in other sectors (most likely in construction and mining, where working conditions are dangerous and pay extremely low).

Still, while the political awakening comes as a pleasant confirmation of the theory that economic progress will bring about political change, it can’t be assumed this emerging phenomenon will fundamentally change China’s autocratic political order. As a result of the post-Tiananmen repression, China’s civil society lacks independent centres of public morality, organizational networks and effective leadership. Most activities that challenge government authority are uncoordinated, disorganized and short-lived.

But if the Party thinks that it can continue to rule China in the same old way, it would be mistaken. If anything, the on-going labour unrest and the seismic shift in values in Chinese society show that the Party is governing a different country, where the old rules no longer apply.

Minxin Pei is an Adjunct Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College
5389  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Issues: Journalists Protecting Obama on: July 26, 2010, 01:13:59 PM

5390  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness and Lockerbie on: July 26, 2010, 12:35:28 PM
It turns out the administration was not as surprised as they said, as the British leak documents. Previously posted by CCP on WTF, my question: Why are we not dispatching our Minister of Health Czar and advisers to Libya to find out how this terminal patient was cured?  No one is even curious.

Revealed: US double-talk on Lockerbie, The Sunday Times of London, Monday July 26, 2010

The Obama administration told Scottish officials last August that, although it opposed any release of the Lockerbie bomber, it would rather see him released in Scotland than transferred to a Libyan prison, according to a secret memo obtained by The Sunday Times in London.

The publication of the memo's contents comes just days after President Obama, at a press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, said "all of us ... were surprised, disappointed and angry" by the Scottish government's decision to free Abdel Baset al-Megrahi last year.
5391  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Policy: Christina Romer... and Geithner on: July 26, 2010, 12:13:26 PM
"Isn't C. Romer that chunky bureaucratic drone female who is BO's chief economist?"
I recall that Clinton's chief adviser on incremental Marxism, Laura Tyson, was quite a bit cuter. 

"Fascinating that she would think this AND publish it!"
Could be that a sham-husband / co-author would not withhold the work, just speculating.  All researching economists know that excessive taxation chokes off incentives and economic activity; they only argue about the magnitude. Robert Mundell used to use the word "asphyxiating" when he designed the Reagan program.  Some economists sell their souls and go to work for the 'progressive' politicians while most of the others stay mostly silent about it while they write abstractions with complexity in obscurity for public grants, a little like the climategate system.

The question remains: why does this not either cause her to leave the administration or persuade them to change course?  I recall that Paul Volcker was quietly pushed aside for his own independent thinking.  His willingness to stand by the candidate during the meltdown was of enormous political value.  His real opinions were not.

Jumping to Geithner who was on all the shows Sunday.  We are going to extend the tax cuts for the 95% for reasons that apply better to the 5% who actually might spur investment and hire.  First the percentages are a G*d D*amned Lie by deception.  We are not taxing people; we are taxing income - and those are not the percentages.  By their own hysterical disparity percentages, the punishing tax increases will apply to the 40% of the income that would otherwise be most available for job creation.  The purpose of the punishing tax hikes on the rich is "to prove to the world" we are serious about dealing with our debt, by implementing tax policies that are known to be"highly contractionary"!

I would rather see us prove to the world that we are serious about creating optimal conditions for robust private growth and prosperity, but that is NOT their objective.
5392  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2010 Elections: Rand Paul in Kentucky on: July 25, 2010, 02:58:36 PM
I had my first chance to see Rand Paul, I watched on CSPAN a debate sponsored by Kentucky Farm Bureau.  The presumption was Paul would do terribly because he opposes farm subsidies.  I think the opposite occurred.  Every question looked like a softball favoring the pro-freedom, pro-business candidate.  Estate tax.  EPA defining any water collection as a federal wetland.  Carbon tax.  Deficits and debt.  National Healthcare.

I come from a blue state.  Interesting to watch red state Democrats run away from their national leaders.  Finally the issues really came down to which side are you going to support for leadership?

Paul looked very good.  The Democrat was conservative, sharp and articulate.  Too bad their is no place in Washington for a level-headed conservative Democrat to organize.

5393  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Policy: Obama Chief Adviser says the Tax Hikes will be Highly Contractionary on: July 25, 2010, 02:37:52 PM
(Sounds like cognitive dissonance to me but I will put this under tax policy)
Bill Krystol mentioned this on Fox News Sunday today.

“Our results indicate that tax changes have very large effects on output. Our baseline specification implies that an exogenous tax increase of one percent of GDP lowers real GDP by almost three percent.  Our many robustness checks for the most part point to a slightly smaller decline, but one that is still typically over 2.5 percent.  In addition, we find that the output effects of tax changes are much more closely tied to the actual changes in taxes than to news about future changes, and that investment falls sharply in response to exogenous tax increases.”

Chistina D. Romer and David H. Romer, ‘The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks’, American Economic Review, June 2010

Romer’s Research: Expiration of Bush Tax Cuts Will Be Highly Contractionary

By Randall Holcombe on Jul 15, 2010 in Budget and Tax Policy, Economics, Politics, Science, Taxation

Christina Romer, Chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley, has published an article (co-authored with David Romer) in the June 2010 issue of the American Economic Review titled “The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks.”  Unlike her statements in her role as an Obama adviser, this article is serious academic research, published in what is generally recognized as the world’s leading academic economics journal.

In the article, the Romers divide legislated tax changes into those undertaken in response to economic conditions and those that are “exogenous,” by which they mean changes made for other reasons.  The expiration of the Bush tax cuts clearly falls into the “exogenous” category, because it is the result of legislation passed years ago, before anybody could have anticipated the economic conditions under which they would expire.

What the Romers found is that exogenous tax increases, such as will occur with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, “… are highly contractionary.  The effects are strongly significant, highly robust, and much larger than those obtained using broader measures of tax changes.”

Here is a strong argument, based on solid academic research, for extending the Bush tax cuts, and not letting them expire, made by one of President Obama’s top economic advisers.  It will be interesting to see to what extent the insights of Christina Romer, economics professor, have an impact on what that same Christina Romer, adviser to the president, has to say in public about the impending tax rate increases.

Romer, the economics professor, says raising rates now will be “highly contractionary.”  Will Romer, the president’s adviser, speak up and tell the public that letting the Bush tax cuts expire will hamper the recovery?  Or will she toe the party line and not tell Americans the public policy implications of  her own academic research?

Another interesting sidelight here is that the opening footnote in the article says it was written with financial support from the National Science Foundation.  Here is a big opportunity for NSF-funded research to have a direct policy impact, because (1) the research has direct policy relevance to current economic conditions, and (2) because it was undertaken by somebody who actually has policy influence.

We shall see if that opportunity for an impact actually results in any policy impact.  My guess is, it won’t, and that any policy statements Romer makes on the subject will be based more on politics than on her knowledge of economics.
5394  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Glibness: This crowd can't shoot straight on: July 25, 2010, 02:12:53 PM
"This post would be better in the Immigration thread."

Okay, I moved the immigration case news portion over to that thread.  My main point, poorly expressed, was how it relates to the other areas of governance - this crowd can't shoot straight.  The example was immigration but the observation was intended to build on the questions posed by CCP regarding personality disorder, arrogance or competence. 

They have no experience starting a business, running a business, selling a business, expanding a business, hiring a private sector employee, or meeting a private sector payroll.

They have no experience governing, balancing a budget, pulling two sides together to get something done or accomplishing something real even in the public sector.

They have no military experience and barely know anyone who served.  They don't even admit knowing why we are in Iraq or Afghanistan even thought they are now presiding over it and haven't brought anyone home. 

They have never run a border patrol, designed a security system, or built a fence.

They have no training or expertise in economics.  The President, to anyone's knowledge, has never read a book about our economic system that didn't oppose it.

The only area of expertise they have, presumably, is law.  Obama is credentialed from one of the finest law schools in the land.  He was the law review editor.  He was a lecturer at another top institution.  Wouldn't we expect at least competence in this one area??

Eric Holder, same thing.  Background is law, law, law and usually on the wrong side of it, see Heller.  His law degree is from Columbia University, among the very best.  No experience I know of with FBI, ATF, DEA, or prisons, etc. yet he now oversees all of these.

Would not the Attorney General need to check with his boss, the Commander in Chief, before he sues one of the several states - over a federal function that the feds voted not-present on?  And wouldn't they at least want to be perfectly correct on the law before taking such a risky and divisive action?

No.  The pattern emerging from the incidents with cop Crowley of beer summit fame and the USDA official with the racial chip on her shoulder to the haphazard stimulus spending in the trillions is to shoot first, ask questions later.

Hope this makes it more clear I was intending a hit piece on an inept administration, justified and specific, not a single issue follow up.   smiley
5395  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / USA v. Arizona, Judge questions Obama reasoning on: July 25, 2010, 12:39:38 PM

Hearing on Arizona immigration law begins

By Jerry Markon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 23, 2010; A01

PHOENIX -- A federal judge pushed back Thursday against a contention by the Obama Justice Department that a tough new Arizona immigration law set to take effect next week would cause "irreparable harm" and intrude into federal immigration enforcement.

"Why can't Arizona be as inhospitable as they wish to people who have entered or remained in the United States?" U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton asked in a pointed exchange with Deputy Solicitor General Edwin S. Kneedler. Her comment came during a rare federal court hearing in the Justice Department's lawsuit against Arizona and Gov. Jan Brewer (R).

Bolton, a Democratic appointee, also questioned a core part of the Justice Department's argument that she should declare the law unconstitutional: that it is "preempted" by federal law because immigration enforcement is an exclusive federal prerogative.

"How is there a preemption issue?" the judge asked. "I understand there may be other issues, but you're arguing preemption. Where is the preemption if everybody who is arrested for some crime has their immigration status checked?"
5396  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness: Lousy at Lawyering - USA vs. Arizona on: July 24, 2010, 03:47:11 PM
They even make lousy lawyers.  (opposing views welcome!)

Good lawyers know the best course in most cases is not all-out war; there is finesse involved. Clients have weaknesses, vulnerabilities and public relations interests as well, not just the need to win.  All this crowd could come up with was sue-the-bastards, stop consent of the governed, even if it is a popular policy, addressing real harm, in a swing state.  

The least they could do before choosing the most adversarial course was ask themselves,  are we sure we will win, before suing your own family, screw the consequences.

Besides bad PR and unnecessary conflict, the plan is logically brain-dead.  How is Arizona "interfering"?  Where is the over-reach?  What damage is Arizona doing to the Republic if they hand over people guilty of federal crime to the Federal government?  It makes no sense.

Any sober look at this shows case is exactly upside down and backwards; the truth is exactly the opposite of what they allege.  Arizona is not interfering with the Feds doing their job.  The Feds were not doing their job, intentionally, and Arizona was being harmed, along with the other states. Arizona should be suing the Feds, for malfeasance, neglect and damages.
5397  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Econ - Milton Freidman on productivity, capital investment and jobs on: July 23, 2010, 11:45:02 AM
(Should be under Founding Fathers)
Milton Freidman as re-told by Scott Grannis as he views at the great pyramids:

A politician and a union boss are walking by a construction site. They see two giant machines excavating the ground in preparation for the foundation of a large building. Each machine is operated by a single person. The union boss laments that if it weren't for the machines, there could be hundreds of workers digging the foundation with shovels, creating so many more jobs and (presumably) so much more prosperity. The politician sneers, and says, "just think how many thousands of people could be employed here if it weren't for shovels, and they had to dig the foundation with their hands!"
5398  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Fed, Monetary Policy, & the US Dollar: Bernancke on: July 23, 2010, 11:39:51 AM
Asleep at the wheel.  If Bernancke's job on monetary policy was at all was to advise on fiscal policy, this advice should have been giver more than a year ago.  Most of the damage of the higher rates coming has already been done IMO.  Yet a little like Bush, he wants the so-called tax cuts for the wrong reasons, it seems to me. 
Bernanke Says Extending Some of Bush's Tax Cuts Would Maintain Stimulus
By Scott Lanman and Ryan J. Donmoyer - Jul 23, 2010
Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, listens to opening statements during his semiannual monetary policy report to the House Financial Services Committee in Washington. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said extending at least some of the tax cuts set to expire this year would help strengthen a U.S. economy still in need of stimulus and urged offsetting the move with increased revenue or lower spending.

“In the short term I would believe that we ought to maintain a reasonable degree of fiscal support, stimulus for the economy,” Bernanke said yesterday under questioning from the House Financial Services Committee’s senior Republican. “There are many ways to do that. This is one way.”

While Democrats want to keep the 2001 and 2003 tax reductions passed during former President George W. Bush’s administration for families earning as much as $250,000, Republicans aim to continue the cuts for high-income people as well. Bernanke didn’t endorse either party’s position or recommend a time period for an extension.

“In the longer term, I think we need to be taking steps to reassure the American people and the markets that our fiscal situation is going to be well controlled,” Bernanke said under questioning from Representative Spencer Bachus of Alabama, the committee’s senior Republican. “That means that if you extend the tax cuts, you need to find other ways to offset them.”
5399  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: July 22, 2010, 10:46:23 AM
Crafty: "What makes sense to me is to tax external diseconomies [pollution emissions for example] instead of good things like profit, savings, inheritance, captial gains, etc."

I like the way you are thinking, but...

Taking the Mekong River example, we don't want a filthy waterway with cash distributed downstream for their troubles, we want a cleaner river.  If the pollution tax is the disincentive to pollute and the incentive to clean it up, then it is a declining/unreliable source of revenue.  A tax could though be a part of the regulatory scheme to fix it.

BBG wrote: "producing the infrastructure that allows regulators to operate efficiently in third world countries is a pretty daunting task."

Very true.  So we take the question in armchair fashion, if they could get their act together, what should they do?
Nature has it's own impurities, and its own filtering and cleansing mechanisms.  The fish excrete in the water, for example.  But discharging human waste untreated from millions that even don't live on the water just as a way to move it out of your neighborhood is wrong, once you know it is harming others. 

Nothing is fixed overnight.  I would think you need to set something like a straight line regulation path over a reasonable period of time, require that emissions drop consistently until they reach some reasonable level over 5, 10 or 20 years, whatever is economically possible.  I don't think any amount of money makes it okay to dump lead, mercury or the untreated waste of tens of millions into a natural resource.  I would rather require them to invest the money in treatment facilities than hand it to the cleptocrats for redistribution.

The tax policy we can discuss elsewhere, but income and consumption transactions are where the money is to tax.  The key is a) minimize the impact with rates low enough to not stop the productive activity (you keep most of what you earn), and b) apply the same tax rate to every dollar earned, for every person, every product, every industry, etc.  - all the same - for consent of the governed, equal protection and so that every voter faces the same impact of their choice.  Only then we can rationally decide how big we want government to be.
5400  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Kagan on: July 20, 2010, 03:43:33 PM
"BO voted for a remarkably extreme partial birth abortion law.  Anyone have details at hand?"
Just to the left of NARAL and Barbara Boxer, he voted against protecting the surviving babies of botched abortions.  His reasons to oppose do not match the facts told by the people on his committee in IL.

The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA) both in the Illinois and Federal legislatures was meant to make illegal death by neglect of born but unwanted infants.  Or as Obama called it: Restrictive Choice legislation.

At the end of the hearing (IL Senate Health and Human Services Committee, 2003, Barack Obama, Chairman), according to the official records of the Illinois State senate, Obama thanked Stanek (video of RN Stanek below) for being “very clear and forthright,” but said his concern was that Stanek had suggested “doctors really don’t care about children who are being born with a reasonable prospect of life because they are so locked into their pro-abortion views that they would watch an infant that is viable die.” He told her, “That may be your assessment, and I don’t see any evidence of that. What we are doing here is to create one more burden on a woman and I can’t support that.”

Video of the testifying nurse:

One mainstream reference from when Hillary was the frontrunner:
 SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Jan. 17, 2007
Obama Record May Be Gold Mine For Critics
(AP)  Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama may have a lot of explaining to do.
He voted against requiring medical care for aborted fetuses who survive.

Barbara Boxer voted for it when it passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate 98-0 and unanimously in the US House.  She said:  "(H)is amendment [Rick Santorum introducing BAIPA] certainly does not attack Roe in any way," said Boxer. "His amendment makes it very clear that nothing in this amendment gives any rights that are not yet afforded to a fetus. Therefore, I, as being a pro-choice senator on this side, representing my colleagues here, have no problem whatsoever with this amendment." - Barbara Boxer on the floor of the senate, 2001.
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