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5551  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mia Love lost in Utah on: November 12, 2012, 11:01:14 AM
This was one of the most disappointing results.  The 36 year old mayor of Saratoga Springs was a big hit at the 2012 RNC, close to becoming the first African-American female Republican elected to Congress.
5552  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: The Hard Fiscal Facts on: November 12, 2012, 10:35:17 AM
Start with the chart:

The Hard Fiscal Facts
Individual tax payments are up 26% in the last two years.

While the rest of America was holding an election last week, the gnomes at the Congressional Budget Office released the final budget totals for fiscal 2012. They're worth reporting because they illuminate the real fiscal choices that confront the country, as opposed to the posturing you'll be hearing over the next few weeks.

The nearby table lays out the ugly details. The feds rolled up another $1.1 trillion deficit for the year that ended September 30, which was the biggest deficit since World War II, except for each of the previous three years. President Obama can now proudly claim the four largest deficits in modern history. As a share of GDP, the deficit fell to 7% last year, which was still above any single year of the Reagan Presidency, or any other year since Truman worked in the Oval Office.

Tax revenue kept climbing, up 6.4% for the year overall, and at $2.45 trillion it is now close to the historic high it reached in fiscal 2007 before the recession hit. Mr. Obama won't want you to know this, but this revenue increase is occurring under the Bush tax rates that he so desperately wants to raise in the name of getting what he says is merely "a little more in taxes." Individual income tax payments are now up $233 billion over the last two years, or 26%.

This healthy revenue increase comes despite measly economic growth of between 1% and 2%. Imagine the gusher of revenue the feds could get if government got out of the way and let the economy grow faster.

Now let's look at outlays, which declined a bit in 2012. That small miracle was achieved thanks to a 4% fall in defense spending, a 24% fall in jobless benefits, and an 8.9% decline in Medicaid spending.

Note, however, that federal spending remains at a new plateau of about $3.54 trillion, or some $800 billion more than the last pre-recession year of 2007. One way to think about this is that most of the $830 billion stimulus of 2009 has now become part of the federal budget baseline. The "emergency" spending of the stimulus has now become permanent, as we predicted it would.

When Beltway politicians claim they want a "balanced" approach to reducing the deficit, what they really mean is raising taxes to finance this new higher spending level. And the still-higher level that is coming with ObamaCare.

The reality is that the fastest way to raise revenue is with faster economic growth. To the extent that raising tax rates will reduce the rate of growth, it will slow the flow of tax revenue and increase the deficit.

Even if Mr. Obama were to bludgeon Republicans into giving him all of the tax-rate increases he wants, the Joint Tax Committee estimates this would yield only $82 billion a year in extra revenue. But if growth is slower as a result of the higher tax rates, then the revenue will be lower too. So after Mr. Obama has humiliated House Republicans and punished the affluent for the sheer joy of it, he would still have a deficit of $1 trillion.

Most of our readers know all this, but we thought you'd like some new evidence to rebut the kids who voted for your taxes to go up when they return from college for Thanksgiving. Maybe they'll figure it out when they have a job, if they can find one.
5553  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process on: November 12, 2012, 10:30:08 AM
"At current interest rates IIRC we are paying about $250B a year on interest on the debt.  Do the math.  cry"

rough math:
250 billion interest expense
16 trillion debt
equals effective interest rate: 1.5%

This is nonsensical, except that Crafty's number is right:

Now do the math on interest rates returning to spiraling inflation normal levels, 6, 8, 10, 12+% after 4, 6, 8 trillion more debt.  Interest costs potentially greater than all current spending, not 50 years out, but within the 6 year term of my newly reelected Dem Senator.

5554  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: November 12, 2012, 10:05:23 AM
Crafty: "I have consistently been seeing the tax the rich numbers as projecting $80B, not his number of $40B, under static revenue assumptions.  Either number of course is a joke in the face of at $1.1T deficit."

Schiff wrote: "would only yield around $30 to $40 billion per year in added revenue, a drop in the federal bucket.
$80B static with $30-40B 'yield', I think we are talking about the same thing.  A drop in the bucket either way, plus 50-60% of the 'new revenue' never materializes because investors alter their behavior to the new set of rules.  Not measured in that loss is the lost benefits (job gains etc) that would come from that lost prosperity.
5555  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Policy: Obama should enact ROmney's tax reform plan on: November 10, 2012, 11:36:08 AM
Bill Clinton 'triangulated' one might recall.  He reformed welfare, cut capital gains taxes, grew the economy, balanced the budget, and came off like some kind of a genius after his first two years of pathetic economic growth out of downturn.

Obama should scale back Romney's plan and take it.  Offer to the R. House 10% instead of 20% rate cuts as an offset to closing down loopholes and deductions for the wealthiest.

He can do this now, since there is essentially no shifting of seats or power coming in January.  Doing it would avoid the fiscal cliff, avoid the recession, raise the debt ceiling in the compromise and settle the uncertainty that keeps the economy from moving 'forward'.

The main point of attacking the rich was to gain and hold power.  It worked.  Now he needs to set his legacy as something other than a complete economic disaster.

Democrats want greater progressivity in the tax code.  Conservatives more even taxation like the flat tax, fair tax or 9-9-9.  Romney's plan was to keep existing progressivity constant.  This was a split election.  Instead of fighting with the Republicans, he should make them an offer they can't refuse, and then take all the credit.
WSJ yesterday makes a similar point:
Romney's Tax Reform Marches On
It's Obama's second term, but get ready for the Romney-Simpson-Bowles plan.

Lower rates would improve individual incentives; fewer loopholes would mean economic resources flowing to their most highly-valued uses. Even if tax reform were kept revenue neutral, it would spur faster growth and therefore higher revenues. And there would be less incentive for political corruption and trafficking in tax favors: a win-win-win.

Maybe Americans can benefit from the second-term "flexibility" Mr. Obama once promised Vladimir Putin.
5556  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CBO: Fiscal cliff will mean recession, rise in unemployment on: November 10, 2012, 11:16:18 AM

CBO: Fiscal cliff will mean recession, rise in unemployment

"If Congress and the Obama administration allow scheduled tax increases and spending cuts to occur, the economy will shrink by 0.5 percent in 2013. The unemployment rate would soar to 9.1 percent — up from 7.9 percent today."

Where do they come up with this stuff?  (More famous people caught reading the forum.)
5557  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Paul Ryan on: November 10, 2012, 11:12:50 AM
From Noonan' piece on 2012 Presidential:

"As part of his role, [Paul] Ryan had wanted to talk about poverty, traveling to inner cities and giving speeches that laid out the Republican vision for individual empowerment. But Romney advisers refused his request to do so, until mid-October, when he gave a speech on civil society in Cleveland. As one adviser put it, 'The issues that we really test well on and win on are not the war on poverty."

That is the authentic sound of the Republican political operative class at work: in charge, supremely confident, essentially clueless.

This impresses me with Paul Ryan.  Give him credit for better political instincts than the campaign, and another sign of having the guts to tackle the hard jobs.  Going into the neighborhoods and reaching out with a message and facing the criticisms head-on needed and still needs to happen. 

A tour like that might have led to a swarm of protest against the ticket.  Better for the nation to have experienced that a couple of months ago instead of being blindsided in November.

Black America voted some 96%(?)for Obama's second term without a specific promise but in hope of something better to come.  Paul Ryan could have laid out that hope with specifics, but his handlers knew better.

If Ryan had succeeded in being heard but failed to change minds with his appearances, he would have at least planted a seed for the next 4 years.  Instead, Republicans remain only the caricature that their opponents draw of them.
5558  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: November 09, 2012, 11:28:06 PM
From GM's post:  "Under Obamacare, companies with 50 or more full-time employees either have to provide them with government-approved health insurance policies, or pay a per-employee fine. Further, the fine kicks in at the 31st employee, not the 51st, and it starts at $2,000 per year per employee. It goes up later. Companies, therefore, are discouraged from having full-time employees, or at least 50 or more of them."

What is a full time employee?  
The new federal definition of a full time employee is eighteen pages long.

France, here we come: Why France Has So Many 49-Employee Companies

5559  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: November 09, 2012, 10:56:47 PM
To all people being laid off today - it is day 1 of your new involuntary polysci/Econ class. Pay attention. There's a test in 4 years.

5560  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential- postmortem and pre-mortem on: November 09, 2012, 10:40:26 PM
Paraphrasing Rush L. from Wed, in a nation full of children it is hard to defeat Santa Claus.

Glenn Beck put it this way during the campaign, freedom or free-stuff, choose one.  (People did.)

VDH prescient in July: "[Pres. Obama] figures that he can by appeals to gays (gay marriage), those on entitlements (nearly fifty million are now on food stamps; 50% are paying no income tax or are on some sort of entitlement — or both), the greens (Keystone), the Latinos (de facto amnesty), feminists (“war on women”), the (fill in the blanks), etc."  ...  "to the extent someone might point to polling, he is met with “But the polls are biased!” Perhaps they are by 3-4 points.  But right now, given the power of incumbency, the changing nature of the U.S., and the no-holds-barred methods of Barack Obama, the advantage is still all Obama’s — and almost all the polls show that." ... "the fact that purple-state Democrats up for reelection don’t want to be seen with Obama is understandable, but not necessarily a barometer of what Ohio, Florida, Colorado, and Virginia will do on Election Day."
5561  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: November 09, 2012, 01:01:21 PM
Elevating Ryan or changing out Boehner is deck chair material, as GM said, not crucial like policy stands, stalemate positions and messaging.  Ryan will be out front with or without a promotion.  I don't know what his future role will be.  He did not deliver Wisconsin or any other state; VP choices rarely do.  I give Boehner (and Ryan) credit for the what the House passed the last two years and Boehner and his team credit for getting everyone reelected in the face of 10% congressional approval.  No one on the right, left or center is going to approve of the stalemate of divided government, and yet they chose at least 2 more years of it.  Boehner isn't the best face for the national party but neither was Denny Hastert - or Tip O'Neill, Jim Wright, Pelosi etc for the other side.

Republicans in the House ran on a clear record and a clear agenda and they won.  Pres. Obama ran mostly away setting an agenda except to keep his failed policies in place, and he won.  House Republicans have as much of a mandate to stand strong on policy positions than Pres. Obama.

The two part question over the past 4 years was how to win back power and then what policies we will need to turn this around if we win the election.  Now the choice is simpler, cave or honor on our core principles.

Krauthammer is right that immigration reform is an area to consider.  Take a key issue off the table before the next Presidential cycle.  Gay marriage might be another.  Rape abortion too!

But the size and scope of government is a place where voters expect Republicans to draw the line.  The size of government needs to be limited to the lowest level of what all three participants can agree, House, Senate and President.  That makes the House the crucial determinant.  

The President isn't giving up powers that are uniquely his like Supreme Court nominations; the House should not give up powers that are uniquely theirs like the origination of all bills for raising revenue:

House Republicans are more free now to exert their rightful powers than they were over the past two years.  Maybe they will get accused of refusing to let Democrats spend beyond our means.  So what.  Maybe they lose the House next.  So what, that is not worse than not performing their constitutional responsibilities now.
5562  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Govt programs, regulations, spending, deficit - U of Chicago forecast on: November 09, 2012, 12:28:22 AM
"Forecast in three parts: The sound and fury will be over big fights on taxes and spending. They will look like replays of the last four years and not end up accomplishing much. The big changes to our economy will be the metastatic expansion of regulation, led by ACA, Dodd-Frank, and EPA.  There will be no change on our long run problems: entitlements, deficits or fundamental reform of our chaotic tax system.  4 more years, $4 trillion more debt."  - John Cochrane, Professor, University of Chicago School of Business.

Much more detail at the link:
5563  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Congressional races plus state/local - 21 pieces of good news on: November 09, 2012, 12:15:08 AM
The results of the Senate races are shocking, but Michelle Malkin compiles a list of good news, depending on the side you come at this from...

1. Republicans retained control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

2. Voters in Alabama, Montana, and Wyoming all passed measures limiting Obamacare.

3. Tea Party candidate Ted Cruz, one of the conservative movement’s brightest rising stars, overcame establishment GOP opposition to clinch a U.S. Senate victory in Texas.

4. Corruptocrat Beltway barnacle Rep. Pete Stark was finally kicked out of office in California.

5. Despite entrenched teachers’ union opposition, a charter school initiative in Washington state triumphed.

6. Despite entrenched Big Labor support, a radical collective bargaining power grab in Michigan failed.

7. Oklahoma voters said no to government race-based preferences in college admissions, public contracting, and government hiring.

8. Montana voters said no to boundless benefits for illegal aliens.

9. Washington state approved taxpayer-empowering limitations on its state legislature’s ability to raise taxes.

10. For the first time since Reconstruction, the GOP won control of the Arkansas state house.

11. Voters rejected tax hike ballot measures in Arizona, South Dakota, and Missouri.

12. Louisiana voted to protect gun rights.

13. Kentucky voted to protect hunting and fishing rights.

14. Parental notification for minors’ abortion prevailed in Montana.

15. North Carolina Republicans claimed the governor’s office, congressional gains, and control of the state’s general assembly.

16. Paul Ryan will return to Congress after winning re-election and continue to carry the torch for entitlement reform and budget discipline.

17. Conservatives won big victories in the Kansas state legislature.

18. Republicans won historic supermajorities in Tennessee.

19.Across the country, Republicans reached a post-2000 record number of gubernatorial victories.

20. Conservatives who were devastated by the national election results demonstrated how to lose with dignity and grace. There will be finger-pointing and recriminations and soul-searching, but committed activists can’t and won’t lose heart. We’ll regroup, recover, and keep fighting for our country.

21. Wisconsin: GOP wins back the state Senate.
5564  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential post mortum on: November 09, 2012, 12:09:25 AM
Dick Morris was in pretty good company with his wrong election forecast.  Michael Barone is a quality professional IMO and called it the same:   Also and the Romney campaign itself:

Jan Crawford /CBS News:  They made three key miscalculations, in part because this race bucked historical trends:

1. They misread turnout. They expected it to be between 2004 and 2008 levels, with a plus-2 or plus-3 Democratic electorate, instead of plus-7 as it was in 2008. Their assumptions were wrong on both sides: The president's base turned out and Romney's did not. More African-Americans voted in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida than in 2008. And fewer Republicans did: Romney got just over 2 million fewer votes than John McCain.

2. Independents. State polls showed Romney winning big among independents. Historically, any candidate polling that well among independents wins. But as it turned out, many of those independents were former Republicans who now self-identify as independents. The state polls weren't oversampling Democrats and undersampling Republicans - there just weren't as many Republicans this time because they were calling themselves independents.

3. Undecided voters. The perception is they always break for the challenger, since people know the incumbent and would have decided already if they were backing him. Romney was counting on that trend to continue. Instead, exit polls show Mr. Obama won among people who made up their minds on Election Day and in the few days before the election. So maybe Romney, after running for six years, was in the same position as the incumbent.
5565  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Juan Williams: BO's daunting demographic message 4 the GOP; Estimados Rep-canos on: November 08, 2012, 09:08:32 AM
Note back to Juan Williams, it isn't about the GOP, it's about the direction of the country.  Hispanics, African Americans, gays, Jews, Asian Americans and women will need to change the economic agenda inside the Democratic party or live forever poor and in debt if they are too racist, sexist or xenophobic to sit with Republicans IMHO.  The GOP already reached out.
5566  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Positive spin on: November 07, 2012, 12:29:05 PM
James Tarranto (WSJ) wrote yesterday: Re-election would ensure he is accountable for the mess he inherits from himself.
5567  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 07, 2012, 11:17:37 AM
Egg on face for someone was a certainty with all prognositcators on both sides sure of a big win.  From my viewpoint, there was no way to know in advance that the demographic groups hit the hardest by the current policies would really all show up and vote for more of the same.  I had to see it to believe it.

I agree it is foolish to ignore the preponderance of the polls, but if they are so good why are they so different from each other.  Isn't Gallup as good as any, they had Romney up 6%; final Gallup was 1% Romney, and still wrong by 3.  Was this election 8 points different a week ago?  I don't think so.

A short time ago I was feeling sorry for our friend Denny S from Venezuela election, how powerless that must feel.  Now I feel it.  We know our leaders lie to us, take from us, our economy is a disaster under their policies, they crush our freedoms and with our fellow citizens we say hey, how about 4 and 6 more years of it!

Crafty's point one sums it up for me.  Republicans took none of the credit for what went right during the economic and revenue growth of 2003-2006 and took all the blame for what went wrong after power in Washington switched to Pelosi Reid congress including the Fannie Mae Sen. Obama, 2 years before he became President.  You can't have messaging that bad and then expect to win with the people.  (George Bush's fault.)

One reason Republicans couldn't attack Democrats hard for our myriad of failed programs is that their own fingerprints are also all over them.

The other big lesson is that Romney was politically wrong to go positive.  He needed to go positive in order to govern but he needed to go hard negative early in order to win.  Obama went with hide the agenda and attack your opponent from every angle.  Attack before people even meet him.  Now Obama gets to govern, but not with my consent. 

I would be happy to admit I am wrong and Dems are right on economics.  Freedom leads to failure and the nanny state solves it all.  Someone just post the evidence.

The point CCP has been making rung true, the point that Romney botched so badly.  There are so many people, approaching a majority, who think they don't have to pay in so they don't care what it all costs.  Obamacare, free food on the card, housing, utilities, transportation, Obama phone, you name it.  Your unfunded government is your provider, not the taxpayers who used to fund it.

The same 'rational electorate' who chose Obama and a Dem senate just chose a Republican House by a wide margin.  (Will the President and Senate now honor their mandate?)  House Republican reelection makes even less sense, the approval rate for congress hit an all time low of 10% this year.    Divided government didn't provide much for checks and balances, look at the lack of discoveries coming out of the Fast and Furious hearings.  It really just makes for an unworkable partnership.

Heal?  I don't think so.  Just agreeing to be governed against my will.  For me, I will just try to step back and care a little less about the future of our country and survive personally.   As (BBG put it) the statists will run more and more of our lives.  I really feel sorry for the next generation but this is to a large extent their doing.

Now the downward spiral continues.  The R. House cannot authorize taxes or spending that they don't believe in; they also have commitments to their voters.  Without caving on one side or the other there can't be a solution to the fiscal cliff.  Dems will blame Republicans for 2 years for debt ceilings, shutdowns and stalemates and then try again to win the House, 60 in the Senate, and get complete control over us - again.  And then what?

Wesbury, how is that election-neutral forecast going?  Any chance of a downturn when the top capital gains tax rate triples, except in California where rates are going up even more.

Summer of Recovery, coming in 2015, again, after all the gridlock.  Worked so well last time.
On a more positive note: Bigdog, how did your telecast go?
5568  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 07, 2012, 12:07:17 AM
Life is tough.  It is tougher when we are stupid. cry cry cry cry cry cry cry cry cry

Very negative thoughts go through my mind right now about the future of our country.
5569  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 06, 2012, 12:30:15 PM
We are elected not only the President and the direction of the Senate, but we are also choosing the next Supreme Court!
I hate to do more predictions at this late hour when I can so quickly be proven wrong.  Before the first debate when things looked hopeless I told a friend Romney by 3.  I think he needs to win by 2 or more to be sure to get the electoral college where he needs only 269.

Rasmussen's final is Romney 49, Obama 48.  Way within the margin of sampling error in fact separated by only a few poll takers.

Soon we will find out if the polling results were systematically wrong.  If so we will see a big Romney win and only in that scenario do R's carry the Senate.  If the polls were essentially right it means a deadlock/recount scenario or a close Obama electoral win and a Dem Senate, divided congress.  God help us.

The optimism around here comes from thinking we know the facts, a proven miserable favorable is running against a guy with a real chance to turn things around if the House and Senate will let him.  All along we assumed people would see that, but so many people are invested in pointing fingers and taxing others that I don't have any idea how this plays out.

There are things I wish our side had done differently, but for now just say this:


When you get back, start calling people, the like-minded and the potentially undecided.  Let your family, friends know where you stand and let them get used to knowing that they are going to be hearing from you every election day.
5570  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: November 06, 2012, 12:08:52 PM
Crafty, That is a good discussion on all 3 sides.  Most simply, we need to end the war against starting and growing companies.

I only agree partly with Prof. Christensen's idea of making more tiers for time length held on capital gains taxation and for different reasons.  My reason would be because of the declining value of each dollar of return. 

Tweaking the system with a goal of favoring one type of innovation over another is not simplicity. 

His calls for more education focus is interesting, a topic in itself.   Mostly the solution is just changing the mindset against businesses and enterprises, addressing simple competitiveness issues that we keep getting wrong.  If we want investment, employment and innovation, why do we slap 50,000 new regulations down in the last 45 months.  Don't have the highest corporate taxes in the world with capital gains tax rates scheduled to triple.  Don't place new burdens on employers like Obamacare, new medical device taxes, war against energy/ new war against fracking coming, etc.  These are anti-growth, anti startup measures. 

Look at the criteria Heritage uses to measure economic freedom and start removing the obvious, unnecessary burdens. 
5571  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: November 05, 2012, 11:40:07 PM
"Does that make sense?"

Yes.  )
5572  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues - Meet the media biased Press with David Gregory on: November 05, 2012, 08:55:22 AM
Following the deluge here last week I watched this show in its entirety yesterday.  It certainly masquerades as being a balanced show in search of the truth.

Host David Gregory asked his administration guest a very tough question about the lack of security at Benghazi.  I'll come back and add the text in with exact quotes, but after he got his non-answer at quarter after the hour he said that's all we have time for and went on to break.

He made no point whatsoever to expose or correct the lie put forth by the Barack Obama administration through Ambassador Susan Rice on his show on Sept 16, 2012:

See the Rice interview:
Meanwhile, did CBS bury the contradictory parts of their President Obama video until too late to do damage for political or editorial reasons?  With the space available on the internet, why are we not entitled to see entire on-the-record interviews in something close to real time?  
BD, I know I lose more moderate voters with my liberal bias rants, but I lose me if I don't speak up on what I see that troubles me deeply.  It isn't that there aren't enough right wing sources; it is that I resent having to go there to get key information and it troubles me to see what others are often missing.  I agree with you 100% on your point about other types of unreported stories and under-reported stories in our media.  The China-Japan islands dispute is a great example.  American press is audience and ratings oriented with very little interest in widening our knowledge.  That is one of the great benefits of this forum where much of this does come up with referrals to good sources to read.
5573  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Policy: The 'Payroll Tax' Is Not Regressive on: November 03, 2012, 11:42:55 AM
Payroll Taxes Are 'Regressive'? Time to Rethink That Idea  (WSJ 10/29/2012 excerpt)
Critics of how Medicare and Social Security are funded don't take into account benefit payouts. Suddenly, the taxes look progressive after all.


Many of those who assert that the rich don't pay their fair share of the nation's bills often point to how Social Security and Medicare are funded. For example, columnist Paul Krugman wrote on his New York Times blog in 2010 that "the payroll tax is regressive, as are most state and local taxes, which largely offsets the progressivity of the income tax." And President Clinton's secretary of labor, Robert Reich, said in an October 2007 blog post, "payroll taxes take a much bigger portion of the paychecks of lower-income Americans than of higher-income [Americans]. Viewed as a whole, the current tax system is quite regressive."

On the contrary, studies show that the Social Security and Medicare programs, viewed as a whole, are anything but regressive.
[image] Getty Images

The payroll taxes that fund these programs are collected for the express purpose of providing income supplements and medical care during retirement. In the case of Social Security, earned income is taxed proportionately at 12.4% (split evenly between employee and employer) up to a cap that is currently set at $110,100. Those who assert that the Social Security tax is regressive note that the income cap results in a decline in taxes paid as a percentage of income as income rises above the cap. But this observation omits three critical facts.

First, the amount of one's Social Security income at retirement is also capped. Second, higher-income workers receive less of a benefit as a percentage of their contributions than do lower-income workers. The payouts to retirees are, and are intended to be, redistributive. Third, Social Security income is subject to the income tax—and the income tax is progressive.

...studies suggest that both of the payroll-tax systems are progressive, not regressive. Moreover, according to a July 2012 study by the Congressional Budget Office, entitled "The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2008 and 2009," the entire U.S. federal tax system (including the earned-income tax, the various capital income taxes, the two types of payroll taxes, the corporate tax, and the excise tax) is also progressive.

Those who assert that "the rich" do not pay their "fair share" seem to be ignoring these other facts: A study released in 2008 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reported the U.S. federal income tax system is the most progressive of any of the 24 countries of its member nations. And an October 2011 report by the Tax Foundation noted that in 2009 the top 1% of U.S. earners—who earned 17% of the income—paid 37% of the taxes. The top 5% earned 32% of the income and paid 59% of the taxes. The bottom 50% paid 2.3% of taxes, and the bottom quintile received money back in the form of refundable tax credits.

Lee Ohanian is professor of economics at UCLA and a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.
5574  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Where the growth has been the last 4 years on: November 03, 2012, 10:54:03 AM
5575  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential - Charles Krauthammer: The Choice on: November 03, 2012, 10:25:40 AM
The choice

By Charles Krauthammer, Published: November 1,  Washington Post

“Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not.” That was Barack Obama in 2008. And he was right. Reagan was an ideological inflection point, ending a 50-year liberal ascendancy and beginning a 30-year conservative ascendancy.

It is common for one party to take control and enact its ideological agenda. Ascendancy, however, occurs only when the opposition inevitably regains power and then proceeds to accept the basic premises of the preceding revolution.

Thus, Republicans railed for 20 years against the New Deal. Yet when they regained the White House in 1953, they kept the New Deal intact.

And when Nixon followed LBJ’s Great Society — liberalism’s second wave — he didn’t repeal it. He actually expanded it. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), gave teeth to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and institutionalized affirmative action — major adornments of contemporary liberalism.

Until Reagan. Ten minutes into his presidency, Reagan declares that “government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” Having thus rhetorically rejected the very premise of the New Deal/Great Society, he sets about attacking its foundations — with radical tax reduction, major deregulation, a frontal challenge to unionism (breaking the air traffic controllers for striking illegally) and an (only partially successful) attempt at restraining government growth.

Reaganism’s ascendancy was confirmed when the other guys came to power and their leader, Bill Clinton, declared (in his 1996 State of the Union address) that “the era of big government is over” — and then abolished welfare, the centerpiece “relief” program of modern liberalism.

In Britain, the same phenomenon: Tony Blair did to Thatcherism what Clinton did to Reaganism. He made it the norm.

Obama’s intention has always been to re-normalize, to reverse ideological course, to be the anti-Reagan — the author of a new liberal ascendancy. Nor did he hide his ambition. In his February 2009 address to Congress he declared his intention to transform America. This was no abstraction. He would do it in three areas: health care, education and energy.

Think about that. Health care is one-sixth of the economy. Education is the future. And energy is the lifeblood of any advanced country — control pricing and production, and you’ve controlled the industrial economy.

And it wasn’t just rhetoric. He enacted liberalism’s holy grail: the nationalization of health care. His $830 billion stimulus, by far the largest spending bill in U.S. history, massively injected government into the free market — lavishing immense amounts of tax dollars on favored companies and industries in a naked display of industrial policy.

And what Obama failed to pass through Congress, he enacted unilaterally by executive action. He could not pass cap-and-trade, but his EPA is killing coal. (No new coal-fired power plant would ever be built.) In 2006, liberals failed legislatively to gut welfare’s work requirement. Obama’s new Health and Human Services rule does that by fiat. Continued in a second term, it would abolish welfare reform as we know it — just as in a second term, natural gas will follow coal, as Obama’s EPA regulates fracking into noncompetitiveness.

Government grows in size and power as the individual shrinks into dependency. Until the tipping point where dependency becomes the new norm — as it is in Europe, where even minor retrenchment of the entitlement state has led to despair and, for the more energetic, rioting.

An Obama second term means that the movement toward European-style social democracy continues, in part by legislation, in part by executive decree. The American experiment — the more individualistic, energetic, innovative, risk-taking model of democratic governance — continues to recede, yielding to the supervised life of the entitlement state.

If Obama loses, however, his presidency becomes a historical parenthesis, a passing interlude of overreaching hyper-liberalism, rejected by a center-right country that is 80 percent nonliberal.

Should they summon the skill and dexterity, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan could guide the country to the restoration of a more austere and modest government with more restrained entitlements and a more equitable and efficient tax code. Those achievements alone would mark a new trajectory — a return to what Reagan started three decades ago.

Every four years we are told that the coming election is the most important of one’s life. This time it might actually be true. At stake is the relation between citizen and state, the very nature of the American social contract.
5576  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 03, 2012, 10:20:08 AM
Agreed too late to do anything different now, I'm just expressing deep frustration and fear.  Sure hope Morris is right , , ,God Bless America.
It is time for everyone involved to find and adopt an undecided or leaning voter between now and Tuesday.  I have one friend in mind who is a former Republican and has leaned left more recently and I am working to make sure my daughter's first ballot gets turned in on time no matter how she fills it out.

Call personally on election day and confirm with every like minded person you know that we all showed up.

The difference of Obamacare passing or not might have happened right in my mostly conservative town of 1000.  The recount from R to D to make the 60 Senator shift on just a few votes might have been people out here who were too busy or thought it wouldn't matter.  It mattered - big time.

It doesn't seem like it sometimes, but one more vote in Calif, Minn, and every other place does make a difference.  The margin of victory matters.  It matters in the close races and it matters in places not close to start to change or build any momentum to get good candidates and messages to come forward in the future.

To everyone who cares - do something!
5577  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: November 03, 2012, 09:57:37 AM
I need to go through Pat's work in more detail to understand the specifics but one of the stunning first impressions is what a waste of time and money the intervening programs were.  2009 'improved' because we were paying public subsidies into the market to prevent a full correction.  When the free money ended the program had no lasting beneficial effect.  Same for cash for clunkers.  In sum the $6 trillion or more of overspending is down the tube, with interest accruing forever, and the effects on the economy of these contrived measures were counterproductive, shielding markets from the real market forces of correction and recovery.

No lessons were learned because the people who didn't agree with market economics then for the most part still don't know about it now.

Housing corrects by allowing the market to operate as freely as it can and then growing national income so that people can pay what they choose to live where they want.  Government intervention programs are designed mostly to do the opposite.
5578  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 03, 2012, 09:43:14 AM
Feeling very frustrated with Mitt tonight.  The timidity of his campaign has turned what should have been a rampage through the wasteland of the record of the worst president of my lifetime into a real nail biter.

This forum would be a wonderful resource for someone looking for hundreds of specific devastating points that would have Obama off balance all day every day.  Instead, the man won't even touch Benghazi  cry

Agreed, though with the increase of stupidity and entrenchment of the leech class, it may not pay to be more aggressive now.

Yes, at this point in the campaign he is speaking to the one percent or less in the dead center of the electorate between Obama and Romney in a couple of counties of a couple of states in a language I don't expect to be able to understand.

I hope they know what they are doing.

To some extent it is the job of others to expose the opponent and his job to be the positive alternative.
5579  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Final Jobs Report on: November 02, 2012, 08:55:43 AM
Unemployment higher in numbers and percentage than when Obama took office.

George Bush's fault
5580  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs, spending, deficit, budget: debt will consume income on: November 01, 2012, 12:21:42 PM
"A new study by Stanford economist Michael Boskin estimates that the debt, if left unchecked, will have "severe negative consequences" for family incomes over time. The debt will reduce the average family income by 10 percent in 2030, by 17 percent in 2040 and by 30 percent by 2050."
5581  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 01, 2012, 11:57:28 AM
Morris is quite optimistic.  On election night, watch for Romney to win Virginia by 3 or more for an indicator of which direction it is going.

Only in the full sweep scenario do Republicans also take the Senate.  11 Senate seats are still tossups and the polling isn't that accurate.  The result will depend on who shows up in a lot of different places.

Interesting campaign tidbit:  It's the final weekend in such a large nation and both Obama and Romney are going to Dubuque on Saturday.  I doubt if there is more than one airport in Iowa's 9th largest city.
5582  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics - Hurricane, power and gas on: November 01, 2012, 11:50:38 AM
Electricity and gas is a top need and priority after interruption in the wake of the storm.

Who knew?

Energy is always a top priority, except for when we take it for granted.

Meanwhile Al Gore is saying energy consumption caused the storm:
Scientists tell us that by continually dumping 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere every single day, we are altering the environment in which all storms develop. As the oceans and atmosphere continue to warm, storms are becoming more energetic and powerful. Hurricane Sandy, and the Nashville flood, were reminders of just that.

George Bush's fault.
5583  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: November 01, 2012, 10:24:27 AM
Bigdog, These are good points, very well expressed.  The storm was huge, deadly and affected people beyond what was in its path.  I regret a couple of things, that I piled on with points already made by others, and that my words trivialized the importance of broadcasting the deadly danger impending.

The Mourdock point is interesting.  It is something they would also cover if not interrupted by the storm, but not ahead of or instead of Benghazi IMO.  What bill or constitutional amendment that might pass in the Senate would ban abortion for pregnancies resulting from rape?  There are none.

"The New York Times and Washington Post have both run nearly 100 pieces over the last 3 months mentioning the GOP and rape."  There is an under-covered story.

Rape abortions make up about .05% of all abortions.  The non-existent controversy makes a useful diversion from focusing on convenience abortions that comprise more than 98% of abortions, as I see it. 

Regarding Benghazi, the Sunday shows were the conduit for the central lie the administration put forward.  I clicked and watched Ambassador Susan Rice go on four of those shows with the exact same well rehearsed story.  She was sent there by the White House to tell the nation a false characterization of what happened in a very important international event.  It has been 7 weeks since the tragedy.  What exactly she was covering up we still don't know. 

Assuming professionalism and conscience, these shows would feel a need to get the false story corrected, find and air the truth the best they can and get it done in the same format, national broadcast not in a blog, prior to the election.

My complaint is aimed at far more than the decisions made that one day.  The point of that day is that if not that day as the story was exploding, then when?  It isn't going to happen.  They broadcast a falsehood and they leave it out there for weeks or forever uncorrected. 

If the administration goes down partly because of this story it is because people moved on to get their news from other sources than what used to be the main networks and the main newspapers. 
5584  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion - the limb off a live animal? on: October 31, 2012, 12:12:34 PM
Some very wise words over on Power of The Word thread could be applied here IMO, unless one argues the little developing one is plant or inanimate.  Earlier we determined that a fetus is a live human but of lower value than a born person.
"What is the true test of a moral person? How do you know that someone is truly a good person, and not just preaching?

One test is to observe the way they treat subordinates. Someone who can show concern for those who are lower and more helpless than themselves is a person who is truly good.

...the ban on eating the limb of a live animal is a general law which commands us to be kind to animals. In fact, Jewish law prohibits inflicting unnecessary pain on animals.
There is a clear hierarchy here. We are not equal with G‑d, and animals are not equal to humans. The myth of equality is necessary only to protect the weak in a world devoid of morality. But moral beings with a clear code of ethics can recognize the innate inequality of nature without exploiting it. Being higher means being more responsible. Nature is here to serve us, but we are here to serve G‑d, and that means treating all His creatures, equal or not, with respect.
An additional reason mentioned by the Sages for human treatment of animals is that it cultivates humane conduct toward other people, while inhumane treatment of animals carries the danger of inculcating insensitivity toward others. (Research confirms a connection between people who torture animals as youngsters and those who are violent as adults, though there is no way to tell if there is a causal relationship.)

The Sefer Hachinuch (596) writes: "Among the motivations for this commandment is to accustom ourselves to delicate souls, choosing the straight path and adhering to it, and seeking mercy and kindness. Once we obtain this habit, then even toward animals, which were created to serve us, we will show concern."
And Nachmanides writes: "The reason for refraining [from taking the eggs in the presence of the mother] is to teach us the quality of mercy, and not to act cruelty. For cruelty [toward animals then] spreads into the soul of man [and expresses itself toward people as well]."
5585  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: October 31, 2012, 12:10:20 PM
The top 4 newspapers in Iowa endorsed Mitt Romney in a big switch since 2008. Worth reading:
5586  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics- Pew poll non-response rate is 91% on: October 31, 2012, 11:46:45 AM
Pew admitted they are getting a 9% response rate on polling.  91% are like me and don't take the call or don't tell strangers their views on the phone.  Hard to say what this means for accuracy but not a good sign.

Still I find myself watching the movement in the polls almost every day.  (
5587  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy - Repeal the Medical Device Tax on: October 31, 2012, 01:07:23 AM
From the previous post, "we ought to kill the death tax. You paid for that farm once. You shouldn't have to pay for it again."

Great line!

Give some credit here to my congressman Erik Paulsen for pushing this.  The House has approved repeal of the medical device tax.  Now waiting for the Harry Reid led Senate to take up action - or to leave power.

Minnesota has 1270 medical device businesses.  Want to get less of something, tax it. 

Did anyone ever ask (David Gregory?) how this tax helps healthcare? Costs?  Or exports!?
5588  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential: Mondale's only state in play for Romney? on: October 31, 2012, 12:49:27 AM
When Mondale lost 49 states to Reagan, MN seemed for a moment to be American's furthest to the left state.  Then Mondale lost statewide in MN in 2002 becoming the first and only person to ever lose statewide in all 50.

Minnesota Poll now has Obama in MN by just +3, inside the sampling margin of error.

Same poll was wrong by 12 points in 2010, overestimating Dem support. (Who knew?!)

Obama playing demographic cards in Nevada, New Mexico and elsewhere may have a different effect in the upper midwest.
5589  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 30, 2012, 11:59:13 PM
Revise and extend my remarks...

Meet the Press etc should have done their job, filmed a show, brought in key guests,  asked tough questions - on key issues.  It is 2 shows to a landmark election and they haven't asked much yet. On the eastern seaboard they should have cut away as they did with every other show for extreme weather warnings.  People can catch up with the clips, news, video and transcripts when they have more time.

Strange to learn it wasn't the storm but the inconvenient comment of the Indiana candidate that superseded coverage of the Benghazi security scandal.

Like Candy Crowley says, we can get to that later.  Much later.

Bad storms coverage has good ratings.  Right wing rape abortion comments have the potential to hurt Mitt Romney.  We have time for that.
5590  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Libya, Selective Disarmament and Unarmed military vehicles... on: October 30, 2012, 11:25:23 PM
"Drones above Benghazi were unarmed"  because ... _____________________________?

Because there was no threat in Libya, Benghazi?  No, that wasn't the reason. 

Disarmament is one of our strategies:  "Please tell Vladimir I will have more flexibility [to disarm] after my reelection."

Disarmament and appeasement turns enemies into peace seekers, so the naivete goes.

Why cover it up?  This is our strategy in Libya at least. With no American arms, no one will get hurt, right?

The administration does not explain the dichotomy.  The drones in Yemen and Pakistan do not been fly unarmed.  Recalling this map of "Obama’s 284 Drone Strikes in Pakistan":

They fly ready to kill with the purpose of killing.  Even the furthest left regime in American history knows you don't stop terrorists with unarmed aircraft.  Yet they chose unarmed for defending American resources in Libya.  Very odd.  And unexplained.

UAV, FYI, refers to unmanned, not unarmed, aerial vehicle.
5591  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Libya / Benghazigate on: October 30, 2012, 09:41:54 AM
Right when I thought it was just me I keep seeing more coverage - in places only right wingers will look.  This one is PJ Media.  Goes from great coverage of what is thought to be known right now to conjecture about how and why it happened.  page through as you please and stop if you want before he gets to the "T" word, treason.

Questions for White House Over Benghazi Just Beginning
We have two likely possibilities for what occurred, plus a subplot involving arms to al-Qaeda, which could be treason.

(4 internet pages, read at the link or I can come back later to post it all here.)
5592  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues, Jonah Goldberg on Benghazigate on: October 30, 2012, 09:35:14 AM
The whole column is very good, but this part pertains specifically to the discussion here:

LA Times today:,0,6605340.column

"This is not to say that Fox News is alone in covering the story. But it is alone in treating it like it's a big deal. Of the five Sunday news shows, only "Fox News Sunday" treated this as a major story. On the other four, the issue came up only when Republicans mentioned it. Tellingly, on NBC's "Meet the Press," host David Gregory shushed a guest when she tried to bring up the subject, saying, "Let's get to Libya a little bit later."

Gregory never did get back to Benghazi. But he saved plenty of time to dive deep into the question of what Indiana U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's comments on abortion and rape mean for the Romney campaign. Typically, Gregory's instincts about the news routinely line up with Democratic talking points, in this case Obama's ridiculous "war on women" rhetoric.

I am willing to believe that journalists like Gregory are sincere in their desire to play it straight. But among those who don't share his instincts, it's hard to distinguish between conspiracy and groupthink. Indeed, it's hard to think why one should even bother trying to make that distinction at all."
5593  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: October 29, 2012, 11:12:04 PM
cry cry cry

The whole Benghazi story and its lack of followup makes me angry and puzzled.  I don't understand why they are not called out to answer for the lies, shiny objects and deceptions.  There wasn't a video or a video maker in the Benghazi story, but we were told there was.  There was a multiple hour struggle with security within reach, ordered to stand down.  Why?  By whom?  Don't we deserve to know? 

We made mistakes, misjudged the threat, misjudged the security needed.  Why not come forward early on and say so?  What have we learned?  In hind-sight, what would we do differently, what should we do differently, right now?  None of it asked.  None of it answered.

Sec. of State Hillary Clinton didn't take responsibility in any real way, just admitted she was Sec of State when it happened.  President Obama didn't take responsibility in any real way, really just admitted he is President and is ultimately responsible.

Military leadership doesn't say stand down or don't protect our resources.  Civilian leadership had a reason for doing that.  I am all for civilian leadership over our military.  That is because we have more than one way to remove and replace them.

I would rather run them out with the accurate information than without it.

There is a lot we don't know about the specific terror network and perpetrators.  There isn't a lot the administration doesn't know about the U.S. side of the story.

If this is all national secret, then brief select members of congress.

But why should they answer or say anything.  Lessons were learned with Fast and Furious.  An Executive branch with no knowledge claimed Executive privilege. The Attorney General was charged with Contempt of Congress and a majority of his own party supported that.  Yet he is still Attorney General with no consequence and the President is still running roughly even in the polls despite a horrendous economy.

Why should they answer; they are hardly even being asked.

Let's give voters no information whatsoever and then let them decide.
5594  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues -Storm story is big, so is national security before an election on: October 29, 2012, 09:40:39 PM
"If the excuse is the hurricane, lol...".  "Interesting wording."

Guilty. The nervous laugh is that every week they have a reason, not at the Act of God destruction sure to come.  I have the same compassion as your average liberal or journalist.  When will they get to asking the tough questions of the right people and demand an answer?  Never.  Not before, during or after the storm, or they can easily prove me wrong. If the only story is the storm, cancel the show and bring in the weather people and emergency broadcasters.  That is what they are doing tonight.  Is that what happened Sunday am?  I don't think so.

"Are you suggesting that potential damage, loss of life, etc. is not worthy of news, Doug?"  No.  And there wasn't any Sunday morning, but a real need to tell people to take cover.  "Are you suggesting that potential ramifications of Sandy shouldn't be talked about?"  No.  Did I say that?  "Especially on the east coast, which is where the news headquarters tend to be located?"  Interesting point, they should call it the meet the east coast press.  How about asking the rest of the questions from a Calif studio:  WHO TOLD OUR SECURITY FORCES TO STAND DOWN AND LET OUR DIPLOMATS BE MURDERED?  Was the drone armed?  Who watched in real time in the situation room?  Where was the President?  Who told Susan Rice the lie to spread on 5 Sunday shows?  Why?   - No time for any of that.

"And, I think I am firmly on record about OFF."  - Noted.  And likewise for the agreement on this issue.  )
None of my anger is aimed at anyone here!  (Big, friendly smile icon)

"That does not mean the criticism of the news shows of YESTERDAY was merited."  I watched the end of Fox News Sunday and the beginning of clicking between Meet the Press and This Week, was interrupted by news of a death in the family and left the house.  I am no expert on what they did or did not cover yesterday other than to infer from all sides in the conversation that the storm coming was the reason for no real follow up on a Benghazi story that is huge and that we all agree is not getting the coverage or aggressive followup that it deserves.

The storm story is now huge and publicizing its magnitude and potential for damage before it hit was fully warranted. 

It didn't stop Bill Clinton from telling a Connecticut crowd Sunday night:  "We're coming down to the 11th hour. We're facing a violent storm," Clinton said. He waited a beat, then added, "It's nothing compared to the storm we'll face if you don't make the right decision in this election."  Was that a joke or serious?  I don't know.

I expect hurricanes to hit seaboards, deathly cold waves in the north, earthquakes in earthquake zones, floods in flood zones, all newsworthy.  I wonder how many minutes Meet the Press spent on the Missouri River floods of 2011. "in the second half of the month of May 2011, almost a year's worth of rain fell over the upper Missouri River basin" after a 212% of normal snowfall meltoff from the Rockies.  - Not a mention.  Couldn't even see it from Washington or New York.

Freeway intersection I-29 and I-680 June 10 2011, US Army Corps of Engineers photo

Was this Sunday morning's storm coverage so urgent and thorough that they skipped their commercials?  - No.  They just skipped doing their job.


Note: Drudge who is not liberal or east coast based goes hog wild on big storms too.  Disasters make great news stories.  Huge headline as I post this, "NYC Goes Dark".  Below storm coverage he continues coverage of the rest, including:
CLINTON: Sandy 'nothing compared to the storm we'll face' if R elected...
There will be a 'Secretary of Business' in 2nd Term...
Father of Slain SEAL to president: 'Better to Die a Hero Than Live a Coward'...
5595  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 29, 2012, 01:33:01 PM
A splattering of wimpy comments from the links of coverage in our AWOL 'watchdog' mainstream press:  Creating confusion.  Clumsy. Transparent.  An utterly contrived story.  Mentions on a blog but never a series of relentless followup questions on the Sunday shows in question with their key guests.  Please point out if I missed that.  One Stephanopolous blog entry ends with the quote Biden saying Romney is politicizing the tragedy and the other with the comment that it was Mitt's worst moment.  Why would a news show make a follow up on points expressed so clearly and objectively?

I wonder what these agenda driven losers would have said about Watergate, had it been Obama instead of Nixon.

Maybe for opinion, but the viewer should not need to go to right wing media to get basic facts on core issues of the day.  But we do.

If the excuse is the hurricane, lol, then which storm continues to keep them off of Fast and Furious?

It was NOT our military leaders IMHO telling our forces to stand down and let the assassinations and destruction go forward.  It was our civilian leadership and we have much easier way to change them out than impeachment.

“They’re just sowing more confusion about this rather than resolving the issue, which is creating more of an issue,” Gregory concluded.   - And then he didn't make it more of an issue.  Maybe he is planning a hard hitting, national, prime time inquiry into all the contradictions, misstatements, deceptions and the security failures themselves in Benghazi prior to the election - when they are done with their regional weather forecast.  I will stay tuned.

To this quote: "essentially the coverage has been far, far less than this matter deserves, and far, far less probing than this matter deserves," Bigdog wrote:  "as you well know I agree with you there."

Amen to that!
5596  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, Wesbury, velocity, undertainty on: October 29, 2012, 12:33:30 PM
Wesbury is right on the money with his key point here.  Velocity is the key determinant of what is wrong and what needs to improve and uncertainty is at the heart of it.  Worse than high tax rates we have total uncertainty about future tax rates.  No investor can make any calculated decision.  No company can know their after tax return on investment for all the plant building and expansion decisions that are not being made right now.  Pull back, sit still and wait is the only logical choice which means, generally, no new jobs.

I've mentioned that Wesbury is more candid about his political views on right wing radio (Friday Hugh Hewitt show for one) than he is writing for the investment house.  Wesbury thinks Romney is going to win and that will be good for the economy.  So do I, but my uncertainty level is 50% or more.

What he means by plowhorse economy is that the American private sector is strong but pulling this awfully burdensome load, the American public sector, including all the transfer payments.

If you believe recovery depends on a change of course and the change of course depends on knowing the result especially President and Senate on which the change of course depends, how can you know or predict the economic outlook?

"Recently we lifted our recession odds to 25% from 10%."

Right.  What that means is that we are headed into a recession - or we aren't.  You can base your investment decisions on that secure knowledge.
5597  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: October 23, 2012, 07:56:49 PM
Covering for the lack of liberal posts on the board, I offer these:

Bill Keller's advice for Romney in the final debate.  He actually followed point one, lay off of Benghazi.  Point two is say something nice about the Palestinians, then extend a hand to the Muslim Brotherhood and on it goes.  Keller is former editor of NY TImes, maybe even inspired Crafty's 'Pravda' naming.
Next, the geniuses ot NYT thought if I liked that one I would like to read this one too!

Government creates jobs - millions of them:

Mr. Romney interrupted. “Government does not create jobs,” he said. “Government does not create jobs.”

It was a decidedly crabbed response to a seemingly uncontroversial observation, and yet Mr. Obama took the bait. He said his political opponents had long harped on “this notion that I think government creates jobs, that that somehow is the answer. That’s not what I believe.” He went on to praise free enterprise and to say that government’s role is to create the conditions for everyone to have a fair shot at success.

So, they agree. Government does not create jobs.

Except that it does, millions of them — including teachers, police officers, firefighters, soldiers, sailors, astronauts, epidemiologists, antiterrorism agents, park rangers, diplomats, governors (Mr. Romney’s old job) and congressmen (like Paul Ryan).
What they don't get it that government jobs ride off the revenues generated by taxpaying enterprise jobs (not the other way around).  Government can't and doesn't create them first or on their own.
5598  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Did Pres. Obama know about two PRIOR Benghazi attacks? on: October 23, 2012, 07:42:55 PM
Did Pres. Obama know about two PRIOR Benghazi attacks?

If he did, then he knew this was a terror attack too BEFORE any report or investigation.

If he did not, were they in the daily intelligence briefings that he did not attend in person.

If they were in there and he did not see them, did he play golf or hold fund raisers on those days.

Just curious.
5599  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Woodward: President wrong on defense sequestration on: October 23, 2012, 07:34:51 PM
Bob Woodward: Obama 'mistaken' on sequester

'What the president said is not correct,' Woodward told POLITICO | AP Photo
By LEIGH MUNSIL | 10/23/12 4:24 PM EDT Updated: 10/23/12 6:02 PM EDT

Bob Woodward says President Barack Obama got some of his facts wrong on sequester at Monday night’s debate.

Woodward’s book, “The Price of Politics,” has been the go-to fact check source for the president’s answer, in which he claimed the idea of using deep, automatic, across-the-board domestic and defense spending cuts to force Congress to address the nation’s burgeoning federal deficit originated from Congress, not from the White House.

“What the president said is not correct,” Woodward told POLITICO Tuesday. “He’s mistaken. And it’s refuted by the people who work for him.”

Woodward, a Washington Post journalist who was a key reporter on the initial coverage of the Watergate scandal, said he stands behind his reporting in the book, which drew upon sources involved in last year’s deficit talks and detailed notes taken in the meetings.

(Also on POLITICO: Woodward's book: 5 telling moments)

Woodward reports in his book that White House Office of Management Director Jack Lew and Legislative Affairs Director Rob Nabors took the proposal for sequestration to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and then it was presented to congressional Republicans.

During the debate, however, Obama said the idea originated on Capitol Hill.

“First of all, the sequester is not something that I've proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed,” Obama said, adding his strongest pronouncement to date on its future: “It will not happen.”

Woodward said there’s a possibility the president was unaware of how the idea came about.

“It’s a complicated process — and in fairness to the president — maybe he didn’t know that they were doing this because it’s kind of technical budget jargon,” Woodward said.

“What I wrote — it’s specific date, time, place, participants,” he said. “What I’ve reported is totally accurate. Call Nabors and Lew. Or ask the White House. I mean, they know that’s accurate.”

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5600  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential: Climate Change / Global Warming on: October 23, 2012, 07:23:14 PM
What is the biggest issue of our time?

360 debate minutes behind us, the majority of that with Obama-Biden speaking.  The closest we came to a mention of climate change or global warming was the contest between Pres. Obama and Gov. Romney to see who was the most pro-coal.
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