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5651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 27, 2011, 02:26:00 PM
DF,  You make good sense to me on the role of government, immigration and foreign policy.  The only area I disagree is in the details of the Patriot Act.  I don't want to lose any privacy either but I don't think I lost any with that.  If a known terrorist reaches me by accident, cell phone to cell phone, it would not be outside of the principles of a free and secure society that law enforcement may find that out and want to pursue it with me.  McCain is yesterday's news, now we need to figure out what to do with these guys.

From my point of view, a) Obama and all of his left governing big government philosophy must go, b) conservatives with clear principles are actually more electable than mushy moderates because they can articulate a clear difference, and c) as Obama used to say, this is our moment.  It is no time to put up a weak, unqualified, unprincipled or ineffective leader.

My perfect candidate is someone with the oratory and clear thinking of Marco Rubio, with the detailed knowledge of the complex bills of government like Paul Ryan, with the executive in government  experience 2 terms or more like Rick Perry, with the private sector experience Romney or Hermann Cain and with the foreign policy experience of General Petraeus. That fantasy candidate isn't available now and never will be.  So we will take a chance now and place our bets on one of these guys.
5652  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: September 27, 2011, 02:04:34 PM
GM,  Agree.  I'm not against putting a measurable limit on driving in law if it is backed up in science.  What I'm saying is that the tie between blood content and delayed reactions / loss of concentration will be more difficult to establish for THC than it was for alcohol.  Before texting while driving bans were codified, distracted driving was already illegal.  I hope that being totally incoherent while driving is already prohibited, no matter the drug or mental defect. 

5653  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: September 27, 2011, 01:16:00 PM
The Colorado law is a farce in terms of doctor involvement, ailments and prescriptions.  Actually setting a limit fro drivers and administering a test *when justified* makes some sense, but the data and studies on the effect will not be as predictable and consistent as it is with alcohol. The effect varies more person to person.  Some in moderate usage drive safer with lower speeds and greater following distances.   

Strange to test for the least dangerous drug unless you also test for prescription drugs, amphetimine, coke, opiates, etc.

5654  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 27, 2011, 01:06:11 PM
Might also add that Texas has a river across the border, different than other states not as suitable for fencing.  The point to most citizens far away really has to do with results.  We can't have sovereignty without security.

I had the opportunity to check out a different liquid border over the weekend, slipping in and out of Canada by canoe unnoticed.  The Boundary Waters on the US side and Quetico Park on the Canadian side combine for about 2 million acres of virtually untouched northern lakes and forests wilderness.  Some border security there but no fence.  God's creatures roam freely! (  Drifting from the topic, highly recommended for a father-son, family or friends adventure.  
5655  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action on: September 27, 2011, 12:16:57 PM
"I was working with a veteran officer when the Kobe Bryant case first hit the news, that officer made a statement assuming Bryant was guilty..."

Not sure how it ties to the current discussion, but I read the police interview transcript of Kobe at the time.  Seemed pretty obvious that he was guilty of adultery not rape.
5656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 97.5% of fatal crash drivers had no trace of the most commonly used illegal drug on: September 27, 2011, 11:23:00 AM
"Researchers say about 2.5% of the fatal crashes were attributable to marijuana compared with nearly 29% attributable to alcohol."

Less than 1/10th the effect of alcohol is implied, even the low number of 2.5% involves only crashes in question enough to order the test; the total may be lower yet.  They mix results of trace levels with intoxicating levels. They mix correlation with causation.  No mention that I saw of testing for and removing other factors, for example the drivers in fatal crashes who test positive for marijuana may have been more likely to have taken something else as well. No mention of testing for control the drivers who didn't cause fatal crashes.
5657  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela post Chavez on: September 27, 2011, 10:01:41 AM
I would much rather see Hugo Chavez leave power defeated in elections by the Venezuelan people than to die prematurely as a pretend national hero, but I can't say I will be actively  praying for his health or recovery.   In one of the elections he stole IIRC the polls showed him losing 40-60 and his election apparatus put him winning 60-40.  Where I live the margin and theft for Obama's 60th senate vote, Al Franken, was just a few hundred votes.  Different facts, same lesson IMO, the margin of victory or loss matters.

Wishing you a peaceful and successful transition to more freedom, less government and better government than these last dozen years.  What happens in Venezuela matters throughout the hemisphere and the world.
5658  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 27, 2011, 09:32:22 AM
Trans-continental might have been the word he was looking for...
I am also not a Ron Paul fan but I sympathize with the sentiment that libertarians and conservatives shouldn't allow themselves at this point in the process to be rolled over by Dems in our party in disguise. Besides lacking a foreign policy Ron Paul has also failed a test of leadership in terms of drawing more people and more elected officials into the libertarian movement.  I don't like the multi-party systems, but he would not prevail there either.  We need someone who will win 51% and 270 electoral votes and advance conservative-libertarian smaller government principles.

Not my first choice, but I think Romney will be the candidate and I'm not completely sure what I think about that.  I am hoping that his Massachusetts stint was just mid-life crisis phase and that his core if he has one is more center-right. He is too much of a poll watcher but that puts the impetus back on us to keep moving the issue polls rightward and in the direction of individual liberty.  He is not going to slash federal government in any big way but If he cannot more clearly identify his own differences with the left, win those arguments and energize the right, then he will lose as did centrist McCain.  Perry did not turn out to bevery pure in his conservatism either.  Bachmann is not ready nor the right person.  Cain, like Bachmann over the summer might have his moment now and we will see if he rises to it.  He has some amazing strengths but so far has appeared not ready.  Must give credit to all of them, that this past half year was the time to step forward and give it your best shot and many did.  You can't say that for the imploding Dem field of one.

Equally important to winning the election is to govern successfully with persuasion, leadership and competence which means making bold moves and bringing the country with you.

It comes down to (IMHO) small government and large freedom vs. big government and small freedom on the domestic side.  On foreign policy there is a lot of confusion write now on all sides but we need clarity projected as to what America stands for.  And it comes down to judicial picks, don't forget.  Let's concede for a moment that Bush was a RINO for all his domestic spending and McCain too for different reasons.  The difference between having John Roberts and Sam Alito defend your constitutional rights over Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan are stark.  Those 4 named may be offsetting votes on key constitutional issues but if all 4 had fallen in one direction or the other, and to say that is all the same and makes no difference is 'crazy talk'.  Certainly the left would not agree with you.
Thomas Sowell has a column today adding his wisdom to the mix.  I agree with him on the specific points.  What he doesn't address with Perry was the inarticulateness that just killed us with the last Republican.  Good and decent is what we want, but you have to be able to command the stage and explain your principles if as the leader you are going to draw more people and support.

Superman vs. Warm Body
By Thomas Sowell

One of the problems in trying to select a leader for any large organization or institution is the tendency to start out looking for Superman, passing up many good people who fail to meet that standard, and eventually ending up settling for a warm body.

Some Republicans seem to be longing for another Ronald Reagan. Good luck on that one, unless you are prepared to wait for several generations. Moreover, even Ronald Reagan himself did not always act like Ronald Reagan.

The current outbreak of "gotcha" attacks on Texas Governor Rick Perry show one of the other pitfalls for those who are trying to pick a national leader. The three big sound-bite issues used against him during the TV "debates" have involved Social Security, immigration and a vaccine against cervical cancer.

Where these three issues have been discussed at length, whether in a few media accounts or in Governor Perry's own more extended discussions in an interview on Sean Hannity's program, his position was far more reasonable than it appeared to be in either his opponents' sound bites or even in his own abbreviated accounts during the limited time available in the TV "debate" format.

On Social Security, Governor Perry was not only right to call it a "Ponzi scheme," but was also right to point out that this did not mean welshing on the government's obligation to continue paying retirees what they had been promised.

Even those of us who still disagree with particular decisions made by Governor Perry can see some of those decisions as simply the errors of a decent man who realized that he was faced not with a theory but with a situation.

For example, the ability to save young people from cervical cancer with a stroke of a pen was a temptation that any decent and humane individual would find hard to resist, even if Governor Perry himself now admits to second thoughts about how it was done.

Many of us can agree with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's contention that it should have been done differently. But it reflects no credit on her to have tried to scare people with claims about the dangers of vaccination. Such scares have already cost the lives of children who have died on both sides of the Atlantic from diseases that vaccination would have prevented.

The biggest mischaracterization of Governor Perry's position has been on immigration. The fact that he has more confidence in putting "boots on the ground" along the border, instead of relying on a fence that can be climbed over or tunneled under where there is no one around, is a logistical judgment, not a question of being against border control.

Texas Rangers have already been put along the border to guard the border where the federal government has failed to guard it. Former Senator Rick Santorum's sound-bite attempts to paint Governor Perry as soft on border control have apparently been politically successful, judging by polls. But his repeated interrupting of Perry's presentation of his case during the recent debate is the kind of cheap political trick that contributes nothing to public understanding and much to public misunderstanding.

Those of us who disagree with Governor Perry's decision to allow the children of illegal immigrants to attend the state colleges and universities, under the same terms as Texas citizens, need at least to understand what his options were. These were children who were here only because of their parents' decisions and who had graduated from a Texas high school.

Governor Perry saw the issue as whether these children should now be allowed to continue their education, and become self-supporting taxpayers, or whether Texas would be better off with a higher risk of those young people becoming dependents or worse. I still see Governor Perry's decision as an error, but the kind of error that a decent and humane individual would be tempted to make.

I have far more questions about those who would blow this error up into something that it is not. Error-free leaders don't exist -- and we don't want to end up settling for a warm body.

Ultimately, this is not about Governor Perry. It is about a process that can destroy any potential leader, even when the country needs a new leader with a character that the "gotcha" attackers demonstrate they do not have.

5659  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Physics on: September 26, 2011, 11:18:25 PM
"one 60-billionth of a second faster"..."My gut reaction, however, is that this is a false alarm. Over the decades, there have been numerous challenges to relativity, all of them proven wrong. "
Interesting stuff.  I recall an experiment 10-12 years ago where they also allegedly made light travel slightly faster than the speed of light for a very short time.  Nothing seemed to come out of that in terms of theories discarded or product commercialized.  The speed of light is already pretty fast.

5660  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: September 26, 2011, 11:39:57 AM
GM,  Hard to say what the slip was there.  He wasn't equating Jews with janitors, that doesn't make sense.  I think when he said Billionaire he thought Soros and then Jew stuck in his mind. All (one) Jews he knows are billionaires and want higher taxes on themselves?  When I think Soros I think flaming lib, not Jew.  When I think billionaire I think jobs and how few new ones we have - billionaires and jobs.
5661  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Green Free Market solutions on: September 26, 2011, 10:52:14 AM
"I thought Cain had a great night last night in the debate, but his comment about abolishing the EPA in my opinion in political terms was profoundly stupid.  It plays right into some of the deepest fears independents have about the Republican Party."

The EPA should stay, the department of energy should go.  The only interest the government has in stopping energy production is to place reasonable protections for the environment, the jurisdiction of the EPA.  I believe all states have their own EPA, ours is the PCA - Pollution Control Agency.  The role of the EPA should be to monitor and review these state agencies for errors and omissions that are wrongfully allowing spillage over into other states, and then report that information back to the congress for necessary federal action.
5662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government stragulations: We Need a Regulatory Time-Out, by Susan Collins on: September 26, 2011, 10:46:37 AM
As important as the substance is to see from where this is coming, one of the Senate's most left leaning Republicans.  I disagree with her on policy; it is not a one year break from governmental stupidity and excess that we need.  How about a structural reform requiring that any regulation large enough in scope to cripple the economy of a state or the nation would have to go through the House and Senate in order to become federal law.

The Economy Needs a Regulation Time-Out
Why send jobs overseas by creating more rules for American business?


Last year, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to a company that sells packaged walnuts. Believe it or not, the federal government claimed the walnuts were being marketed as a drug. So Washington ordered the company to stop telling consumers about the health benefits of walnuts.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new rule on fossil-fuel emissions from boilers that—by the EPA's own admission—would cost the private sector billions of dollars and thousands of jobs. The owner of a small business in Maine told me the proposed rule would require him to scrap a new, $300,000 wood waste boiler he recently installed.

No wonder America's employers dread what is coming next out of Washington. Our country cannot afford regulations run amok at a time when no net new jobs are created and unemployment remains above 9%. But at least we're safe from health claims about walnuts.

America's overregulation problem is only getting worse. Right now, federal agencies are at work on more than 4,200 rules, 845 of which affect small businesses, the engine of job creation in our country. More than 100 are major rules, with an economic impact of more than $100 million each.

No business owner I know questions the legitimate role of limited government in protecting our health and safety. Too often, however, our small businesses are buried under a mountain of paperwork that drives up costs, prevents the hiring of workers, and impedes economic growth.

Business owners are reluctant to create jobs today when they're going to need to pay more tomorrow to comply with onerous new regulations. That's what employers mean when they say that uncertainty generated by Washington is a big wet blanket on our economy.

I have asked employers in my state what it would take to help them add jobs. No matter their business or the size of their work force, they tell me that Washington must stop imposing crushing new regulations.

America needs a "time-out" from the regulations that discourage job creation and hurt our economy. I have introduced legislation to impose a one-year moratorium on any "significant" new rules that would have an adverse impact on jobs, the economy, or America's international competitiveness. A one-year moratorium on such regulations is a common-sense solution that would help create jobs.

Under my bill, certain rules would be exempt from the moratorium: those that are needed in emergencies, such as to respond to imminent threats to public health or safety, and those affecting crime, the military and foreign affairs. My bill also excludes rules that would reduce the regulatory burden on the private sector. Unfortunately, those rules that actually reduce regulatory burdens and promote jobs are few and far between.

That EPA rule on boilers is a good example of why we need a regulatory time-out. According to a recent study by the American Forest & Paper Association, if the rule went into effect as written it could, along with other pending regulations, cause 36 American pulp and paper mills to close. That would put more than 20,000 Americans out of work—18% of that industry's work force.

Once those mills close, the businesses that supply them also would be forced to lay off workers. Estimates are that nearly 90,000 Americans would lose their jobs, and wages would drop by $4 billion—just because of over-regulation.

But even that is not the end of the story. People and businesses would still need paper. Where do you think we would get it? We'd be strengthening the economies of other countries like China, India and Brazil, while weakening our own.

American businesses need pro-growth economic policies that will end the uncertainty and kick-start hiring and investment. American workers need policies that will get them off the sidelines and back on the job.

In sports, time-outs are called to give athletes a chance to catch their breaths and make better decisions about the next play. American workers and businesses are the athletes in a global competition that we must win. They need a time-out from excessive regulation so that America can get back to work.
5663  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / liberal fascism: President Solyndra And his mean green wealth-wasting machine on: September 26, 2011, 10:29:56 AM
Long detailed piece linked below on the Solyndra fiasco by Steven Hayward

From my point of view it is important to note that the problem here is not that it failed.  We are actually worse off when this fascism appears to succeed because then it will never end.  It is important to oppose all this governmental cronyism in its concept and in all its iterations.  When the friends of the public officials get goodies and preferences that the rest of us don't get and have to pay for, it is morally and constitutionally wrong before we find out its failure and all the scandalous details.
5664  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Is it President Romney? on: September 26, 2011, 10:13:12 AM
The only question I would ask my most trusted generals on don't ask, don't tell and gays in the military is, will this help you win wars?  We have never strived for fairness in the military for people with flat feet or color blindness.  To think this is about fairness or civil rights is to forget or ignore the mission.

The question asked was(quoted from this thread): "do you intend to circumvent the progress that’s been made..."

 - I did not know that we were winning wars faster or beating tougher opponents now than before the gay fairness agenda hit the military. It does seem to me that if I were a commander I might deploy people more intelligently if I am allowed to know this most basic information about each soldier along with every thing else I can know  before I make the assignments and choose the combat teams.
Referring to the Maureen Dowd piece, if the general election debates come down to knowledge and understanding of the inner workings creative destruction and entrepreneurial, dynamic capitalism, Romney will hold his own with the community organizer.  The sooner that dead weight is lifted from an enterprise the better it will perform and the sooner that person will move on to were they really are most valuable.  That is a strength not a weakness of economic freedom and capitalism.  The Governor will handle answering for his private sector experience better than he handles his as chief executive of the most liberal state.
Romney regarding the Texas economy under Perry, 'he was dealt four aces'?  If Obama was dealt four aces he would not recognize real economic growth opportunities if they hit him over the head; he would discard at least 3 of them and hope to get more fairness, equality and diversity in his hand.
I was out of contact during this debate and Florida straw poll, but the reaction of others already posted here and elsewhere seems to be pretty much in agreement.  If Rick Perry is unable to articulate his thoughts or his governance, that is good to know right now. We've had that in a recent President and it didn't work.   If Hermann Cain is improving and has quite a gift for oratory outside of the debates and interviews, then he can serve the cause in that role, but probably not as President.  I sympathize with the anyone but Romney sentiment but will predict at this juncture that it is going to be Romney, so the question (from my point of view)  is how well can these contests pull him right and lock him into an agenda acceptable to me and an agenda that actually will be bold enough to rescue the Republic.  That question remains unanswered.  We don't know what kind of President he will be but my thought now is that it is time to work harder through the House and Senate incumbents and candidates to influence the agenda going forward.  This nomination process is likely over in an instant this winter and the addition of new and less vetted candidates won't make things easier or better.
Michael Barone gives good commentary here though I disagree with his conclusion that there still might be a white horse (color neutral horse) that will ride in and save the conservative side of this election.

Still Looking for a Candidate to Replace Obama
By Michael Barone

The Republicans' presidential debate Thursday night sponsored by Fox News and Google gave primary voters and caucus-goers at least one good reason to reject every candidate on the stage. The interesting question now is whether someone else will enter the race -- at just about the same point in the election cycle in which Bill Clinton entered the Democratic race in 1991.

The spotlight was hottest on Rick Perry, the frontrunner in national polls since he announced his candidacy in Charleston, S.C., on Aug. 13, the same day that Michele Bachmann won the straw poll in Ames, Iowa.

Perry's problem was not just that he punted on the tough question of how to respond to a terrorist takeover of nuclear-armed Pakistan. Even the smooth-talking Mitt Romney might have had trouble with that nightmare scenario. And Perry was right to cite our informal alliance with India as a source of leverage.

The problem was that Perry was couldn't respond cogently to utterly predictable questions and was unable to articulate his pre-scripted criticisms of Romney. A case can certainly be made that Romney has flip-flopped on issues. But Perry failed to make it.

Perry defended his order requiring HPV vaccinations by citing his talks with a woman with cervical cancer -- but they took place only after his order. He failed to fend off attacks on his criticisms of Social Security in his book "Fed Up!," saying he was only endorsing the longtime exemption from the program for state and local public employees.

He failed to explain why Texas, with its large legal and illegal immigrant and young populations, has a high percentage of people without health insurance.

He was eloquent in defending Texas's in-state college tuition for children of illegal aliens, but his stand is hugely unpopular with Republicans outside Texas. And he failed to point out that it helped him win a respectable 38 percent from Latino voters in the 2010 election.

Mitt Romney clearly benefited from his greater experience over the years and his superior preparation in recent weeks. But he also benefited from the fact that no one challenged him convincingly on claims that he is unlikely to be able to sustain.

He sloughed off Perry's accurate charge that he supported the Obama administration's Race to the Top education program -- a defensible position, but not a popular one for Republicans.

He repeated now what has been his standard defense of his Massachusetts health care program. But someday someone is going to nail him on his insistence that its individual mandate to buy insurance covers only 8 percent of the population. It actually applies to everyone.

He avoided Perry's claim that he deleted defenses of the program from the paperback edition of his book. He won't be able to deftly dodge that forever.

If he overtakes Perry in the polls -- a likely possibility after the Texan's stumbling performance -- he will likely become the pinata for the rest of the field, a role he figured to play before Perry entered the race.

None of the other seven candidates on the stage made a convincing case for advancing to the top tier. The closest was Rick Santorum, who was eloquent and knowledgeable on foreign policy. But his answer on gays in the military was cringe-inducing for people on all sides of the issue.

Michele Bachmann refused to back down from her statement relaying the claim of a woman who approached her saying that the HPV vaccine caused retardation in her child. Bachmann has made headway by championing the instincts of ordinary hardworking citizens over the supposed wisdom of experts. But on vaccinations the experts are right.

Pundits are fixated on designating a frontrunner, but the polls in this race -- witness Romney's rise and fall and Perry's rise -- have all the solidity of cotton candy. Bachmann's numbers peaked in July, Herman Cain's in June, Ron Paul's and Newt Gingrich's in May -- and not at high levels. Santorum's haven't peaked at all.

Could another candidate give a better performance than Perry and deliver more sustainable responses than Romney? To judge from their performances in various public and private venues the answer is yes for Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan and Chris Christie.

Each has taken himself out of the race. Each still has time to get in. Most voters are ready to reject Barack Obama. But not necessarily for one of those on the stage Thursday night.
5665  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rant & thought piece: Oil prices and Greek debt on: September 20, 2011, 01:02:45 PM
Linking a couple of current topics,  I offer this thought for comment:

Even though the U.S. is perhaps the number two producer of oil in the world with enormous reserves statutorily off limits to production and left in the ground, no increase in production, even a million barrels a day from just one of these untapped sources, would have any impact on oil prices, because oil prices are global and the globe is sooo big - we are told.  No change at the margin can make a difference.

Out of the other side of the mouth, the same people tell us the little bankrupt nation of Greece is bringing down the Euro and all of Europe, even a primary reason, just behind Bush's fault, as to why the Obama administration had no chance to turn around the American economy.

Good grief, people, which is it?  Factors and events at the margin matter or they don't?
5666  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: September 20, 2011, 12:33:30 PM
"There is still a huge shadow inventory of homes yet to be foreclosed on. There is still air in the bubble and the market has not yet found the floor."

True.  PP has documented that very well.  Housing will recover only after more people start making significantly more money.  Some say 20-30 years, some say never.  I say the economic recovery will begin very quickly after our disastrous economic policies are corrected, and housing will always be a major part of household expense priorities.   

In total, there is still an oversupply of homes and they are mostly still over-valued - for our economy and demographic.  A bold change in economic policies will be extremely hard to achieve no matter who wins the next election.

But if we do turn the economy around and real incomes grow, along with the very likely and  unfortunate onset of future inflationary growth, today's debts and sunken investments become trivial and a prosperous people will be busy buying, building and re-building homes again as their largest investment and expense.
5667  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: socioeconomic class in the US on: September 20, 2011, 12:09:45 PM
"Why can't I use any amount of money I wish to give to support any cause I wish to support and advocate for in a free society?"

Well that is one side.  The flip side is that those who give more money have more access and more influence right or wrongly.

Only because the (non-rich) majority has built and tolerates a system of spoils and preferences centered on unequal treatment under the law.

"I do not have any good answer."

I do (IMHO):  Tax every dollar of income the same no matter who earned it and how.  Slash government spending  from 65% transfer payments, robbing Peter to pay Paul back to just defending our country and governing.  If that is what the majority wanted from government, the rich would have no disproportionate advantage.  'Crazy talk.'  smiley

Don't confuse the repub power structure with the republican voters, they often have different beliefs and different agendas.

Yes, what I call elected Republicans versus conservatives.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Community Reinvestment Act, No child left behind, prescription drug benefits for some, targeted tax breaks and targeted subsidies for the few, trillion dollar deficits, hundreds of trillions in unfunded liabilities, these and thousands of other examples exist with the support and funding authorized by elected Republicans in their eternal quest to be reelected, but they are not conservative, libertarian or even constitutional IMHO.
5668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re:Wesbury, no recession? on: September 20, 2011, 11:50:01 AM
It depends on what the meaning of is is.

"climbing at a 1.5% to 2% annual rate"

Recession is not dictionary defined but agreed widely among economists to be the term for when real growth goes negative for 2 or more quarters.  By that definition, you don't know if you are already in one for a delay of more than 6 months, more like a year with revisions to numbers always coming out.  Also widely agreed among economists, breakeven growth in our economy is no less than 3.0 - 3.1%.  At zero to 2% growth going forward, if true, he is technically correct, but we are moving backwards and experiencing what ordinary people with their eyes and ears open would call an extended recession or worse.
5669  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy, Baraq's dilemma on: September 20, 2011, 10:45:07 AM
A good, neutral summary of the Obama years, interesting points throughout.  

Friedman writes, "it could be argued that [Obama] was elected because of September 2008. Prior to the meltdown, John McCain had a small lead over Obama, who took over the lead only after the meltdown. Given that the crisis emerged on the Republicans’ watch, this made perfect sense."  This isn't quite right.  The 2008 election was the Dems to lose all the way through.  McCain enjoyed a Palin euphoria at the very start of September (anyone remember that?) that solidified his shaky base and intrigued others but wore off quickly.  The general accumulated hatred toward Bush extended to McCain and then McCain was front and center displaying his lack of economic knowledge and competence during the crisis.  A lot like Obama Sept 2011, McCain was calling for a cancellation of a debate for a crisis that he had no insights on or plan any different or better than anyone else's.  The right answer economically in that election was clearly not a sharp left turn; it was just that there was no sharp turn in any other direction available.  

Friedman writes of the anti-war left, but in fact that has turned out to be the anti-Bush/Republican war left.  They have been amazingly silent and tolerant of what in large part has been the continuation of the Bush foreign policy in the major conflicts.  Can anyone imagine what the uproar to the Libya conflict would have been under a Republican.  And it is not only the left who has war fatigue 10 years into this, really more like 20 in the case of Iraq.  

The beginning of the toppling of Saddam proved to other tyrants that the U.S. could take decisive, surgical, successful actions against them as well.  The reality of these drawn out conflicts now with low support is that we are actually less capable today of bold, decisive action.

If Obama's hands are politically tied on foreign policy for 14 months (in Friedman's analysis), all major regional players, rivals and enemies across the globe know it.  That does not bode well for events overseas in that time. The key issues and circumstances that will dominate the next election are not all known yet.  There are always surprises and as he correctly points out, facts on the ground here are encouraging new surprises there.
5670  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Disparity and Governmental Cronyism on: September 20, 2011, 09:14:16 AM
"if the rich own too much, it simply is not good for the general population"

That is the myth and perception held by the people that governments use to expand their own power and destroy your wealth and opportunity. 

Crafty correctly attacked the term 'crony capitalism' recently. Correct because capitalism requires freedom and free movements of capital on a level playing field.  Can we call it 'Governmental Cronyism'.  Picking winners and losers with governmental power, central planning and control and using state power to build up and take down enterprises is not anything to do with economic freedom or capitalism.  It is third world economics, and yes you will find it running rampant in the third world.

Show me a monopoly and I will show you that it was set up and maintained by government power.  The phone company, the electric company, the post office.  Oligopolies, same thing.  A very few oil companies, big defense contractors, auto companies, highly regulated and maintained by the government with huge barriers to innovation or new entrants.

Freedom has a different dynamic called creative destruction.  As you get more and more successful and richer and richer, you get more snobbish and averse to new ideas that could either threaten your own market share and cash flows or would simply not yield enough return for you to bother with.  And then in comes the new player with disruptive innovation which is often simpler and lower in cost. The real new innovations must come from outside the dominant enterprise.  There are a million examples.  Hayes modems (anyone remember them) did not invent wireless data.  Microsoft wrote some wireless operating systems but not any that truly innovated and changed the way people do things.  Microsoft, the most feared monopoly of our time, even started naming their product after the year instead of the new capability.   Pushing oil companies to dominate wind and solar is fruitless and stupid.  Even if they were successful, why would we want it to be the same players that dominated the last century to dominate going forward?  Instead unleash freedom and let the chips fall.

We have educational freedom (to some extent) and therefore we have educational disparity.  If someone else goes on to achieve multiple PhD's and I am a tradesman, how does someone else moving forward hurt me? It doesn't, unless we find out that favors and unequal protections from government were bought and paid for with that success.

When we have advances in economic freedom, disparity increases because people  make unequal use of their newly found freedom.  That has NOTHING to do with kleptocracies and third world cronyism that has crept into our system.  Growing and protecting the disparity with unequal treatment under the law is wrong and forbidden by our widely ignored constitution and should be stopped, but fighting off wealth creation in the name of alleviating disparity just hurts everyone.

Never explained is how I am worse off for living among rich and successful people and all the opportunities that presents.  I am not worse off for it.  Nor how people born today in places like Haiti or Republic of the Congo that lack rich and successful people will be better off than us.  They aren't.
5671  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 19, 2011, 11:33:16 PM
As written, the Cain 9-9-9 plan it is far better than today's tax system.  Problem is that bill on the drawing table isn't identical to the law that gets passed or the law as it evolves 30 years and 50 years later.  Social security was to be a 1% tax rate only up to a cap of $1400 income.

From a letter today in the WSJ: "Mr. Cain's plan has all the potential to make his 9-9-9 Plan a 29-29-29 Plan following the European welfare state."  In other words, don't open that door!

The idea behind the 'Fair Tax' that made it unworkable was that it required the repeal of the amendment authorizing the income tax.  Otherwise you just end up with more of all the taxes once the political pendulum swings back the other way.

In defense of Cain, 9% on business and 9% on individuals is all we collect now so it is not outrageous to consider making that the rate on each and get rid of the deductions.

But in this era of divided government where half the voters want tax rates raised on the rich, we aren't about to from 40% income tax to 9.

Herman Cain, like some others, is not going to be the nominee or the President, but at this point in the race it is good thing to put out the idea that we could be taxed at far lower rates, take in more revenues and prosper again. 
5672  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Bias - Meet the Depressed with David Gregory on: September 18, 2011, 10:47:24 PM
It is so old to complain about media bias so I apologize in advance, but that lightweight David Gregory was way over the top today IMO.  At the start of his interview with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell must have said may I have permission to treat this one as a hostile witness.  What a jerk, Gregory.  What a bunch of loaded questions.  'The President wants to [grow jobs and solve the debt problem] but wonders whether he has a partner with the Republicans'.

They play a clip from Speaker Boehner, Gregory asks, "Isn't this classic politicians double talk, talking out of both sides of their mouths?"  No attempt whatsoever to hide his hatred or bias.  McConnell was professional and directly answered the questions without complaint.  Then, guess what?  Next guess was former President and out comes the gushing and fawning.  It was supposed to be friendly because it was supposed to be about just some global do-gooding Clinton is up to.  Fine. Instead they used Clinton to answer the other side of the same questions and issues, but with the hosts' friendly and helpful kid gloves.  If hostile is how best to question and Bill Clinton is who they send up, then rough him over too.  If he is too old, too removed or too fragile, leave him out of it.

Yes, former Presidents deserves respect.  So do the leaders of the senate.

Here is the link:
Please don't watch.  The internet hits just encourage them.
5673  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations, Linked Statehood on: September 18, 2011, 06:06:15 PM
It occurs to me that if the UN is going to take up action to make sure everyone who deserves statehood is included,  any proposal to add Palestine should also add Taiwan. Who represents them? PRC?  Let  China veto the proposal.

Alternatively, we could amend the proposal to read: Palestine in, U.S.A. out.  Then I might vote for it.
5674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / re.ChiTrib editor: Say, maybe it’s time for Obama to withdraw from 2012 on: September 18, 2011, 04:17:22 PM
Halfway through I was feeling rather proud of my prediction that Pres. Obama will not be the Dem nominee in 2012.  Then the story twisted; it turned out to be a fluff piece for Hillary - in her hometown newspaper.  Give me a break.  It is Barack's policies that are unpopular; people like him personally.

Hillary and Barack were identical in the campaign on all issues, except that Obama opposed the individual mandate.  Go figure.  Hillary was going to be the one ready to take the 3am phone call, so Obama put her in charge of taking that call, at least on foreign policy.  What time do they call and tell you your economic plan is leading us backwards?

I wouldn't hardly call this switching candidates.

They keep thinking they just aren't getting their message across.  But it's the POLICIES, stupid.
5675  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Prayer and Daily Expression of Gratitude on: September 16, 2011, 06:02:35 PM
It was late to start here and now starting to slip away, but I am grateful for another most beautiful and glorious summer.
5676  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Constitutional Law: Justice Stephen Breyer - Making Our Democracy Work on: September 16, 2011, 05:56:08 PM
'Making Our Democracy Work' or what I might call 'Ending the limits on government', Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a book about his view of the role of the Court and other branches:  Has anyone here read this book?

Radio show host Hugh Hewitt had what I thought was a very civil and informing interview yesterday with Justice Breyer.  I only heard part of it and look forward to going through it more thoroughly to better understand Breyer's view.

Hewitt is an excellent interviewer, a conservative talk show host,  a graduate of Harvard, of Univ. Of Michigan Law School, worked in the Reagan administration and is a professor of constitutional law.  Breyer is perhaps the most important voice on what I see as the expanding-government-powers side of the Court.  Hewitt does not try to explore their differences, just tries to draw out the Justice's view.

Breyer's main point while I was listening (in my words) is that the elected branches are far closer to the people and deserve great leeway.   The 9 Justices (really 5 in close decisions) are unelected.  The founders couldn't have contemplated all we face today and therefore justices should only limit the actions of the other branches in only extreme situations, narrowly and selectively.

I largely disagree.  I mostly don't care what any 50.1% or 60% majority would want for federal powers if they are not specifically authorized to do it in the constitution [except for when those expanded powers favor my own agenda  wink].  For a lot of great ideas like minimum wage, family leave, health care, and a thousand and fifty distinct federal social spending programs, we should amend the constitution if we want instead of disregarding it IMO.  If something new really is a great idea, we can pass a state law in all states or at least the states that what it.  O-RomneyCare is an example of doing large programs state by state.  A constitutional amendment similar to the federal income tax amendment authorizing a federal healthcare mandate would make the current crisis moot.  Otherwise, words have meanings and the U.S. Constitution is the highest law.  How does one argue that those powers were not left to the people and to the states?  (Justices don't discuss pending cases.)
I started to cut and paste, but it's a two hour interview, better go with just a link.
5677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential, Who said Ponzi? (continued) on: September 15, 2011, 11:03:59 PM
Krugman: (GM posted this previously in the thread) "Social practice it has turned out to be strongly redistributionist, but only because of its Ponzi game aspect, in which each generation takes more out than it put in. Well, the Ponzi game will soon be over, thanks to changing demographics..."
How about Chris Matthews and ... Tim Russert:

 Mr. Russert: "Everyone knows Social Security, as it's constructed, is not going to be in the same place it's going to be for the next generation, Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives."

Mr. Matthews: "It's a bad Ponzi scheme, at this point."

Mr. Russert: "Yes."
The list of who compared Social Security to Ponzi might be limitless.  But if SS is a Ponzi scheme and everyone knows it, why is it off-limits for a serious candidate to say aloud what a Nobel Naureate and Meet the Press star host also have said.

What article in the constitution gives congress that power anyway?
5678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US-China: 'Eclipse' by Arvind Subramanian on: September 15, 2011, 10:34:27 AM
'The Economist' editorializes on a new book forecasting China to become the world's predominant economy and superpower.  The author says there is little the U.S. can do; the editorial questions that.  Obviously the full script for what happens next in the world has not been written.  My view is that the economic rise of competing economies is a good thing, except if they are our military enemies.  With China, who knows.  Also I don't agree with his numbers; we aren't down to a 13-12 economic advantage over China right now.  With the U.S., a real  challenge coming from elsewhere should be reason enough to get focused on getting our own act back together.
The celestial economy
By 2030 China’s economy could loom as large as Britain’s in the 1870s or America’s in the 1970s

Sep 10th 2011 | from the print edition

IT IS perhaps a measure of America’s resilience as an economic power that its demise is so often foretold. In 1956 the Russians politely informed Westerners that “history is on our side. We will bury you.” In the 1980s history seemed to side instead with Japan. Now it appears to be taking China’s part.

These prophesies are “self-denying”, according to Larry Summers, a former economic adviser to President Barack Obama. They fail to come to pass partly because America buys into them, then rouses itself to defy them. “As long as we’re worried about the future, the future will be better,” he said, shortly before leaving the White House. His speech is quoted in “Eclipse”, a new book by Arvind Subramanian of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Mr Subramanian argues that China’s economic might will overshadow America’s sooner than people think. He denies that his prophecy is self-denying. Even if America heeds its warning, there is precious little it can do about it.

Three forces will dictate China’s rise, Mr Subramanian argues: demography, convergence and “gravity”. Since China has over four times America’s population, it only has to produce a quarter of America’s output per head to exceed America’s total output. Indeed, Mr Subramanian thinks China is already the world’s biggest economy, when due account is taken of the low prices charged for many local Chinese goods and services outside its cities. Big though it is, China’s economy is also somewhat “backward”. That gives it plenty of scope to enjoy catch-up growth, unlike Japan’s economy, which was still far smaller than America’s when it reached the technological frontier.

Buoyed by these two forces, China will account for over 23% of world GDP by 2030, measured at PPP, Mr Subramanian calculates. America will account for less than 12%. China will be equally dominant in trade, accounting for twice America’s share of imports and exports. That projection relies on the “gravity” model of trade, which assumes that commerce between countries depends on their economic weight and the distance between them. China’s trade will outpace America’s both because its own economy will expand faster and also because its neighbours will grow faster than those in America’s backyard.

Mr Subramanian combines each country’s share of world GDP, trade and foreign investment into an index of economic “dominance”. By 2030 China’s share of global economic power will match America’s in the 1970s and Britain’s a century before (see chart). Those prudent American strategists preparing their countrymen for a “multipolar” world are wrong. The global economy will remain unipolar, dominated by a “G1”, Mr Subramanian argues. It’s just that the one will be China not America.

Mr Subramanian’s conclusion is controversial. The assumptions, however, are conservative. He does not rule out a “major financial crisis”. He projects that China’s per-person income will grow by 5.5% a year over the next two decades, 3.3 percentage points slower than it grew over the past two decades or so. You might almost say that Mr Subramanian is a “China bear”. He lists several countries (Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, Spain, Taiwan, Greece, South Korea) that reached a comparable stage of development—a living standard equivalent to 25% of America’s at the time—and then grew faster than 5.5% per head over the subsequent 20 years. He could find only one, Nicolae Ceausescu’s Romania, which reached that threshold and then suffered a worse slowdown than the one he envisages for China.

He is overly sanguine only on the problems posed by China’s ageing population. In the next few years, the ratio of Chinese workers to dependants will stop rising and start falling. He dismisses this demographic turnaround in a footnote, arguing that it will not weigh heavily on China’s growth until after 2030.

Both China and America could surprise people, of course. If China’s political regime implodes, “all bets will be off”, Mr Subramanian admits. Indonesia’s economy, by way of comparison, took over four years to right itself after the financial crisis that ended President Suharto’s 32-year reign. But even that upheaval only interrupted Indonesia’s progress without halting it. America might also rediscover the vim of the 1990s boom, growing by 2.7% per head, rather than the 1.7% Mr Subramanian otherwise assumes. But even that stirring comeback would not stop it falling behind a Chinese economy growing at twice that pace. So Americans are wrong to think their “pre-eminence is America’s to lose”.

Bratty or benign?

If China does usurp America, what kind of hegemon will it be? Some argue that it will be a “premature” superpower. Because it will be big before it is rich, it will dwell on its domestic needs to the neglect of its global duties. If so, the world may resemble the headless global economy of the inter-war years, when Britain was unable, and America unwilling, to lead. But Mr Subramanian prefers to describe China as a precocious superpower. It will not be among the richest economies, but it will not be poor either. Its standard of living will be about half America’s in 2030, and a little higher than the European Union’s today.

With luck China will combine its precocity in economic development with a plodding conservatism in economic diplomacy. It should remain committed to preserving an open world economy. Indeed, its commitment may run deeper than America’s, because its ratio of trade to GDP is far higher.

China’s dominance will also have limits, as Mr Subramanian points out. Unlike America in the 1940s, it will not inherit a blank institutional slate, wiped clean by war. The economic order will not yield easily to bold new designs, and China is unlikely to offer any. Why use its dominant position to undermine the very system that helped secure that position in the first place? In a white paper published this week, China’s State Council insisted that “China does not seek regional hegemony or a sphere of influence.” Whether it is precocious or premature, China is still a tentative superpower. As long as it remains worried about the future, its rivals need not worry too much.
5679  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: September 15, 2011, 10:19:45 AM
GM: "Rubio has my vote when he runs for president."

Yes.  I will waive my two-term Governor rule whenever he makes the jump - Rubio has an upside risk of greatness well worth taking.  That video is without notes, presumably without knowing the questions.  He is succinct, articulate and right on the money with each answer.  He connects the immediate question, a 'jobs' bill with what we should do now and a clear vision forward.  He never loses sight of what makes America great and what is the proper role of government.
5680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / George Will: Economy should render Obama speechless on: September 15, 2011, 10:10:02 AM
George Will is making good sense today, calling out economic foolishness for what it is.  The cost of saving each job that wasn't even saved was 5 times the median income.  Layoffs at Bank of America and the Postal Service: "Such churning of the labor market would free people for new, more productive jobs — except that to reduce unemployment, the economy needs a 3 percent growth rate, triple today’s rate."

Economy should render Obama speechless
By George F. Will
Thursday, September 15, 2011 - Updated 2 hours ago

WASHINGTON — In societies governed by persuasion, politics is mostly talk, so liberals’ impoverishment of their vocabulary matters.

Having damaged liberalism’s reputation, they call themselves progressives. Having made the federal government’s pretensions absurd, they have resurrected the supposed synonym “federal family.” Having made federal spending suspect, they advocate “investments” — for “job creation,” a euphemism for stimulus, another word they have made toxic.

Barack Obama, a pitilessly rhetorical president, continues to grab the nation by its lapels but the nation is no longer listening. This matters because ominous portents are multiplying.

Bank of America, which reported an $8.8 billion loss last quarter, plans 30,000 layoffs out of a work force of nearly 300,000. The Postal Service hopes to shed 120,000 of its 653,000 jobs (down from almost 900,000 a decade ago). Such churning of the labor market would free people for new, more productive jobs — except that to reduce unemployment, the economy needs a 3 percent growth rate, triple today’s rate.

Consumers of modest means are so strapped that Wal-Mart is reviving layaway purchases for Christmas. The Wall Street Journal reports that Procter & Gamble, which claims to have at least one product in 98 percent of American households, is putting new emphasis on lower-priced products for low-income shoppers.

During the debt-ceiling debate, The New York Times [NYT], liberalism’s bulletin board, was aghast that Republicans risked causing the nation to default on its debt. Now two Times columnists endorse slow-motion default through inflation: The Federal Reserve should have “the deliberate goal of generating higher inflation to help alleviate debt problems” (Paul Krugman) and “sometimes we need inflation, and now is such a time” (Floyd Norris).

For two years, there has been one constant: As events have refuted the Obama administration’s certitudes, it has retained its insufferable knowingness. It knew that the stimulus would hold unemployment below 8 percent. Oops. Unemployment has been at least 9 percent in 26 of the 30 months since the stimulus was passed. Michael Boskin of Stanford says that even if one charitably accepts the administration’s self-serving estimate of jobs “created or saved” by the stimulus, each job cost $280,000 — five times America’s median pay.

The economic policy the “federal family” should adopt can be expressed in five one-syllable words: Get. Out. Of. The. Way.

Instead, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, whose department has become a venture capital firm for crony capitalism and costly flops at creating “green jobs,” praises the policy of essentially banishing the incandescent light bulb as “taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money.”

Better to let the experts in his department and the rest of the federal family waste other people’s money.
5681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Way Forward for the American Creed - Marco Rubio on the Jobs Plan on: September 15, 2011, 09:46:55 AM
This is an excellent, short  interview, it covers the Obama plan, what is okay in it, that overall it isn't a serious attempt to grow jobs, what needs to be done, what works, the amazing potential for growth we have right now if we would just do a few things. 

It would save me a lot of time and trouble writing my views on the issues if I could just post a quick video of Marco Rubio answering a few basic questions each morning.

Just 2 1/2 minutes, please watch.
5682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 14, 2011, 12:54:06 PM
Evan Bayh, yes.  Kucinich from the left.  What does he have to lose?  Jim Webb's name  (D-VA)  came up on the board - he's not afraid of offending anyone.  We were arguing about whether Gov. Huntsman uses chopsticks properly; Sen. Webb was Secretary of the Navy.
5683  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics, Also NV-2 on: September 14, 2011, 12:38:15 PM
19 point gain in NY-9, surpassed only by a 20 point gain for the GOP in Nevada district-2 post-Obama.  McCain and Obama tied at 49-49 in 2008, Mark Amodei R-NV2 just won it 57-37.  Nevada districts 1 & 3 are in the south population centers, NV-2 is all the rest of the state.
5684  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics - Keynesian Stimuli on: September 14, 2011, 10:39:53 AM
Besides that the Keynesian Stimulus doesn't work in the first place, these failed Obamanomic attempts weren't Keynesian anyway.

Mike Whalen, The Washington Times,Mon 9/5/2011  
And now a word from a job creator …

As a job-creating entrepreneur out here in the hinterlands, I am amazed at the Keynesian priests in Washington calling for more stimulus fueled by debt.

“The Rev.” Paul Krugman, “the Rev.” Robert Reich and their many cohorts argue that the stimulus was too small to offset falling aggregate demand and that the prescription for our laggard economy is another, bigger stimulus.

Those who talk about Keynesian economic theory think economic contractions are worsened and prolonged because consumers and businesses hunker down in caution, causing aggregate demand to fall. We can all agree this has happened.

According to the Keynesians, the remedy for today’s economic problem is for the federal government, as the single biggest actor, to “prime the pump.” As government money starts to ripple through the economy, consumers and businesses will be encouraged and cautiously respond with limited increases of their own. Vroom! The economic engine steadily revs up in billions of responsive steps until happy days are here again. This pump-priming reaction is termed the “multiplier effect.”

I think John Maynard Keynes would be horrified at the slavish adherence to this simplistic strategy by so many policymakers and economic thinkers, as his theory was much more complex. This thinking might be correct under circumstances other than those in which we find ourselves. If the ratio of our national debt to gross domestic product was low - say 25 percent - and the federal government had run surpluses before the downturn, this college freshman-level Keynesian analysis would have great weight. Put another way, if Uncle Sam were a rock-solid financial entity with low debt to value and he had judiciously used debt for capital improvements that were accretive in value, as the biggest dog on the porch, a stimulus might work.

But with a national debt of more than $14 trillion and unfunded, future “off the books” debt of Social Security and Medicare combined at $104 trillion in present value, according to the Dallas Federal Reserve, Uncle Sam ain’t the man he used to be. This in turn makes American businesses that are sitting on a pile of cash focus on deleveraging. The American consumer is doing the same. In fact, from where I sit, it appears as though everyone except Uncle Sam is working like mad to strengthen his balance sheets. The legitimate fear across the country is that Washington’s refusal to join our common-sense parade will result in higher taxes, more regulations, more inflation and Japanese-style stagflation. In other words, Washington’s attempts at stimulus through spending are having the opposite effect. Businesses and consumers stay hunkered down.

I know this is counterintuitive to the college-freshman Keynesian analysis from above, but as a business owner, I can tell you an additional stimulus would create more fear and further dampen demand in the private sector. Keynes was correct in focusing on aggregate demand as critical, but the confidence context and potential behavior responses have to be considered, and that requires real-world, Main Street knowledge - not just textbook theory. In this environment, if the federal government announced a real road map to fiscal soundness, the impact would be truly stimulating. If American businesses and consumers saw that Washington was really cutting, not just reducing future increases, there would be tremendous relief and an increase in confidence across the country. Job creators would sing “hallelujah”; they would get off their wallets, start hiring, and then you’d see that Keynesian multiplier kick in.

Modern Keynesians suffer from the misguided notion that government is the great engine that will restore our economy to prosperity. In fact, the great engine is a diverse system of private citizens anxious to go to work to provide for their families and build their businesses.
5685  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics: Weiner Seat - Brooklyn and Queens go Republican! on: September 14, 2011, 10:14:32 AM
Nice coverage by Prentice on this:

This is a big deal.  8 point R victory, 19 point swing in the district since Obama won it by 11 in 2008. In a Dem year, Weiner ran unopposed in 2006 and won 100% of the vote.

This means that Obama is a net loss if he campaigns for a senate and congressional candidate in districts and states as conservative as NYC!  We already saw him have to drive around Wisconsin where he won by 14% just 3 years ago.

The Duck is not Lame, he is radioactive.

(If someone else on the Dem side would like to enter the Presidential nomination race, today would be a good day to jump in.)
5686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: September 14, 2011, 10:00:09 AM
"While I am quite sympathetic to the conclusion, I object to the methodology. The Salvation Army is not a charity as likely to appeal to someone from SF as from South Falls."

That would be Sioux Falls, largest town in S.D.  smiley

I'll never forget when some years ago the daughter of Keith Ellison's predecessor, a prominent leftist in her own right, told us in a small social group (in my Republican friend's living room - drinking his wine and eating his food) that "the difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Democrats care more about others and Republicans care more about themselves". 

The study above may not be scientific but is about as stereotypical as you can get for a red state vs. blue state behavior comparison.  Salvation Army I think is about as well-known symbol as there is for helping the poor anonymously and out of your own pocket.  So they took the above hypothesis and tested it.  It failed.  More work is needed on that hypothesis.  wink
5687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Latest news on spreading wealth, Poverty rate up every year, 15.1% this year on: September 13, 2011, 09:35:05 PM
Once again the WSJ a day behind the forum but I still appreciate them reporting what most won't.  A side effect of robust economic growth is that the people most invested tend to gain soonest and most.  The obvious corollary is that when growth is negative and unemployment soars and stays, disparity may lessen, the rich are still rich but less rich, but people who relied on each and every paycheck are screwed.

The Wall Street Journal
 SEPTEMBER 14, 2011

Growth and Inequality: 2010
The latest news on spreading the wealth.

An abiding—make that the primary—goal of the Obama Administration has been to reduce income inequality. When the Affordable Care Act finally passed, White House economists and liberal pundits did a victory dance in their favorite publications boasting about how the bill would spread the wealth. So how's that inequality project working out?

One answer came yesterday with the Census Bureau's annual snapshot on living standards. The official poverty rate—defined as a family of four earning less than $22,314—rose to 15.1%. That's up from 14.3% in 2009 and 12.5% in 2007. The official rate significantly overstates poverty by missing government income transfers, but this increase is faster than during any three-year period since the early 1980s.

Meanwhile, the share of Americans without health insurance rose to 49.9 million, or 16.3%, from 48.99 million, or 16.1% in 2009. The share of Americans on private insurance continued to decline while those on Medicare and Medicaid rose. ObamaCare doesn't fully kick in until 2014, but we already know that it isn't reducing the cost of health insurance.

President Obama inherited a recession, and some increase in poverty was inevitable on his watch. But the magnitude of the increase underscores how feeble the current economic recovery has been, and how essential rapid economic growth is to lifting incomes for lower-income Americans in particular.

The lesson we draw is that politicians who support policies that make economic growth their top priority raise everybody's incomes even if some incomes rise more rapidly than others. Politicians who put income redistribution above overall economic growth do worse by everybody, especially the poor.
5688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Policy: The 2013 Tax Cliff on: September 13, 2011, 08:59:57 PM
It turns out that the super secret jobs program that waited for the vacation but couldn't that couldn't wait until Thursday or until the second part was written, that we have to pass and was only half introduced at the over-hyped session, to be paid for later, was tax increases on job creators that already failed in congress and spread the wealth measures to Democrat core constituent groups.  This WSJ Editorial recognizes that the incentive measures are temporary and the tax hikes are permanent.  Who knew?

Obviously, this whole thing is a congress trap.  President Obama has no intention of getting this snake oil passed.  Just looking for an issue and a scapegoat.
    * SEPTEMBER 14, 2011,  Review and Outlook

The 2013 Tax Cliff
Business had better enjoy the next 16 months.

President Obama unveiled part two of his American Jobs Act on Monday, and it turns out to be another permanent increase in taxes to pay for more spending and another temporary tax cut. No surprise there. What might surprise Americans, however, is how the President is setting up the U.S. economy for one of the biggest tax increases in history in 2013.

Mr. Obama said last week that he wants $240 billion in new tax incentives for workers and small business, but the catch is that all of these tax breaks would expire at the end of next year. To pay for all this, White House budget director Jack Lew also proposed $467 billion in new taxes that would begin a mere 16 months from now. The tax list includes limiting deductions for those earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for couples), limiting tax breaks for oil and gas companies, and a tax increase on carried interest earned by private equity firms. These tax increases would not be temporary.

What this means is that millions of small-business owners had better enjoy the next 16 months, because come January 2013 they are going to get hit with a giant tax bill. Let's call the expensive roll:

• First comes the new tax hikes that Mr. Obama proposed on Monday. Capping itemized deductions and exemptions for the rich would take $405 billion from the private economy for 10 years starting in 2013. Taxing carried interest would raise $18 billion, and repealing tax incentives for oil and gas production would get $41 billion.

• These increases would coincide with the expiration of the tax credits, 100% expensing provisions and payroll tax breaks in Mr. Obama's new jobs program. This would mean a tax hit of $240 billion on small business and workers. That's the downside of temporary tax breaks and other job-creation gimmicks: The incentives quickly vanish, and perhaps so do the jobs.

So even if the White House is right that its latest stimulus plan will create "millions of jobs" through 2012, by this logic a $240 billion tax hike on small businesses in 2013 would cost the economy jobs. This tax wallop would arrive when even the White House says the unemployment rate will still be 7.4%.

• January 2013 is also the same month that Mr. Obama wants the Bush-era tax rates to expire on Americans earning more than $200,000. That would raise the highest individual income tax rate to about 42%, including deduction phaseouts, from 35% today. Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation found in 2009 that $437 billion of business income would be taxed at higher tax rates under the Obama plan. And since some 4.5 million small-business owners file their annual tax returns as subchapter S firms under the individual tax code, this tax increase would often apply to the same people who Mr. Obama is targeting with his new tax credits.

The capital gains and dividend taxes would also rise to an expected 20% rate from 15% today. The 10-year hit to the private economy for all of these expiring Bush rates: about $750 billion.

• Also starting in 2013 are two of ObamaCare's biggest tax increases: an additional 0.9-percentage point levy on top of the 2.9% Medicare tax for those earning more than $200,000, and a new 2.9% surcharge on investment income, including interest income. This will further increase the top tax rate on capital gains and dividends to 23.8%, for a roughly 60% increase in investment taxes in one year.

The White House's economic logic seems to be that its new spending and temporary tax cuts will so fire up investment and hiring in the next 16 months that the economy will be growing much faster in 2013 and could thus absorb a leap off the tax cliff. But this requires its own leap of faith.

Cato Institute economist Dan Mitchell on President Obama's proposed tax hikes and the increase in the poverty rate.

The White House also predicted a similar economic takeoff from the 2009 stimulus that was supposed to make a tax hike possible in 2011. Then last December Mr. Obama proposed new tax incentives only for 2011 because the economy was supposed to be cooking by 2012. Now it wants to extend those tax breaks so the economy will be cruising in 2013.

All of this assumes that American business owners aren't smart enough to look beyond the next few months. They can surely see the new burdens they'll face in 2013, and they aren't about to load up on new employees or take new large risks if they aren't sure what their costs will be in 16 months. They can also reasonably wonder whether Mr. Obama's tax hike will hurt the overall economy in 2013—another reason to be cautious now.

For the White House, the policy calendar is dictated above all by the political necessities of the 2012 election. Mr. Obama will take his chances on 2013 if he can cajole the private economy to create enough new jobs over the next year to win re-election, even if those jobs and growth are temporary. Business owners and workers who would prefer to prosper beyond Election Day aren't likely to share Mr. Obama's enthusiasm once they see the great tax cliff approaching. Look out below.
5689  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: September 13, 2011, 12:50:50 PM
"Wow. Wesbury is starting to get tired digging for the pony."

Wesbury has his politics right from my point of view.  What is in question is his optimism that things can improve anyway, without the policy corrections.  I believe he posts honest views, but because he is employed by an investment house he selects from all his observations mostly positive things to say. 
5690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: September 13, 2011, 12:45:31 PM
Thank you CCP for weighing in on this: "From a public health point of view it is clear this vaccine should be given to all."

I thought Perry already admitting his mistake.  It was a freedom-based error made in the interest of saving lives.  It is too late to wait and see if you need a vaccine.  If he had a friend tied closely to the vaccine, then he had someone he trusted telling him what you just said (repeating): "From a public health point of view it is clear this vaccine should be given to all."

When it is not a mandate, it is thrust strongly on you from what perhaps should be your most trusted person, your Pediatrician.  That happened to me with my daughter.  I had very strong reservations about it and said yes.  To say no meant to research it endlessly to know enough to prove him and the whole profession wrong.  Based on my comments on other subjects, in the back of my mind that is possible.  It feels much better to have you agree with Perry adviser and our doctor and the association of pediatricians etc. because I know that in this forum you would freely speak up against them if you felt that way.   smiley

It's far more invasive than seat belts, booster seats, motorcycle helmets, smoke and CO detectors, and all the other things we do in the name of public health.  We deserve the freedom to make our own decisions.  Parents deserve that when the subject is their kids.  But it is common place in America to be legislating public health mandates from government.  Those of us who assume people will make the responsible decision on their own will be offended, but most people accept most of this, especially if they are getting the science right.
Sounds like Bachmann's comment of it causing mental retardation in a specific family she spoke to is another glimpse at over the top leaps that she is willing to make.  Another example of shooting (without looking) in the wrong direction.  Her political causes I think would do very well with Perry as President; the person she should be trying to defeat is in the White House.
5691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: September 13, 2011, 12:19:38 PM
Cranewings: "...I still believe in man - made global warming, but it would be nice if something like this could really be proven to marginalize the man - made aspect."

There is an aspect or two of human behavior that would tend in the direction of warming, but the agenda people turn that into an inference that it is either totally caused or mostly caused by cars and coal plants and that is not true.  Certainly just having roads and roofs instead of prairies and forests has some effect on heat retention.  Every molecule of hydrocarbon consumed releases one of CO2; there is some increase and there is some effect, but it is very small.

I would like to update my calculation with new inputs (when I have time) but with the best information available 4 1/2 years ago I estimated that we are warming the planet at the rate of 3/100,000th of a degree Celsius per decade during this short period of earth's history and life that humans are so reliant on fossil fuels for our energy:

If I were an environmental scientist, a belief in less than a ten thousandth of a degree of man made warming per decade would require me to say yes, humans are contributing to the warming of the planet.  But earth's own power to correct itself is perhaps a hundred thousand times stronger. 

There is no excuse for being reckless, wasteful or stupid with our God-given resources, but starving ourselves of energy even to the point of killing off our economy, jobs and prosperity, even if the effort was global, would be many magnitudes under the margin of error of what the best scientists can measure.
5692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics - extending unemployment benefits on: September 13, 2011, 11:32:41 AM
Thank you JDN for that.  Of course it is a political conundrum.  Extend the benefits and you extend unemployment.  Refuse to extend and you get painted as heartless etc.  The tough love measures need to be accompanied with real pro-growth policies.

Unemployment is another one of those poorly defined and measured terms.  We just know there is too much of it.
5693  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: September 13, 2011, 11:13:23 AM
"[producing oil is] a simplistic way of looking for a solution that doesn't exist"

Good f'ing grief.

"Doug...This is not Obama, but Oil Experts saying that our increased production will NOT affect world oil prices.  Got it?  Will not affect world oil prices...."

And you understand that I oppose rule by experts and I think they are full of sh*t and I gave you specific information as to why.  Repeating BS doesn't make it smell better.  Got it!  wink  Did you see the price volatility charts I posted.  Who with a sane mind thinks that these input factors around the world don't move price in that market?  The answer is clearly someone with a competing agenda and non-existent professional morals, unless you are quoting them out of context.  I don't have time to chase down the motives of why a scientist, a politician or a think tank is willing to deceive to accomplish their anti-production agenda.  It is simply not rational to allow consumption, prohibit production, wonder why the economy tanks, say you have a laser focus on jobs, then not pick any of the low hanging fruit in the job growth business.  The Obama administration even admitted those are the easy jobs to add when they attack their enemy Texas.  Shameful.  They should ask themselves, what are their job growth  numbers without Texas.

Experts also said it would create a million new jobs in a very short order.

That part is obvious.  My point is that it also affects every other sector of the economy.  If you deny supply affects price, then that point is moot - with you.  Still you could give me the courtesy of an answer on what part of demand for energy, if that is where we choose to attack this, comes from our bloated public sector.  Not a mention of that from a guy who travels with his family in separate jets.

The repetitive loop here includes no acknowledgment whatsoever that the data these 'experts' base their nonsense on is off by a factor of 8.5 not counting a trillion barrels of recoverable oil from shale.  It is okay for you to exclude these proven reserves because others more credentialed than either one of us did?

I have made no impact on you but it was fun to see my words picked up again by the WSJ.  wink 
(Crafty;)"Indeed!  Look at the volatility of the oil futures market!  Though in fairness it should be noted that the low margin requirements may well magnify the volatility."

Yes, but on the downward side those forces magnify the move down.  The world oil price would easily be cut in half at least momentarily.  The question is where would the equilibrium price land and it would certainly be *significantly* lower than where it is now.  More importantly, the runaway increases would be halted as supplies become less volatile so that  business people in this one respect could begin to make business decisions with some sort of confidence.
5694  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: September 13, 2011, 10:33:50 AM
Crafty: "...US energy prices would be lower than would otherwise be the case."

It's not my post but I would like to insert the word *significantly* lower.

The point is that the price is artificially high right now because of a social engineering experiment.  Our government doesn't want us to drive, or manufacture, or recreate, etc.  We need to urgently get the production all the way up to just the level that is safe and efficient to produce in the context of the times we live in and then people can adjust and make their decisions about where to live, what to drive, where to locate their businesses, where to vacation, etc. 

If the same amount of government control and intervention had been exerted on the consumption side, perhaps an IRS style agent at every gas station scrutinizing your mileage log about where you drove and why, we would be in an uproar.  Instead we stifle production and go after the consumer like a frog in water on a heating stove.

JDN's argument that a little more production won't make a noticeable impact is what they said about ANWR.  They said the oil at full production wouldn't even make to market for 10 years.  That was more that 10 years ago!  Large projects like that and others tell the world that we are going to produce.  That weakens the power of the cartels and motivates other suppliers to get their product to market. Futures markets do not wait 10 years to respond.  The effect on prices of a serious change in policy would be nearly immediate and yes it would be global.

Demand at the margin is very inelastic because people already only buying what they need to do the things they want to do.  The amount of supply at the margin is extremely, extremely crucial in determining price.  Even the perception of future supplies moves prices.
5695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy - Prof. Laffer Enterprise zones on: September 13, 2011, 10:02:21 AM
Art Laffer is perhaps my favorite on policy but on enterprise zones I think he is half right.

He ends with: "he can then extend enterprise zones to cover the whole country", but that is the whole point.  The USA needs to become one large enterprise zone and entice the able mind and bodied who are unproductive among us to join in.

Our ex-Gov. here (Pawlenty) had a program like this, and as Laffer is suggesting, it is a way of letting a little freedom out of the gate in a leftist-run electorate.  But it still extends and validates the piecemeal, left-Dem strategy of targeting this and targeting that instead of applying all laws evenly to everyone.

He is right about these dysfunctional inner city zones in America where enterprise is dead and gone.  In local political arguments I challenge liberals to name one profit seeking competitive enterprise who has started, relocated, expanded, hired, built anything that is unsubsidized in left ruled North Minneapolis and the same could be said for the south side of Chicago, east L.A., most of Detroit etc.  Why can't these locations produce and compete?  The question is complicated but waiving all rules and all taxes is just a better form of selective subsidy and unequal treatment that plagues our tax code already.

Laffer's idea is what Obama as a liberal should have chosen instead of more tax and spend.  Our side should be designing and articulating a realistic and sustainable framework for the entire nation.  And our side should be calling for implementation now, not in 2013, and pin the obstructionism on their side. 

To go from a culture where people don't work and get paid anyway to a culture where people work but don't have to pay in what the rest of us do is a continuation of what is fundamentally wrong IMHO.

It reminds me of a similar error made by Pres. Reagan.  His tax cuts were not only across the board but would remove million of taxpayers off the rolls altogether, he bragged.  That helped to sell his program to the Dem votes he needed and I'm glad it passed, but that aspect of it in hindsight was shortsighted.
5696  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 13, 2011, 09:26:56 AM
GM 9/12/11:  "It's worse than a Ponzi scheme, a Ponzi scammer can't use the force of law to compel you to participate in it."

Chcago Tribune Editorial 9/13/11: "The Texas governor owes a big apology to Charles Ponzi. Sure, Ponzi fleeced investors, but they at least had a choice about participating. Social Security operates on a compulsory basis.",0,6514632.story

That's the President's home town paper admitting the so-called right wing extremist in the race didn't go far enough.  Who says we aren't making a difference.   grin
5697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 13, 2011, 09:21:09 AM
They were baited into attacking each other instead of taking turns showing the country how they would conduct a general election campaign against President Obama and how they galvanize the people around an agenda and mandate for recovery and prosperity.

Pawlenty and Bachmann had a similar snippy exchange against each other and now both are irrelevant.

Romney believed he needed to take Perry down a notch, but others across the spectrum were already doing that.  Only problem with attacking him on SS comments is that Romney has used the exact same words.  Romney makes the distinction that congress raiding the funds is what he was calling the criminal enterprise, but congress raiding the funds IS the status quo that Perry was attacking.

Perry drew attention to the problem magnificently, as if he were about to announce the solution, and then didn't.

Romney drew attention to his 59 point economic plan ahead of the President's speech and left the key points vague and uncommitted.

My advice to all of them at the beginning of all this was to pursue clarity.  Still waiting.
5698  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Proven oil reserves 8.5 times understated not counting another trillion barrels on: September 13, 2011, 12:17:44 AM
JDN, You may not believe supply or demand affect price but I would not recommend disclosing that right away if you are to apply for a job teaching economics, lol.

I'm sorry that you were duped on the term "proven oil reserves" in the United States. "...our reserves don't even rank in the top 10..."  This one is not wholly your fault.  You are repeating and reposting what other people are alleging without an interest in veracity.

“Proven oil reserves” in the U.S. only counts the petroleum that is available for development under current government regulations and it is 8.5 times understated from what the best science available tells us, and this figure doesn’t include oil shale, which has recoverable reserves of 1 trillion barrels, according to DO

March 30, 2011 by  John Hinderaker
On Energy, Obama Lies With Statistics
Obama: "America holds about 2 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves.  What that means is, is that even if we drilled every drop of oil out of every single one of the reserves that we possess — offshore and onshore — it still wouldn’t be enough to meet our long-term needs.  We consume about 25 percent of the world’s oil.  We only have 2 percent of the reserves.  Even if we doubled U.S. oil production, we’re still really short."

This is a perfect example of lying with statistics. Obama knows that most people assume that “proven oil reserves” equals oil known to be in the ground. And, in fact, in most countries around the world, that is more or less what it does mean. In Saudi Arabia, for example, “proven oil reserves” are whatever the government announces they are.

But in the United States, “proven oil reserves” is a legal term, not a scientific term. It is defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission. We wrote about this in detail in Obama’s Long Nose On Energy. This is the definition, unique to United States law, of “proven oil reserves:”

    Proved reserves. The quantities of hydrocarbons estimated with reasonable certainty to be commercially recoverable from known accumulations under current economic conditions, operating methods, and government regulations. Current economic conditions include prices and costs prevailing at the time of the estimate. Estimates of proved reserves do not include reserves appreciation.

The definition is in part economic; every time the price of oil rises, our “proved reserves” rise, too; likewise when the price falls. Most important, however, is that “proven oil reserves” only counts the petroleum that is available for development under current government regulations. So, to take two obvious examples, the petroleum in ANWR is not included in our “proven oil reserves,” even though the petroleum there is known to be vast, nor is the offshore petroleum in those areas–the large majority–where drilling is not permitted by current law. It is not nature, but Barack Obama and Congress that are limiting America’s energy resources.

It is disgraceful that the President of the United States is willing to deliberately mislead the American people in order to justify billions, if not trillions, of dollars in wasteful, politically-motivated boondoggles.
The Institute for Energy Research writes:

    In a recent report, CRS [the Congressional Research Service] said that the U.S. has 19.1 billion barrels of proven reserves, which is the number President Obama cites as 2% of the world’s oil. CRS, however, showed that between our proven reserves and oil predicted to be found, there is likely to be a combined 164.1 billion barrels, or 8.5 times as much as the president alleges. And this figure doesn’t include oil shale, which has recoverable reserves of 1 trillion barrels, according to DOE.
5699  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / re. 2012 Presidential: Perry and Islam on: September 12, 2011, 12:59:37 PM
Crafty posted this link to a piece soft on Islam in Teas curriculum asking for comment:
If the main job of a President was how to teach people about Islam, this piece might expose naivete and weakness.  Considering this election is going to be about shrinking government other than defense and growing the economy and jobs, I highly doubt this will derail anything.

If Perry looked weak on defense, weak on the war against terror or weak on support for Israel, this might be used to undercut him.  I don't think he has those vulnerabilities. 

Most people don't want to learn or believe that Islam is by definition a war against us.  People want to believe, even if false, that the violent few are misinterpreting the teachings.  Writings in our own Holy Books are not assumed by most to be taken 100% literal. Any candidate who attacks him against the peaceful side of Islam will become the one painted as extreme IMO.  And no one will.

The piece is interesting to me because it is the first I have read that explains the allegedly controversy that he has.   Perry has either a friendship or political tie to anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist, a Methodist whose wife is of Palestinian descent  That was the onlything I saw previously that showed some tie to Islam.  Especially as compared to his general election opponent.  Perry looks rock-solid on his faith and that allows him to move forward to other issues.  There are leftists, atheist and moderates who hate Christians,  buy they wouldn't be voting for him on the issues either.

One of Perry's good qualities has been the ability to say he was wrong as he did with the forced immunization issue.  If a missing chapter in a Texas k-12 textbook becomes the key issue and there is something fundamentally wrong here, he can apologize, separate himself from it and move on, because it didn't fit some  pre-conceived image or weakness he was trying to shake. (IMHO)
5700  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 12, 2011, 12:02:05 PM
Posing an obvious question here that follows from the discussion on Glibness and Energy:

JDN, Your writings of your views on economics, taxation and now energy IMHO fit far better with Obama than with Huntsman.  Unless other big differences emerge, these are the key issues.  You can handle that dissonance any way you want, but from nearly everything you write I would say that Republicans once again would gain nothing by offering up a so called moderate.  We should continue to vet out a real conservative leader to nominate for President, let all the left leaning voters go all the way left, and then defeat them all the way up and down the ballot and begin to rebuild the foundations of this once great country.   smiley 
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