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5851  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed, New Constitutional Convention? on: August 11, 2011, 12:02:33 PM
Posting this as a (right wing) opposing opinion to the group at Harvard Law School putting on a conference advancing the idea of calling for a new constitutional convention, posted recently by BD.

I support the idea of a conference to discuss this seldom used provision, but I oppose calling a convention because the very few new amendments I would favor tend to be very specific in nature, mostly not structural.  (I also oppose abbreviating or truncating words that start with c-o-n.)

 August 11, 2011 by  Steven Hayward
Con-Con-Con Job?

So over the transom comes a notice about the Conference on the Constitutional Convention (or “Con-Con-Con” for short) up at Harvard Law School next month, which is bringing together figures from left and right to mull over an Article V constitutional convention.  As the participant in a couple of successful “post-partisan” right-left efforts at compromise over some knotty-pine policy issues such as energy and climate change, as well as the “Modernizing Liberalism” effort I wrote about here back in June, far be it from me to pour cold water on such an effort.  This isn’t going to sport the Kumbaya mushiness of “No Labels,” for one thing.  It’s going to feature prominent lefties such as Larry Tribe and Laurence Lessig, and right-thinking folk such as Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds (Glenn will give one of the keynotes, in fact), and Cato’s very sound John Samples, along with some Tea Party activists.

It is one thing to reach policy compromises even over deeply divisive policy issues such as the debt ceiling.  Constitutional compromise is another matter, and it is easy to predict that the Con-Con-Con effort will make little progress for an elusively simple reason: the basic condition that made the compromises of the 1787 convention possible do not exist today.  The Framers of 1787, and, significantly, their critics who became the Anti-Federalists, shared a general agreement about first principles (with one important exception which I’ll come to in due course), which made institutional compromise possible.  The Framers were all believers in the creed of individual natural rights as expressed in the prologue to the Declaration of Independence, and moreover believed that limiting government required anti-majoritarian institutions such as the Senate, separation of powers, the Electoral College, and federalism, among other things.  The modern left believes in none of these things, and every agenda of constitutional reform from the left calls for abolishing or weakening all of them.  (See, for just one example, Larry Sabato’s really bad book on the subject, and Sabato is far from being a hard leftist.)  The left would like to abolish the Senate and the Electoral College, just for starters.  Deep-dish thinkers like Cass Sunstein have argued for making the judiciary more powerful, precisely because it is more immune to popular political accountability.

For the Framers in 1787, most of their arguments were over how to limit government power and secure individual liberty most effectively, which meant they were arguing over small differences.  You might almost say that the Philadelphia convention was a group of rightists arguing with themselves.  Today’s left, starting at least as far back as Woodrow Wilson, who dismissed the natural rights philosophy of the Declaration of Independence and attacked the principle of the separation of powers, wants to remove as many limitations on government power as possible.  As such the Con-Con-Con exercise has little hope of reaching a principled compromise over constitutional reform, and even if a suite of reforms might get the necessary ratification of three-fourths of the states, it is likely the reforms would make our political divisions worse.

The one case of where the Framers had to compromise because they had a serious difference of first principles is instructive—slavery.  Even though there was probably majority sentiment for abolishing slavery in 1787, tolerating slavery in the South was unfortunately necessary if there was to be a union and a constitution at all.  And, of course, it required a civil war to resolve this problem ultimately—not an encouraging precedent for constitutional “compromise” today.

The way the modern left has willfully misconstrued the convention’s compromises over slavery is revealing and significant, as it shows the left is unable or unwilling to distinguish the first principles of the Constitution from its compromises.  The left likes to criticize the Founders for their toleration of slavery, for example, by claiming the three-fifths clause means that black Americans were only “three-fifths of a person.”  In fact the intent and action of this clause was to diminish the political power of slave states, which wanted slaves counted as whole persons for the purpose of apportioning House membership.  I always have fun pointing this out to students, and asking if they’d feel better about the Founders if they had allowed more political power to slave states in 1787 by counting them as whole persons.  It usually elicits dumbfounded looks, silence, and subject-changing to Jefferson and Sally Hemings or something.

Moreover, the entire treatment of slavery in the convention and in the text of the Constitution is significant.  Note that the term “slave” is never used; instead, the drafters employed euphemisms, such as “persons held to service” or “other persons.”  Even the fugitive slave clause does not use the term.  Here’s an interesting point that only emerges from Madison’s notes on their deliberations.  The original proposed language for the fugitive slave clause was “No person legally held to service in one state. . .” Madison himself objected to the term “legally;” he told the convention that he “thought it wrong to admit in the Constitution the idea that there could be property in men,” and that the word “legally” seemed to favor “the idea that slavery was legal in a moral view.”  So the term was struck.

It is for these and other reasons that Frederick Douglass was able to make out that the Constitution was an anti-slavery document at the level of principle, yet somehow modern liberals can’t make this out at all because they have rejected the principles and logic of the Founding (following, I might add, the same ground of reasoning as Calhoun and other pro-slavery southerners of the mid-19th century, a fact that seems not to embarrass modern liberals, but this is a subject to dilate more fully another day).

Finally, one last observation.  The Con-Con-Con organizers downplay the risk of a “runaway” constitutional convention on the grounds that nothing radical would ever get the approval of three-fourths of the states.  This makes some sense, until you recall that the Philadelphia convention of 1787 was a “runaway” convention.  How so? It was called for the purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation, and required the unanimous consent of all 13 states for revisions to be adopted.  Yet what the convention produced was a wholly new Constitution that would go into effect if only nine states ratified it.  So much for following the law as it was spelled out explicitly in the Articles.  I often pose this problem to students, asking whether the convention acted illegally or unconstitutionally, or what possible justification they could claim for their acts.

Madison discussed this very problem in Federalist #43:

    Two questions of a very delicate nature present themselves on this occasion: 1. On what principle the Confederation, which stands in the solemn form of a compact among the States, can be superseded without the unanimous consent of the parties to it? 2. What relation is to subsist between the nine or more States ratifying the Constitution, and the remaining few who do not become parties to it?

    The first question is answered at once by recurring to the absolute necessity of the case; to the great principle of self-preservation; to the transcendent law of nature and of nature’s God, which declares that the safety and happiness of society are the objects at which all political institutions aim, and to which all such institutions must be sacrificed.

In other words, Madison is here making a very delicate reference to the right of revolution as it is expressed in the Declaration of Independence—in fact this is the only place in the Federalist Papers where there is a distinct echo of the Declaration. I note that whenever Tea Partiers or their sympathizers like Michele Bachmann invoke the Declaration’s right of revolution today, they are called “dangerous extremists.”  I’ll happily stand with “extremists” like Jefferson and Madison any time.

About the second question Madison’s long answer is less convincing, and rests ultimately on the hope, subsequently borne out, that it will be a moot point if every state ratified the Constitution, as in fact happened.  Madison finally repairs behind the formula “The time has been when it was incumbent on us all to veil the ideas which this paragraph exhibits.”  In other words, let’s avert our gaze and hope for the best.  That worked then; I don’t think we can do it now, because, as bears repeating, the modern left does not agree with the principles of 1787.  As such, I don’t want to try even agreeing with them about the lunch menu.
5852  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: August 10, 2011, 09:18:17 PM
GM,  The ink is barely dry where I gave the Pawlenty campaign all of that material.  I love the commercial, I'm glad they are reading the forum and as CCP suggested, I am happy to work for an IOU until they can get together the cash to put me on payroll.  wink

Bigdog, I agree with the D.U. professor / LA TIme piece regarding third parties.  Now is the time for centrists on both sides to flex their muscles and have some say on who will be the nominee. especially IMO on the Dem side. Picking up from a precious discussion, can you imagine the waves that could be made if someone like Sen. Jim Webb distanced himself from the President and announced his candidacy right now or after Labor Day?  Giuliani is still looking at it from the R. side, also Huntsman is considered centrist.  Voters in primaries have been known to deliver surprises.

If someone as far to the right as Bachmann (or Cain or Paul or Santorum) becomes the nominee, I think the emergence of at least one prominent 3rd party entrant is near certain.  I can't read into the views of the author but I'm sure the LA Times gets it that the only way a Bachmann type can win is if a serious third party contender steals the energy from the center of the room.
5853  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / BREAKING NEWS: Libya recognizes UK rioters as official government of the UK on: August 09, 2011, 11:47:25 PM
Satire from Wikileaks twitter feed
5854  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants & interesting thought pieces - Thomas Sowell on: August 09, 2011, 12:52:47 PM | Random thoughts on the passing scene:
By Thomas Sowell

The next time a member of the British royal family gets married, I hope they elope and spare us all another 24/7 media orgy.

Does the "not guilty" verdict in the Casey Anthony child murder trial mean that the jury succumbed to the confusion between "beyond a reasonable doubt" and "beyond any conceivable doubt"? The word "reasonable" is not put in there just for decoration.

We seem to be living in an age when nobody can be bothered to answer their telephone, but everybody has a recorded message telling us how important our phone call is to them.

President Obama often talks about wanting to raise taxes on "millionaires and billionaires" but — in his actual tax proposals — higher taxes usually begin with couples earning $250,000 between them. Apparently that makes you a millionaire or a billionaire.

It doesn't seem very scientific to have a good-looking nurse taking a man's blood pressure.

As the British have lost their empire and, more important, lost their respect for laws and standards, Britannia has gone from ruling the waves to waiving the rules.

The difference between mob rule and democracy was never more sharply demonstrated than by labor unions' attempts to prevent the Wisconsin voters' elected representatives from carrying out their official duties at the state Capitol. What would it matter what the voters want if any mob can stop it from happening?

My favorite birthday card this year said on the outside, "Ageing is Inevitable" — and, on the inside: "Maturity is optional."

Theodore Roosevelt said that his foreign policy was to speak softly and carry a big stick. Barack Obama's foreign policy in Libya has been to speak loudly and carry a little stick. Too often Obama's foreign policy around the world looks like children happily playing with fire.

Every weekday publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.

Class-warfare politics is bad enough when it is for real. But often it is as phony as a three-dollar bill, when the same politicians pass high tax rates on "the rich" to win votes — and then get financial support from "the rich" to create loopholes that enable them to avoid paying those high tax rates.

It is amazing how many people seem to think that, if you give them your phone number or e-mail address, this means that they are authorized to pass them on to others.

Three little words — "We the people," the opening words of the Constitution of the United States — are the biggest obstacle to achieving the political goals of the left. For that, they must move decisions away from "We the people" — from individuals to government; from elected officials to unelected judges; and from national institutions to international institutions like the United Nations — all safely remote and insulated from "We the people."

Some hotels have been called "historic." But to me that just means old. I don't like staying in old-fashioned hotels. There is usually a reason why those fashions went out of fashion.

Learned scholars still debate the reasons for the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Learned scholars of the future, looking back on our decline and fall, may simply be baffled as to how we could have been so stupid.

Awkward and uncomfortable hospital gowns for patients just add a needless complication to the problems of people who are already sick. Surely someone could design something less bothersome.

I have never believed for a moment that Barack Obama has the best interests of the United States at heart.

Many liberals who consider themselves friends or allies of blacks are usually friends or allies of those particular blacks who are doing wrong things, often at the expense of other blacks.

At one time, it was well understood that adversity taught valuable lessons, which reduce the probability of repeating foolish decisions. But, today, the welfare state shields people from the consequences of their own mistakes, allowing irresponsibility to continue and to flourish among ever wider circles of people.

Amid all the concerns about the skyrocketing government debt, a front-page headline in the Wall Street Journal said: "Families Slice Debt to Lowest In 6 Years." It is remarkable how differently people behave when they are spending their own money compared to the way politicians behave when spending the government's money.
5855  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness: Fascist Fairy Tales on: August 09, 2011, 12:41:05 PM
JAMES TARANTO, WSJ quotes Time's Joe Klein bringing Carter and Reagan into the comparison, then answers him:

Kline: "At a similar point in his presidency, Jimmy Carter delivered his famous "malaise" speech--the word was never actually used--that was an accurate description of the problems we faced then (it reads very well 30 years later) but a complete bummer. The public needed to hear more than a description of what wrong [sic]; it needed to be told what was necessary to make it right. Ronald Reagan came along, posited optimism and an easily comprehensible set of principles--and Carter was history.

    I am not suggesting Obama is Carter. But they do share a trait: an inability to tell a story. The most popular stories have good guys and bad guys. If he wants to be re-elected, Obama is going to have to start telling us who the bad guys are and what he plans to do about them."

Tarranto (WSJ): In citing Reagan, Klein unwittingly underscores the liberal misunderstanding of his success at "communication," which Peggy Noonan explores in her most recent column. There's a world of difference between "an easily comprehensible set of principles," which Reagan did offer, and a fairy tale about "good guys and bad guys." The former is for adults, the latter for children (or for adults seeking mere entertainment).
5856  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness - Harry, I have a gift on: August 09, 2011, 12:21:30 PM
Funny that the Bret Stephens piece Crafty/WSJ) uses the word 'Glibness' while the rest includes a theme of cognitive dissonance.  IIRC this thread started as the 'Obama phenomenon' and was presciently renamed to the above after his election or around the time of inauguration?  A bit negative I think but we have found 18 long internet pages of material to support it.

WSJ 4/30/09
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid...tells of congratulating freshman Sen. Obama on a phenomenal speech. Without a hint of conceit, Mr. Obama replied, "Harry, I have a gift."
5857  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: August 09, 2011, 11:05:25 AM
"Saw Pawlenty interviewed by Chris Wallace yesterday.  A much better performance than I had seen previously."

I saw that also.  Better but still just slightly off message.  The question should not still be, does a two term governor have more executive experience than a 3rd term congresswoman.  Instead of dismissing her efforts, he should have emphasized how badly we need her holding feet to the fire in the House - to get things done in his administration.  The question in this race is, who will stand next to President Barack Obama a year from this fall with a limited government, pro-growth agenda and win the debate, the election and the mandate to turn this ship around.
5858  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: August 09, 2011, 10:53:09 AM
"...How does the dollar affect me?  Well, not much, except when I want to travel abroad or if I buy foreign goods."

It will affect you more than you admit.
"If you are an American living in MN and exporting, well a weak dollar gives you a competitive advantage.  That means more jobs in America..."

All expressed economic relationships include 'all other things equal' implied, if not spoken or written.

No measurable competitive advantage  for exporting comes from a weak dollar if we chased the last manufacturer out more than 10 years ago with a host of other anti-competitive practices, mostly taxes and regulations.  The remaining successful companies like Target and Best Buy have their products made elsewhere and make the majority of their income in other states.  Even Medtronic was attacked by the latest round of new Obamacare taxation and is tanking.
3M to Expand Manufacturing in China for Solar Markets
St. Paul, Minn., Shanghai -- April 6, 2011 – 3M today announced—in conjunction with the Hefei High-tech Industrial Development Area--a plan to build a manufacturing site for photovoltaic solar materials and renewable energy products in Hefei High-tech Park...
The new plant, 3M Materials Technologies (Hefei) Co., will produce a variety of products at the new facility, including 3M Scotchshield Film, an advanced solar backside barrier film used in crystalline silicon solar photovoltaic modules. The project will be 3M’s ninth manufacturing facility in China.

5859  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: August 08, 2011, 10:36:38 PM
No interest in tying policies to results and results to policies?  My mistake -I thought this was one of the triple digit threads.
5860  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: August 08, 2011, 06:38:53 PM
CCP: I love the story about the Stanford trained statistician winning 4 million plus lotteries - "The odds of this has been calculated at one in eighteen septillion and luck like this could only come once every quadrillion years."  I hate the lotteries and maybe this will disrupt some of the enthusiasm.

I can't remember what qudrillion and septinllion mean.  I just remember S. Palin saying 'don't anyone tell Obama what comes after a trillion.'
Down down 634: Are people reading these pages this year still in stocks?

Dow up 50% during the early part of the Obama administration?

Things like inaugurations or New Years make lousy benchmarks.  If that is the test, Democrats in reality took control of the domestic agenda Nov 2006 / Jan 2007.  Result was the end of 50 months of growth, stagnation and collapse.  Then they took the White House.  I would assume that the selloff of 2008 was oversold.  People sold everything and had to wait 30 days plus until charts started upward to buy back in, with capital gains paid at the old rate.  I would guess this rise was over-bought. Dow companies like CocaCola and McDonalds have 75-80% of their business outside Obama's jurisdiction.  Did these investors know they were buying into 0.4% growth?  Did they know that 90% of Obama's job growth rate ended the day Obamacare was passed.  Chart below. Obama is not done.  This carnage is on his watch too.  I would estimate approaching 10 trillion is losses just the last 2 market days.

"By the way, if you invested money in the stock market for the duration of the Bush eight years, you lost money.  A lot."

Once again, a FLAWED analysis.  The market crash started with NASDAQ March 2000, 6 monthsw before the election, 9 months before the name changed on the door.  The downturn was going on no matter WHO was in power, until conditions and policies changed.  The attacks of 9/11/2001 were planned and happening no matter whose watch, unless someone else would have prevented it.  The recovery started the day policies changed, the 2003 tax rate reductions.  The recovery ended the day the policy arrow changed with the Nov 2006 election.  Why lump those those 3 distinct periods together and lose all meaning to the pretend analysis?

Instead, look for peak to trough or inflection points and look for causation.  Track the results to policy changes implemented or expected rather than the nameplate on the door.  I would love to see a comprehensive supply-side, pro-growth package passed and signed overnight tonight (impossible).  New flat and simple tax code, regulation rollback, corporate tax rolled back, loopholes gone, cap and trade scrapped, Obamacare repealed, energy projects approved coast to coast, all pending trade agreements passed, states add capital gains preferences, reform all major entitlements .  Obama can take credit.  Chart THAT!  We could have 8% growth tomorrow IMO if people really wanted to solve this.

US Job growth following Obamacare passage:
5861  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Greenspan, we can always print money on: August 08, 2011, 12:59:05 PM
Is he far enough out of power now that it is safe to say this...

Alan Greenspan is a buffoon.  Intelligent on some level I'm sure but loaded with confusion, inconsistency and hypocrisy.

He was Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Ford, a distinction I would leave off my resume if I were him.  He was chosen Fed Chair by President Reagan in June 1987 (first sign of Alzheimer's?) for credibility in the markets because he was a (so-called) Republican opponent of Reaganomics and therefore an intentional check and balance on our tax and fiscal policies.  He was considered to be from the root canal wing of the Republican party, cut spending growth but don't do anything radical to grow the economy.  Had he wrote Reagan's policies, we would still be in the Carter years.  His speeches were open jokes on the market, inventing his own language so no one would know what he was saying.

We had expansionary policies following the crashes starting in March 2000 and following the financial and economic crises following 9/11/2001.  Why did we still have expansionary monetary policies as we were approaching 50 consecutive months of job growth /economic growth?  Obviously the excesses of his time led to the 'irrational exuberance' of housing, the fall of which is still haunting us.

In his memoirs he criticizes Bush and Cheney for the excesses in spending.  That makes sense.  Why wasn't he screaming bloody murder about it THEN, while it was happening, when he had his own bully pulpit?
5862  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: August 07, 2011, 02:49:43 PM
I can't tell if you are disagreeing with my characterization or his policy.

I took that from the SSA life expectancy page;the majority of workers were men at that time.  I'm sure there are plenty of other ways to look at it, like yesterday's revelation that oral surgeons clean teeth.  Life expectancy of your teeth, BTW, in the 1930s was less than 58 years.  Do you disagree with the 1% tax too?  Is there any difference in terms of productive disincentives between that (1%) and now, a self employment tax of 15.3% ?,,id=98846,00.html   When you are done quibbling, the point remains that we are nowhere near the insure-against-outliving-your-ability-to-work vision that FDR first articulated.  People retire very often early, healthy and generally far wealthier than the younger workers who labor to help support them, instead of investing in their own challenges and opportunities.  It is a Ponzi scheme, not a lockbox, an insurance policy, or a savings plan.

Life Expectancy for Social Security

If we look at life expectancy statistics from the 1930s we might come to the conclusion that the Social Security program was designed in such a way that people would work for many years paying in taxes, but would not live long enough to collect benefits. Life expectancy at birth in 1930 was indeed only 58 for men and 62 for women, and the retirement age was 65.
5863  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hope and Change on: August 07, 2011, 02:20:25 PM
Sinking like a stone, but maybe people will like us better without all that prosperity.
5864  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: August 07, 2011, 01:28:58 PM
Federal taxes of 1794 would be great.  How about a return to the fundamentals that FDR started with social security, a 1% old age insurance tax with the payout age set 7 years beyond worker life expectancy.  These days he would be called a tea party terrorist, though he was far more extreme.
5865  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (and South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc) on: August 07, 2011, 01:13:45 PM
One of the articles on that story says the cellphone would be 3 pounds without the use of so-called rare earth elements.  Why don't we have people carry those for a couple of days until they tell the oppressionists in Washington, loudly and clearly, that we need to open this country for business, and that necessarily includes mining, drilling, processing and manufacturing - or someone else (like China) will.

I can only think of what Dean Wormer said to Flounder in Animal House: "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son."  What is the matter with our globally competitive, strategic economic team??  Terms like deaf, dumb and blind aren't fair to people who really suffer those afflictions.
5866  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: August 07, 2011, 12:56:21 PM
How do you handle the stress, as Commander in Chief, of identifying Navy Seal Team Six as the group who "got him" [bin Laden] only to have them shot down over an enemy territory within just a few months, worst loss in 10 years in Afghanistan, that he has already announced abandoning?

How do you respond to the worst financial slap in our history, to have S&P Frriday after market closing downgrading the United States of America, for the first time in our history, leaving 18 countries with higher ratings, and planning to downgrade us further if you continues on the same course?

What is your next course of action, if you are President, on both fronts, not to mention jobs?  He must be swamped in advisory or deep in his own thought, brainstorming for solutions and direction.  Maybe even praying for wisdom and solutions to come to him in church?

Nope, he's commanding his SUV motorcade over to the golf course today.  Followed by a beer and cheeseburger.  It's Sunday and he's the leader of the free world and he will do what he wants, whenever he wants.  Crisis? What Crisis?

Right now, saving bogey is more important than any economic or military setback.  Those can be led from behind.  The golf ball just sits there on the tee until you take a swing at it.  Good luck America.
5867  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China - Rare Earth Elements Find in Nebraska on: August 07, 2011, 12:11:40 PM
Said to be 'huge', this discovery could break China's lock on rare earth elements, the minerals required for basic technology manufacturing of our time.  (If only the Obama EPA will allow them to mine there.)
This Nebraska Village May Be Sitting On The World's Largest Untapped Deposit Of Rare Earth Minerals   Aug. 3, 2011

5868  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama Treasury Secretary on S&P Downgrade in April 2011: No risk of that! on: August 07, 2011, 09:52:38 AM

Flashback: Geithner Says No Risk To US' AAA Credit Rating

"No risk of that, no risk," Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner said on the Fox Business Network in April. (source The Hill)    Video at the link.
5869  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government spending, budget: S&P is Incompetent? on: August 07, 2011, 09:42:40 AM
The gift that just keeps on giving, Rep. Barney Frank, recent Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee during the collapse of the nations financial systems, says that S&P is incompetent.

Meanwhile, S&P says the USA is on the negative side of AA+ meaning (to me) another downgrade is coming down the pike if the status quo continues.
5870  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: August 06, 2011, 03:49:58 PM
JDN, I will try to split my answer, libertarian issue here and the rest over on health care politics. 

GM put it succinctly (as he does), "If I'm paying, I have a say in your behavior".

I don't care if you don't care (but you are certainly entitled to that opinion) that you might lose your freedom or preferred recreation because I care about mine and I know plenty here care about the right to fight which would most certainly be among the first to go.

If you can ride Dukatis for recreation, not exactly third world poverty behavior, you certainly should not need someone else to be picking up your basic living expenses, healthcare, so you you don't have to dip into your own resources.

No intent to hit while you are down, but theoretically your choice of riding superbikes at higher speeds on mountain roads, in a nanny state system, jeopardizes my right to putz around carefully at 80 mpg on my Honda 200.  Soon they will all be prohibited.  Or they will limit you to what mine is and that is a different sport, likely of no interest to a Dukati enthusiast.  You are perhaps willing to lose what you have.  I am not.

Your right to your pursuit without harming others and my right to not pay for it are both clearly enumerated in the 9th amendment IMO.

"I choose to smoke cigars and ride motorcycles, someone else may choose to eat too much fatty food, etc. still there is not a 100% direct cause and effect.  In many/most health issues a direct cause and effect cannot be found."

Government prohibitions and regulations and penalties have been issued with far less certain causation than those examples.

Let's take one of my summer favorites, waterskiing, passed down in our family through at least 4 generations.  I remember my grandfather skied on one ski on his 70th birthday and my mother into her 80s, while my award winning daughter just got her first successful one-ski ride at 17, last weekend.  Others pull hamstrings and fill up chiropractic wards with their pulls and twists.  It burns fossil fuels.  Why is that necessary - in some Washington bureaucratic view - it isn't!  Banned.  Dessert - banned.  How would you like your shrimp cooked, battered with french fries, just kidding, we'll tell you how your food will be prepared.  Whoops, shrimp was banned too.  It just isn't necessary.  Even lean beef is inefficient and oatmeal is on the latest list of foods to not advertise to children.  There is no end when the alleged consequence is a public expense.

"My grandfather was a small town surgeon near Milwaukee, albeit he was quite famous in WI.  If you were rich, my grandfather charged you top dollar, if you were poor my grandfather would take vegetables or whatever as payment.  He never turned anyone away."

My grandfather and father were dentists serving the downtown community including some of its most famous citizens like our current govenor in his childhood, charged low, fair rates that no one ever questioned, worked long weeks and long hours well into their 80s because they loved what they did and serving people and did not charge people extra or give better service for being rich. Good grief.

"While I understand your point, ..."

No, I think that you don't.
5871  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: August 06, 2011, 03:48:08 PM
We drifted to govt healthcare on libertarian issues where it also belongs and I wanted to answer part of it here.

GM wrote: Yeah, it's funny how a free market can make products and services cheaper for everyone to access but somehow that can't be used for healthcare.

Yes, that was a point a tried to make with a highly educated liberal relative recently.  She was arguing that single payer is the most efficient system and I kept answering with the question: "for everything?"  No, only healthcare because that was all she had looked into, but has someone looked into the most efficient and effective ways to allocate scarce resources if they look at one failed example.  What about housing?  I see areas here where the average price has adjusted from $3 million to $2 million.  At either level, the price is astronomical and the product exceedingly complex and extravagant because that is exactly what people are wanting and able to afford.  Those prices in a free market continuously adjust so that is true under changing cicumstances and the product built adjusts too - if left alone to adjust.  In healthcare, not so.

JDN wrote: "Do you know what cancer costs?  Or a heart attack?  Even just a "routine" visit to the emergency room is $1000's of dollars, Etc.

Yes.  Do you know why??

I put it in a previous reply: "If we paid our own medical bills (for the most part), the cost levels set by providers would be limited to what people could generally afford and were willing to pay (imagine that!), not what an entity with the power to print money could possibly spend."

That does not mean there won't be a safety net for the needy, there already is.  It means as you expand that to include routine care for ordinary income Americans, the entire system with the only known, effective force for cost control is gone.  That can't happen!  Look at Europe! Yeah, look at Europe.

The welfare state like Scandinavia or even Japan relied on a culture of homogeneous people all possessing an unending work ethic and not interested in taking advantage of the system, where the safety net goes only to the truly needy no matter what are the rules.  Hardly a description of Europe today, or the US.
5872  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Doorbell on: August 06, 2011, 12:45:03 PM
5873  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: August 06, 2011, 12:14:25 PM
Or maybe we should pay our own medical bills and then take personal responsibility for our individual choices.

And if we paid our own medical bills, the cost levels set by providers would be limited to what people could generally afford and were willing to pay (imagine that!), not what an entity with the power to print money could possibly spend.
5874  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness: Lost advisers on: August 06, 2011, 12:06:19 PM
Some turnover is normal, but what happened to economic advisers Volcker, Buffet, Summers, Roemer and now Goolsby?

Austan Goolsby, Obama's current Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, will leave his position this summer and return to teaching.

"Goolsby, a longtime Obama adviser, has been one of the leading proponents of the idea that increased government spending would stimulate the economy into a roaring recovery."

5875  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Geithner: Stimulus "remarkably effective", 2nd one not necessary - Oct 2009 on: August 06, 2011, 12:04:22 PM
CCP, Yes, 'it was worse than we thought'.  George Bush screwed up left field so badly that nobody can play it.
CNBC Oct 16, 2009

Sec. GEITHNER: Well, recovery is going to work for Americans requires a recovery led by the private sector, requires recovery led by private demand that's going to be strong enough to be sustainable. And that means that you're going to have to still make sure there's enough support to reinforce that process of recovery. But when we have growth back in place, we also got to bring down those long-term deficits, make sure we go back to living within our means. And that's like the difficulty--that's the--that's the difficult balance to get right. But I think we're going to get that right. We're not going to make the mistake many countries made in the past of putting the brakes on too early and creating risk that we have a, you know, weaker recovery with even higher levels of unemployment going forward.
Sec. GEITHNER: Stimulus has been remarkably effective, and the combined effect of stimulus, as it was designed and the efforts we took to stabilize the financial system, bring capital and private capital in, have been remarkably effective in arresting the freefall in economic growth we saw here and around the world and laying the foundation for growth. Now, you're seeing growth now for the first time, really, in almost two years. And that's a very encouraging sign. But it's very early still, and again, our job is to make sure that we're encouraging that process. And recovery act was designed so it's going to provide support over a two-year period of time, and you're just now starting to see--probably in the summer you started for the first time to see money start to flow and projects start to get financed. But a key part of stimulus was tax cuts to businesses and families and support to state and local governments, and those things had very immediate, very powerful effect.
BARTIROMO: So do we need a second stimulus? ...
BARTIROMO: A good case for a second stimulus?

5876  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama: turn around economy in 3 years or this is "a one-term proposition.” on: August 06, 2011, 11:36:01 AM
A family man with a wife, 2 small children and a dog named BO wouldn't want to spend this special birthday during August recess with his family, when the opportunity presents itself to sell tickets to big donors for big money.

Here a clip you just might hear during the campaign:

Today Show with Matt Lauer Feb 1 2009 (with Gallup approval rating at 66%):

“Look, I’m at the start of my administration. One nice thing about the situation I find myself in is that I will be held accountable. You know, I’ve got four years,” Obama told The Today Show’s Matt Lauer on February 1, 2009.

“A year from now I think people are going to see that we’re starting to make some progress,” said Obama. ”But there’s still going to be some pain out there. If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”

Video at the link.
5877  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics: Wisconsin 'Recall' vote on: August 06, 2011, 11:11:49 AM
I don't suppose anyone, anywhere is following this, but there is a campaign going on right now that is the preview to the 2012 House, Senate and Presidential campaign and election.  It is very, very ugly.  The money being spent is unbelievable and the message on both sides is 100% negative: Moore means More Taxes and Harsdorf is backing [Gov.]Scott Walker's agenda every step of the way.

In the case of one western Wisconsin legislative district, they have to pay for the entire 3 million person Twin Cities (MN - wrong state) media market in order to reach their own district with television and radio ads, and they are nearly continuous on every channel - in August.  New records for spending, they are spending more in one state senate district than was spent statewide in a real election a short time ago, and (believe it or not) the money is not all local:
The Minnesota AFL-CIO will run buses of union volunteers into the district Aug. 8 and 9, assisting get-out-the-vote efforts on Moore’s behalf. And the Minnesota State Council of the Service Employees International Union  already is operating phone banks out of its St. Paul headquarters.

Who knows what the outcome will mean for having a special election at such a strange time. 

For unbiased coverage wink there is a blog at Huffington Post covering the campaign.  For current liberal governing views, just read the comments.
Also Hudson WI newspaper:
5878  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: August 06, 2011, 10:44:21 AM
JDN, with you on those agreement points.   smiley

"I think it's better if the government stays out of it."

But they can only do that if it is your responsibility, meaning all the consequences of your actions.

Some nanny state laws are good in their effect and result, like seat belts, but then how do we stop there and not end the other things mentioned.  I forget my seat belt sometimes and find myself reaching for it every time I see law enforcement.  I rode with my youthful 87 year old dad driving the other day.  Just a short drive but I got in and buckled up.  He saw that and stopped to do his.  One sibling of mine has been harping on him to do that.  Hard to change old habits and the law gives people an excuse to say - just do it, but that is in the context that everything relating to driving is regulated.  Everything related to living is not regulated or at least shouldn't be.

Our state was first I think to enact smoking bans, with a mixed effect on liberty.  Then we repealed the helmet law.  A gain I suppose for liberty, but I can't imagine getting on a motorcycle without a helmet so it seems like a lousy symbol for liberty.  Still they require eye protection and I'm sure we have both been hit with bugs in the glasses enough to know why.

True libertarianism would oppose all these restrictions and true liberalism of today (fascism) would put an end to nearly all personal choice and responsibility.  It seems to me we could have a very few, very carefully considered laws and restrictions without going hogwild but experience seems to prove that I am wrong.
5879  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Tao of Sex on: August 06, 2011, 10:16:48 AM
Slow, gradual escalation, with full respect for the power of what you are considering, culminating in marriage is better than an entitlement, instant gratification mentality.

Does anyone know what Judaism, Christianity (and the other great religions) say specifically about it.

Crafty, I appreciate the dilemma you are presenting with young people delaying marriage longer and longer and many couples not marrying at all, but what are you saying is the answer?  What will you say to your son and daughter?

May I state unequivocally that, moral issues aside, one or the other partner saying they are using birth control is not foolproof, and that moral issues aside, single uncommitted people having babies is not the same thing as having a mother and a father under one roof in a committed attempt at a lifelong relationship.

Also an observation, if the responsible people are having fewer children and the irresponsible are having more, that is not a healthy dynamic for our civilization.
5880  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: August 06, 2011, 09:46:09 AM
"I didn't go to law school, but the answer is simple; one is legal on is not."

The point of libertarian issues is to dare to question what should or should not be law, not just blind support fro whatever they are.

When you expand the public role in maintaining our health, you cause the erosion of the liberty to do things considered risky.  Motorcycling, stickfighting and putting penises where they weren't designed to go.  Is driving a car today without a seatbelt more dangerous than riding a motorcycle?  One is legal, one is not (in 49 states).  That can change.

Can't have it both ways.  If you are the risk manager of you, then you decide.  If the Sec. of Heath is in charge, then she decides.  You might not like the next czar's decisions.
5881  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 06, 2011, 09:23:46 AM
"I'm not really comfortable with that last line at all."

The odds that a 50-50 committee will do the right thing is not better than 50-50.

Yes, the wrong 'solution' exacerbates the problem.  You can't raise taxes in a recession, but you also can't say, as we do now, that we will raise them the instant we are out of the recession either.  It has the same destructive effect without capturing any additional revenue.

The only thing I can think of to head off the wrong answer out of committee is to take offense with the public before they act, instead of playing defense after.

The serious, leading Pres. candidates need to shift from saying in 2011 what they would do as President in 2013 to being the leaders of the opposition party now, and call loudly and persuasively for a specific list of actions now.  Call on the House and Senate, in response to the downgrade, to finish the job in September that could not be completed before the August 4 birthday deadline.  The save the nation later plan is not capturing anyone's imagination or attention whatsoever.

If your house is on fire now (Marco Rubio's analogy is that you save the whole house), the discussion about what to do after it is just ashes smoldering seems rather academic.
5882  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: August 05, 2011, 02:15:20 PM
"She has kept her job and her insurance (great boss) but now they are thinking of laying her off as well as other employees.  It's the times."

She has coverage because she of the job (private sector inferred).  They are laying off employees because of the economy.  Number one cause of the continued bad economy with almost no new hiring: healthcare reform with non-existent cost savings, along with two dozen new tax increases, new regulations, penalties and heavy burdens on employers.

JDN: "With her pre-existing condition no one will offer coverage at any price."
Crafty: "IMHO the matter of people getting kicked out of their insurance due e.g. to a job loss and while having what then becomes a pre-existing condition is a genuine problem."

Pre-existing condition - instantly - was one of the planks offered in the Republican alternatives and turned down by the ObamaPelosi-ites.  It is a feature of Obamacare but implementation was delayed I believe to 2014.  IT DID NOT HAVE TO BE THAT WAY.  That was solvable in 2009 but they wanted the whole enchilada, not compromise or even a single Republican vote.  If Obamacare did not utilize financial deception to pass, the good features would be law now.

JDN, I'm glad you are okay.  That said...

By your own description, you were a) on a motorcycle, and b) going too fast. (Did I read that right?) Those are two risks that someone else might not want to pay for, and will be likely be freedoms you would lose as we shift the financial consequences to others... or it could void your warranty.

You were burning fossil fuels for the enjoyment. (?)  I'm surprised that freedom wasn't already taken the day Al Franken took the 60th vote in the Senate.  So many potential prohibitions.  So little time.

'Base plan' means disparity and arguing the unfairness to eternity.  Probably a better way than Obamacare to get to full coverage, single payer.

Base plan will however include everything controversial, abortion, birth control, sex change operations, smoker, motorcycle, sky dive coverage.  Anything less will be unfair.  French fries and stick fighting might be the only exclusions?

We already, at least in our state, have full coverage for the financially challenged.  We are talking about a middle class entitlement.  Paid for by whom?

You were going to be treated, like it or not, in this case.  We are only talking about who pays for it.

"My father has Medicare; he loves it.  He also has a great, albeit expensive supplemental plan ($800.00 month) that covers everything else in the world that Medicare doesn't that Dad pays for himself.  He's happy.  I just want the same choice."

a) You will be there soon.  smiley
b) Medicare is bankrupt.  Let's expand it.  sad

"Why not have a base government plan covering everyone"

Third party pay for millions is already the reason why costs for the rest of us are OUTRAGEOUS.

Healthcare was mostly affordable back when most service was fee for service.  That was when prices had to match affordability.

"then the fire trucks showed up; 5 of them.  I guess it was a boring day."

Would that happen in the private sector?

"Flipped, hit my head and slid"

Hope you mean - hit my helmet.

"3 have died on bikes on this road in the last 3 weeks"

Sounds like fun ...  huh
5883  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People - John Birch on: August 04, 2011, 01:56:46 PM
"Is the John Birch society a bad thing, and if so, how? (From a Conservative- Libertarian frame of mind)"

I don't know exactly when or where they went too far to be so widely discredited.  As we are all (conservatives-libertarians) constantly accused of being extremists, it is important to not be unnecessarily guilty of it - in order to influence swing voters and win elections.

Looking through wikipedia and a few articles I find that the main core beliefs  mostly match conservatism, but there are a number of planks of John Birchers that I disagree with.  I see they had quite a feud with the Wm F Buckley types of conservatism in their time - and lost.  The main point I think would be to not go back now and re-fight those fights.  More constructive IMHO would be to join forces with the best of the new groups and keep them focused on the right issues and right solutions.
5884  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: August 04, 2011, 01:41:07 PM
Thank you Hello Kitty for the kind words.

"What if I'm allergic to peas..."

Very funny!

It turns out fresh peas are high in fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and Vitamin A, B6, and C.

But if you are allergic or are fighting hypermagnesemia, the answer with an all-powerful central government is still eat your peas.  If a new federal minimum wage law does more harm than good in an isolated village somewhere in America, the answer is fire everyone working below the new minimum wage.  If 26 states don't want Obamacare, their answer is Obamacare.  If your kidney, heart or diabetic condition could be eased with raw milk ( or some new drug bogged down in the FDA bureaucracy, the answer is... tough luck.  Government knows best and you just don't realize that how good coercion can be for you.
5885  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education/Parenting on: August 04, 2011, 01:08:16 PM
JDN, FYI we also discussed that book/author here and here
5886  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: August 04, 2011, 11:02:02 AM
The reason that a producer can't sell or even consume a raw food product on their own property, if prohibited by federal law, is because they are engaging in interstate commerce.   huh

The police state accusation IMO is not of the police tasked with enforcement, but a tyranny of the majority - tyranny of the do-gooders, enabled by some bizarre court rulings over the years where government over time seems to no longer have meaningful limits.
5887  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education/Parenting on: August 04, 2011, 10:44:54 AM
I read as much 'liberal drivel' as I can stomach (opposition research) and I have not seen the specific BS points that I identified ever substantiated.

"I'm not going out of my way to copy articles for you."

Not exactly in the spirit of;
"If you are pasting something from elsewhere, please be sure to specifty the source (name, URL, that sort of thing).  If you do not have the source, please explain why."

It was not for me, BTW.  It is your lost credibility I was trying to help rescue.
5888  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government regulations: 608 new federal regulations added in July on: August 04, 2011, 10:27:42 AM

Report: Obama Administration Added $9.5 Billion in Red Tape in July

Many House and Senate conservatives are reviving their battle against federal regulations, claiming that the president hasn't stopped issuing job-killing rules during the debt ceiling fight. "While Washington and Americans have been focused on the debt ceiling, the Obama administration has continued to roll out more crushing red tape," said a spokesperson for Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso, who's been championing the regulation fight.

At Tuesday's GOP Senate caucus lunch, the lawmakers said that they will renew their efforts, supported by business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In a memo Barasso handed out to the lawmakers, he claimed that the administration in July only has put in $9.5 billion in new regulatory costs by proposing 229 new rules and finalizing 379 rules. Among those he cited were EPA, healthcare reform, and financial regulatory reform rules.
5889  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, budget process on: August 04, 2011, 10:17:35 AM
The country's debt situation in real terms actually got worse this week under the continuing anchor of Obamanomics.  Debt is measured in dollars but most judged as a percentage of income.   Because of sudden new borrowings and the economic growth downgrades and the past economic results downgrades, total debt now exceeds total GDP of the US economy for the first time since 1947 according to US Treasury figures:

US borrowing tops 100% of GDP: Treasury  AFP
US debt shot up $238 billion to reach 100 percent of gross domestic project after the government's debt ceiling was lifted, Treasury figures showed Wednesday.

Treasury borrowing jumped Tuesday, the data showed, immediately after President Barack Obama signed into law an increase in the debt ceiling as the country's spending commitments reached a breaking point and it threatened to default on its debt.

The new borrowing took total public debt to $14.58 trillion, over end-2010 GDP of $14.53 trillion, and putting it in a league with highly indebted countries like Italy and Belgium.

Public debt subject to the official debt limit -- a slightly tighter definition -- was $14.53 trillion as of the end of Tuesday, rising from the previous official cap of $14.29 trillion a day earlier.

Treasury had used extraordinary measures to hold under the $14.29 trillion cap since reaching it on May 16, while politicians battled over it and over addressing the country's bloating deficit.

The official limit was hiked $400 billion on Tuesday and will be increased in stages over the next 18 months.

The last time US debt topped the size of its annual economy was in 1947 just after World War II.
5890  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, Inflation, US Dollar & other currencies, & Gold/Silver on: August 04, 2011, 10:04:48 AM
In the US we suffer from a continuing devaluation of our weakened currency.  Elsewhere they are suffering from currencies that are too strong.  Both scenarios cause other economic problems, as does the volatility and uncertainty.

Japan follows Switzerland by weakening currency
Japan has intervened to halt the rise of its currency aganist the dollar, to protect its own economy as investors piled into the yen as a safe haven on heightened fears about growth in the US and Europe.
5891  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education/Parenting on: August 04, 2011, 09:45:03 AM
CW, GM has a rather indelicate way of saying you have posted a rather large number of unsubstantiated things in a short period of time without any attempt to answer requests to back them up.  That is not a discussion and it doesn't afford the reader any opportunity to learn from the point made.  You took a cheap shot at my profession that I let go by: "You know that the majority of land lords would turn their places into wrecks so that their tenants wouldn't have a better place to go." What a bunch of BS.  More than 30 years of personal experience and I have seen thousands and thousands of examples of damage to property and never have I seen rental property done intentionally by a landlord, yet you say it is a "majority" turning their place into a wreck.  Running out of water? Did you post ANYTHING that says we have one drop less water on earth today than one year ago or one thousand years ago? In the midwest we are swimming in too much water, highest on record in many places.  Can't send it any faster downstream because they are still flooded there.  People choosing to live away from water is not running out of water. The USA attacked itself on 9/11/01? Sure. The host/moderator tried to answer you politely and indirectly on that and you missed it.  You attack GM's profession, law enforcement, he asked you to back it up.  Here you support (If I read you correctly) teaching parenting arrangements other than a mom and a dad as equal or better than the way it was primarily done since creation without posting a smidgen of evidence to support your view.  The requests to back up what you post over time, when you ignore them, might start to look like ridicule.

I have posted unsupported arguments with glaring weaknesses on this board and had them quickly pointed out to me.  That is one thing I like about this format.
5892  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Pawlenty on: August 03, 2011, 06:37:32 PM
CCP wrote:  Doug any inside word on Pawlenty?
His polls numbers are not improving yet.
He needs more debate Iowa exposure I guess.
CCP, no inside word.  I have too busy and he has been too broke for me to tell him that I want to be a highly paid consultant to the campaign.  If he is reading the forum, he can get that offer here.

A good article I will attach at the end here that says he is getting good endorsements in Florida including an incoming speaker of the Florida house?  Isn't that Marco Rubio's old job?  Only half joking, once he announces his running mate is Marco Rubio I think he will do just fine nationwide.

Yes he needs to bump the poll numbers up nationwide and especially in the states where he is spending his time and like all of them, he needs to raise money.  I see he is 3rd now in Iowa, to Romney and Bachmann.  Bachmann is running there as being from there, not just from a neighboring state.  My take is that she will fizzle at some point but that could be after the straw poll.  There is a debate coming up before the straw poll and I don't think Pawlenty will be holding his punches this next time, after the beating he took in NH for giving Obamneycare a pass.  He moved his comparisons over to Bachmann once she was the star of the moment.  The argument was very similar views, plus experience, accomplishments and competence.

The word is out especially to people who never heard him or met him that he is the most boring person imaginable.  That actually can be good to keep expectations low and then surpass them.  Those reviews don't match what Rush L said after the first debate that Pawlenty looked 'Presidential'.  Besides his influence, he has a pretty good eye and ear for conservative politics.  I think people also are hitting a wall with the current candidates/other candidates so they keep looking again to see if they missed the one.  That phenomenon could however help Rick Perry instead of Pawlenty if he doesn't make his move soon.

I posted his June Iowa numbers, but the Iowa poll that has him third also shows his favorable/unfavorable rating climbing to 60-12. If people found him to be a complete waste of time, those numbers would not be that high.

My current feeling is that Romney has become a bit irrelevant, though still leading, and that Rick Perry will be the next sensation, but who knows.  Even then, I think it is important to have an experienced former two term governor ready with competence and good positions on issues in second or third place that you can turn to if needed because we all know what happened to ... John Edwards, Spiro Agnew, Gary Hart, Howard Dean, Mike Huckabee, Pat Buchanan, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, Dick Gephart, Michael Dukakis, John McCain, George Bush, Dick Cheney, George Romney, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Rep. Jefferson, David Wu, Anthony Weiner, etc.  Politicians can lose their shine.
(There is a 2 minute coffee shop stump talk at the link.  He is running against Barack Obama, not Romney, Bachmann etc.)

Underdog Tim Pawlenty drawing strong Republican support in Florida

By Adam C. Smith, (Tampa) Times Political Editor
In Print: Wednesday, August 3, 2011

TAMPA — The vast majority of Floridians couldn't pick Tim Pawlenty out of a lineup. He barely registers in the polls. And there's a decent chance he'll have to quit the presidential race soon if he continues to show little momentum in Iowa.

And yet something curious is happening in Florida: Influential Republican leaders continue to line up behind the former Minnesota governor, even with little evidence he's a viable contender.

"I don't know or care if he's got a 5 percent chance or a 50 percent chance or an 80 percent chance, what matters right now is we need people who stand up for what they believe in,'' said state Rep. Richard Corcoran of New Port Richey, a Pawlenty supporter in line to be speaker of the Florida House.

Another future House speaker, former Mitt Romney supporter Chris Dorworth of Lake Mary, likened it to PC users who are satisfied with their computers and Apple users who are ardent about theirs.

"Other people support their candidate, but Tim Pawlenty people are passionate about him," Dorworth said before a Pawlenty fundraising lunch that drew about 40 people to Tampa's InterContinental hotel Tuesday.

The campaign stop was only part of a busy political week in Tampa, which, starting today, hosts the Republican National Committee's summer meeting. More than 200 people will be in town checking out the site of the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Florida is expected to have one of the earliest presidential primary contests, and on a fundraising swing that took Pawlenty, 50, through Orlando Monday evening and Tampa and Miami on Tuesday, he made clear Florida is a key part of his strategy to win the nomination.

"We're looking forward to having a robust campaign in Florida. I think we've got the earliest and best and most prominent team of political leaders, volunteer leaders in this state," he said in an exclusive interview with the St. Petersburg Times and Bay News 9 airing Sunday on Political Connections.

Pawlenty, who also schmoozed with GOP activists at the Buddy Brew coffee shop in Tampa, said he expects to compete in a potentially crucial Florida GOP "Presidency 5" straw poll in September.

But Iowa is do or die for Pawlenty, and by his own admission his campaign can't afford a weak showing in an Aug. 13 "straw poll" — a symbolic, but nonbinding vote by party activists — in Ames, Iowa. A poor showing could take him out before Florida's poll even occurs.

Angling to be the main Republican alternative to Romney, the low-key Pawlenty has brought on board top Republican consultants nationally and in early primary states, but so far he has been overshadowed by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a fellow Minnesotan, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a potential candidate. Most Iowa polls show Pawlenty mired in single digits well behind Bachmann and Romney.

"Every month there's the flavor of the month where somebody's thinking about running, not running, gets in, doesn't get in,'' Pawlenty said, suggesting that ultimately people will focus on people's records. He was particularly skeptical of Bachmann's staying power.

"The last thing we want is another person in that office who wasn't prepared for that office, doesn't have executive experience and, with all due respect to congresswoman Bachmann, her record of results in Congress is nonexistent," he said.

Pawlenty supporters see a person with a blue-collar background, strong faith and a record of cutting government even in Democratic-leaning Minnesota.

"When I spend time with Gov. Pawlenty, I get a comfort in his leadership style, I get comfort in his conservative philosophy, and I get comfort in his ability to beat the president,'' said state Rep. Will Weatherford of Wesley Chapel, another future state House speaker and former Romney backer.

Endorsements don't necessarily translate to votes. But they can provide credibility in a primary dominated by hard-core Republicans.

Romney has an extensive fundraising network in Florida where he campaigned hard in 2008, but Pawlenty has been winning over a new generation of under-40 Republican fundraisers and political leaders, some of whom have the opportunity to be on the ground floor of a top presidential campaign rather than a late-comer to Romney. As of June 30, Pawlenty had about $2 million on hand, compared to nearly $13 million for Romney, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

"I don't necessarily have anything to gain by getting on board," said 28-year-old state Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa, "but maybe we can build momentum by showing we have a team here in Florida and show the people that trusted us to be leaders in this state that we're willing to stick our neck out for somebody we believe is a true leader."
5893  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Eat Your Peas on: August 03, 2011, 02:09:34 PM
I consider myself quite accomplished in the field of bungled analogies, but President Obama telling the nation, or was it just the rich, to eat peas will go down sadly as the most memorable moment of this lousy episode that we just survived of our nation's great history.

A degree from Columbia and a degree from Harvard, he came from the very best private schools in Hawaii, he served in the State Senate of Illinois and then in the world's greatest deliberative body - the United States Senate, and the best he could do to characterize the incentive/disincentive effects of raising tax rates on the producers and job creators in the private sector of a dynamic, competitive, global, capital investment based productive economy is ... ... "eat your peas"??

We may think Carter was the bungler with his malaise speech and his gas rationing lines, but people should recall that the Republican economic wisdom of those years wasn't a whole lot better.  President Ford thought the answer to spiraling inflation was a PR campaign called "Whip Inflation Now", as if merchants foregoing a price increase and workers turning down a wage increase was the cure for inflation or the path to prosperity.  That was only a little better than his predecessor, President Nixon, who in a Stalinist moment decided to implement a nationwide "price, wage, freeze" and form a committee, in advance of the Obamacare waiver committee, to review any emergency exceptions to our national price fixing program that may be necessary.

Reagan slashes tax rates and revenues double in a decade.  Volcker gets control over the money supply and the dollar stabilizes.  Clinton and Gingrich end welfare as we know it, pass Reagan's hemisphere-wide free trade and slashed the rate of taxation on gains from long term capital investments and the economy surged to the point of a briefly, unheard of, balanced budget!

The Bush economy surged 50 months only after growth policies finally kicked in and retreated after the ending to growth policies was electorally certain.

Then along comes President Obama.  Program after Keynesian program has failed, from 'Cash for Clunkers' to Shovel Ready Projects' to the tune of a trillion and half 'fiscal stimulus' per year and with new debt at the permanent rate of borrowing an amazing $4 billion a day.  All of it making things worse.  Why?  Because the problem in the first place was not that the public sector had gotten too small!

So what is this President's last flailing?  Eat your peas. 

Excuse me but where is the evidence to support the idea that higher tax rates are good for us?  History seems to say otherwise.  Aren't boiled and canned peas about the least nutritious of all the green vegetables, besides still being bland even with all the added salt? 

Lastly Mr. President, with all due respect, we are adults now and you are not our parent.  The vegetables will be of OUR choosing and we might even decide to have a little ice cream later - without asking.   wink

  - Doug

5894  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Powerline Prize Winner Justin Folk: Squirrels, The Spending is Nuts on: August 03, 2011, 10:39:52 AM

A question was posed here a while back about how to reach more people and younger people with an awareness and explanation of what is happening in this country and an idea of what needs to be done to get back on track.  Clarity, articulation and visualization always seems to be lacking.  Powerline Blog and Freedom Club responded to the DBMA challenge by offering a $100,000 prize for the best creative depiction of our spending and debt problems.  Monday they announced the winner.

John Hinderacker: “Squirrels,” as we call it informally, is a beautiful piece of work. (View it on YouTube in HD here: We asked Justin to share his thoughts on the contest and his video:

Justin Folk: "When I first heard of the contest, I found it hard to believe that anyone would put up such a great prize to offer creatives a chance to dramatize the debt crisis. Most people don’t want to think about debt or the dangers it holds. Wars and environmentalism have attracted most of the attention of creative people in our culture–and not usually for a good result. But when you consider what debt can do and has done to nations throughout history, we’d be fools to not recognize our country’s solvency as the single greatest issue we face today. In my piece, I wanted to not just show how bad the problem is- which is in itself a noble effort since 15 trillion is hard for most to comprehend–but I sought to convey how we got to this point, and our choices moving forward.

    I feel the squirrel allegory allows people to absorb the story unguarded, not pointing fingers at any one political party. I wanted to reach independents, conservatives, and liberals. Our debt, after all, belongs to all of us.

    I’m grateful that Power Line and the Freedom Club saw the need to summon creative minds on this issue, and honored to have been picked as the winning entry."

5895  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, budget process on: August 03, 2011, 09:50:59 AM
Rand Paul: "This plan never balances. The President called for a “balanced approach.  But the American people are calling for a balanced budget."

Yes and no.  This bipartisan farce passed easily at the end because the people really are not calling for an immediate balance to the budget which would effectively be a 43% across the board cut in spending.

Also, most of these 'cuts' are unnamed, hence the power of the 'super'committee.

So we passed the most pretend cuts that we can with this cast of characters.  The next step is to grow the economy and keep the President on the defensive - too busy to propose or sell another round of faux-stimuli.
5896  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Indonesia on: August 03, 2011, 09:43:28 AM
Oct, 2010.  Here is a Nov.11, 2010 NYT op-ed by Kaplan from that time:
"Indonesia’s Muslim democracy, a dozen years after the fall of Suharto, boasts vigor and moderation. And combined with Indonesia’s immense population, it augurs the emergence of a sort of “second India” in the Eurasian rimland, strategically located on the Strait of Malacca, the shipping superhighway between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Since the art of preparing for a multipolar world in military as well as economic terms is to gain the support of like-minded others, the Obama administration needs to use the energy generated by the president’s visit in order to adopt Indonesia as its new favorite country, just as India was adopted by the George W. Bush administration to substantial effect. "
"THE 20th century saw great, land-centric Army deployments to Europe. George W. Bush unwittingly continued this tendency with great, land-centric deployments to the Middle East, where we became ensnared in intra-Islamic conflict. As President Obama develops his grand strategy for Eurasia, the great step forward would be creating a smaller footprint on land and a bigger one at sea. Navies are very conducive to projecting soft power: they make port visits and guard the global commons, whereas armies invade. "
5897  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: August 03, 2011, 09:27:46 AM
"what are investors going to wait for before they start placing bets again?"

Across the board, pro-growth economic policies, which means yes, 'Obama's defeat' with a mandate to do something positive, also giving Harry Reid a new 'minority leader' title, repealing Obama care, a lightening of quadruple taxation on businesses, a stable dollar policy, a regulatory environment conducive to manufacturing, hiring and building, an energy policy committed to power us with what we know up until we invent a cleaner, safer, cheaper form of sufficient energy, and a public sector scaled back (really) to a size that can be pulled by our private economic engine.  Removing the cloud of certainty/uncertainty that something worse from the government is coming at you just down the pike.

If we survived this, I think any serious movement on ALL of those fronts would trigger an economic re-birth. 
5898  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 02, 2011, 10:48:47 PM
My point was that I don't like defining down concepts like torture.  Water tricks in extreme, isolated situations, underwear photos gone bad, and sleep schedule changes are not comparable to gradual electrocutions or eyes gouged out.  We are not morally equal to those who maximize the number of innocent casualties and kill themselves.  And we did not plan or participate in the most gruesome attack ever against us - and keep it all a secret for 10 years.  That doesn't make any sense.

Are the Muslim militants in China internationally connected or supported?
5899  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government programs, spending, budget process: It's the Baseline Budgeting on: August 02, 2011, 09:16:15 PM
If you freeze spending at current levels under current Washington DC-speak, it is a 9 1/2 trillion dollar cut.

In the real world, almost nothing ever called a 'cut' has actually been a case of spending that actually goes down - on anything! 

Both Rand Paul and Rush Limbaugh are saying it is all about baseline budgeting - more famous people caught reading the forum because that has been Crafty's  focus for quite some time:

Rand Paul:  The deal that is pending before us now," get this, "Adds at least $7 trillion to our debt over the next 10 years." Not $2.4 trillion; $7 trillion. "The deal purports to 'cut' $2.1 trillion, but the 'cut' is from a baseline that adds $10 trillion to the debt."  (Doug:  How can you have a baseline - where things should be - that adds trillions to the debt.  The 'baseline' should add ZERO to the debt and the elected officials can start from there!)

Rush L: As you well know, because we've been explaining this in easily understandable detail all week. I love the illustration. We could prepare a budget that is a freeze next year that doesn't spend a dime more than this year, and it would be scored as a nine and a half trillion-dollar cut because of the baseline, because of how the budget is expected to grow. This deal, even if all targets are met and the Super Committee wields its mandate - results in a BEST case scenario of still adding more than $7 trillion more in debt over the next 10 years. That is sickening.
I say everybody take a deep breath, enjoy your August, understand that we are still taking on $4 billion dollars a day of new debt accumulating with interest to eternity, and come back angry, focused, and committed to do whatever each of us can do to try to make a difference and solve this.  The debt ceiling wasn't really the big opportunity to change course although both sides pretended for a while that it was.  Even the Ryan plan involves taking on significant new debt for about as far as the eye can see.  These things are settled in elections and we have a short time to put together a team, an agenda, and a message.  The problem in past elections is that they simply have pitted 'our' big spenders against their big spenders.  This time maybe we can offer a combination of real spending restraint and pro-growth economics up against their same old stagnation/class-envy agenda of tax more, regulate more, and spend without limits, and we can try to win!
5900  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: August 02, 2011, 05:26:35 PM
"Sure, the severed limbs won't grow back and the burns will be treated with the best medical care to be found in the tribal regions of Pakistan, but at least the jihadist the strike was targeted at wasn't waterboarded....."

We should be careful with sleep deprivation too.  Young jihadists need their rest, even in captivity.
"keeping conservative men out of women's pants"

For another thread, but wouldn't it be the abortionist, not the anti abortion politician who is literally in the woman's 'pants', if I read that inference correctly.  Relating it to China and Islam, China and Islam (and Dem politicians here) should at least can find common ground in their shared disrespect for females, as Asia approaches the 200 million mark for slaughtering more young girls than boys, more than the entire female population of the United States.  Such caring about innocent women!

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