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201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: January 18, 2015, 07:59:32 PM
And of course Black reparations:
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Mexican reparations on: January 18, 2015, 07:57:58 PM
though some say the invasion in the SW is a form of reparations for the war from 170 years ago:
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Native American reparations on: January 18, 2015, 07:54:23 PM
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: January 18, 2015, 01:10:51 PM
I am all for it if it is not forced via more regulations to all gun owners. 

So if demand is so great why does not S & W make a modern version?

205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: January 18, 2015, 01:06:26 PM

Did you see Selma?
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The 7 categories of English names on: January 18, 2015, 12:56:16 PM
207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Union of concerned scientists on: January 18, 2015, 12:31:26 PM
Of course because they are "scientists" they have no axes to grind or agendas or political or financial conflicts of interests.  It is all in the name of their religion:  science.
Does this author really think the average person has any knowledge or information on the thousands of regulations we get yearly?   Who elected these people?

*****How Congress is Cutting Science Out of Science Policy (Op-Ed) By Celia Wexler, Union of Concerned Scientists
January 16, 2015 1:51 PM
 ˠ➕✓✕Content preferences Done Celia Wexler is a senior Washington Representative for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), where she focuses on food and drug safety, protections for scientist whistle-blowers and government transparency and accountability. She is the author of "Out of the News: Former Journalists Discuss a Profession in Crisis" (McFarland, 2012). She contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

You can say one thing about the U.S. House of Representatives leadership. They're good about recycling — holding repeated votes on the same bills they've already passed. So I guess no one should be surprised that one of the first bills the new House will vote on this week is a retread, and a nasty one at that. The bill, the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA), sounds pretty harmless and wonky. It is wonky, buried in thousands of words that mask its true intention, which is not harmless at all. The bill would take a sledge hammer to science-informed policymaking at federal agencies. [Why I'll Talk Politics With Climate Change Deniers — But Not Science ]

Why should the nation care? Because instead of science informing the decisions our government makes about protecting our environment, public health and safety, those decisions would be driven by the wants of regulated industries, putting average Americans in jeopardy.

The bill's impact dramatically affects the fundamental regulatory process, so that nearly every type of protective regulation is vulnerable. As a result, the RAA is opposed by groups who advocate on a variety of issues, ranging from consumer safety and financial reform to food safety and worker rights.

Slowing the pace of government to a crawl

Currently, when agencies want to issue a regulation, they already must follow a process dictated by at least six existing laws. They have to give the public and those interests affected by the regulation a chance to comment on it. They must explain why the regulation is needed and routinely attempt to estimate its costs and benefits. Regulations can also be challenged in court. This ensures that agencies take procedural requirements seriously when they develop a rule, because the failure to do so can lead to the rule being rejected by the court, sending the agency back to the beginning of the process to start all over again.

Years pass between the time a rule is proposed and its implementation. Even when a regulated industry does not oppose a rule, such as a rule that imposes stronger safety requirements on the operation of construction cranes and derricks, it can take more than six years for a final rule to be issued.

But the RAA would add dozens of new procedures for agencies to follow, and likely would add several more years to the current process.

For example, this bill would require agencies to estimate not only the direct costs and benefits of a proposed regulation but also "indirect" costs, including impacts on jobs and wages — yet the bill doesn't define what an indirect cost is. It requires agencies to examine every alternative to the rule being proposed and the indirect and direct costs of each. It requires the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to produce mandatory guidelines stipulating how agencies should do these estimates. If agencies fail to do exactly as OMB requires, this alone can be a reason for a judge to throw out the regulation altogether. And, the bill would require agencies to conduct a formal "hearing" for any rule that has a $1 billion or greater cost (though anyone who objects to smaller rules — those that cost $100 million or more — can petition the agency to conduct a formal hearing, as well).

Such hearings would give regulated industries the right to cross-examine agency officials, and to re-examine, in a trial setting, the agency's justification of costs and benefits and alternatives to the rule. When the administrative law and regulatory experts at the American Bar Associationlooked at an earlier version of the RAA, they found this hearing requirement particularly troubling, noting that "trial-type methods are usually unsuitable in generalized rulemaking proceedings," and that "not one scholarly article" written over the past 30 years supported this type of formal rulemaking.

The rise of the zombie bills

You might want to call this the first in what we expect to be a long list of "zombie bills" — retreads of bills which failed to become law in previous years, but have been resurrected one more time. These legislative proposals harm science-informed policy, jeopardizing public health, safety and the environment.

The House leadership isn't crazy. They suspect that the shift in power in the U.S. Senate means that these terrible bills may have a chance at life this Congress. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the powerful chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and conservative Democratic co-sponsor Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) claim that the bill would "modernize" the regulatory process. That is absolutely not what the bill would do, nor what it was designed to do.

This is much more about delaying and blocking regulations and preventing agencies from carrying out their statutory missions. Goodlatte has been an ardent criticof the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) rules on a variety of issues. And Peterson has been waging war against the Administration's efforts to address climate change.

The bill has never drawn substantial bipartisan support. When the RAA passed the House late last year, it received the votes of 28 Democrats, but that was largely because it was part of a package that include a positive proposal, a bill that would help veterans get jobs. House members, particularly in vulnerable districts, were wary of voting against that provision right before the election. Roughly half of the Democrats who supported the bill either retired or were defeated last November.

But the bill has had the consistent and vigorous support of big business groups. Indeed, the Chamber of Commercehas listed passage of the RAA as one of its major goals this year.

Deciphering the details

This bill is deliberately complicated. You would have to be a regulatory lawyer to perceive all the traps, and even then you might miss some. Essentially what the RAA would do is hamstring federal agencies with additional procedural burdens when they try to carry out their mandates using the best available science. [How Much Say Should Congress Have in Science Funding? ]

When James Goodwin of the Center for Progressive Reform looked at the bill, he found it would add a whopping 74 additional procedural requirements agencies would have to undertake to propose and implement regulations, including those that protect the environment, public health and safety.

Even assessing risk, which should be in the hands of scientists, would be second-guessed by White House officials. Goodlatte's proposal requires that the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) develop guidelines for assessing risk, and that agencies must conform to whatever OIRA imposes — despite the fact that OIRA's small staff, which includes only a handful of scientists, lacks the scientific and technical expertise that federal agency scientists possess. OIRA bean counters should not be in the business of determining what constitutes a scientifically valid risk assessment.

In passing bipartisan laws such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, Congress told the EPA that preserving the environment and protecting public health was its core mission, and directed that it should not nickel-and-dime regulations that have ensured that future generations have access to unpolluted lakes and rivers and breathable air.

The RAA would jeopardize that mandate. The EPA would be much more vulnerable to legal challenges of its rules based on their costs, even if those rules were crucial to protecting air and water and safeguarding public health — indeed, even if those rules have enormous long-term economic benefits or savings.

That's because costs are specific and supplied by regulated industries. But benefits, particularly long-term ones, are far more difficult for an agency to quantify. How do you figure out the value of your children not getting asthma from smoggy air and being able to play outside? The RAA emphasizes the costs to businesses, not the long-term benefits to the public.

The worst part of the bill is the blatant cynicism it demonstrates. This bill harms science, but it also harms democracy. In rushing this complicated legislative proposal during the first weeks of Congress, House leaders are subverting the democratic process. If Congress wants an open and public debate on the value of bipartisan public protections built over the past century, then it should do so directly.

But Goodlatte, Peterson and others may suspect that they'd lose in a fair fight over the value of clean air and water and public health and safety. Last year, when respected pollster Celinda Lake Recent did national polling and convened focus groups to measure public attitudes towards regulation and regulatory enforcement, she was surprised to find strong support for federal agencies that crosses party and ideological lines. Even the EPA, often the target of congressional critiques, received the support of more than half of those polled, well above popular support for Congress, which hovers around 10 percent. The average voter understands and respects the work of agencies and knows the value of regulations that protect public health, safety and the environment. Those polled want regulations to be enforced, and enforced fairly. They don't like the idea of big companies rigging the system. And the RAA not only ups the game, but gives priority seats to select players — regulated industries.

So instead of having a fair debate over the merits of science-informed public policies, Goodlatte and Peterson and House leaders want to sneak this bill through. Their efforts suggest that they know full well that most House members, particularly the 73 House freshmen who can barely find their offices, won't understand the bill, or its full implications.

I will give the House leadership points for one thing: This blatant attempt to subvert public protections has brought together science, consumer, public health, financial reform and environmental activists. Americans continue to believe that democracy means that our elected officials ought to make policies that benefit their constituents, not their big donors. Let's hope the nation can drive a stake through the heart of this and future "zombie" bills.

Follow all of the Expert Voices issues and debates — and become part of the discussion — on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. This version of the article was originally published on Live Science.

208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Kudlow: Jindal "gets it" on: January 18, 2015, 11:53:46 AM
Jindal's Brilliant Take on Radical Islam
Friday, 16 Jan 2015 08:18 PM

By Larry Kudlow

“Let’s be honest here. Islam has a problem.”

Those are key sentences in an incredibly hard-hitting speech that Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal will give in London on Monday.

 It is the toughest speech I have read on the whole issue of Islamic radicalism and its destructive, murdering, barbarous ways which are upsetting the entire world.

 Early in the speech Jindal says he’s not going to be politically correct.

 And he uses the term “radical Islamists” without hesitation, placing much of the blame for the Paris murders and all radical Islamist terrorism on a refusal of Muslim leaders to denounce these acts.

 Jindal says, “Muslim leaders must make clear that anyone who commits acts of terror in the name of Islam is in fact not practicing Islam at all. If they refuse to say this, then they are condoning these acts of barbarism. There is no middle ground.”

Then he adds, specifically, “Muslim leaders need to condemn anyone who commits these acts of violence and clearly state that these people are evil and are enemies of Islam. It’s not enough to simply condemn violence, they must stand up and loudly proclaim that these people are not martyrs who will receive a reward in the afterlife, and rather they are murderers who are going to hell. If they refuse to do that, then they’re part of the problem. There is no middle ground here.”

I want to know who in the Muslim community in the United States has said this. Which leaders? I don’t normally cover this beat, so I may well have missed it. Hence I ask readers to tell me if so-called American Muslim leaders have said what Governor Jindal is saying.

 And by the way, what Bobby Jindal is saying is very similar to what Egyptian president al-Sisi said earlier in the year to a group of Muslim imams.

 Said al-Sisi, “It’s inconceivable that the thinking we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.”

He then asks, “How is it possible that 1.6 billion Muslims should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants — that is 7 billion — so that they themselves may live?” He concludes, if this is not changed, “it may eventually lead to the religion’s self destruction.”

And what Jindal and al-Sisi are saying is not so different from the thinking of French intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy.

Special: Live Better in Retirement With the Baby Boomer Survival Guide

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, he calls the Charlie Hebdo murders “the Churchillian moment of France’s Fifth Republic.”

He essentially says France and the world must slam “the useful idiots of a radical Islam immersed in the sociology of poverty and frustration.”

He adds, “Those whose faith is Islam must proclaim very loudly, very often, and in great numbers their rejection of this corrupt and abject form of theocratic passion. . . . Islam must be freed from radical Islam.”

So three very different people — a young southern governor who may run for president, the political leader of the largest Muslim population in the world, and a prominent Western European intellectual — are saying that most of the problem and most of the solution rests with the people of the Islamic religion themselves.

 If they fail to take action, the radicals will swallow up the whole religion and cause the destruction of the entire Middle East and possibly large swaths of the rest of the world.

 Lévy called this a Churchillian moment. And London mayor Boris Johnson argues in his book The Churchill Factor that Winston Churchill was the most important 20th century figure because his bravery in 1940 stopped the triumph of totalitarianism.

 So today’s battle with the Islamic radicals is akin to the Cold War battle of freedom vs. totalitarianism.

 But returning to Governor Jindal, the U.S. is not helpless. Jindal argues that America must restore its proper leadership role in international affairs. (Of course, Obama has taken us in the opposite direction, and won’t even use the phrase “Islamic radicals.”)

And Jindal invokes Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher by saying, “The tried and true prescription must be employed again: a strong economy, a strong military, and leaders willing and able to assert moral, economic, and military leadership in the cause of freedom.”

Reagan always argued that weakness at home leads to weakness abroad. A strong growing economy provides the resources for military and national security.

 Right now we’re uncomfortably close to having neither.

This is the great challenge of our time. In the early years of the 21st century, it appears the great goal of our age is the defeat of radical Islam.

 Jindal gets it.​

To find out more about Lawrence Kudlow and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at

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 Urgent: Should Obamacare Be Repealed? Vote Here Now!
209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More wealth confiscation and spending of other people's monies on: January 17, 2015, 08:04:24 PM
Gotta love this sentence thrown in the AP news report for good measure:

"They also would raise the capital gains and dividends rates to 28 percent, the level during the 1980s Republican presidency of Ronald Reagan"


Obama speech to call for closing tax loopholesReuters 40 minutes ago
U.S. President Barack Obama answers media questions with British Prime Minister David Cameron (not pictured) …WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's State of the Union address will propose closing multibillion-dollar tax loopholes used by the wealthiest Americans, imposing a fee on big financial firms and then using the revenue to benefit the middle class, senior administration officials said on Saturday.

Obama to strike defiant tone with Republicans in big speech Reuters Once dominant, State of Union address has much competition Associated Press Obama tests his sway against a GOP-run Congress Associated Press For State of Union, Obama faces GOP Congress for first time Associated Press Obama kicks off pre-State of Union tour with housing move Associated Press Obama's annual address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night will continue his theme of income equality, and the administration is optimistic it will find some bipartisan support in the Republican-dominated House of Representatives and Senate.

The proposals administration officials listed on Saturday may still generate significant opposition from the Republicans because they would increase taxes.

In a conference call with reporters to preview the taxation aspect of Obama's address, one official said some of the ideas the president is outlining already have "clear congressional bipartisan support or are ideas that are actually bipartisan in their nature."

Obama's proposals call for reforming tax rules on trust funds, which the administration called "the single largest capital gains tax loophole" because it allows assets to be passed down untaxed to heirs of the richest Americans.

They also would raise the capital gains and dividends rates to 28 percent, the level during the 1980s Republican presidency of Ronald Reagan.

As a way of managing financial risk that could threaten the U.S. economy, Obama also wants to impose a fee of seven basis points on the liabilities of U.S. financial firms with assets of more than $50 billion, making it more costly for them to borrow heavily.

The changes on trust funds and capital gains, along with the fee on financial firms, would generate about $320 billion over 10 years, which would more than pay for benefits Obama wants to provide for the middle class, the official said.

The benefits mentioned on Saturday would include a $500 credit for families with two working spouses, tripling the tax credit for child care to $3,000 per child, consolidating education tax incentives and making it easier for workers to save automatically for retirement if their employer does not offer a plan.

The price tag on those benefits, plus a plan for free tuition at community colleges that Obama announced last week, would be about $235 billion, the official said. Specifics on the figures will be included in the budget Obama will send to Congress on Feb. 2.

"We're proposing more than enough to offset the new incremental costs of our proposals without increasing the deficit," the administration official said.

The State of the Union address is the president's annual chance to lay out his plans. With Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress after big wins in midterm elections in November, Obama, a Democrat, faces an uphill task turning much of his vision into legislation.

(Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Frances Kerry and James Dalgleish)
210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cuba on: January 17, 2015, 07:53:39 PM
Medicare fraud is huge in Miami.   I don't know how much of it is from Cubans but I believe a substantial portion is.
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hippies in charge? on: January 16, 2015, 10:40:36 PM
While I am not against anyone who wants to meditate, between this and having James Taylor go to France to sing love songs to the French does not a rational government policy make:

*****Lawmakers To Meditate With Deepak Chopra

Betsy Rothstein 5:42 PM 01/16/2015

Can new age tactics get members of Congress to relax, get along and actually get something done?

Really. Highly. Unlikely.

 But Deepak Chopra, a legendary meditation guru and bestselling author who has appeared on Oprah, is coming to Capitol Hill for a special briefing and presser and will give it his best shot.

He’s going to talk about how to reduce stress. But keep in mind that Deepak reportedly owns a Jaguar and lives in a 2.5 million home in La Jolla, Calif. — where stress is probably a rare visitor.

According to The Skeptic’s Dictionary, Deepak has some Deeply weird methods. For example, he “claims you can prevent and reverse cataracts by brushing your teeth, scraping your tongue, spitting into a cup of water, and washing your eyes for a few minutes with this mixture.”

He’s a huge Obama fan. In 2011 in HuffPost, he wrote, “I’d suggest that the X factor which sets Barack Obama aside as a unique candidate is his hard-won self-awareness.” He also called him the ”lighthouse and lightning rod” who “called upon Americans to show their better nature.”

The event on Capitol Hill will end with a short meditation session.

The members of Congress who are responsible for what should be a memorable occasion are Reps. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Steve Israel (D-N.Y.). Ryan is known for practicing meditation.

In the details… Thursday Jan. 22 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Deepak will be available to answer questions from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Oscars are racist; of course, Sharpton Spiked Lee and the rest on: January 16, 2015, 08:48:11 PM

Roger L. Simon

Oscar Report: Al Sharpton Calls Me a Racist!

January 15th, 2015 - 9:48 pm

Maybe it’s actually a badge of honor — after all Sharpton himself makes Bull Connor seem like Martin Luther King — but the Rev Al has called me a racist because I am one of those (white!) Academy members who did not vote for Selma as an Oscar nominee.  I cannot tell a lie.  He’s right.  Not only that, I did not vote for the movie for screenplay either, the only other category for which I can nominate, since I am in the writers branch.

Of course, it was a group accusation.  Al didn’t come to my house or anything, not that I would have let him in.  But I do acknowledge my vote publicly, although it’s a secret ballot taken online, known only to the Academy and fifty thousand North Korean hackers.  On my behalf,  I will say I only nominated three films (Birdman, Boyhood and The Imitation Game) instead of the permissible ten.  I’m one of those elite snobs who thinks nominating ten films for best picture is the cinematic equivalent of grade inflation. (Also, I’m easily bored.)

Nevertheless, it was a bit depressing to wake up this morning to find myself accused of racism on the top of Drudge.  I tried to tweet Matt the truth that I voted for Twelve Years a Slave last year — I thought maybe he’d put something up — but didn’t get an answer. So I’m stuck.

But I have bad news for Al.  I’m not going to pay him one penny to get one of his pseudo-papal absolutions saying I’m not really a racist (even though I was in the civil rights movement and a financial backer of the Black Panthers, to my ever-lasting shame).  He’s going to have pay his millions of back taxes by himself when the Republicans take the presidency, as people like him and the jihadists are making it likely they will.

And as for Chris Rock, who is also complaining about the white skin privilege or whatever of the Oscar voting and general Hollywood behavior (mostly in excluding Chris Rock),  I have news for him.  Some years ago I wrote for and worked with his most famous  predecessor in African-American comedy, a certain Richard Pryor. And Richard was wildly more talented than you, Chris.  You see, some of us old white guys vote for talent and accomplishment, not skin color.  I know that doesn’t fit in with your narrative or whatever you want to call it, but as anyone who has worked in Hollywood knows, it all comes down to the ol’ box office-arooney.  Blame whoever you want, but Pryor got them into the theater in his time like nobody else around.  Chris Rock doesn’t.  End of story, whether you’re black, white or heliotrope.

Now back to Sharpton.  The big deal on the Drudge Report this morning was a link to the Hollywood Reporter with a complaint that no acting awards for black people at the Oscars this year showed a lack of “diversity.” Sacré bleu! Let me tell you what this old lefty thinks of “diversity.”  Diversity IS racism.  It’s the biggest shuck to come down the pike since, well, Al Sharpton. It divides people and turns them into objects, but that’s probably over your (meaning Al’s) head, so I’ll leave it at that.

But I will add this.  I’m shocked anybody cares who wins the Oscars anymore.  At least Al Sharpton does, or says he does.  We should be grateful for that.

213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam, theocratic politics, & political freedom on: January 15, 2015, 09:16:14 AM
"The disturbing reality is that Islam had everything to do with it.  Satirizing and drawing pictures of Muhammad goes against 33:57 of the Koran"

100% agree. 

I wonder what would happen if a terrorist event occurred on campus at Duke University.  I suppose the response would be a sit in with the Pepsi generation song playing to  Islamic prayers.
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: January 15, 2015, 09:12:29 AM
"I know of one."

Doug do you mean Rubio?

What is your take a Jindal?   All know he is not a front runner but he appears to want to run.



215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Wild woman on: January 15, 2015, 09:10:19 AM
This could go under the humor thread I guess.  Girls and steroids [don't mix]:
216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) and the 4th & 9th Amendments on: January 14, 2015, 06:15:31 PM
If I hear one more person tell me organized crime is defunct......

Just because we don't don't see them using Tommy guns ala Valentine's Day doesn't mean white collar organized crime is not rampant it is.

Because most people can't see it they don't understand, believe, or think it effects them.

They're wrong.   

What is law enforcement doing about it?  Thanks to our feckless politicians as far as I can tell, very little.

One even has to ask how much our politicians or those who support them are directly involved.

It isn't just illegals they are not doing nothing about.
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wouldn't go to Paris on: January 11, 2015, 09:06:38 PM
But than expects all of Europe to come see HIM in DC next month at his convenience for a politically correct powwow on his terms and to show case HIM.
Why does he embarrass me?   He more than anyone meets the stereotype of the snobby American:

Obama to hold global security summit on Feb 18

PARIS, 12 hours, 42 minutes ago

US President Barack Obama will invite allies to a February 18 security summit in Washington to try and prevent violent extremism, US Attorney General Eric Holder said on Sunday after meeting his European counterparts in Paris.

 The gathering of justice and interior chiefs came as France mourned 17 victims of Islamist gunmen this week in the worst assault on its homeland security in decades.

 "We will bring together all of our allies to discuss ways in which we can counteract this violent extremism that exists around the world," Holder told reporters.

 French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said after the meeting that European interior ministers had agreed to boost cooperation in an effort to thwart further jihadist attacks.

 "We all agree that we need to put in place better control on certain passengers, on the basis of objective criteria and with respect for fundamental liberties and without disrupting cross-border travel," he said.

 He said Europe needed urgent progress in establishing a European Passenger Name Record database, which would facilitate the exchange of data about passengers between member states.

 "We are convinced of the need for such a tool, to follow those who travel to terrorist operating theatres or who return from there," he said, adding that this database would also be useful in the fight against other serious crimes.

 Cazeneuve said the Internet needs to remain a space for free expression, but that Europe should fight against abusive use of the web to spread hate speech, anti-Semitic messages and the recruiting vulnerable young people for violence.

 "We need to work more closely with Internet companies to guarantee the reporting and if possible removal of all content that amounts to an apology of terrorism or calls for violence and hatred," he said.

 Cazeneuve said EU interior and justice ministers planned to meet soon to discuss further action. A European source said the meeting could take place next week in Brussels. - Reuters
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / SourKrauthammer on: January 11, 2015, 08:47:25 PM
"Well, although the idea is not well thought out IMHO, in fairness we must note that he seeks to offset the tax with tax cuts elsewhere"

Why is it to a liberal (not you Crafty I mean in general) government spending of more tax receipts a great "stimulator" of the economy, but a tax cut is no more than a gift to the rich. 

Now we have a gas price drop and even some Repubs are calling to negate most of this with a tax increase?   When did sourKraut decide we need to increase tax on gas to because we must decrease gas usage.  Is this his nod to Climate Change?

Does he pretend the money will go for "infrastructure"?   We all know what that means :  pork, favoritism, nepotism, more lobbyist government contracts, maybe organized crime in the construction business.

Rationalizing a tax decrease on wages will not incentivize work.   Most people who need a tax break just to want a job?  Is that why people don't work?  What is he thinking?

Most of these people will not work because they can't get wages that are worth the 40 hours of sweat more then they can get collecting unemployment or disability or a pension.

Not because of their taxes.

It would help people to work just as much if they can afford to get to work.

More Rhino social engineering every bit as absurd as the lefts'.
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: January 11, 2015, 08:31:59 PM
"With Jeb and Mitt maybe in, Chris Christie is one more Rino to split the moderate-establishment wing vote, so we should hope all of those get in - and lose"

Pleasant thought.  Would be nice. 
220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Say it ain't so Charles....well, he was a Democrat in the past on: January 11, 2015, 11:23:26 AM
The average Joe taxpayer finally gets a bit of a break (at the pump) and now we have even (faux) conservative calling for this to immediately be taken away by assessing a huge tax increase on gas.    Charles we don't all make a million a year like you.   Charles is now moved to my phoney list.

**********Raise the gas tax. A lot.

By Charles Krauthammer Opinion writer January 8  

For 32 years I’ve been advocating a major tax on petroleum. I’ve got as much chance this time around as did Don Quixote with windmills. But I shall tilt my lance once more.

The only time you can even think of proposing a gas tax increase is when oil prices are at rock bottom. When I last suggested the idea six years ago, oil was selling at $40 a barrel. It eventually rose back to $110. It’s now around $48. Correspondingly, the price at the pump has fallen in the last three months by more than a dollar to about $2.20 per gallon.

As a result, some in Congress are talking about a 10- or 20-cent hike in the federal tax to use for infrastructure spending. Right idea, wrong policy. The hike should not be 10 cents but $1. And the proceeds should not be spent by, or even entrusted to, the government. They should be immediately and entirely returned to the consumer by means of a cut in the Social Security tax.

The average American buys about 12 gallons of gas a week. Washington would be soaking him for $12 in extra taxes. Washington should therefore simultaneously reduce everyone’s FICA tax by $12 a week. Thus the average driver is left harmless. He receives a $12-per-week FICA bonus that he can spend on gasoline if he wants — or anything else. If he chooses to drive less, it puts money in his pocket. (The unemployed would have the $12 added to their unemployment insurance; the elderly, to their Social Security check.)

The point of the $1 gas tax increase is not to feed the maw of a government raking in $3 trillion a year. The point is exclusively to alter incentives — to reduce the disincentive for work (the Social Security tax) and to increase the disincentive to consume gasoline.

It’s win-win. Employment taxes are a drag on job creation. Reducing them not only promotes growth but advances fairness, FICA being a regressive tax that hits the middle and working classes far more than the rich.

As for oil, we remain the world champion consumer. We burn more than 20 percent of global output, almost twice as much as the next nearest gas guzzler, China.

A $1 gas tax increase would constrain oil consumption in two ways. In the short run, by curbing driving. In the long run, by altering car-buying habits. A return to gas-guzzling land yachts occurs every time gasoline prices plunge. A high gas tax encourages demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles. Constrained U.S. consumption — combined with already huge increases in U.S. production — would continue to apply enormous downward pressure on oil prices.

A tax is the best way to improve fuel efficiency. Today we do it through rigid regulations, the so-called CAFE standards imposed on carmakers. They are forced to manufacture acres of unsellable cars in order to meet an arbitrary, bureaucratic “fleet” gas-consumption average.

This is nuts. If you simply set a higher price point for gasoline, buyers will do the sorting on their own, choosing fuel efficiency just as they do when the world price is high. The beauty of the tax — as a substitute for a high world price — is that the incentive for fuel efficiency remains, but the extra money collected at the pump goes right back into the U.S. economy (and to the citizenry through the revenue-neutral FICA rebate) instead of being shipped overseas to Russia, Venezuela, Iran and other unsavories.

Which is a geopolitical coup. Cheap oil is the most effective and efficient instrument known to man for weakening these oil-dependent miscreants.

And finally, lower consumption reduces pollution and greenhouse gases. The reduction of traditional pollutants, though relatively minor, is an undeniable gain. And even for global warming skeptics, there’s no reason not to welcome a benign measure that induces prudential reductions in CO2 emissions.

Gasoline hasn't been this cheap since 2009. But why now, and how long will prices stay low? Here's what you need to know, in two minutes. (Gillian Brockell/The Washington Post)

The unexpected and unpredicted collapse of oil prices gives us a unique opportunity to maintain our good luck through a simple, revenue-neutral measure to help prevent the perennial price spikes that follow the fool’s paradise of ultra-cheap oil.

We’ve blown this chance at least three times since the 1980s. As former French foreign minister Jean François-Poncet said a quarter-century ago, “It’s hard to take seriously that a nation has deep problems if they can be fixed with a 50-cent-a-gallon” — 90 cents in today’s money — “gasoline tax.” Let’s not blow it again.
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pleasant surprise: A small step in the *right* direction on: January 11, 2015, 10:55:07 AM
Boehner's embrace of GOP rebels nudges House caucus to rightAssociated Press By CHARLES BABINGTON
21 hours ago
 ˠ➕✓✕Content preferences Done FILE - In this May 17, 2013 file photo, Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Texas speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. The “hell-no” caucus of House Republicans who tried to overthrow Speaker John Boehner is as strong as ever despite an ineffective coup attempt. The conservatives won approval of the leadership to push a far-reaching bill next week that not only rolls back President Barack Obama’s immigration changes but overturns protections for immigrants brought illegally to the country as children.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
View gallery
 .  .  .  . WASHINGTON (AP) — Die-hard House conservatives bungled a coup against House Speaker John Boehner but now look like winners, pushing Republicans farther right.

Related Stories
Boehner's Embrace Of GOP Hard-Liners Pushes House Further To The Right Huffington Post House GOP takes broad aim at Obama immigration policies Associated Press House GOP tries to regroup after divisive speaker vote Associated Press [$$] Challenges Await Speaker Boehner After Election to Third Term The Wall Street Journal [$$] Risks, Rewards for Boehner in Rebellion by GOP Right The Wall Street Journal Rather than punish and isolate those who opposed him as leader, Boehner surprised many on Friday by embracing an immigration plan that's tougher than lawmakers had expected. It would block President Barack Obama's recent limits on deportations and undo protections for immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.

The House is heading toward a vote Wednesday.

As the rebellious hard-liners celebrated, mainstream Republicans said Boehner's decision probably portends firmly conservative approaches to other issues. That would complicate life for some of the more moderate Senate Republicans and ensure fierce battles with the Democratic president.

Florida Rep. Richard Nugent, one of the 25 House Republicans who voted to oust Boehner, praised the Boehner-backed immigration plan.

The dissidents have complained that Boehner, R-Ohio, is too willing to compromise with Obama and Democrats. But rather than seeing the rebels frozen out during private GOP discussions on immigration strategy, Nugent said, "this time it's a very collaborative approach."

View gallery House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, departs a closed-door … House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, departs a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Fri …For now, though, Nugent is still off the House Rules Committee, where membership is at the speaker's discretion.

Equally enthusiastic was Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican sometimes portrayed by Democrats as the most unreasonable of conservative purists.

"One of the things that has really been lacking for the last eight years is having more input like we've finally gotten in this bill," Gohmert said.

Some Boehner allies had urged him to punish and isolate Gohmert and the other rebels.

But that approach might permanently antagonize tea party-leaning Republicans and "force Boehner into making more concessions" to Democrats to pass bills, "which is the last thing in the world we want," said GOP Rep. Kenny Marchant of Texas, shortly after Tuesday's leadership vote.

View gallery Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, talks to reporters on … Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 9, 2015. …By Friday, Marchant was reassured. "The focus now is to solicit input and try to bring them into the fold," he said.

Boehner's agreement to nudge his caucus rightward, especially on immigration, could cause headaches for Republican presidential candidates needing Hispanic votes. It also will complicate life for Senate Republicans, who now hold the majority but generally cannot pass bills without at least six Democratic votes, thanks to filibuster powers.

"It probably makes it more difficult in the Senate, but we shouldn't worry about what the Senate is going to do," said Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, often seen as a voice for Republican House leaders.

The approach, Cole said, "takes a lot of political pressure off House Republicans." One reason that 25 Republicans voted against Boehner, he said Friday, "was because they didn't believe we were going to do exactly what we're doing today" on immigration.

The Senate is virtually certain to weaken such bills. House Republicans acknowledge they will face tough choices when it's time to work out the differences.

View gallery FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2012 file photo Rep. Richard … FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2012 file photo Rep. Richard Nugent, R-Fla. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washin …"The litmus test is going to be what happens with this bill when it hits the Senate and comes back to us," said GOP Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana, a staunch conservative who voted for Boehner as speaker.

In recent years, when the Republicans' House majority was smaller, Boehner sometimes had to negotiate with Democrats for enough votes to pass measures that dozens of conservative Republicans refused to back. Doing so is politically risky for a speaker, and increasingly difficult now that centrist members of both parties have largely been driven from Congress.

At issue is a $39.7 billion spending bill to keep the Department of Homeland Security funded beyond February.

The House version would block Obama's November order granting temporary relief from deportation to about 4 million immigrants who are in the country illegally. Most have been here at least five years and have children who are citizens or legal permanent residents.

In a surprise to many, the House GOP proposal also would reverse a 2012 program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, that removed deportation threats to certain immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children.

View gallery FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2015 file photo. Rep. Tom Cole, … FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2015 file photo. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla. listens on Capitol Hill in Washington …Obama's allies say he would veto such measures, should they survive Senate Democrats' filibusters. Vetoes are difficult to override, requiring two-thirds votes in the House and Senate.

Congressional Republicans say it's important to put their principles into legislation, even with the veto threat. It can be good politics, too.

In his conservative district between Dallas and Fort Worth, Marchant said, "a veto-override vote is OK with me."


Associated Press writers Stephen Ohlemacher and
222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Cool: Women firsts on: January 11, 2015, 10:47:42 AM
We are always treated to the first woman this or that or first Black woman this or that or first Latino woman this or that so why not this:
223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / No logic just arguments going in all directions on: January 11, 2015, 10:35:49 AM
Crossing their own paths, negating each other and just an example of illogical liberal thought.


The hypocrisy is startling and frankly annoying.

It is absurd watching the cable news shows twisting the terrorist event in every direction trying to make sense of it in a way that fits liberalism

First we have the issue of "freedom of the press".

Yet the expression of Muslim "satire" is clearly politically incorrect and is insulting.  
Watching MSLSD people make illogical lines of reasoning to fit this paradox is mind boggling.

Then we have Fox and other stations talk about bravery of journalists on one hand and on the other say they understand networks/papers not showing the cartoons that led to the attack.  But, I love this, if ALL the news outlets would publish the cartoons and I guess stand "in solidarity" it would be great.  So why doesn't this happen?

And as in your post we have everyone on the left bending over backwards doing the limbo (falling on their asses as far as I am concerned) pointing out that it ain't most Muslims doing this.  And it is not part of the religion when it clearly is  if one takes a literal interpretation of the Quran, Koran or how ever one chooses to  spell it.

Then there is far more.  Fitting Muslim terrorism (which is really war) into some sort of  "law breaking" category simply requiring more police and security responses is just silly.   But then, even if one does call it a war it is not a war on "terrorism", not a war on Isam, but a fight against an entity that they can't even name.   Even "Radical Islam" is now politically incorrect (ie.:   Howard Doosh).

Got to love it.   Calling this Islamic terror is politically incorrect and totally unacceptable, but making dark humor of Mohammed with political satire is now defensible.

Why can't we just say there is a LARGE minority of Muslims who want to kill us and take over as much of the world as they can?

No it ain't thousands or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands it is hundreds of miillions.  The Muslim experts estimate that there are maybe 15 of Muslims who are outwardly supportive of Jihad and probably more that secretly are sympathetic.  

224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Christie and business on: January 10, 2015, 08:35:45 PM
We must be talking big business which is absolutely booming near me.  Endless popular chain restaurants, Dunkin Donuts, Walmarts.   I don't know too many small business people who are thrilled.    The big businesses have the ability to pay people to figure out all the regulations, IT requirements, and lobby.    This is how it is occurring in health care.   Wall Street has taken over just as much as government.   

57% (who was surveyed I am not sure)  of businesses approve of CC:

Yet most people otherwise give him a so so rating and most in the State do not even consider him a good candidate for President as per one survey.

For many of us his fanship of the NY Giants arch enemy Dallas Cowboys is enough to warrant removal from office.  Could anyone imagine Rick Perry saying his favorite team is the NY Giants?   I mean common really!
225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: January 10, 2015, 06:55:01 PM
Where does this guy Sharpton get his power from?  I don't understand it. 

He got his own cable show.  He extorts from corporations, he goes in and out of a revolving door to the WH for God's sake.

He shows up at every remotely racial event happening or tragedy he wants and is suddenly the spokesperson the microphoned  media run up to and give a forum.

I just don't get it.  Why are people so fearful of this guy? 
226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: January 10, 2015, 09:54:24 AM
I don't how we can win with a candidate who has no charisma.  Romney has none and while moderately articulate is just not that persuasive to me.  He wins by default not because people want to rally around him and follow.

He is like food that comes out of a can.  Just doesn't have charisma.  Never will.   Few people really do.  Charismatic leaders are not made they are born (in my opinion).

Romney is what he is.  Smart, well groomed, usually prepared, preppy, buttoned down.   He makes a good captain but a general?
227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: January 09, 2015, 02:03:15 PM
I lived in Florida while Jeb was governor.  However I don't follow politics a lot at the state level.  I don't recall any particular criticisms about him overall.   He is definitely an appeaser though.

I enjoyed going to a rally In Orlando when his brother W was running for President.   We got to see him and his brother and even more importantly Bo Derek.

Now I am in NJ.  Christy did take on the teachers unions which is no less of a big deal here as it is in Wisconsin with what Walker did.  Yet I don't see much else happening here in NJ that gives us much relief. 

We still are at the top of all lists for taxes in the nation.   Pension plans are still out of control.  The government employees unlike historically are now doing better than the majority of private sector workers.

I cannot say Christy's personality is not a problem.  He turns me off as well as my conservative Republican sister who as a teacher *was* very supportive of him (unlike all the other "let the rich pay for it crowd of Democrat teachers).   We don't like narcissists. 

I have a nephew who is chief of staff for Bobby Jindal.  I like him a lot.  He is a genius I here and always several thoughts ahead of everyone around him as well as a true type A workaholic.   And a genuine *nice" guy.  My sister had several personally guided tours at the Loiusianna "white house".

None of the candidates are ideal at this point in time for me personally as well as  haveinga great shot at appealing to the "masses".

There is a growing problem of entitlement mentality in the US as well Europe.  We all know this.

Perhaps it is good to have everyone jump in and let the best man (no woman yet) win.   

I am quite pessimistic that we will get one who is a great conservative with a great mouthpiece have a good shot to win a national election. 
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 02, 2015, 04:44:07 PM
Gallop has it 48 approve 48 % disapprove Obama.

That's it folks.  No mandate for Republicans.   Socialism is in.  Done deal.   
229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: January 02, 2015, 04:42:55 PM
 “I haven't used the veto pen very often since I've been in office,” Obama not-so-subtly threatened last month. “Now, I suspect, there are going to be some times where I've got to pull that pen out.”

Yeah Harry Reid did his dirty work.

"Citigroup estimates as an average $1,150 annual boost to consumers"

The Democrats response of course is this is the perfect time to increase gas taxes.  Even heard some phoney Republicans make this case.  I think Ben Stein was one of them. 

230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / details of daughter suing parents for college tuition on: December 27, 2014, 08:43:19 AM

Dad Speaks Out After 21-Year-Old Sues Him to Pay College Tuition

Michael RicciDecember 27, 2014

Dad Speaks Out After 21-Year-Old Sues Him to Pay College TuitionPhoto courtesy Michael Ricci

Since Yahoo Parenting launched on Oct. 23, the editors and writers have posted nearly 600 stories on the site. They chose this article – originally published on Dec. 10 – as a highlight of the pieces that offer trusted advice, inspire provocative conversations, and hopefully add a little fun to your life, every day.

Caitlyn Ricci, 21, has been battling her parents over college tuition in court since August 2013. On Monday, a judge ruled that Michael Ricci and Maura McGarvey must pay $16,000 toward their daughter’s tuition for Temple University, where Caitlyn is a student. Earlier, another judge ruled the parents, who are divorced, must also foot the bill for a community college she attended before transferring to Temple. In his own words, Michael Ricci offers his take on his family’s ordeal to Yahoo Parenting exclusively.

Most nights before I fall asleep, I have tears in my eyes thinking about the difficulty my family is going through. My daughter is suing her mother and me for $16,000 towards college tuition, and a judge has ruled in her favor. My daughter moved out, and I only ever see her in court. It’s certainly not what I wanted for my family.

Every day I wake up and miss my daughter. I miss talking to her, seeing her, asking her about her day, and being involved in her life. I understand that after she was kicked out of her Disney internship, a program she participated in to help prepare for college, she was upset and angry at the rules her mother and I set for her. She was kicked out of the program for underage drinking, and so we had to set boundaries. That included chores, a curfew, and summer classes. When Caitlyn left our home in February 2013, to go to her grandparents, we thought we’d let her go for a couple days and then she would come home. When we called her grandparents to ask that they send her home, they said, “No, she can stay here as long as she wants.” That’s when we knew we had problems.  

Maura and I have mutually parented Caitlyn her entire life. We’ve never before been that divorced couple that is in and out of court. We went to court only once — for our divorce. Although we may have disagreed at times, we always had Caitlyn’s best interests in mind. Always.  

I found out through Twitter that my daughter was attending Temple [University in Philadelphia]. Yes, Twitter. And now, even after her mother and I agreed that if Caitlyn transferred to a state college we would help her financially (even though she hasn’t spoken to us in almost two years), a judge is telling me that if my daughter wants to go to Temple, she can go, and we have to pay for it. Basically, Caitlyn can go anywhere she wants and we have to pay. We have no say.

I am disappointed in the New Jersey Family court system for making parenting decisions for my daughter, as if they know what is best for her. The bottom line is, she made a mistake when she got kicked out of her internship program. There are consequences for her actions. She didn’t want to abide by our rules, so she left. We asked her several times to come home and she never did. It makes my blood boil listening to a judge tell me that my daughter can go to any school in country she wants to, have no relationship with her parents, and we have to pay! We offered in-state tuition and she wants to go out of state. Common sense would say she should pay for it. The law is ridiculous. My ex and I have met with legislators who are writing a new bill that protects parents from this happening again. Do you realize that if you are married in the state of New Jersey, you are not under any legal obligation to pay for college? But, if you get divorced, you must contribute? Please, someone tell me how that makes sense. Not only do you have to pay, but apparently you have to pay for any college they want to go to, anywhere in the country. My ex and I have five kids between us, a mortgage, and other expenses. Why don’t they take any of that into account?  

People who are following this story have been quick to blame Caitlyn exclusively. Each and every story I read is followed by hundreds or even thousands of horrible comments about my daughter and what a brat she is.

While I absolutely place blame on Caitlyn for this, the majority of it lies with her grandparents, who have fostered and even financed this debacle while she lives at their house. What kind of people encourage their granddaughter to sue her own parents…their son? Most days I am sad, even depressed, that something so private is now so public. It’s only when I’m home with my wife or coaching my basketball players that I feel like myself. My ex and I want to help our daughter, we want her to be successful in life, but we would also like to have some influence in her life.

Maura and I are Caitlyn’s parents, so we want to have input and involvement in her decisions. Caitlyn, her attorney, and her grandparents want money. That’s it. The judge asked me in court on Monday if I had a college plan for my daughter. I presented the plan that includes financial help along with moving home and attending counseling. He asked the same of my daughter.  Her response, “I want them to pay for college.” The entire thing makes me sick to my stomach.

Caitlyn Ricci’s lawyer, Andrew Rochester, provided the following statement to Yahoo Parenting: “Since Caitlyn has moved in with her grandparents she has gotten into no trouble and her grades have gone up. She is a solid A/B college student and works a 30-hour job. Mr. Ricci should be proud of her accomplishments instead of disparaging because he doesn’t want to pay for her education. It really doesn’t matter if Caitlyn was going to Temple , Rutgers, Montclair State, or Harvard,  Mr. Ricci has made clear he wasn’t going to pay no matter what school Caitlyn went to. Mr. Ricci and Ms. McGarvey, based on their incomes, certainly have ability to pay, and we gave them options not to pay cash out of hand and they decided not to avail themselves of those options.”

Please follow @YahooParenting onFacebook,Twitter,Instagram, and Pinterest. Have an interesting story to share about your family? E-mail us at YParenting (at)
231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / I guess fracking has nothing to do with it. on: December 19, 2014, 08:48:42 AM
And surely Obama wants much lower energy prices (sarcasm emphasized).  How is this for liberal spin and twisting logic on its head?:

How Obama (and Bush) helped drive down oil prices
Yahoo Finance By Rick Newman
21 hours ago
 In this Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 photo, Quick Trip clerk Roxana Valverde adjusts the gas price sign numbers at a Tolleson, Ariz. QT convenience store as gas prices continue to tumble nationwide. The price of oil has fallen by nearly half in just six months, a surprising and steep plunge that has consumers cheering, producers howling and economists wringing their hands over whether this is a good or bad thing. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
View photo
In this Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 photo, Quick Trip clerk Roxana Valverde adjusts the gas price sign numbers at a Tolleson, Ariz. QT convenience store as gas prices continue to tumble nationwide. The price of oil has fallen by nearly half in just six months, a surprising and steep plunge that has consumers cheering, producers howling and economists wringing their hands over whether this is a good or bad thing. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Few people foresaw the nearly 50% plunge in oil prices this year. But the forces reshaping the oil market have been aligning for nearly a decade, with part of the impetus coming from Washington.

In 2007, Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act, which President George W. Bush promptly signed. The EISA raised federal mileage requirements for passenger cars for the first time since 1990, in an effort to reduce U.S. gas consumption and make America less dependent on foreign oil.

The new rules required automakers to achieve average fuel economy of 35 miles per gallon among all the new vehicles in their fleet by model year 2020 -- up sharply from a requirement of 27.5 MPG for cars and 22.2 MPG for light trucks (pickups and SUVs) at the time.

President Obama raised the MPG goal further in 2012, requiring average fuel economy of 54.5 MPG for all new vehicles sold by model year 2025. Automakers argued that the technology developments necessary to reach those levels would add thousands of dollars to the cost of a car, but so far they've been making progress without causing sticker shock for car buyers. A combination of electric vehicles, hybrids, diesels and far more efficient gas engines has helped improve overall average fuel economy by 5.3 MPG during the last seven years, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. That's a big improvement that would cut the typical driver's gas consumption by about 70 gallons a year.

Overall, the MPG improvements have been working, with lower U.S. oil and gas consumption achieved, as this chart shows:

View photo
.Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration
The consumption decline that began in 2007 is partly due to people driving less during the recession of 2008 and 2009. However, gas consumption continued to fall until 2012, before ticking up in 2013. Even with that slight increase, gas consumption last year was at 2002 levels. When adjusted for population growth, consumption has fallen to levels of the late 1960s, when there were far fewer cars per household.

Reduced gas consumption in the United States is hardly the only factor affecting the price of oil, which trades globally and is determined by many variables. A surge in U.S. crude production has added to global supplies and aided in pushing down prices. Saudi Arabia has kept its own production levels steady rather than decreasing output -- as it has done during past gluts -- to prop up prices. Meanwhile, a sluggish global economy has kept demand for oil lower than many producers expected.

Still, weaker demand for gasoline in the world's largest economy accounts for some of the slack demand for oil. With the government's performance generally poor during the last decade of partisan fighting, the hike in MPG standards is a rare example of a policy with bipartisan support accomplishing what it was supposed to.

That's helping now in political confrontations with long-time foes such as Russia and Iran. Bush and Obama couldn't have foreseen the way cheap oil is inadvertently helping the West turn up the pressure on Russia in response to its role in Ukraine's civil war. But Iran and other oil producers, such as Venezuela, are U.S. antagonists that policymakers have long sought leverage over. Score one for Washington.

Fuel-economy improvements should continue and even accelerate, since the biggest gains are slated for the years approaching 2025. From 2020 through 2025, for instance, the MPG goal will rise from 41.7 MPG to 54.5, a 31% increase. From 2009 through 2014, it rose from 27.5 to 34.1, a 24% improvement. (MPG figures are slightly different from the Michigan numbers, which measure actual fuel economy of vehicles on the road.) That will continue dampening U.S. oil and gas consumption for the foreseeable future.

Demand for oil and gasoline will rise elsewhere, as more people drive in emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil. But those nations also will benefit as technology developed to reduce gas consumption in America proliferates and becomes cheaper. And that's an American export they won't even have to pay for.

Rick Newman’s latest book is Rebounders: How Winners Pivot From Setback To Success. Follow him on Twitter: @rickjnewman.
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Men & Women on: December 17, 2014, 09:23:54 PM
I am glad the myth of the claim that some ridiculous numbers of women being sexually assaulted is starting to drip out.  I have interviewed hundreds of female patients and while I agree rape of violent assault is not rare it is no where near the absurd numbers being thrown about by crazy fanatical liberals such as one out of two or three or four.  These are numbers that include those who had a 24 year old reach for a breast in the movie theater being considered an assault or rape.  Or worse even uncomfortable looks or even feeling uncomfortable around a man.

These numbers are so exaggerated.  I ask women all the time these questions and the vast majority will reply no they were not sexually physically or emotionally abused.
233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: December 17, 2014, 09:16:50 PM
"Personally I find that since the government has taken my income, with my taxes more than 100% of take home income, and nothing left over, and they are spending the majority of that on redistribution, I really have no time or interest in charity unless and until we change that dynamic."

Ditto Doug.  I was on the check line of a shopping center when the cashier asked me to donate to some charity.  I said I already work roughly five months a year for the government.   Isn't that a darn 'nuff?   What I should give more?  Are you kidding?

234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Doctor version of community organizer on: December 17, 2014, 09:13:17 PM
Now at age 37 the nation's surgeon general.  I used to get emails from this big socialist liberal to join his Obama Care fan club.  This is a joke.  All politics.  Has nothing to do with medical care.  All about promoting obama care.  The damage continues for the next two years:

****Washington (CNN) -- The Senate confirmed Vivek Murthy as surgeon general on Monday night as Democrats -- in the final days of their majority control of the chamber -- overcame stiff opposition from the National Rifle Association.

The 51 to 43 vote ends more than a year of uncertainty over Murthy's nomination. Obama had tapped the founder of the pro-Obamacare group Doctors for America for the post in November 2013.

But a confirmation vote had been held up after the gun lobby pointed to a letter Murthy had signed calling for new gun control measures in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut, school shootings, and promised to score a vote in Murthy's favor against senators in its ratings of how strongly lawmakers support gun rights.

Murthy, 37, is America's youngest-ever top doctor, and he is also the first surgeon general of Indian-American descent.

Obama lauded Murthy's confirmation, saying he will help the United States combat the threat of Ebola.

"As 'America's Doctor,' Vivek will hit the ground running to make sure every American has the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe. He'll bring his lifetime of experience promoting public health to bear on priorities ranging from stopping new diseases to helping our kids grow up healthy and strong," Obama said in a statement.

Opinion: Surgeon general's win is a political miracle

"Vivek will also help us build on the progress we've made combating Ebola, both in our country and at its source," he said. "Combined with the crucial support for fighting Ebola included in the bill to fund our government next year, Vivek's confirmation makes us better positioned to save lives around the world and protect the American people here at home."

But soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican whose party will take control of the chamber once new members are in place next month, called Murthy a political appointment.

"The surgeon general is known as America's doctor and the men and women chosen to fill that role in the past have usually been highly qualified individuals with substantial experience in patient care," McConnell said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, Dr. Murthy's nomination had more to do with politics -- he was a founder in 2008 of a group called Doctors for Obama, and has been an outspoken political advocate of Obamacare and gun control -- than his medical experience," he said. "With America facing the challenge of Ebola and other serious health challenges, it's unfortunate that the President chose a nominee based on the candidate's political support instead of a long career delivering patient care and managing difficult health crises."

Democrats taunt Cruz over surgeon general vote

This story has been updated****

235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Republicans will win IF, and a doubtful if, they can address this as said before on: December 07, 2014, 07:26:33 PM
by me in my opinion. 

"the political future belongs to those who will displace the progressive Clerisy's objectives with an agenda of economic growth"

I drive down a major thoroughfare by me each day and it is remarkable the growth in new chain outlets (two new walmarts within a few miles of each other, paneras, chipoltes, flash burgers etc.)  New malls springing up.  Others half dormant.  All very strange.  In most of the chains are people obviously born elsewhere.

There really are two economies.  For the wealthy and connected and cheap labor (those being born here paid beans and those from elsewhere willing to work for beans) the economy is booming.  For the big moneyed players, the big companies.  Health care is a case in point.  The big companies are making huge profits.  Somehow everyone else seems to paying more for it.   The gov subsidizes these big companies who continue to increase rates passing the cost of those who get it free or cheap to the rest of us while they squeeze out every dime.   Even drug stores are getting into managing our health care.   They are now becoming providers.
236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / His insurance did not deny payment for this joke? on: December 06, 2014, 04:37:39 PM
Obama Goes To Hospital For Sore Throat
President Barack Obama went to a hospital on Saturday after complaining about a sore throat, the White House announced.

According to the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, Dr. Jackson, the president’s physician, recommended he go to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington for diagnostic tests.

"According to Dr. Jackson, the test is a matter of convenience for the President, not a matter of urgency," the White House said.

The trip was unscheduled. The press pool, journalists who typically follow the president, had initially been dismissed for the day.

UPDATE: The White House released the following statement from Ronny L. Jackson, the president's physician, noting that Obama's symptoms were "consistent with soft tissue inflammation related to acid reflux."

This morning, an ear, nose and throat specialist from Fort Belvoir Medical Center conducted a fiber optic exam, under my supervision, of the President’s throat based on symptoms of sore throat over the past couple weeks. The exam revealed soft tissue swelling in the posterior throat and I, in consultation with the specialist, determined that further evaluation with a routine CT scan was prudent. The CT scan was conducted this afternoon purely as a matter of convenience for the President’s schedule. The CT scan was normal. The President’s symptoms are consistent with soft tissue inflammation related to acid reflux and will be treated accordingly.
237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Epidemics: Bird Flu, TB, AIDs, Superbugs, Ebola, etc on: December 06, 2014, 04:15:35 PM
It makes perfect sense to bring these people here for treatment.  Banning travel to these places will only spread those infections around the world even faster.

Alleges CDC head Friedman.
238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / We need another agency of Robot regulation - according to this guy on: December 06, 2014, 08:59:50 AM
Law professor argues we need to deal with the burgeoning field of robotics with no less than ANOTHER Federal agency.

I suppose he would nominate himself as the new Czar in Chief:
239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: December 06, 2014, 08:53:51 AM
Someone called into Mark Levin and wondered if the 5 million illegals who are now legal will be added to the unemployment rolls.  Since I believe the vast majority who are not children are working Obama could  claim he "added" a million or two new jobs to the rolls.  That assumes these people will also admit to working. 

The point is the unemployment numbers are all just smoke and mirrors.  And this is one more example to prove it. 
240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: November 30, 2014, 02:34:28 PM
Well we should be making a better case how this is NOT about those from Latino countries.  It is about all peoples who come and stay here illegally from all over the world.  We already have multiple programs to help people come here and study and work etc.  We should make a case it does hurt people here though I recognize the MSM wave of talking points that somehow we all just do so much better by having millions more to compete with.

 Yes I know would it be better to compete with them overseas or here. No one in their right mind cannot see how the increased competition hurts those here more than it helps.  Most people I know agree with me except die hard liberals who while they would never admit it want more future Democrats.  And no one who is sane would think the Dems would be doing this if these people were going to be predominantly Rep voters.  Why cannot not this simple fact stand up for itself?       

"I need Gomer Pyle's accent to properly say:  Well surprise!  Surprise!  Surprise!"

One of the my favorite shows of all time.  I still remember the one when the Sarge's car gets smashed by a recking ball at the end.  It was one of those belly laughs that adds a year to your life.
241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: November 28, 2014, 08:31:51 AM
" accuse Obama of screwing up immigration and move on to other things"

None starter for me.
242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: November 26, 2014, 10:17:01 AM
Agree with you Doug.

One problem I see is the right is not unified in its' response to the left's propaganda along with the obvious disadvantage of being up against a biased MSM and academia and big government "complex".

The arguments coming out of Ferguson defy logic to such an extant I don't know what we are even arguing about anymore.    Listening to Rachel Maddow's rants last PM about how "weird" the presentation from the prosecutor was etc in itself was just disgusting.  Like Levin asks is she so screwed up with her leftist idealogy she just ignore reason, truth, and logic?

The answer is YES.

They just continue arguing when there is NO real argument.  They just won't stop. 

243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hard to stomach the above post on: November 25, 2014, 12:15:36 PM
 angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry

What about the rights of us taxpayers?

NO ONE except Tea Party people are representing us.

Not Boehner, not McConnell not Bushes not Christy.

 angry angry angry angry
244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: November 25, 2014, 10:47:12 AM
The complicit MSM is sooo annoying.   angry

They are also covering for the Hillary too.  Panetta set it up.  Now with this ridiculous new House report on Benghazi.

Of course.

245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: November 25, 2014, 09:06:14 AM
Agree completely with above post.  Most of us agree with Mark Levin's comments from last night's radio broadcast.  What he takes away from this is youth should not be robbing stores, strong arming store owners, punching police officers and reaching for their guns. 

Yet we have the left desperately turning this around to suit their agenda. 

Time for center and right of center political leaders to start calling out this charade.  We know the left won't do it.   
246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: November 22, 2014, 11:13:15 AM
The tenth lie is even more annoying coming from this guy.  For him to suddenly find convenient [misuse] of scripture after he and his leftists are doing everything they can to disassemble religion in this country (except of course for the benefit of Muslims) is just beyond the pale.

Yet not a peep from MSM.  They are mostly Democrats so they just don't care and by their silence reveal their delight.

After reading a biography of Stalin I find the only difference between Obama and the other tyrant is the lack of 'physical' violence.  I have no doubt this guy would be using that too if it could further his goals. Otherwise, no difference between the two men.

247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Corruption, and Treason on: November 21, 2014, 05:55:15 PM
Some hopefully good news.  30,000 emails found from Lois Lerner.  We can only hope and pray that many copies are made so criminals who work for the left cannot destroy them.   If they show links to WH then repubs must start lining up the culprits till they get to Obama.

If case is made he MUST be impeached. 
248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: November 21, 2014, 05:53:06 PM
"It shocks me that so many people STILL refuse to see Obama for the despot he so clearly is."


I guess that shows us the power of bribery with taxpayer money.

As long as much of the population keeps getting showered with gifts what do they care?
249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: November 21, 2014, 01:42:16 PM
"He needs to be called out on his hypocritical incrementalism"

Yeah sure that will happen.   rolleyes

WE need 200 more Jeff Sessions.

I don't know.   Many Republicans will tell us how lots of immigration is good for us.

Blah blah blah.

I am fed up.  We will be watching him do this again and again for two years while the party who vaguely represents me sits on their hands the whole time.   We will get fools like Chris Christy and Jebster Bush calling for compromise.

Neither one of them should even think of running.  If they do I will sit out.  May as well have Hillary.  Little difference. 

250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: November 21, 2014, 01:35:22 PM
" and women voters who will vote for her because she is a woman"

Absolutely.   Just ask all the women around you what they think.  If they are honest many will say they are excited about this babe thing.  It is no different then voting for nonsense like "hope and change".

Many did not even consider what that meant.  It was exciting to them to vote for this creep.  Honesty, socialism they couldn't care less.  It was all emotional based on class/ gender, ethnic, and race warfare.
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