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3101  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / She must have went offscript when she made her Hitler Putin remarks on: March 06, 2014, 10:30:26 AM
 "all parties should avoid steps that could be misinterpreted or lead to miscalculation at this delicate time."

Right after she makes criticisms that take her another week to try to explain and re-assemble.

"I am not making a comparison, certainly."

This she says right after she just made a comparison.  Now she looks like a fool walking backwards. 

Of course the MSM makes it look like she is tough.

*****Clinton again blasts Putin after her Hitler remark
Associated Press
By MICHAEL R. BLOOD 14 hours ago

Clinton Again Blasts Putin After Hitler Remark
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin is a tough but thin-skinned leader who is squandering his country's potential, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday, a day after she likened his actions on the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine to those of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.

Clinton, a potential 2016 presidential contender, warned during her a speech at the University of California, Los Angeles, that "all parties should avoid steps that could be misinterpreted or lead to miscalculation at this delicate time."

Putin has said he was protecting ethnic Russians by moving troops into Crimea.

Clinton said Tuesday at a closed fundraising luncheon in Long Beach that Putin's actions are similar what happened in the Nazi era in Czechoslovakia and Romania.

"Now if this sounds familiar, it's what Hitler did back in the '30s," Clinton said, according to the Press-Telegram of Long Beach. "Hitler kept saying, 'They're not being treated right. I must go and protect my people.' And that's what's gotten everybody so nervous."

Responding to a question submitted at the UCLA talk, Clinton said she was not making a comparison although Russia's actions were "reminiscent" of claims Germany made in the 1930s, when the Nazis said they needed to protect German minorities in Poland and elsewhere in Europe.

"The claims by President Putin and other Russians that they had to go into Crimea and maybe further into eastern Ukraine because they had to protect the Russian minorities, that is reminiscent of claims that were made back in the 1930s when Germany under the Nazis kept talking about how they had to protect German minorities in Poland and Czechoslovakia and elsewhere throughout Europe," she said.

"I just want everybody to have a little historic perspective. I am not making a comparison, certainly. But I am recommending that we perhaps can learn from this tactic that has been used before," she said.

Clinton said Putin is trying to "re-Sovietize" the periphery of Russia but is actually squandering the potential of his nation and "threatening instability and even the peace of Europe."

In recent days, some Republicans, including Sen. John McCain have criticized the Obama administration's policy in Ukraine. Clinton echoed President Barack Obama's assessment that Russia's intervention was a violation of international law, and she said she supported the administration's call for Russia "to refrain from the threat or use of force."

Kathryn Stoner, a Russia expert at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, said she considered Clinton's comparison between Putin and the tactics of Nazi-era Germany "a bit of a stretch," in part because Putin "doesn't look like he is intent on spreading across the Ukraine and permanently occupying this area."

In a delicate diplomatic situation "I don't think it's helpful on either side to say things like this, but in these crises it happens," Stoner added****

 cheesy But she is a very nice person if you get to know her.
3102  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Legal issues on: March 06, 2014, 09:08:07 AM
***Nevada law bars casinos from allowing obviously drunk patrons to gamble and from serving them comped drinks.***

I have little sympathy for this guy yet the casino employees seemed to have no problem doing what is according to this illegal.

Or so he claims.
3103  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Gambling under the influence? GUI? on: March 06, 2014, 08:13:10 AM
Interesting situation.  I didn't know it is illegal to allow someone "visibly" drunk to play at a casino in Nevada.  I thought that was one of the casino's goals.  
Gambling while under the influence?   How the heck does one sort this out.  Maybe we need a breathalyzer test for those who drink and gamble.   Then one gets into the concept of "impairment" as well.   What a mess sorting this out:

****Gambler sues, says he lost $500,000 playing drunk

Associated Press
By HANNAH DREIER 13 hours ago
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A businessman who lost $500,000 on table games at a Las Vegas casino on Super Bowl weekend is arguing that he shouldn't have to pay because he was blackout drunk.

Southern California gambler Mark Johnston, 52, is suing the Downtown Grand for loaning him money and serving him drinks when he was visibly intoxicated.

Nevada law bars casinos from allowing obviously drunk patrons to gamble and from serving them comped drinks.

Johnston's attorney, Sean Lyttle, says the Grand, which opened last November in the old part of Las Vegas, intends to pursue Johnston for trying to shirk his gambling debts. Johnston put a stop-payment order on the markers, or casino credits, the Grand issued, and is also seeking damages from the Grand for sullying his name.

Johnston says he was thoroughly drunk during the hours he spent playing pai gow and blackjack at the Grand. His legal team plans to rely on eyewitness testimony and surveillance video to prove that he was visibly intoxicated.

Johnston lives in Ventura and made his fortune in car dealership and real estate ventures.

The Grand issued a statement saying it does not comment on pending litigation.

The state Gaming Control Board is investigating.

"It's certainly an extraordinary case. This is not a story that I've ever heard before, where someone was blackout intoxicated where they couldn't read their cards, and yet a casino continued to serve them drinks and issue them more markers," Lyttle said. "It's a very heavy-handed and unusual approach that we haven't seen in this town in a long time."

Johnston arrived in Las Vegas with the woman he was dating on the Thursday before the Super Bowl. He drank in the limousine from the Las Vegas airport to the Grand, drank more during dinner with friends, and then says he blacked out.

The suit alleges that the Grand comped him dozens of drinks while he gambled away hundreds of thousands of dollars, finally sleeping off his drunkenness on that Saturday, which was Feb, 1. Johnston says he didn't learn how much he had lost until the next day.


Hannah Dreier can be reached at
3104  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More Hillary and health care; take a deep breath on: March 04, 2014, 07:39:44 PM
Hillary Rodham Clinton: Let evidence lead the healthcare reform fight
HIMSS keynote speaker calls on physicians, health IT, policymakers to face challenges of access, delivery, and technology

Publish date: FEB 28, 2014

By: Daniel R. Verdon
“There are many provisions embedded in this act that most Americans, if asked, would support,” Clinton contends. And there are just as many challenges facing the system.

“What happens when us Baby Boomers double the number of Medicare beneficiaries from 40 million to 80 million people?" Clinton asks. "How do we prepare for that dramatic increase? How could we improve coordination and communication among all healthcare providers responsible for a patients’ well-being? Will advances in technology combined with comparative effectiveness research continue providing patients and providers with more and better information about what works and what doesn’t in ways that will reduce cost and improve outcomes? How might we replace, once and for all, our fee-for-service model (with a system) that provides provider-led, community-wide care?”

The case for electronic health records

The challenges facing healthcare are also calling for its modernization through technology, Clinton says.

The need for digitizing medical records was clearly evident following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which decimated parts of New Orleans and other areas on the Gulf Coast.

Millions of pages of medical records were lost during that storm.

“I saw firsthand when I went to meet with survivors and refugees from Katrina. People were just totally bewildered. Elderly people didn’t know what medicine they were taking. They couldn’t explain what that little blue pill was they took 3 times a day. We know how important this is. When you are in the middle of a medical emergency, accessing information can literally make the difference between life and death,” Clinton says.

Squeezing healthcare costs

Technology will ultimately lower healthcare costs to Americans, Clinton says. And this country has made some progress. “Healthcare costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years, just around 4%. That has significant implications for our economy going forward.”

“There is a lot of misinformation and a lot of anxiety (about healthcare reform),” she says. “(People) are worried about what they might lose. We need to clear the smoke, and figure out what is working and what isn’t. It would be a great tragedy, in my opinion, to take away what has now been provided to the millions of people who now have Medicaid or a health insurance plan for the first time.”

Clinton was one of four keynote presenters at HIMSS 2014, which drew more than 37,000 healthcare IT professionals. Other presentations were delivered by Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna; Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
3105  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2nd post of day. This is one of two more these on Hillary and health care on: March 04, 2014, 07:38:36 PM
Hillary Rodham Clinton: Let evidence lead the healthcare reform fight
HIMSS keynote speaker calls on physicians, health IT, policymakers to face challenges of access, delivery, and technology

Publish date: FEB 28, 2014

By: Daniel R. Verdon
Hillary Rodham Clinton HIMSS 2014Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gave the keynote address at the HIMSS 2014 conference in Orlando, FL. (Photo courtesy of HIMSS)The “hyper-politicized debate” about healthcare reform needs to shift to a thoughtful dialogue about evidence and data, according to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In addressing thousands of health information technology professionals at the recently concluded HIMSS 2014 conference in Orlando, Florida, Clinton called on healthcare thought leaders to let evidence guide decisions and development to improve quality and reduce cost of the American healthcare system.

“I am a believer that good data helps to make good decisions,” Clinton says. “It’s true in medicine; it’s true in business; it’s true in government, and it’s true in life…. Unfortunately, the hyper-politicized debate about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been often more about ideology than data.”

Clinton called on policymakers and healthcare professionals to debate ways to improve the U.S. healthcare system.

“I want us to have a healthcare debate where our differences are fully aired," Clinton says. "We don’t have a one-size-fits all; our country is quite diverse. What works in New York City is not necessarily going to work in Harrison, Arkansas or Albuquerque. We do need to have people who are looking for ways to use evidence but leave their blaming, their gaming, their shaming, their point scoring at the door.”

There are many reform provisions in the ACA that attempt to improve the system, Clinton says. Some examples include:

•measuring outcomes,
•covering preventive care,
•shifting from fee-for-service to rewarding quality and value,
•building pricing transparency,
•using comparative effectiveness research,
•opening up access to healthcare coverage to millions of Americans who were previously uninsured,
•allowing children to stay on their parents’ coverage until they are 26,
•“liberating employees” from staying in jobs solely to access health insurance because a family member has a pre-existing or chronic health condition.
3106  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: March 04, 2014, 06:00:10 PM
I don't care about sexual orientation but do we have to glorify sodomy?   Do we really need a history courses about the greatest butt @#$$%%% or cock@#$%^ in history?

Mandating this?

What the hell is going on?

God almighty - enough.
3107  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: March 04, 2014, 05:52:34 PM
"There are now at least 10, and potentially as many as 13, Democratic-held [US Senate] seats in jeopardy."

We need 15.

Otherwise we will still have a President who is ruling through stacking the agencies with cronies and dictates through them for another two years.
3108  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: March 04, 2014, 05:50:39 PM
I guess this is what Rush was referring to when he noted ZEEK said something to the effect that the plan of Obamacare was to put insurance companies out of business.  Some providers have had integrated systems.  I know I worked for one 25 years ago.  It was called managed care.  The ACO concept is just a variation.  The providers take the "full risk" not the third party insurance company or "middle man" as ZEEK calls them.  Guidelines are just that.  They are guidelines.  If anyone thinks insurance companies are rough just wait till the providers have big stakes on restricting services. 

But I digress.  Rush is not accurate if this is what he was talking about.  This just means replacing insurance companies with ACOs and hospital systems.  Some will be run by doctor groups.  Most and the largest and the most powerful will simply be run by large business hospital or other conglomerate chains. 

****Obamacare Architect: ‘Be Prepared to Kiss Your Insurance Company Good-Bye Forever’
Mar. 3, 2014 7:29pm   Jason Howerton   

Ezekiel Emanuel, one of the architects behind Obamacare, is now claiming that “insurance companies as we know them are about to die.” Critics of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law have long alleged that one of the real goals of the law was to put private insurance companies out of business.

“The good news is you won’t have insurance companies to kick around much longer. The system is changing,” Emanuel writes in an op-ed on New Republic. “As a result, insurance companies as they are now will be going away. Indeed, they are already evolving. For the next few years insurance companies will both continue to provide services to employers and, increasingly, compete against each other in the health insurance exchanges.”

Due to Obamacare, “new actors will force insurance companies to evolve or become extinct,” he continues. Instead, new groups called “accountable care organizations” (ACOs) must start competing directly in the health care exchanges for exclusive contracts with employers.

In this March 11, 2009 photo, Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, special advisor for health care at the Office of Management and Budget, speaks at the American Medical Association's annual conference at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, Ezekiel J. Emanuel values intelligence, but don't accuse him of Harvard-itis. He'll tell you an Ivy League degree doesn't prove anyone's worth. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
In this March 11, 2009 photo, Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, special advisor for health care at the Office of Management and Budget, speaks at the American Medical Association’s annual conference at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, Ezekiel J. Emanuel values intelligence, but don’t accuse him of Harvard-itis. He’ll tell you an Ivy League degree doesn’t prove anyone’s worth. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The ACOs will have “standardized, guideline-driven care plans for most major conditions and procedures to increase efficiency,” says Emanuel, the brother of Obama’s former chief of staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“They will have figured out how to harness their electronic medical records to better identify patients who will become sick and how to intervene early as well as how to care for the well-identified chronically ill so as to reduce costs,” he notes.

The key skill these ACOs and hospital systems lack—the skill insurance companies specialize in—is the actuarial capacity to predict and manage financial risk. But over the next decade this is something they will develop—or purchase. After all, actuarial science is not rocket science, even if it involves a lot of mathematical equations. And with that skill, ACOs and hospital systems will become integrated delivery systems like Kaiser or Group Health of Puget Sound. Then they will cut out the insurance company middle man—and keep the insurance company profits for themselves. Therefore, increasingly these ACOs and hospital systems will transform themselves into integrated delivery systems, entering insurance exchanges and negotiating with employers, in direct competition with insurance companies.
 As the ACOs become more established, Emanuel claims contracts between the health systems and employers will become more common, thus “cutting out the insurance companies.”

Once the health systems “make the jump to offering coverage in the exchanges, the health insurance companies will only have a few options if they want to survive, according to Emanuel.

“First, they can refuse to change, in which case they will eventually go out of business,” he writes. “Second, they can shift their business to focus on offering services they have expertise in, particularly analytics, actuarial modeling, risk management, and other management services.”

Finally, the “third evolutionary path is that health insurance companies may transform themselves into integrated delivery systems.”

“So be prepared to kiss your insurance company good-bye forever,” Emanuel concludes.

Read the entire article here.

Programming note: Is this the end of health insurance as we know it? Glenn Beck and his producers debated the impact of this story in Tuesday’s morning editorial meeting. Watch it tonight at 5pm ET on TheBlaze TV.
3109  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 03, 2014, 07:57:20 PM
"a secret project"

What is the secret?  We know the military is building robots and suits for infantry to be like Robocop.

He is as good a comedian as he is President.
3110  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: March 01, 2014, 06:47:08 PM
I'm thinking he must be selling while talking up the US market when near the end of the article it is pointed out he is a net seller:,0,7548264.story
3111  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: February 28, 2014, 07:41:04 AM
Diabetic man eats pizza for decades.  He also bikes 30 to 40 miles a day which explains part of it.   Years ago there was a study that compared an all you can eat vegetable diet with an all you can eat pizza diet.  Those in the former group gained more weight.  Why? There is more variety in vegetables than pizza.  After a while pizza eaters got sick of eating pizza and wound up eating less calories.  Part of the mix of the American obesity epidemic is the variety of foods we have available.  Italian one day, donuts the next, Chinese third, Ice cream, Mexican is now rampant and all over the place, Chicken and on and on and on:
3112  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Don't need to get past the door window anymore to get into a car. on: February 28, 2014, 07:31:49 AM
I've reported how it is easy for crooks to pick up the wireless remote entry code.  If they are nearby enough they can catch the code as you are going to your vehicle.  Then they simply can open your trunk or door.  This may be even more sophisticated.  Perhaps they now don't even have to wait for you to go to your car.  I've asked some dealerships about their codes.  If they are multiple or changing.  Most don't even have a clue and then when they call their engineers to find out the answer is the codes are single and some only have a small library of codes.  Hey legal eagles - here is a chance for a class action suite - maybe that will wake up the auto makers to security issues while they continue to pack autos with wireless crap. 

****Thieves Break Into Cars Using Mysterious ‘Black Box’

February 27, 2014 11:09 AM
Thieves Break Into Cars Using Mysterious Black Box

By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — A mysterious device is being used by criminals to easily break into locked cars across the country, including here in Chicago.

It has police stumped, CNN is reporting.

In Chicago, surveillance video shows a thief pointing a small box-like device at a car door.

Within seconds, the car unlocks, the alarm is disabled and the thief simply opens the passenger door and easily takes the valuables.

The device is believed to be some sort of electronic hacking mechanism that overrides the car’s computer system.

Thieves across the country have been using it.

Police have no idea what it is, or exactly how it works, CNN reports.

However, according to CNN, authorities in Texas have apparently seized one of the devices and are in the process of testing it.****
3113  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lets help boys of color in memory of, you got it: Travon Martin on: February 27, 2014, 08:38:33 AM
Blacks are disproportionately shooting themselves in gangs, born out of wedlock, unemployed etc.  So what does this guy tie his program for men of color?  To Travon Martin.       

*****Obama launches ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ to help young minority men

Liz Goodwin, Yahoo News
By Liz Goodwin, Yahoo News 3 hours ago Yahoo News
President Barack Obama greets Father's Day luncheon guests including members of Youth Guidance’s Becoming a Man (B.A.M.) program, in the State Dining Room of the White House, June 14, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
President Obama will announce a $200 million commitment from nine foundations Thursday afternoon to bolster the lives of young men and boys of color.

Obama launches effort to help minority men Associated Press
Obama embraces a lifelong cause: Helping minority boys succeed Yahoo News
Tavis Smiley Poses 10 Questions About Obama White House Initiative For Young Men Of Color, 'My Brother's Keeper' Huffington Post
Civil rights leaders and Obama meet at White House Associated Press
[$$] Presidential Power Undergoing a Transformation The Wall Street Journal

The funding is part of a larger initiative from the White House to bring private businesses, non-profits and local governments together to intervene in key moments in the lives of young black and Hispanic men to ensure they stay in school and eventually train for and get good jobs.

As Yahoo News first reported,  the cause will be a major focus of Obama’s—and the first lady’s—even after he leaves office. "I think it’s something that's deeply personal to the president and first lady,” said Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to the president and the Obamas’ closest friend from Chicago. “I’m sure their commitment to this initiative will be a lifelong commitment. This is not something they simply want to do while he’s in office — it will continue.”

The president personally ordered his senior staff to come up with this new “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative in the wake of the shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin two years ago. Obama—who was criticized by civil rights leaders for avoiding race-based initiatives and conversations while in office—was deeply moved by Martin’s death, and tasked his staff with creating a holistic, research-based approach to helping young minority boys succeed and avoid violence.

The president will create a new inter-agency “My Brother’s Keeper Task Force” headed up by Broderick Johnson, the cabinet secretary and assistant to the president. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Attorney General Eric Holder, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and other senior officials will be personally involved in “My Brother’s Keeper,” according to Jarrett.

Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City who started and funded an initiative in the city aimed at young black men, will join the president for the 3:45 p.m. announcement of the program at the White House Thursday, along with business leaders including former NBA star Magic Johnson. The White House initiative is in part modeled on Bloomberg’s, and seeks to intervene in the lives of boys at key points: by providing pre-kindergarten education, lifting third-grade reading proficiency, leading schools away from “zero tolerance” disciplinary policies that kick misbehaving students out of school, and convincing businesses to train and hire young men of color.

It’s still unclear just how broad the initiative will be, beyond the $200 million non-profit investment. Jarrett told reporters Wednesday that the White House is still signing on private businesses, and does not have a final number for how much they have committed to “My Brother’s Keeper.” The White House hopes corporations will pledge to mentor and hire young minority men.

And some of the foundations that are involved in the effort were already planning on making investments in young minority men before the White House got involved. Robert Ross, the CEO of the California Endowment non-profit, said his organization had already pledged $50 million over seven years for its “sons and brothers” program, which aims to reduce school absences and suspensions among young black children, and boost their third grade reading proficiency levels.

But Ross said that having the president involved in the issue will be “a huge injection of rocket fuel” for the cause. The president’s use of the bully pulpit could be a game-changer for Ross and others who work in this space, he said.

Ross met with the president and other foundation leaders last November to talk about the plan. Obama told them that he was personally inspired by Martin’s death to improve the lives of young men of color.

“There really was something spiritual and personal for him about what is happening to young men in this country, and he really wanted to do something real about it,” Ross said. “I certainly felt energized by that.”

Young black men persistently lag behind other groups in high school graduation rates and employment, and, as White House officials point out, they are six times more likely than their white peers to be murdered.

"My Brother's Keeper" is one part of Obama's larger plan to tackle issues facing the African American community in his second term, the president told civil rights leaders in a meeting last week. Obama will also push Congress to restore the part of the Voting Rights Act struck down by the Supreme Court last term and to pass a law banning racial profiling by law enforcement. The Justice Department is also pushing through criminal justice reforms without Congress' help, such as urging prosecutors not to use mandatory minimums against non-violent drug offenders and encouraging prisoners sentenced under old, racially discriminatory crack laws to apply for a new clemency program.

“I think he’s committed to being more aggressive,”
3114  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: February 26, 2014, 08:24:34 PM
Doug, thanks.  Maybe I misread the article of have misunderstood Parker and

I have not made political persuasion a study but I always saw her as leftist:
3115  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: February 26, 2014, 08:18:10 PM
With regard to the first case in Boston there sounds like there is disagreement as to the diagnosis.  One group thinks it is some rare mitochondrial disorder and the other thinks it is psychiatric.

I can tell you there occasionally are cases like this which are extraordinarily difficult.

I wonder if the parents of the child cannot accept a psychiatric diagnosis and hence are making the situation worse by insisting on it being the other.

Look at autism and vaccines.  There are parents who will insist to their dying days it is the vaccine that caused the autism.  Despite evidence to the contrary.  Just some thoughts.

It is interesting that there is a gag order in effect.  Judges are from what I have seen rarely willing not to give a family the benefit of the doubt.
3116  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: February 26, 2014, 08:03:16 PM
It doesn't matter.  If anyone thinks the Clinton mob will ever release to the public any records with incriminating evidence they need their head examined.

When finally released we will find essentially nothing and their crowd will be laughing and yawning. 
3117  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) and the 4th & 9th Amendments on: February 26, 2014, 07:58:01 PM
"We are fast approaching a privacy crisis in the United States"

This is all that I disagree with.  The privacy crises has been occurring for years.  Cat is out of the bag.  It is too late.

The crises is not in front of us.  It is here and now. 
3118  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: February 26, 2014, 09:50:17 AM
"The only "white" guy I've ever seen was my grandfather in a casket.  Caucasians have pigmentation too! "

Doug your right.  Blacks are brown not black.  And whites are cream not white.  wink
3119  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Driving while impaired on: February 26, 2014, 09:47:53 AM
How can this be?  Just lack of sleep can impair someone's ability to drive a car.  Can someone be arrested for driving while too tired?

****Man blows 0.00 on breathalyzer, gets arrested for DWI

By Will Lerner 15 hours ago Odd News
Back in 2013, Texas resident Larry Davis ran either a red light or stop sign (reports vary) in his Buick in the city of Austin. Despite his insistence that he had had only one drink, he was put in handcuffs and arrested for driving while intoxicated. Then, when he was given a Breathalyzer test by the AustinPolice Department, he blew a 0.00. Nonetheless, as KVUE reports, Mr. Davis spent the night in jail.

While at the station, Mr. Davis agreed to give a blood sample as well, to prove he was not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. The results would later come back 100% negative. Davis’ attorney, Daniel Betts, told KVUE, “My reaction was just shock that this happened."

The Austin Police Department stands by the arrest, saying they believed Davis showed signs of impairment, that while standing on one leg, he “swayed,” and “needed his arms for balance.” They also suggested that he could have been on marijuana, a drug that wouldn’t necessarily show up in a test. The APD said they’re going by a “take-no-chances” policy. That being said, they did acknowledge how unusual it is that Davis was arrested despite registering a zero on his breath test.

Davis' attorney, Daniel Betts (KVUE)
The Statesman reports that people, including Davis’ attorney, Mr. Betts, have characterized Austin PD’s drunken driving arrests as “overzealous.” They noted back in 2011, that Austin’s Travis County has, “dismissed a higher percentage of drunken driving cases than other major Texas counties -- in part because prosecutors said police filed weak charges or prosecutors allowed suspects plead to other crimes."

As for Larry Davis, he will now spend the next few months getting his arrest record wiped clean. In addition to that, he will file a grievance against the Austin Police Department and the officer who arrested him. KVUE notes that as they started to investigate the manner, Travis County prosecutors dismissed the case completely.

More info:KVUE, The Statesman****
3120  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: February 26, 2014, 09:18:47 AM
"he is not visually “one of us” in the way some Republicans have demonstrated they’re most comfortable. To the birther sensibility, if President Obama was born in Kenya, then Jindal could be from Punjab. In fact, he was conceived there but born in Baton Rouge."

So how could he have been elected governor of a Southern Republican state if so many are uncomfortable with him?

The usual left wing media hit job.

And what is that racist comment about brownies?
3121  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2nd post on: February 26, 2014, 08:37:13 AM
One Tea Party slogan is "take back our country".  This needs to be changed.  While I understand the point and agree it has the unfortunate inadvertent message of exclusion.

Nativism.   Throughout our history there has been dislike of new immigrant groups.  Irish, Italians, Jews, Chinese etc.  This message gives the inadvertent subliminal message that fits right in to that impression.   Perhaps the slogan should be something akin to "preserve the greatness of our freedoms for everyone now and for all our children  and welcomed immigrants of the future:
3122  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / we are not a bunch of crazies anymore on: February 26, 2014, 08:17:27 AM
[tabl]"We used to be a bunch of crazies. We’re not a bunch of crazies. We are a very powerful force and only getting stronger,” Glenn said.[e][/table]"We used to be a bunch of crazies. We’re not a bunch of crazies. We are a very powerful force and only getting stronger,” Glenn said.[

“It was powerful”: Kathie Lee Gifford described an unexpected dinner with Glenn Beck and friends

Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 at 6:22 PM EST

Over the weekend, Glenn had a fun dinner with some prominent NYC figures including Today Show‘s Kathie Lee Gifford, Tribeca Film Festival founder Craig Hatkoff, and famed fashion designer Norma Kamali. Gifford opened up about her dinner on The Today Show, praising the way that people of different ideological viewpoints could come together and discuss real solutions to the country’s problems.

“A rare thing for me to come back into the city on a Friday night and have a dinner but Craig Hatkoff, is married to Jane Rosenthal, Tribeca Film Festival and everything invited me and maybe about 20 people to come to a dinner at the Lambs Club here in NY, which is a beautiful beautiful room, in honor of Glenn Beck, who is a controversial gentleman but I have befriended him for the past few years and have great affection for him. And apparently so does Craig,” she said.

At the dinner, several people shared ideas about what the problems were and how people could come together to work towards the solutions by engaging in an honest and open dialogue with people of different viewpoints.

“It was so fascinating to be in a room with so many people coming from a completely different ideological place, all coming together to say ‘Wait a minute our country is in trouble. Where is our common ground? Because that is where our sacred ground is.’,” she continued.

“Everybody contributed, everybody was respectful. It was powerful because of it. It was powerful! So I am grateful that he invited us to come,” Gifford said.

On his radio show Monday, Glenn saw the meeting as a sign that people were starting to wake up, see the problems, and come together to work on solutions. Even better, he saw it as a way for the people who have recognized the growing issues in America, including Tea Party members and 9/12 Project members, to finally see some of their concerns being accepted by a larger, and at times unexpected, number of people.

“You have made such an impact by gathering together and being fans of this show and other shows and other things like this. You’re not dismissed anymore. We used to be a bunch of crazies. We’re not a bunch of crazies. We are a very powerful force and only getting stronger,” Glenn said.
3123  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / He ain't Spanish on: February 25, 2014, 05:22:27 PM
Another Soros type living like a king but dictating to the rest of us:

I know I am not the only Jew (20% of us) who have had enough of this crap.
3124  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / New codes delayed to 2016 on: February 25, 2014, 07:36:15 AM
AMA Calls For ICD-10 Delay

The costs to medical practices for implementing the International Classification of Diseases-10th Revision (ICD-10) coding system have been grossly underestimated, according to a recent study by Nachimson Advisors for the American Medical Association (AMA).

The association is calling for a delay in the October 1, 2014, ICD-10 go-live date in order to give practices more time to prepare for the financial and administrative requirements.

Small practices can expect to spend between $56,639 and $226,105 and medium-size practices can spend between $213,364 and $824,735 to implement ICD-10. Expected costs include up to $100,000 in payment disruption for small practices, and up to $166,000 in productivity losses for medium-size practices.

Large practices can expect to spend between $2 million and $8 million to implement the new coding system, according to the study. The study estimated that two-thirds of physicians will pay the upper range of cost estimates. In 2008, the AMA estimated that it would cost a small practice $83,290 to implement ICD-10.
“The markedly higher implementation costs for ICD-10 place a crushing burden on physicians, straining vital resources needed to invest in new health care delivery models and well-developed technology that promotes care coordination with real value to patients,” AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven, M.D. said in a press release. “Continuing to compel physicians to adopt this new coding structure threatens to disrupt innovations by diverting resources away from areas that are expected to help lower costs and improve the quality of care.”

The AMA sent a letter to the Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, outlining the hardships physicians are facing in implementing ICD-10. The letter calls for Medicare to offer “true end-to-end testing” of ICD-10 coding to ensure practices and payers will be able to communicate.

“While it will allow a physician to know whether his or her claim was received or not, it does not give any indication as to whether it will be paid, how much it will be paid, whether they have used the correct ICD-10 code, or whether Medicare believes more information is needed to adjudicate the claim,” James L. Madara, MD, AMA’s assistant director of federal affairs said in the letter. “To draw a simple analogy, this is like receiving a package on your doorstep that you can only view from your window. While it is helpful to know the package has arrived, you have no idea what is inside until you are able to open it.”

Other suggestions include expanding advance payment options and offering free Medicare billing software for practices facing financial hardships. The AMA also requests that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services allow for a two-year implementation period where miscoded claims are not denied, but are returned to physicians with feedback on how to correct them.

According to a February survey by the Medical Group Management Association, 79% of physicians report that they haven’t begun ICD-10 implementation, or were “somewhat ready.”

Thank you for everything - Brock.  angry
3125  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: February 22, 2014, 08:47:10 PM
Guzman's beauty queen wife went to LA to give birth to twins.  So now his kids are automatic US citizens.  This is just crazy.  Folks, the joke is on every law abiding American.  Why do we have to be so stupid?:,0,4274864.story#axzz2u6oqrlKK
3126  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media/celebrity/entertainment/politician/hollywood/wallstreet "complex" Issues on: February 22, 2014, 08:36:29 PM
Recently Mobama was criticized for the cost of her dress at the white house party for the French guy.  So now we see her in a dress with advertisements on its low cost and how anyone else who wants one can buy it.  Why does her outfits have to be topics for news reports?  What is she a walking marketing gig for fashion designers now?  I expect this stuff from Hollywood celebrities walking their endless awards ceremonies to themselves but of our First Lady?   

****Michelle Obama's Black Jumpsuit on The Tonight Show: Get the Look!

Us Weekly
February 21, 2014 11:20 AM

Michelle Obama's Black Jumpsuit on The Tonight Show: Get the Look!
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Michelle Obama's Black Jumpsuit on The Tonight Show: Get the Look!
FLOTUS really can do no fashion wrong.

For her latest appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Thursday, Feb. 20, Michelle Obama looked incredibly chic in a black jumpsuit. She accessorized the cowl-necked one-piece with a wide black belt with leather piping and black pointy-toed kitten heels.

PHOTOS: The Obama family -- just like Us!

If the first lady's look has you jumping for a jumpsuit, try the similarly styled Mango Draped Neckline Jumpsuit. At $89.99, the sleeveless jersey piece features an elastic waist and a flattering cowled neckline. Finish the FLOTUS-inspired styled with the Three-Strap Sash Belt from Mango ($14.99) and a black heels.

Michelle Obama's Black Jumpsuit on The Tonight …
First Lady Michelle Obama rocking a black jumpsuit during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on Feb …

Obama, 50, also showed off her comedy (and dance!) skills in the "Ew!" sketch with Fallon, 39, and Will Ferrell, both in drag. After a "triple hand hug," Sara (Fallon) says, "Wow, Michelle, you're pretty strong. You could totally be in the Olympics."

"Well, thank you, Sara. I do try to exercise every day," Obama replies.

"Really? Because I think exercise is ew," Sara says.

"Exercise is not ew. You just have to find an activity that is right for you. For example, I like to dance, play tennis, even do some push-ups," Obama explain. The group then breaks out into a dance party.

This article originally appeared on Michelle Obama's Black Jumpsuit on The Tonight Show: Get the Look!

3127  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism: on: February 22, 2014, 08:23:09 PM
Fox should hire her as a counterpoint to Piers Morgan.

She would trounce him.  Though that is not saying much from what I read about his ratings recently.

Maybe he will be cancelled. 
3128  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Future of the Republican Party on: February 22, 2014, 08:18:02 PM
I don't agree with this assessment of the Republican Party or where it should go, but this is the FIRST time I recall reading any Economist article that is [sort of] positive on the Republican Party.   Some of the proposals are again new versions of government programs but a few do streamline some things.
*****The Republicans

Hell, maybe

The “party of no” is offering some fresh ideas
 Feb 15th 2014  | WASHINGTON, DC | From the print edition

THE House passed a bill on February 11th to raise the debt ceiling (the legal limit to how much America may borrow) without conditions attached. The Senate followed suit the next day. With luck, this marks the end of congressional games of chicken over whether America will default on its debts and torpedo the world economy. It also made the Republican Party look less like a protest movement and more like a part of the government, which in fact it is.

Many Republicans are coming round to the view that they need to be more than “the party of no”. On February 10th Heritage Action, a ferocious conservative campaign group, held a day-long jamboree of policy ideas. Speaker after speaker talked about how important it was to put forward fresh proposals. The notion that policies formulated by Ronald Reagan may need some tweaking 40 years later has also gained ground. “To many Americans today, especially to the underprivileged and middle-class, or those who have come of age or immigrated since Reagan left office, the Republican Party may not seem to have much of a relevant reform message at all,” said Mike Lee, a senator from Utah, in a barely reported speech before Christmas.

Blocking schemes that come from the president or from the Senate, where Democrats have a majority, has an obvious appeal for a party whose unifying idea is that government is too big. “Hell no” may also prove to be a workable strategy in this year’s mid-term elections, which are likely to be low-turnout affairs that reward intensity of feeling. Moreover, recent examples of naysaying, such as the postponing of immigration reform and the refusal to extend unemployment benefits, suggest that the party is not ready to question many of its core beliefs. Yet some Republicans who represent purplish states or have national ambitions are doing just that.

Marco Rubio, a senator from Florida, has proposed rolling the federal government’s many anti-poverty programmes into a single fund, to be spent by states on plans of their own design. Paul Ryan, a congressman from Wisconsin, has made admiring noises about Britain’s universal credit, an attempt to simplify welfare payments and reduce the high effective marginal tax rates that claimants face when their earnings rise. At the moment the earned-income tax credit, a negative income tax that boosts the earnings of ill-paid parents, does little for the childless. Senator Rubio has also proposed a wage subsidy for low-paying jobs which, unlike the earned-income tax credit, would treat people with and without children equally.

John Thune, a senator from South Dakota, has proposed replacing the extension of unemployment insurance with a payroll tax holiday for companies that hire the long-term unemployed. He also favours a scheme to lend $10,000 to people in this category to help them to move somewhere where they can find a job. These ideas borrow from work by Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute, a think-tank, who suggests that the federal government act as an employer of last resort and hire people who have been out of the labour market for a long time.

If one thread runs through these ideas, it is this: that getting people back to work at a time of high unemployment may require more than just cuts to benefits, and that lower taxes and deregulation may not improve wages for low earners on their own. This willingness to interfere with markets extends to health-care policy, the area where there is most disagreement between Republicans and Democrats. Lanhee Chen of Stanford University reckons that the Obamacare fight has improved the quality of Republican counter-proposals, which now aim to cover pre-existing medical conditions, reduce costs and extend coverage—as Obamacare is meant to do.

The urge to say no to everything is still strong. A reminder of that came when the Senate Conservatives Fund, a campaign group which has spent $8m already in this electoral cycle, responded to the passage of the debt-ceiling bill in the House by announcing its intention to replace John Boehner, the most senior Republican in Congress, as Speaker. “Successful political movements”, says Senator Lee, “are about identifying converts, not heretics.” By that measure the Republicans still have some way to go. But at least the arguments the party is having with itself have become more adventurous.

From the print edition: United States
3129  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Health tourism on: February 22, 2014, 10:42:07 AM
Economist article explains why health "tourism" has not taken off as expected:
3130  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: February 21, 2014, 07:13:43 PM
"Changing the minds of 10% of any significant group is tidal wave in politics.  Just having two viewpoints represented and debated where there was only one,  would be a nation-changing breakthrough.  If you are black and you spend any time reading or listening to Thomas Sowell, Ben Carson, JC Watts, Clarence Thomas, Mia Love, Walter Williams, Hermann Cain, Alan West, Ken Blackwell, Larry Elder, Bill Cosby, Tony Dungy, and on and on, you would be hearing smart people speaking honestly from the brain and from the heart."

Thoughtful answer.  Mainstream Blacks do go after their right wing fellow Blacks with massive fury.  To White liberals the only people worse than Nazis are Conservative Republicans.  To Democrat Blacks it is Conservative Blacks.

3131  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: February 21, 2014, 07:14:18 AM
"The election of Roosevelt in 1932 marked the beginning of a change. He got 71 percent of the black vote for president in 1936 and did nearly that well in the next two elections, according to historical figures kept by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. But even then, the number of blacks identifying themselves as Republicans was about the same as the number who thought of themselves as Democrats.

It wasn’t until Harry Truman garnered 77 percent of the black vote in 1948 that a majority of blacks reported that they thought of themselves as Democrats. Earlier that year Truman had issued an order desegregating the armed services and an executive order setting up regulations against racial bias in federal employment."

What GM's Kevin Williamson argument demonstrates is that southern (white) Democrats did not jump to Republican for racial or racist reasons"

If it started during Roosevelt was it because of the New Deal?  Truman capturing the majority of the Black vote might be because of the two orders you note.

I would suspect that one big contributing factor to the switch would be that Blacks began to move north at least after WW2. 

So what was it?   Economic?  More social programs that benefitted poorer Blacks from the party of wealth redistribution?

I still don't understand.   It does sound like the 1964 Civil Rights Act was the coup degra (sp?) so to speak for the Republican Party.

"What GM's Kevin Williamson argument demonstrates is that southern (white) Democrats did not jump to Republican for racial or racist reasons."  OK so southerners maybe were more against big government than northerners.    Perhaps that is why they jumped from Dems to Reps.

I still don't quite get the history of Blacks flocking to the Democratic party.  Is it the Civil Rights OR (or and) Big government?  It must be both.

How do Reps convince Blacks they are being sold out now?  IF they think they have it tough now just wait till they have tens of millions from countries with far less opportunity than here who WILL work ten times harder and twice as long as them.

Yet they still cling to the reparations promise I guess.  I still say they shoot themselves in their feet.

ON radio there is talk of a big behinds the scene push for reparations.  This will keep the Blacks on board for another 200 years for sure or so it seems. 
3132  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: February 20, 2014, 12:38:35 PM
"violent crime continues to fall nationwide"

Of course.  The money is cyber crime.  A lot less risk.  Almost zero chance of getting caught and far less consequences even in the very rare case anyone does get caught.

Some criminals are far smarter than law enforcement.  OTOH, I do recognize that law enforcement hands are often tied and the same laws that protect us from law enforcement abuse also protect the crooks.

And it only takes a few corrupt law enforcement officials to ruin the ability of those who are with integrity to be successful.

Crime is rampant.  Period.
3133  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: February 20, 2014, 12:32:36 PM
It is being said Obama may be delaying push for immigration (amnesty) reform till after '14.  If true than isn't this a cynical comment on how pols abuse the intent of voting?

If it is not popular than delay it and not make it an issue till after an election and then when that is over ram it down the voters throats against their wills.

The disdain for wants and needs for Americans is so palpable. 
3134  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: February 19, 2014, 10:07:20 PM
while speaking of Jane goodall one must watch this video and as noted anyone who watches should bring their hanky along;

It is the window video in the third picture box 3 minutes long:

ba in the wild   
3135  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / One Chimp's "humanity" istothanks to the unending kindness from the monkey lady on: February 19, 2014, 09:54:00 PM
After releasing  a monkey who was nursed back to health by the great student of chimps, Jane Goodall, the monkey unmistakenly stops his excitement approaches her so she can hug and embrace and kiss her mentor before she moves on into the forest  to experience a hug and an embrace to
3136  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: February 19, 2014, 09:29:54 PM
Jane Goodall alarmed China plundering Africa, but admits destructive habits changing
(02-18 11:30)
China is exploiting Africa's resources just like European colonizers did, with disastrous effects for the environment, acclaimed primatologist Dr Jane Goodall told AFP.
 On the eve of her 80th birthday, the fiery British wildlife campaigner is traveling to world capitals lecturing on the threats to our planet.
 During the past decade China has been investing heavily in African natural resources, developing mines, oil wells and running related construction companies.
 Activists accuse Chinese companies of paying little attention to the environmental impact of their race for resources.
“In Africa, China is merely doing what the colonialist did. They want raw materials for their economic growth, just as the colonialists were going into Africa and taking the natural resources, leaving people poorer,'' she told AFP in an interview in Johannesburg in South Africa.
 The stakes for the environment may even be larger this time round, she warns.
“China is bigger, and the technology has improved... It is a disaster.''
 Other than massive investment in Africa's mines, China is also a big market for elephant tusks and rhino horn, which has driven poaching of these animals to alarming heights.
 But Goodall, who rose to fame through her ground-breaking research on chimpanzees in Tanzania, is optimistic.
“I do believe China is changing,'' she said, citing as one example Beijing's recent destruction of illegal ivory stockpiles.
“I think 10 years ago, even with international pressure, we would never have had an ivory crush. But they have,'' she added.
“I think 10 years ago the government would never have banned shark fin soup on official occasions. But they have.''
 Her organization Roots and Shoots, founded over two decades ago to instil conservation values in children, has also become involved in China.
“We work with hundreds of Chinese children, and they are not different from children we work with here. They all love nature, they love animals, they want to help, there's no difference because they're Chinese,'' she said.
 Young people's enthusiasm to change the world gives her hope.
“These young people will become the next parents, the next teachers, the next lawyers, the next business people and the next politicians, some of them.''
“The biggest problem is that people understand but don't know what to do,'' she said.
“If you have one thousand, one million or eventually several million people all making the right choice, all thinking about the consequence of their behavior, then we're going to see big change.''
 Another glimmer of hope is “this amazing resilience of nature,'' she continued, citing as an example the China's Loess Plateau on the Yellow River bouncing back after massive soil erosion.
“It was set to be the biggest totally destroyed ecosystem in the world,'' she said.
 A US$400-million project funded by the Chinese government and international donors introduced better farming methods in the area, which greatly reduced erosion and lifted 2.5 million people out of poverty, according to the World Bank.
“That took a lot of money, but if you look at it now, it's all green, lush and farmland, and children have come back from the cities. It's even got a whole area for wildlife,'' said Goodall.
“We still have a small window of time to change things.''











3137  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: February 19, 2014, 09:01:28 PM
Thanks Doug.  I was only seven yrs old at the time so I don't remember any of this or would I have cared in those days.

Do I understand it correct though that it was LBJs pushing through the Civil Rights Act that caused this "sea change" in Black Americans party affiliation from republican to democrat?

I am not comfortable with leaving the particulars of Civil Rights for Minorities for State's  to decide when we know in many states they were de facto second class citizens.  This is the precise Southern argument that the entire Civil War was about state's rights and not Slavery.  Sorry I don't buy it. 
That is a ruse and a cop out and a cynical ploy in my opinion.   Most of us Northerners don't buy into this.
I side with Black Americans on this.   

That said, I don't know why they Blacks persist in supporting a party that keeps them dependent and has in reality  done more to damage their families, self esteem, etc...
3138  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: February 19, 2014, 08:47:12 PM
Some time ago I suggested the way forward for the Republican party is not just to scream smaller government but to scream smaller government that is with the same fairness to all.  We all know it is a rich man's world as put so apply by Dick Morris the other day.  But to not even acknowledge the reality of this is in my humble opinion why Republicans can only hope to win by default.  I know others on the board don't agree with me on this.  

It seems to me this article By Noonan speaks in the same vein I speak though from a different angle.   I like something Crafty said about getting rid of the extravagant overwhelming regulation that only rich people can navigate as one way to speak to making the road straighter for all.  We all abide by the same rules. 

In any case Peggy here is seems to be discussing this phenomenon without differentiating between party lines.  Both sides are amongst the "elite".  And all are decadent:

*****Peggy Noonan's Blog
Daily declarations from the Wall Street Journal columnist.
 Search Peggy Noonan's Blog1   . February 18, 2014, 7:58 PM.

Our Decadent Elites.

Watching Season 2 of “House of Cards.” Not to be a scold or humorless, but do Washington politicians understand how they make themselves look when they embrace the show and become part of its promotion by spouting its famous lines? Congressmen only work three days a week. Each shot must have taken two hours or so—the setup, the crew, the rehearsal, the learning the line. How do they have time for that? Why do they think it’s good for them?

“House of Cards” very famously does nothing to enhance Washington’s reputation. It reinforces the idea that the capital has no room for clean people. The earnest, the diligent, the idealistic, they have no place there. Why would powerful members of Congress align themselves with this message? Why do they become part of it? I guess they think they’re showing they’re in on the joke and hip to the culture. I guess they think they’re impressing people with their surprising groovelocity.

Or maybe they’re just stupid.

But it’s all vaguely decadent, no? Or maybe not vaguely. America sees Washington as the capital of vacant, empty souls, chattering among the pillars. Suggesting this perception is valid is helpful in what way?

I don’t understand why members of Congress, the White House and the media become cooperators in videos that sort of show that deep down they all see themselves as . . . actors. And good ones! In a phony drama. Meant I suppose to fool the rubes.

It’s all supposed to be amusing, supposed to show you’re an insider who sees right through this town. But I’m not sure it shows that.

We’re at a funny point in our political culture. To have judgment is to be an elitist. To have dignity is to be yesterday. To have standards is to be a hypocrite—you won’t always meet standards even when they’re your own, so why have them?

* * *
I wonder if the titans of Wall Street understand how they look in this.

At least they tried to keep it secret. That was good of them!

They are America’s putative great business leaders. They are laughing, singing, drinking, posing in drag and acting out skits. The skits make fun of their greed and cynicism. In doing this they declare and make clear, just in case you had any doubts, that they are greedy and cynical.

All of this is supposed to be merry, high-jinksy, unpretentious, wickedly self-spoofing. But it seems more self-exposing, doesn’t it?

And all of it feels so decadent.

No one wants to be the earnest outsider now, no one wants to play the sober steward, no one wants to be the grind, the guy carrying around a cross of dignity. No one wants to be accused of being staid. No one wants to say, “This isn’t good for the country, and it isn’t good for our profession.”

And it is all about the behavior of our elites, our upper classes, which we define now in a practical sense as those who are successful, affluent and powerful. This group not only includes but is almost limited to our political class, Wall Street, and the media, from Hollywood to the news divisions.

They’re all kind of running America.

They all seem increasingly decadent.

What are the implications of this, do you think?

They’re making their videos, holding their parties and having a ball. OK. But imagine you’re a Citizen at Home just grinding through—trying to do it all, the job, the parenthood, the mowing the lawn and paying the taxes. No glamour, all responsibility and effort. And you see these little clips on the Net where the wealthy sing about how great taxpayer bailouts are and you feel like . . . they’re laughing at you.

What happens to a nation whose elites laugh at its citizens?

What happens to its elites?****
3139  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America on: February 19, 2014, 09:46:04 AM
No surprise:   $24 admission fee.  That is New York.  It costs that much just to drive into NY from NJ to pay toll/ union/ Democrat party fees.
3140  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Another history lesson on: February 19, 2014, 08:48:49 AM
From Jonah G 2008:

LBJohnson was right.  The Blacks (he reportedly used the N word) would vote for the crats for the next 200 years:
3141  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / civil rights - on: February 19, 2014, 08:13:50 AM
Barry Goldwater made a huge mistake that leads to this -

""""History: Democrats & Republicans On Civil Rights & Equality

There is an awful lot of misinformation and untruth out there about the legacy of the two major political parties and the civil rights movement. Conservatives often like to use slight of hand, insisting that because the early Republican party was stronger in support of civil rights, this means that conservatives have the moral high ground. This is totally untrue.

Republicans – Moderate and Liberal Republicans supported civil rights. The Republicans who supported civil rights in America were not conservatives of the same ilk as George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. They were liberals and moderates, people like former Rhode Island senator Lincoln Chaffee and former senator governor Nelson Rockefeller.

Conservative Democrats opposed civil rights. The Democrats opposed to the civil rights movement weren’t Democrats with the center-left ideology of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. They were, in fact, conservatives – especially from the south – with far more in common with Limbaugh, Beck, etc. than any modern mainstream Democrat. When people say that someone like notorious segregationist Bull Connor was a Democrat, they are technically right on the party label, but when it comes to ideology Connor and the rest of those opposed to racial integration were conservatives.

Conservatives opposed civil rights. At the time of the civil rights movement, outside of the parties, conservatives were opposed to the civil rights movement. Barry Goldwater, a conservative whose brand of politics would soon take over the Republicans in the guise of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, opposed civil rights law. He claimed that he viewed it as a states rights issue, and actually favored equal rights, but the practical effect of his stance would be to allow segregation – in the south “states rights” meant “Jim Crow.” The conservative intellectual movement – William F. Buckley’s National Review, for instance, opposed what they viewed as law-breaking protests by Dr. Martin Luther King.

Democrats moved left on civil rights, in favor. Over time the Democrats moved to the left on civil rights, meaning they moved with other liberals in favor of them. Southern, conservative

Democrats opposed civil rights and the laws were passed by liberal/moderate Republicans and liberal/moderate Democrats. The Civil Rights Act was signed into law by Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat.

Conservative Democrats left the party in opposition to civil rights and became Republicans. After the Civil Rights law was signed into law, conservative Democrats left the party. Strom Thurmond, who ran as a segregationist in 1948, became a Republican, as did Jesse Helms (who went on to filibuster against making Martin Luther King Jr. day a federal holiday).

Republicans used racial resentment for elections, while Democrats became more racially inclusive. As the Republican party became more ideologically conservative in the post-Goldwater era, they increasingly used racially divisive politics for electoral gain. The GOP employed what is now known as “the southern stategy” (acknowledged by GOP party chairmen Ken Mehlman and Michael Steele in the last decade) to demonize blacks and other minorities while also riling up the white, male conservative base that forms the party now. Examples include the Willie Horton ad used by Bush Sr. allies vs Michael Dukakis, the “hands” ad used by Jesse Helms, and the nonstop racebaiting versus President Obama from conservative outlets like Fox News and talk radio.

At the same time, the Democratic party became more and more racially inclusive. After civil rights passed, and the GOP became more conservative and increased racial demagoguery, black and other minority voters became Democrats. Every black member of the House of Representatives is a Democrat, and every black senator since 1979 has been a Democrat. The first black president, is of course, Barack Obama – a Democrat.

The parties have changed but the ideology hasn’t. The attempt to co-opt liberal support of civil rights has been a consistent campaign of the right, despite their predecessor’s opposition to the concept. The attempt to say that liberal Republicans of the past are the same as conservative Republicans of today, is just a terrible lie. Conservatives often try to say people like Martin Luther King Jr. would be conservatives. This is entirely untrue. In the last years of his life, Dr. King ran what he called “The Poor People’s Campaign,” and his beliefs would largely be to the left of where the modern Democratic party is, let alone the Republicans.

The Democrats moved away from the conservative position against racial inclusion, while the right moved the other way and has only recently somewhat acknowledged the moral folly of its past. Conservatives opposed civil rights, while liberals favored them. Both ideologies have inhabited majorities in both parties, but the ideological support or opposition to civil rights and equality has largely remained the same.

LBJ - Civil Rights
3142  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: February 18, 2014, 05:27:58 PM
Doug wrote:
"Why aren't we more careful to manage our own economy when we know the consequences of mis-management are so real?"
GM asked:
Who is this "we" you are speaking of?
I respond:
3143  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: February 17, 2014, 08:01:58 AM
Got love it.  Coming from a Columbia economist.   I don't which is worse - Princeton or Columbia.

"Yes, the U.S. has structural problems with its welfare programs, its income distribution is unacceptably skewed and its birth rates are falling. But all that is widely known and is part of a lively public policy debate. Therefore, I see no point of harping on these issues just to find something to be down on the U.S. economy."

If the economy is so good how about a tax break for those of us who are paying all your cronies bills:

******Stop whining! The US economy is in good shape
 Published: Sunday, 16 Feb 2014 | 8:36 PM ET
By: Michael Ivanovitch   | President, MSI Global

While operating more than an entire percentage point below its potential growth rate, the U.S. economy still raised its business sector employment by nearly 2 million people over the last twelve months.

That is a remarkable achievement because companies usually don't step up hiring until a sustained increase in capacity pressures them to start adding to their labor force.

(Read more: Wicked winter puts big chill on job creation)

And no other economy contributed last year 4.1 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) to the rest of the world. Those in the emerging markets, who are now complaining about declining dollar liquidity, may also wish to note that the U.S. last year bought from them $515 billion more than it sold to them.

Based on current growth dynamics, this year promises an even better outlook for employment creation and America's contribution to the world economy.

Play Video

Positive on US economy: Julius Baer

Mark Matthews, Head of Research Asia, Bank Julius Baer, explains why he thinks the U.S. economy is seeing recovery and will continue to improve with the Fed's tapering.

The most recent evidence from survey data indicates that the U.S. service sector (approximately 90 percent of the economy) continues to expand in a steady and sustained fashion. Despite recent distortions caused by bad weather, the same is true of the manufacturing industries, where the capacity utilization rate is approaching its long-term average of 80 percent.

The U.S. economy is underpinned by growing real incomes, increasing employment, record-low borrowing costs and an easing access to credit facilities as banks continue to open up their channels of consumer financing.

Balanced policy mix

All these developments are taking place in the context of an appropriately supportive policy mix, where the tightening fiscal policy is offset by an expansionary credit stance.

(Read more: Economy takes $50B winter weather hit: CNBC survey)

That policy configuration has allowed the U.S. to achieve a relatively fast and substantial fiscal consolidation in an environment of a growing economy. Indeed, this year's budget deficit is expected to come in at 3 percent of GDP and to decline 24 percent from the previous fiscal year – a feast that euro area austerity advocates can only dream about.

The Treasury's declining borrowing requirements are making it possible for the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) not only to safely scale back its monthly asset purchases, but also to maintain its highly accommodative policy stance to compensate for the falling public sector outlays.

Here are some numbers to illustrate the point: in the course of December and January, the Fed's balance sheet expanded by a monthly average of only $22 billion – a huge drop from a monthly average of $98.8 billion in the previous two months.

(Read more: US economy may be stuck in slow lane for long run)

The Fed did that without creating any adverse effects in bond and mortgage markets. Last Friday, for example, the yield on the benchmark ten-year Treasury note traded at 2.74 percent, compared with 2.84 percent in the early December of last year. Mortgage costs followed the same pattern.

The rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.32 percent last Friday, down from 4.41 percent a month ago and 4.46 percent in December.

This is encouraging, and we may soon begin to see a gradual shrinking of the Fed's $3.7 trillion balance sheet. The Fed will, however, maintain its easy credit stance as long as the inflation pressures are kept at bay by the prevailing slack in labor and product markets.

Play Video

Expect US to grow close to 4% this year: Joel Stern

Joel Stern, Chairman & CEO, Stern Value Management, expects real U.S. GDP to grow between 3.7 and 4.2 percent this year

Plenty of room for noninflationary growth

At the moment, there are no reasons to worry about rising inflation expectations. Unit labor costs in the fourth quarter declined 1.6 percent from the year earlier as a result of strong productivity gains and weak wage increases. For last year as a whole, unit labor costs rose only 0.8 percent.

More of the same can be expected in the months ahead because, even under conditions of modest economic activity, a slow take up of the labor market slack will lead to productivity growth that will offset most of the underlying wage gains of about 2 percent.

The Fed's recent statements show that they are well aware of that. The U.S. monetary authorities are not fooled by a surprisingly fast decline of the unemployment rate. They know that the actual jobless rate last month was double the officially reported rate of 6.6 percent – if one adds to the unemployment rolls involuntary part-time workers and people marginally attached to the labor force.

The Treasury and the Fed are also turning their attention to the external demand for American goods and services.

(Read more: Janet Yellen is NOT Ben Bernanke)

Worrying about one-fifth of U.S. exports that go to Europe, Washington wants to see more supportive economic policies in the recession-ridden euro area. The focus is now on Germany, which is seen as holding back the euro zone growth with its staggering current account surplus of 7 percent of GDP.

The U.S. has less of a case against China. The Chinese current account surplus is below 2 percent of GDP, growth is increasingly led by domestic demand, China's imports are growing at a rate of 10 percent or more, and the yuan's exchange rate is being forced up by capital inflows Beijing finds increasingly difficult to control.

All this will be part of the next meeting of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Sydney, Australia on February 20-22, 2014.

Based on this analysis, I remain optimistic about the U.S. economic outlook.

(Read more: Bad jobs reports won't change tapering: Yellen)

Yes, the U.S. has structural problems with its welfare programs, its income distribution is unacceptably skewed and its birth rates are falling. But all that is widely known and is part of a lively public policy debate. Therefore, I see no point of harping on these issues just to find something to be down on the U.S. economy.

My investment strategy conclusions also remain largely unchanged. I like U.S. equities, but I don't like bonds. I am more positive about gold, because I believe that geopolitical instabilities, strengthening growth in developed economies, and some central banks' asset diversifications will support gold prices.

Michael Ivanovitch is president of MSI Global, a New York-based economic research company. He also served as a senior economist at the OECD in Paris, international economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and taught economics at Columbia. *****
3144  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Liberalism really is a disease on: February 17, 2014, 07:45:33 AM
They just have to find some sort of cause no matter how ridiculous.  Maybe she wants some sort of entertainment contract from one of the gay Hollywood people:

****Chelsea Clinton says gay rights have made progress

AP  2/16/2014 11:24:57 PM
Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton said Sunday that the gay-rights cause made "incredible progress" on political and legal fronts in 2013, but progress should not be mistaken for success.

Clinton called lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues "the unfinished business of the 21st century" in an address at a national conference in Las Vegas where actress Ellen Page came out as gay days earlier in an emotional speech that's stirred a social media outpouring.

Clinton urged a crowd of 600 professionals who work with children to become more sensitive to the needs of LGBT youth, saying the deck is stacked against them because of bullying, rejection and other harassment.

"I've often been asked why issues of equality are so important to me. Frankly, I don't know why they ask that question," Clinton said. "This is about the premise and promise of our country. (It's) always marching forward to a more perfect union. I was raised in a family where inertia is not an option."

The Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign Foundation's inaugural conference, which was designed to promote the safety and welfare of LGBT youth, honored Magic Johnson and his wife, Cookie, former 'N Sync singer Lance Bass and writer Robin McHaelen for their support of gay rights.

The Johnsons' son, E.J., who accepted the award on their behalf, praised his parents for giving him unconditional love after he revealed that he was gay.

During the three-day conference that ended Sunday, Betty DeGeneres, mother of Ellen DeGeneres, stressed the importance of parents in giving support to LGBT children, and Candace Gingrich, the openly gay half-sister of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, served as a moderator for a panel discussion about LGBT youth issues.

On Friday, Page, 26, whose role as a pregnant teenager in the 2007 film "Juno" won the hearts of moviegoers and earned her an Oscar nomination, came out as gay at the conference, saying, "I feel a personal obligation and social responsibility" and that she was "tired of lying by omission."

Clinton praised both Page and Jason Collins, the NBA player who announced he was gay after last season.

"Now others have followed his (Collins') courageous example, and I hope later on this year, we'll be cheering for the first openly gay player in the NFL," Clinton said, referring to Missouri All-American Michael Sam, who came out this month.

She noted how 17 states and Washington, D.C., recognize same-sex marriage and how the U.S. Justice Department recently instructed all of its employees to give lawful same-sex marriages sweeping equal protection under the law in every program it administers.

"With all the incredible progress we had in 2013, it's easy to think progress marks success," she said. "We certainly shouldn't take anything away from the historic victories in 2013 ... But we should not mistake progress for success. We need to continue to push for progress in communities, states and the country."

The conference, which was held in partnership with the National Education Association and American Counseling Association, drew teachers, counselors, coaches, social workers, health professionals and others who work with children.

A report issued in conjunction with the conference focused on youth who identify themselves as transgender or express their gender in nonconventional ways. It found that such youth feel even more marginalized and challenged at school and require more attention, said Ellen Kahn of the Human Rights Campaign.****
3145  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Chris Christie on: February 16, 2014, 10:23:29 AM
Remember when Ann Coulter was his greatest cheerleader?   How times have changed: 


Ann Coulter
By Ann Coulter February 5, 2014 6:31 PM

New Jersey governor Chris Christie deserves to be defended.

The gravamen of the media's case against Christie on Bridgegate seems to be that he is a "bully" -- which I painstakingly gleaned from the fact that the governor is called a "bully" 1 million times a night on MSNBC and in hundreds of blog postings and New York Times reports.

Christie is not a bully. If anything, he's a pansy, a man terrified of the liberal media, of Wall Street, of Silicon Valley, of Obama, of Bruce Springsteen, of Mark Zuckerberg, of Chuck Schumer. It's a good bet he's afraid of his own shadow. (In fairness, his shadow is probably pretty big and scary.) About the only thing Christie doesn't seem afraid of is the buffet at Sizzler.

Even Christie's defenders call him a bully, but in an admiring way. Fox News' Bill O'Reilly recently said of the governor: "One reason Mitt Romney lost to President Obama was that Governor Romney is too much of a gentleman. He apparently did not have the 'fire in the belly' to deliver a knockout blow. But Christie does and is therefore a threat to the Democratic Party."

O'Reilly thinks Christie would have gotten in Obama's face? (I mean other than for a quick make-out session with Obama during Hurricane Sandy?)

By sheer coincidence, that was Christie's job at the 2012 Republican National Convention. As the keynote speaker, it was his assignment to "deliver a knockout blow" to Obama.

Let's see how he did.

In Christie's entire gaseous convention speech, he talked about New Jersey (ad nauseam), his parents, his kids, his upbringing, every tedious detail of his tedious life -- "I coached our sons Andrew and Patrick on the fields of Mendham, and ... I watched with pride as our daughters Sarah and Bridget marched with their soccer teams in the Labor Day parade."

Just before I dozed off, I seem to remember Christie sharing his seven-layer dip recipe.

The guy whose role it was to attack the president mentioned Obama exactly one time. Once. And even then, not by name.

Here is Christie the Lion-Hearted taking the fight to Obama: "You see, Mr. President, real leaders do not follow polls. Real leaders change polls."

And that's how Christie bravely threw down the gauntlet to Obama on Benghazi, on Obamacare, on skyrocketing unemployment, on crony capitalism, on astronomical government spending and so on. He said: "Real leaders do not follow polls."

Accusing a politician of following polls is the biggest cliche in politics after "He's dividing us!" In Obama's case, it isn't even true. Would that he followed polls! If he did, we never would have gotten Obamacare.

Of course, there wasn't much time for Christie to talk about Obama, because the main theme of his convention speech was: Chris Christie, Augustus Corpulus.

He said "I" 37 times and "me" eight times, breaking Kim Kardashian's old record for a single tweet. He only mentioned our actual nominee (Mitt Romney) seven times -- in order to tell us how we were all going to have to sacrifice and make hard choices, and Romney was just the man to tell America the bad news and make us all suffer.

I suppose Christie considered it more than sufficient to announce that he, personally, supported Romney: "If you're willing to fight with me for Mitt Romney, I will fight with you."

He -- Chris Christie! -- supported Romney. What more could voters want?

It was as if Christie had sent his speech to MSNBC for pre-approval.

And it's not just one godawful speech. Christie's daily checklist appears to consist of two items: (1) Suck up to liberals. (2) Ask waiter for more bread.

After a 30-minute conversation with Sen. Chuck Schumer last fall, Christie capitulated to the Democrats' need for 30 million more voters by directing his temporary Senate appointee to vote for the Schumer-Rubio amnesty bill. Schumer considered Christie so impotent that he immediately leaked the news that he had buffaloed Christie on amnesty in a single phone call.

The people amnesty helps are Democrats, who get multiple millions of new voters, and the soulless rich, who don't care about the country and don't care about the culture. They just want cheap labor.

Instead of standing up for the long-suffering middle class that is the backbone of the Republican Party -- much less the lower class lionized in so many Bruce Springsteen songs -- Christie sided with Silicon Valley billionaires and Wall Streeters on their servant problem, while also helping Democrats with their demographic problem.

A few months later, Christie doubled down on amnesty by granting in-state tuition to illegal aliens.

There isn't a wall high enough to stop illegal immigrants from sneaking across the border when the reward waiting on the other side is free health care, jobs, driver's licenses and college tuition subsidized by American taxpayers.

But at least Christie no longer has to lie awake at night wondering if Mark Zuckerberg will be his friend.

True, Christie yelled at a few public school teachers, but they richly deserved it.

Taking a page from John McCain, the main targets of Christie's wrath are his fellow Republicans. This has won him the respect of his most crucial constituency, liberal journalists, who have been precisely as loyal to him as they were to McCain.

If Christie looks guilty in Bridgegate, it's not because he's a "bully." It's because he believes lawbreaking is no big deal. Maybe he's hoping his BFF Obama will grant him amnesty.


3146  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trend of deportation is down not up on: February 16, 2014, 10:06:56 AM
Look closely at the graph showing levels of deportation.  The numbers rose for many years UNTIL 2008 or so.  Then they level off.  There is a slight uptick in 2012 just before the election (presumably so he can jaunt around claiming how he is defending the borders) then it starts to decline.  The trend is down not up since he is in office.  First time in decades.
3147  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / from the glibness thread on: February 15, 2014, 03:40:18 PM
No he is not a radical in sheep's clothing.  rolleyes  Just political grandstanding by right wing nuts.  (heavy on the sarcasm)
And we keep hearing what a nice guy he is.  If I hear O'Reilly say one more time he doesn't doubt Obama's good intentions..... rolleyes
I keep thinking how is someone who is a serial liar, serial deceiver, bully,  a nice guy.  Oh but he cares about the po' is always the response.  It is his goals that matter not how he gets there.  

****The Soul of the Obama Administration

Mona Charen
By Mona Charen February 14, 2014 3:00 AM
Few have ever heard the name Debo Adegbile. He's President Barack Obama's nominee to head the civil rights division of the Justice Department.

A few months ago, his nomination would have been a non-starter — there is more than a whiff of radicalism in his past. But we are in a new world. Sen. Harry Reid is now absolute monarch of the Senate. Republicans are largely irrelevant. They cannot offer amendments to legislation. They cannot filibuster. I suppose they can write letters to the editor, and march outside the chamber wearing sandwich boards.

Before the Reid invocation of the "nuclear option" eliminating the filibuster, Adegbile would have been considered too controversial. But now, the administration can have its head on nominations.

Adegbile is a passionate advocate for racial quotas in hiring and university admissions, and also urges that employers not be permitted to do background checks on potential hires — presumably because more African-Americans have criminal records than other applicants.


He has encouraged the president to nominate judges who recognize that "ratified treaties" are the law of land. Well, no argument there, but he goes further. Adegbile wants judges who will decree that "customary international law" is the law of the United States as well, asking for God only knows what mischief. Who would decide what "customary international law" is? By what authority would it be imposed on Americans? Investor's Business Daily reports that Adegbile supports George Soros's campaign to create a new "progressive" constitution. If that doesn't make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, you're not paying attention.

It was Adegbile's role in the case of convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal that incurred the wrath of Justice Department employees though. The union representing FBI agents, which rarely expresses itself on nominations, along with the Fraternal Order of Police and other law enforcement groups, have written to Attorney General Eric Holder to protest Adegbile's nomination. Carl Rowan Jr., a former deputy U.S. marshal, FBI special agent and chief of police, wrote: "He isn't the first questionable nomination made by a president who ... seems drawn to those with radical backgrounds, but this one is an open slap in the face to everyone in law enforcement."

Abu-Jamal has long been a poster boy for the radical left in America. His fine speaking voice (he had been a radio host), long dreadlocks, Muslim moniker (he was born Wesley Cook), radical memberships (in the Black Panthers and black liberation group MOVE), and admiration of Mao Zedong made him irresistible to the Ed Asners, Jonathan Kozolses, National Lawyers Guilds, Michael Moores and NPRs of the world. But until this administration, most mainstream liberals would have steered clear.

Adegbile revealed a great deal about himself by choosing to have the NAACP Legal Defense Fund join the campaign to defend Abu-Jamal. There are many miscarriages of justice that cry out for redress, but Abu-Jamal's 1981 conviction for killing 25-year-old Philadelphia policeman Daniel Faulkner is one of the most litigated in American jurisprudence. The verdict was reviewed or allowed to stand by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court, among others, over the course of more than 30 years.

On Dec. 9, 1981, at about 4 a.m., Faulkner pulled over a driver named William Cook (Abu-Jamal's brother) for driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Cook threw a punch at Faulkner, who then hit Cook with his flashlight. At that point, four eyewitnesses said that Abu-Jamal, who had been across the street, fired at Faulkner hitting him in the back. Though wounded, Faulkner fired back at Abu-Jamal, hitting him in the chest, before falling onto his back. Abu-Jamal approached the wounded officer and holding his gun 18 inches in front of Faulkner's face, fired the shots that killed him.

Ballistics confirmed that the bullets that killed Faulkner were from Abu-Jamal's gun, found with him at the scene.

Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death, but decades of litigation and agitation on his behalf delayed the sentence. He has claimed ineffective assistance of counsel (though at one point he represented himself), racism by the judge, racism in jury selection — the usual gamut. In 2011, prosecutors announced that they would no longer pursue the death penalty.

Every defendant deserves a defense, of course. But Abu-Jamal has had a celebrity lineup of lefty lawyers. That Adegbile wanted to join their ranks is a sign of his sympathies. That Obama believes Adegbile can get confirmed by the neutered Senate is a sign of the times.

To find out more about Mona Charen and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at


3148  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: February 15, 2014, 03:37:17 PM
Well I was mad when I read about the Olympic medal tax.  I thought just another example of government ripping off people.   But now I am more mad @ the response.  The "notion" [using the bamster's favorite word] that suddenly Olympians should not have to pay what most everyone else has to pay is illogical, unfair and again manipulating tax codes for political gain.

And for the records.  Olympians aren't going to the Olympics to represent the US.  Maybe is was that way 100 years ago.  Now they all go to cash in.  Nothing wrong with that.  But why cannot I not make a stock gain without being ripped off.  Why do I have to pay taxes on everything?   

This whole thing wherein politicians pick and choose who pays and who doesn't and how much has got to go.

****February 13, 2014, 04:29 pm
WH: Don't tax Olympians on medals
 By Justin Sink

The White House said Thursday that President Obama still believes American Olympians shouldn’t have to pay income taxes on the medals they win.

“The president believes we should support efforts to ensure that we’re doing everything we can to honor and support our Olympic athletes who have volunteered to represent our nation at the Olympic Games,” White House spokesman Bobby Whithorne told Yahoo News. “We still support this effort.”

During the 2012 presidential campaign, the White House said those who medaled in the summer games should be exempt from taxes on their winnings.
“If it were to get to his desk, he would support it," White House press secretary Jay Carney said of proposed legislation.

But a bill by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) never moved in the Senate.

"Our tax code is a complicated and burdensome mess that too often punishes success, and the tax imposed on Olympic medal winners is a classic example of this madness," Rubio said in 2012. "Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn't have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back home."

U.S. athletes are paid cash prizes when they place in Olympic events: $25,000 for a gold, $15,000 for a silver and $10,000 for a bronze.

How much athletes pay back to Uncle Sam will depends largely on what other income they report for the year. But according to an analysis by the anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform, gold-medal winners in the top tax bracket could see nearly $10,000 of their $25,000 winnings taken by the government.

Even athletes in the lowest tax bracket could fork over as much as $2,500 on a gold medal prize, $1,500 on a silver and $1,000 for a bronze.

Three Republican lawmakers — Reps. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), Walter Jones (R-N.C.) and Pete Sessions (R-Texas) — proposed a bill similar to Rubio's before this year's games, but it has also failed to gain traction.

Read more:
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3149  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Fed's market manipulation on: February 15, 2014, 11:02:43 AM
***From what we have seen–the fixing of the LIBOR rate, the London gold price, foreign exchange rates, the price of bonds and the manipulation of gold and stock market futures prices–we don’t know what the limit is to the ability of the Fed, the Treasury, the Plunge Protection Team, the Exchange Stabilization Fund, and the banks to manipulate the markets.***

Has this ever been the case in American history where in a Fed can control the markets like they are doing?

*****Free Report - Financial Markets 2014

 Financial, Gold, Stocks Markets Manipulation's Becoming More Extreme, More Desperate
Stock-Markets / Market Manipulation Feb 09, 2014 - 02:07 PM GMT
By: Paul_Craig_Roberts

In two recent articles we explained the hows and whys of gold price manipulation. The manipulations are becoming more and more blatant. On February 6 the prices of gold and stock market futures were simultaneously manipulated.

 On several recent occasions gold has attempted to push through the $1,270 per ounce price. If the gold price rises beyond this level, it would trigger a flood of short-covering by the hedge funds who are “piggy-backing” on the bullion banks’ manipulation of gold. The purchases by the hedge funds in order to cover their short positions would drive the gold price higher.

With pressure being exerted by tight supplies of physical gold bars available for delivery to China, the Fed is growing more desperate to keep a lid on the price of gold. The recent large decline in the stock market threatened the Fed’s policy of taking pressure off the dollar by cutting back bond purchases and reducing the amount of debt monetization.

 Thursday, February 6, provided a clear picture of how the Fed protects its policy by manipulating the gold and stock markets. Gold started to move higher the night before as the Asian markets opened for trading. Gold rose steadily from $1254 up to a high of $1267 per ounce right after the Comex opened (8:20 a.m. NY time). The spike up at the open of the Comex reflected a rush of short-covering, and the stock market futures looked like they were about to turn negative on the day. However, starting at 8:50 a.m., here’s what happened with Comex futures and S&P 500 stock futures:

At 8:50 a.m. NY time (the graph time-scale is Denver time), 3,225 contracts hit the Comex floor. During the course of the previous 14 hours and 50 minutes of trading, about 76,000 total April contracts had traded (Globex computer system + Comex floor), less than an average of 85 contracts per minute. The 3,225 futures contracts sold in one minute caused a $15 dollar decline in the price of gold. At the same time, the stock market futures mysteriously spiked higher:

As you can see from the graphs, gold was forced lower while the stock market futures were forced higher. There was no apparent news or market events that would have triggered this type of reaction in either the gold or stock market. If anything, the trade deficit report, which showed a higher than expected trade deficit for December, should have been mildly bullish for gold and bearish for the stock market. Furthermore, at the same time that gold was being forced lower on the Comex, the U.S. dollar index experienced a sharp drop in price and traded below the 81 level of support. The fall in the dollar is normally bullish for gold.

The economy is getting weaker. Fed policy is obviously failing despite recent official pronouncements that the economy is improving and that Bernanke’s monetary policies succeeded. A just published study by Jing Cynthia Wu and Fan Dora Zia concludes that the the positive impact of the Federal Reserve’s policy of quantitative easing is so slight as to be insignificant. The multi-trillion dollar expansion in the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet lowered the unemployment rate by little more than two-tenths of one percent, raised the industrial production index by 2 percent, and brought about a mere 34,000 housing starts. [3]

The renewal of the battle over the debt ceiling limit is bullish for gold and bearish for stocks. However, with the ongoing manipulation of the gold price and stock averages via gold and stock market futures, the normal workings of markets that establish true values are disrupted.

A rising problem for the manipulators is that the West is running low on gold available for delivery to China and other Asian buyers. In January China took delivery of a record amount of gold. China has been closed since last Friday in observance of the Chinese New Year. As China resumes purchases, default on delivery moves closer.

One way for the Fed and bullion banks to hold off defaulting on Chinese purchases is to coerce holders of gold futures contracts to settle in cash, not in delivery of gold, by driving down the price during heavy Comex delivery periods. This is what likely occurred on Feb. 6 in addition to the Fed’s routine price maintenance of gold.

As of Thurday’s (Feb. 6) Comex report for Wednesday’s (Feb. 5) close, there were about 616,000 ounces of gold available to be delivered from Comex vaults for February contracts totaling slightly more than 400,000 ounces, of which delivery notices for 100,000 ounces were given last Wednesday night. If the holders of the other 300,000 contracts opt to take delivery instead of cash settlement, February contracts would absorb two-thirds of Comex gold available for delivery.

The Comex gold inventory has been a big source of gold shipments from the West to the East, resulting in a decline of the Comex gold inventory by over 4 million ounces–113 tonnes–during the course of 2013. We know from reports from Swiss bar refiners that the 100 ounce Comex gold bars are being received by these refiners and recast into the kilo bars that the Chinese prefer and shipped to Hong Kong. With the amount of physical gold in Comex vaults rapidly being removed, the Fed/bullion banks use market ambush tactics such as those we describe above to augment and conserve the supply of gold available for delivery.

Readers have asked if gold can continue to be shorted on the Comex once no gold is left for delivery. From what we have seen–the fixing of the LIBOR rate, the London gold price, foreign exchange rates, the price of bonds and the manipulation of gold and stock market futures prices–we don’t know what the limit is to the ability of the Fed, the Treasury, the Plunge Protection Team, the Exchange Stabilization Fund, and the banks to manipulate the markets.

Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts [ email him ] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan's first term.  He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal .  He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington ; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy , and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice . Click here for Peter Brimelow's Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.

© 2013 Copyright Paul Craig Roberts - All Rights Reserved
 Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2014 - The Market Oracle*****
3150  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul on: February 15, 2014, 10:49:30 AM
"let’s say Senator Paul and I rob a bank together and we stash the money in my house. If the police break down my door without a warrant and seize the cash, prosecutors will not be permitted to use it as evidence against me because their trespass on my property violates my Fourth Amendment rights. But the courts will allow prosecutors to use the money as evidence against Senator Paul"

I often thought about the crimes the NSA must be discovering even incidently that they will and can do nothing about.  If only they would uncover organized criminals in the entertainment industry..... cry

I know I walk into a minefield on this one.

As for Paul.  I like the guy.  Crafty pointed out we need someone who can speak well, concisely, and with emotion.  Paul can do the first two but so far he definitely lacks the latter.  I see him as a eye doctor who is so totally clinical.  Yes, you have macular degeneration and you may go blind but there is little or only a few things we can do.  No real emotion. No warm and fuzzy sympathy or empathy.  Just the facts.

Unless he corrects this he will never cross over.  Ever.  That is why he gets tepid to no applause when he does not speak to conservative audiences.

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