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3351  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: January 27, 2015, 11:25:41 AM
"Doug's prediction looking better everyday"

Well she is clearly not the BS mouthpiece Bubba is yet I still say never underestimate the depravity of the Clinton machine.
The entire left will rally behind her and be quite happy to fill in for her personal and policy deficits with fanciful story lines galore.

So far no Republican clearly has what it takes at this time (IMHO).   I liked some of Bush's rant on Drudge but his take on illegals which is essentially to pardon 15 or 20 million of them and thus more will come till be have 75 million in the US (California whose population has exploded was reported to be well over 50% Latin - not all illegal of course but a substantial portion yes) does not sit well with me.  I don't care if the illegal is from Israel.  Go back to your country and apply through legal channels.

He has clearly done a mea culpa and seems to think we can win their hearts and minds over while the left stuffs stolen money into their pockets.   Good luck with that.

While I rather agree with Jindal's religious morality ideals I don't think that would be a big seller outside the Christian right.

Sure I like Rubio but I am not sure if he has already peaked.   Not sure.

Paul is out for me.  He is just not appealing.   Too analytical.

Walker I don't know if he has the charisma.

Romney we know has no charisma.

Christi's policies are suspect and I just don't really like him personally.

We will see.

3352  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: January 27, 2015, 11:09:48 AM
Still nothing!   Wow! 

3353  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A skewed world on: January 27, 2015, 11:06:46 AM
Over the years, I've heard this before.  I can't get a job, I am too old to do what I do, and I am depressed and anxious and can't sleep.  As a result apply for disability.   Hey everyone else is taking advantage of the "system" so I don't really disagree:
3354  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / got your back bro... on: January 26, 2015, 07:27:44 PM
Why Netanyahu is right to go around Obama to Congress

By Marc A. Thiessen  January 26 at 9:41 AM

Do they talk this way about Iranian President Hassan Rouhani?

After learning that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had accepted an invitation to address a joint session of Congress about the need for new sanctions to stop Iran’s nuclear program, the Obama administration went . . . well, nuclear.

One “senior American official” threatened Netanyahu, telling the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that “Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.” Meanwhile a “source close to [Secretary of State John] Kerry” told The Post that the “secretary’s patience is not infinite” and that “playing politics with that relationship could blunt Secretary Kerry’s enthusiasm for being Israel’s primary defender.”

Oh, please. No wonder Netanyahu is going around these people to Congress for support. Is Kerry defending Israel as a favor to Netanyahu, or because it is in the United States’ vital interests to stand with our closest ally in the Middle East? Just the threat of withdrawing that support validates Netanyahu’s suspicion that the Obama administration does not have Israel’s back in its negotiations with Iran.

Using anonymous officials to attack Netanyahu is nothing new. Unnamed officials have called him “chickens---,” “recalcitrant,” “myopic,” “reactionary,” “obtuse,” “blustering,” “pompous,” and “Aspergery” — all to one journalist (Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, who keeps a running list).

President Obama will not meet with Benjamin Netanyahu when the Israeli prime minister visits the U.S. in March as the invited guest of Republican congressional leaders. 

The Obama team’s outrage is a bit overwrought. Clearly, it is not a breach of protocol for a foreign leader to lobby Congress. After all, Obama himself deployed British Prime Minister David Cameron to lobby lawmakers to oppose new sanctions on Iran. It seems Netanyahu’s crime is not so much a breach of diplomatic protocol, but rather, opposing the administration’s position.

The fact that Netanyahu felt compelled to speak directly to Congress in order to oppose the administration’s position speaks poorly, not of Netanyahu, but of Obama. If the leader of one of our closest allies is so worried about the deal Obama is going to cut with Iran that he is willing to risk a diplomatic rift with the administration to speak out, perhaps the problem is not with Israel, but with the Obama administration. And it is not just Israel that opposes Obama’s deal with Iran; Arab leaders have made clear that they share Israel’s view.

No doubt politics plays a role in Netanyahu’s decision to address Congress. His speech will come just two weeks before the Israeli elections. But is it wrong for a politician to use the foreign stage of an ally to buttress his electoral case back home? If it is, then Barack Obama — who gave a campaign speech in Berlin before 200,000 adoring Germans who could not vote for him — is the wrong man to level that criticism.

Obama claims that new sanctions on Iran “will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails.” If the mere threat of sanctions is enough to derail Iran’s nuclear talks, then whatever deal is in the works is not worth having. It means that Obama is far more desperate for a deal than Tehran is — which is a sure-fire way to guarantee a bad agreement.

Obama wants a nuclear deal with Iran because it would be a major feather in his political cap at a time when his foreign policy is imploding across the world, from Yemen to Syria to Iraq. For Israel, Iran’s nuclear program is not a political challenge; it is an existential one.

Obama can afford a bad deal because, as that anonymous official put it, he has a year and a half left to his presidency. The people of Israel, on the other hand, will have to live with the consequences long after Obama is gone.

Netanyahu understands this — which is why it is good that he is coming to Washington, and why House Republicans deserve credit for inviting him.

Read more from Marc Thiessen’s archive, follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.
3355  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: January 25, 2015, 08:23:29 PM
Are these leaks being done with "inside" help?   Must be:
3356  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The "rebel yell" on: January 25, 2015, 07:38:48 PM
Geezer version:;_ylt=A0LEV2CbmMVU9gkAC8VXNyoA;_ylc=X1MDMjc2NjY3OQRfcgMyBGZyA3lmcC10LTkwMQRncHJpZANUSTlRSHZIOVFtVzEzemR1Ll9wcmRBBG5fcnNsdAMwBG5fc3VnZwM1BG9yaWdpbgNzZWFyY2gueWFob28uY29tBHBvcwMxBHBxc3RyA29sZGVzdCBjaXZpbCB3YXIgdmV0ZXJhbiAEcHFzdHJsAzI1BHFzdHJsAzI5BHF1ZXJ5A29sZGVzdCBjaXZpbCB3YXIgdmV0ZXJhbiBkaWVzBHRfc3RtcAMxNDIyMjM1OTgw?p=oldest+civil+war+veteran+dies&fr2=sa-gp-search&fr=yfp-t-901&fp=1
3357  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 25, 2015, 11:08:38 AM
Remarkable isn't it.  The First Black President's hatred towards Israel and his corresponding continuous coddling of radical Muslims.  Still astounds me that most Jews just don't care.   Still in love with their latest religion which is not Judaism.  I wonder if anyone has does a study of the anti Semitism in the population of American Blacks.   Could it be higher than whites?

He has closer to 2 yrs. left not one and a half.   cry I am counting the months.   

To think that Hillary is already looking to hire his people tells us about her - more of the same but a pretense at being stronger on foreign policy and a massively more  emphasis on girl power.

3358  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Clarification on: January 25, 2015, 10:36:49 AM
"the patient to be part of the solution and have a day in their drugs"

Correction:   I meant "have a day in selecting their drugs" with the ones not contracted to between the PBM and the drug companies having a higher co-pay cost to the patient.

What I want to ask is exactly how much of these elevated copays (making patients have skin in the game - which by itself is probably a good thing) actually translates to lower costs to all of us at the bottom line.   How do we know these savings are not mostly kept by these middle men or CVS itself?

And worst of all - whose answers to  these questions - are we to believe?   Good luck.

Please recall that I mentioned that probably 95 % of medicine research is not definitive and of questionable value.   So one can only speculate on the validity of data business people will make pronouncements about.   My ex brother in law who is a dentist once told me the dental literature was even worse than the MDs.   Of less validity.

I am not saying most of it is purposely manipulated.  I don't think that, but just that much is no of significance enough to be valid.   Listen to all the radio shows and online sales "gurus" who tell us about dozens, sometimes hundreds of research studies that purport to show a benefit of some "natural" substance in slowing disease, reversing disease, helping us live longer, feel more energy, sleep like babies, copulate like porno kings, remember everything, and have less pain.  Even the shark tank guys agreed on one show these are ALL cons.   But most if not all of these wild claims come from academic research.   I am coming to the opinion that many of these professors have to be in on these money making schemes in some way.  Either through grants, investments in some of these "businesses", or possibly even kick backs.

It is of supreme importance to think about who is doing the research.

Everyone who post on this board already knows these things  but for the rest,

Don't assume just because it comes from an academic center it doesn't have personal or political interests.    Sad to say.   Look at how environmentalists twist and cherry pick data.
3359  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: education on: January 24, 2015, 07:24:47 PM
How can holding down repayments, interests rates, and forgiveness timetables be good for anyone but those particular students who don't make the payments.

Why not hold our education system to the new standards they want to hold the medical system.  Pay for quality performance.  I propose that universities get no tuition paid for those graduates who can't get a decent job.
3360  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: January 24, 2015, 07:07:33 PM
Some of what Merlo says has validity from my point of view.   Some of it is clearly propaganda.   People can come up with data to say almost anything.

Like this notion about empowering the patient to be part of the solution and have a day in their drugs.   There is nothing new here. This was  done years ago with managed care.

One can turn it around just the opposite and say the insurance companies won't pay for the better more expensive drugs so they push the cost onto the insured.

Pharmacy benefits managers are middle men effectively so they have to justify themselves in every way imaginable.

I also question physician shortages.   By constantly claiming there are he justifies the use of nurses which he can pay less.

Even Emanuel didn't believe there is a shortage.

Of course I am biased so  no one has to take my word for anything.

But listen to the central planners with a open skeptical mind. 
3361  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: January 24, 2015, 06:44:35 PM
Perhaps some Non Jews think that if only Israel would go away the world's radical Muslim problem would also go away.  Hey Muslims are just mad at the Jews in their neighborhood.   Otherwise they have no beef with anyone.

Think again.  The Non Jews problems will be worse.
3362  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: January 24, 2015, 11:11:20 AM
What makes a poll like this totally meaningless?
3363  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: January 24, 2015, 09:42:46 AM
I just reread this new item with the headlines Senate votes 99 to 1 that climate change is real.   I didn't read the small print that it left out language that states it was man made.    LOL.   The Repubs pulled a fast one.   Yet the MSM does not report it.
3364  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam, theocratic politics, & political freedom on: January 24, 2015, 09:30:49 AM
One could only imagine the left's reaction to this:

****Geller argued “there is no reliable way to tell a jihadist or jihadi sympathizer from a ‘moderate.’”

She called on Muslim groups in the U.S. “to renounce the aspects of Islam that contradict constitutional freedoms, or face sedition charges if they try to advance those elements.”****

Remember when it was required to pledge allegiance to the flag?

Didn't Obama just blame the EUROPEANS for not assimilating Muslims more? 

3365  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: January 24, 2015, 09:21:28 AM
"The way for Republicans to outflank Mr. Obama on immigration is to send him a series of bills that do fix the problems, that are done on their own pro-growth terms, and that supersede his executive orders. Dare him to say no, and blame him for obstruction if he does. "

I wish he would have elaborated more.   

3366  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Drudge say it ain't so. on: January 22, 2015, 11:47:57 AM
The fact he is Jewish is not lost on me.   I thought to myself he 'had' to be Jewish which of course adds to the stereotype of corrupt Jewish shyster.   Then on Drudge the first line is "Jewish powerbroker".

If this guy were black would we here "Black"?

If he were Muslim would we here that?

If he were anything else would that have been pointed out?

3367  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NY State corruption on: January 22, 2015, 11:11:57 AM
Bharara continues to be my hero.   This part is especially important:

"The arrest comes just a day after Silver shared the stage with Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his State of the State address. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara took over the files of New York's Moreland anti-corruption commission after Cuomo closed it in April."

******NY Assembly Speaker Arrested, Suspected of Graft
by Wochit 1:07 mins

An FBI spokesman says New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, one of the most powerful politicians in the state, has been arrested. The spokesman, Peter Donald, says Silver was taken into custody around 8 a.m. Thursday. Donald declined to discuss the charges Silver is facing. The U.S. attorney’s office is expected to discuss the case later Thursday, and Silver is expected in court. The arrest comes just a day after Silver shared the stage with Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his State of the State address. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara took over the files of New York's Moreland anti-corruption commission after Cuomo closed it in April. He said in October that investigations into Albany's pay-to-play politics are continuing. The commission and Bharara were looking into lawmakers’ earnings outside their state salaries. Silver’s outside income has long been a subject of discussion and controversy. Last year, he reported making up to $750,000 for legal work, mostly with the trial firm of Weitz & Luxenberg.

3368  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: January 22, 2015, 10:55:07 AM
Watch what Obama and his troops do - and not what he or they say. 
3369  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 22, 2015, 10:53:22 AM
Well the left is criticizing Netanyahu for being political so I would not rule out the same for Mossad.   I cannot trust anyone's motives completely anymore.  Not saying theirs are not with the best of intentions.  But I leave all doors open.   
3370  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / second post on: January 22, 2015, 10:50:55 AM
Michael Douglas head and neck cancer he claims was caused by HPV.  I didn't believe it since he is a long time smoker.  I was not aware of the latest data suggesting these cancers (Jamie Diamond) are from HPV.  This article suggests it is the # 16 strain.  The HPV vaccine recommended to all females now males age 9 to 26 should be protective:

I cannot imagine why anyone would not want the vaccine for their children.
3371  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Scientific American: meditation on: January 22, 2015, 10:42:37 AM
3372  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mossad opposes Bibi on sanctions on: January 22, 2015, 10:10:49 AM
I wonder if Soros sent money to Mossad people:
3373  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: January 22, 2015, 10:01:28 AM
Morris is wrong, again.   The Clinton machine will come roaring out of the gates.  I am not saying she will win the in '16 since that is a long time from now and who knows what will happen.  Just that they know what Morris knows and of course they will be ready. 

My guess is she will avoid comparisons to Brockster and his policies and focus on her own version of radicalism.   
3374  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: January 22, 2015, 09:47:14 AM
Of course the leftist Atlantic will distort this to a gay bashing issue and compare it to efforts by Slave states 150 years ago.  I wanted to email this to Mark Levin who would tear this argument to shreds in minutes but I don't see a link on his website.  I neither get on FB or twitter:

Nullification, Now Coming to the Supreme Court?The Atlantic By David A. Graham

Nullification, Now Coming to the Supreme Court?When the Tea Party wave arrived in 2010, it swept away much of the Republican Party's existing structure, and instituted a more populist approach. But as waves tend to do, it left some even older debris in its wake. "Nullification," the theory that states can invalidate federal laws that they deem unconstitutional, had its heyday in the slavery debate that preceded the Civil War, but it has found new currency since 2010.

Supreme Court Will Decide Gay Marriage This Term CBS Dallas Fort Worth (RSS) Supreme Court sets stage for historic gay rights ruling Associated Press Supreme Court to consider same-sex marriage CBS News US Supreme Court turns away an appeal of same-sex marriage ban AFP Idaho gay marriage fight appealed to Supreme Court Associated Press The theory has never been validated by a federal court, yet some Republican officeholders have suggested states can nullify laws, including Senator Joni Ernst, who gave the GOP rebuttal to the State of the Union. Missouri legislators passed a bill that would have nullified all federal gun laws and prohibited their enforcement. My colleague James Fallows has described efforts by Republicans in Congress to block duly passed laws—refusing to confirm any director of an agency established by an act of Congress, for example—as a new form of nullification.

Now Mike Huckabee seems to be opening up a new front. The Supreme Court last week agreed to hear a case on whether same-sex-marriage bans are unconstitutional. There's no such thing as a sure bet with the Court, but many watchers on both sides of the issue believe the justices will strike down the bans. Some conservatives seem resigned to the fact that the fight is lost; not Huckabee. Here's what he told radio host Hugh Hewitt Tuesday:

One thing I am angry about, though, Hugh, is this notion of judicial supremacy, where if the courts make a decision, I hear governors and even some aspirants to the presidency say well, that’s settled, and it’s the law of the land. No, it isn’t the law of the land. Constitutionally, the courts cannot make a law. They can interpret one. And then the legislature has to create enabling legislation, and the executive has to sign it, and has to enforce it.

Hewitt seemed a little taken aback: Was Huckabee counseling that county clerks simply ignore Supreme Court rulings and refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?

Well, the point is states would be in a position that their legislatures would have to go into session. They would have to create legislation that the governor would sign. If they don’t, then there is not same sex marriage in that state. Now if the federal courts say well, you’re going to have to do it, well, then you have a confrontation. At that point, somebody has to decide is the Court right? If it is, then the legislation will be passed. It’s not unlike we’ve seen other legislation.

That's not an entirely novel idea, as Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas, should know. In 1957, the state believed it could block the Little Rock School Board from adhering to the Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. Board of Education.* President Eisenhower disagreed, and dispatched troops to show Governor Orval Faubus how wrong he was. Faubus is not an historical model most contemporary politicians would be willing to follow.

Huckabee's legal analysis seems off, too. What happens when a court rules against such a marriage law is that a specific provision—a clause that defines marriage as involving one man and one woman, for instance—is defined as unconstitutional. That doesn't invalidate the entirety of a state's marriage laws, so the rest stand and there's no need for the legislature or governor to act. By analogy, Loving v. Virginia didn't invalidate all of the Commonwealth of Virginia's marriage laws; it just meant interracial unions were no longer prohibited. Presumably, a state could avoid having to sanction gay marriages by simply eliminating civil marriage altogether. That's been suggested in Oklahoma, for example, but no state has actually done so. (Thanks to my colleague Garrett Epps for discussing these questions with me.)

Loving v. Virginia didn't invalidate all of the Commonwealth of Virginia's marriage laws; it just meant interracial unions were no longer prohibited.
What unites all of these threads—nullifying Supreme Court rulings, Congress self-nullifying, and Nullification Classic, at the state level—is a remarkable backlash against the federal government, not on specific issues but per se: as a unified body with national governing authority. As Americans become more geographically sorted along ideological lines, states seem to be drifting apart in many ways. More states have single-party control than any time in recent memory, and that means increasingly divergent state laws. Red states pass more stringent abortion regulations, blue states pass more stringent gun controls, greener states pass less stringent marijuana laws. That makes (at least a bare majority of) the people in those states happy.

The idea that state governments or for that matter the Congress can go their own way by ignoring duly passed laws and duly decided Court rulings seems like a less salubrious development. In fact, it's one of those slippery slopes so feared by gay-marriage opponents. Huckabee wants conservative states that oppose gay marriage to be able to keep opposing it, but he isn't suggesting dissolving the federal government wholesale. He still wants states to generally be bound by national laws.

But if some states can pick and choose laws, others will surely do the same—and in such a polarized national landscape, they'll start picking and choosing increasingly contradictory options. Liberals states will start refusing to enforce laws they don't like. (This happened with the Fugitive Slave Act, in fact; Wisconsin ruled the law unconstitutional; southerners who otherwise championed states' rights objected; and the Supreme Court overruled it.) It's a ticket to dissolving the union, all in the name of preventing same-sex unions.
3375  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Clinton machine is going to overwhelm media with a blitzkreig on: January 22, 2015, 09:29:23 AM
I wouldn't necessarily believe a Wash Post ABC poll since the people running are most likely connected to the Clinton machine complex but she will come out of the gate with a huge lead and she will be shoved through like no tomorrow.   Her focus on the middle class is interesting as is the Republicans new finding that this is the golden key to power.

I've posted for years that no one was really addressing this especially the right.  Well now they are.
3376  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 22, 2015, 09:18:38 AM
This guy brings lying as a President to a new level.

Clinton fudged all the time using legal like twistings of words and when he would shift positions (such as on welfare) he had not.  Or like the era of "big government is over" which it certainly wasn't.    Yet this guy is really a soft tyrant. 

It is astounding.  But half the country either is with him or doesn't care as long as they get the goodies.

Or get even with the white man.
3377  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Muslim "bashing" on: January 21, 2015, 07:04:37 PM
Just fear mongering, bigotry, and rallying the base. rolleyes
3378  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Re: Argentina on: January 21, 2015, 06:13:25 PM
Political murder apparently continues down under.

3379  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Republican response to SOTU on: January 20, 2015, 09:40:37 PM
I thought this would be better under the thread way forward for the Repubs but could not post as thread not used in long time:
3380  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama's ilk on: January 20, 2015, 08:15:35 AM
It's all about the world now.   I didn't see any mention of "coutry".  Just the temporary nod to reality by using the term "governments" as liberals like this Columbia University Professor push for one world government:
Jeffrey D. Sachs   

DEC 9, 2014 7
The Year of Sustainable Development

NEW YORK – The year 2015 will be our generation’s greatest opportunity to move the world toward sustainable development. Three high-level negotiations between July and December can reshape the global development agenda, and give an important push to vital changes in the workings of the global economy. With United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call to action in his report “The Road to Dignity,” the Year of Sustainable Development has begun.

In July 2015, world leaders will meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to chart reforms of the global financial system. In September 2015, they will meet again to approve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide national and global policies to 2030. And in December 2015, leaders will assemble in Paris to adopt a global agreement to head off the growing dangers of human-induced climate change.

The fundamental goal of these summits is to put the world on a course toward sustainable development, or inclusive and sustainable growth. This means growth that raises average living standards; benefits society across the income distribution, rather than just the rich; and protects, rather than wrecks, the natural environment.

The world economy is reasonably good at achieving economic growth, but it fails to ensure that prosperity is equitably shared and environmentally sustainable. The reason is simple: The world’s largest companies relentlessly – and rather successfully – pursue their own profits, all too often at the expense of economic fairness and the environment.

Profit maximization does not guarantee a reasonable distribution of income or a safe planet. On the contrary, the global economy is leaving vast numbers of people behind, including in the richest countries, while planet Earth itself is under unprecedented threat, owing to human-caused climate change, pollution, water depletion, and the extinction of countless species.

The SDGs are premised on the need for rapid far-reaching change. As John F. Kennedy put it a half-century ago: “By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help all people to see it, to draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly toward it.” This is, in essence, Ban’s message to the UN member states: Let us define the SDGs clearly, and thereby inspire citizens, businesses, governments, scientists, and civil society around the world to move toward them.

The main objectives of the SDGs have already been agreed. A committee of the UN General Assembly identified 17 target areas, including the eradication of extreme poverty, ensuring education and health for all, and fighting human-induced climate change. The General Assembly as a whole has spoken in favor of these priorities. The key remaining step is to turn them into a workable set of goals. When the SDGs were first proposed in 2012, the UN’s member said that they “should be action-oriented,” “easy to communicate,” and “limited in number,” with many governments favoring a total of perhaps 10-12 goals encompassing the 17 priority areas.

Achieving the SDGs will require deep reform of the global financial system, the key purpose of July’s Conference on Financing for Development. Resources need to be channeled away from armed conflict, tax loopholes for the rich, and wasteful outlays on new oil, gas, and coal development toward priorities such as health, education, and low-carbon energy, as well as stronger efforts to combat corruption and capital flight.

The July summit will seek to elicit from the world’s governments a commitment to allocate more funds to social needs. It will also identify better ways to ensure that development aid reaches the poor, taking lessons from successful programs such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. One such innovation should be a new Global Fund for Education, to ensure that children everywhere can afford to attend school at least through the secondary level. We also need better ways to channel private money toward sustainable infrastructure, such as wind and solar power.

These goals are within reach. Indeed, they are the only way for us to stop wasting trillions of dollars on financial bubbles, useless wars, and environmentally destructive forms of energy.

Success in July and September will give momentum to the decisive climate-change negotiations in Paris next December. Debate over human-induced global warming has been seemingly endless. In the 22 years since the world signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change at the Rio Earth Summit, there has been far too little progress toward real action. As a result, 2014 is now likely to be the warmest year in recorded history, a year that has also brought devastating droughts, floods, high-impact storms, and heat waves.

Back in 2009 and 2010, the world’s governments agreed to keep the rise in global temperature to below 2° Celsius relative to the pre-industrial era. Yet warming is currently on course to reach 4-6 degrees by the end of the century – high enough to devastate global food production and dramatically increase the frequency of extreme weather events.

To stay below the two-degree limit, the world’s governments must embrace a core concept: “deep decarbonization” of the world’s energy system. That means a decisive shift from carbon-emitting energy sources like coal, oil, and gas, toward wind, solar, nuclear, and hydroelectric power, as well as the adoption of carbon capture and storage technologies when fossil fuels continue to be used. Dirty high-carbon energy must give way to clean low- and zero-carbon energy, and all energy must be used much more efficiently.

A successful climate agreement next December should reaffirm the two-degree cap on warming; include national “decarbonization” commitments up to 2030 and deep-decarbonization “pathways” (or plans) up to 2050; launch a massive global effort by both governments and businesses to improve the operating performance of low-carbon energy technologies; and provide large-scale and reliable financial help to poorer countries as they face climate challenges. The United States, China, the European Union’s members, and other countries are already signaling their intention to move in the right direction.

The SDGs can create a path toward economic development that is technologically advanced, socially fair, and environmentally sustainable. Agreements at next year’s three summits will not guarantee the success of sustainable development, but they can certainly orient the global economy in the right direction. The chance will not come along again in our generation.

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3381  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Even HSS? on: January 20, 2015, 07:58:01 AM

"I've know him for years!"

At this rate we will have a
federal holiday (government employees get the day off) for him.
3382  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Police Radar sees through walls on: January 19, 2015, 07:56:54 PM
3383  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: January 19, 2015, 04:52:22 PM
I am not sure I believe this poll which just happens to come out the day before the SOTU.  If true it is amazing what lower gas prices can do:
3384  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: January 19, 2015, 09:01:40 AM
Good post Crafty.   As always everything pitched as free by the Democrat machine is never free except for a minority of their voters.

Lets hope for the first time in recorded history the Republican response to the state of the union will be able to convincingly make this case.

3385  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Univision on: January 18, 2015, 08:46:06 PM

Univision, Biggest Spanish-Language Network, Shut Out Of Republican 2016 Debates
Posted:  01/17/2015 3:56 pm EST    Updated:  01/17/2015 3:59 pm EST   
NEW YORK -- The Republican National Committee announced Friday which networks landed 2016 presidential debates -- and Univision, the most-watched Spanish-language network, didn't make the cut.

How Republicans engage with Univision this election cycle is being closely watched given that the network reaches 96 percent of Hispanic households, a key demographic for either party hoping to win the White House. On Wednesday, BuzzFeed’s Adrian Carrasquillo described Univision, which has aggressively covered immigration reform, as “one of the Republican Party’s biggest, most complex, most painful challenges.”

In a statement to The Huffington Post, Univision spokesman Jose Zamora didn't specifically address the Republican Party's decision, but spoke broadly of the need for both parties to engage the network's large audience.

"There is a very simple political reality -- Hispanics will decide the 2016 presidential election," Zamora said. "No one can match Univision’s reach and ability to inform, provide access and empower Hispanic America. Anyone who wants to reach and engage Hispanics will have to do it through Univision. The Hispanic community deserves to hear the policies and views of all political parties and Univision is committed to providing access to all points of view. We have an open invitation to all political parties to address our community on issues of importance and relevance. Candidates should not miss the opportunity to inform and engage with the fastest growing segment of the electorate."

Jorge Ramos, the top anchor on Univision and Fusion, an English-language network launched through a partnership with ABC, said in a statement that both Republicans and Democrats "have to make sure that their debates don’t look like the 2015 Oscar nominations,” a reference to the lack of diversity among Academy Award nominees.

“The new rule in American politics is that no one can make it to the White House without the Hispanic vote,” Ramos continued. “So we still expect all candidates from both parties to talk to us on Univision and Fusion. I believe that Latinos and Millennials will decide the 2016 presidential election. The sooner Republicans and Democrats realize this, the better their chances to win the White House. It’s always a strategic mistake not to include in your plans the fastest growing segments of the electorate.”

NBC and Telemundo (the second-biggest Spanish-language network, owned by NBCUniversal) will partner on a Republican debate in Florida in February. The other networks selected were Fox News, Fox Business, CNBC, ABC and CBS.

An RNC spokesman declined to comment on the decision.

But clearly some in the party don't feel the network has treated them well. RNC chairman Reince Preibus told BuzzFeed earlier this week “it’s highly questionable whether we’re treated fairly on Univision.”

Still, Preibus and others do engage with Ramos, an immigration reform advocate. The two sparred earlier this week over the Republican Party’s position on the issue. And Priebus will also appear Sunday on Univison’s “Al Punto,” a public affairs show hosted by Ramos.

While immigration may be the biggest hurdle for Republicans in engaging with Univision this cycle, there also appear to be concerns about the network given that part-owner Haim Saban is a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter.

Univision wasn't the only network shut out of the Republicans debate schedule, with liberal cable network MSNBC and Bloomberg TV also not getting selected. The difference, however, is that Republicans aren't looking to reach MSNBC's viewership, and the two business networks selected, CNBC and Fox Business, reach larger audiences than Bloomberg.

Jorge Ramos,   Jorge Ramos Rnc,   Rnc Debates,   Rnc Debates Univision,   Univision Debate,   Republicans Univision,   Calderone: the Backstory
3386  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: January 18, 2015, 08:12:27 PM
"When seconds count, your smart gun is onlyminutes away from functioning."

Yes.  One could only hope you grip the handle correctly so it "reads" you prints.  Or you have your wireless device near you to unlock the electronic safety like keyless entry into one's vehicle.

Doesn't sound so smart to me......

Eighty children dying a year is sad.  But I don't see the logic behind making 100,000,000 gun owners risk their lives and jump through regulatory hoops to say reduce this number to say 40.
3387  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The chatter is becoming loud white noise with no end, no beginning, no point on: January 18, 2015, 08:06:03 PM
I've also heard reparations arguments for Chinese in American, Chinese in Japan.

How about reparations for Pol Pot.  Or in Rhwanda.

Or for Mao?  Or for Stalin?  Or countless other Middle Easterners who spend more time killing each other than any other group.

How about reparations for the Blacks killing Blacks in the US?

I could go on.
3388  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Horowitz response to Slve reparations on: January 18, 2015, 08:02:03 PM
3389  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: January 18, 2015, 07:59:32 PM
And of course Black reparations:
3390  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Mexican reparations on: January 18, 2015, 07:57:58 PM
though some say the invasion in the SW is a form of reparations for the war from 170 years ago:
3391  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Native American reparations on: January 18, 2015, 07:54:23 PM
3392  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: January 18, 2015, 01:10:51 PM
I am all for it if it is not forced via more regulations to all gun owners. 

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

3393  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: January 18, 2015, 01:06:26 PM

Did you see Selma?
3394  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The 7 categories of English names on: January 18, 2015, 12:56:16 PM
3395  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Union of concerned scientists on: January 18, 2015, 12:31:26 PM
Of course because they are "scientists" they have no axes to grind or agendas or political or financial conflicts of interests.  It is all in the name of their religion:  science.
Does this author really think the average person has any knowledge or information on the thousands of regulations we get yearly?   Who elected these people?

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

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

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

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

Slowing the pace of government to a crawl

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

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

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

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

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

The rise of the zombie bills

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

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

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

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

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

Deciphering the details

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3396  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Kudlow: Jindal "gets it" on: January 18, 2015, 11:53:46 AM
Jindal's Brilliant Take on Radical Islam
Friday, 16 Jan 2015 08:18 PM

By Larry Kudlow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Right now we’re uncomfortably close to having neither.

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

 Jindal gets it.​

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

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3397  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More wealth confiscation and spending of other people's monies on: January 17, 2015, 08:04:24 PM
Gotta love this sentence thrown in the AP news report for good measure:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Frances Kerry and James Dalgleish)
3398  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cuba on: January 17, 2015, 07:53:39 PM
Medicare fraud is huge in Miami.   I don't know how much of it is from Cubans but I believe a substantial portion is.
3399  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hippies in charge? on: January 16, 2015, 10:40:36 PM
While I am not against anyone who wants to meditate, between this and having James Taylor go to France to sing love songs to the French does not a rational government policy make:

*****Lawmakers To Meditate With Deepak Chopra

Betsy Rothstein 5:42 PM 01/16/2015

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

Really. Highly. Unlikely.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3400  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Oscars are racist; of course, Sharpton Spiked Lee and the rest on: January 16, 2015, 08:48:11 PM

Roger L. Simon

Oscar Report: Al Sharpton Calls Me a Racist!

January 15th, 2015 - 9:48 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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