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3451  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / From American College of Physicians on: March 29, 2012, 03:54:41 PM
This is off the first page without need for a password so I think it ok to print.  I note Dr. Hood's Masters in public health is from (you guessed it)  *Harvard*.  I remember a few decades ago I once considered getting a degree in pulbic health to help shape the "future" of health care but the stuff was simply too boring.  I don't agree with the College's position on this yet I believe part of it is due to a pragmatic political approach to inevitable changes that must take place or else this country will go bust.

****The Present and Future of the Affordable Care ActMarch 26, 2012tion:
Virginia L. Hood, MBBS, MPH, FACP
President, American College of Physicians

Washington — The American College of Physicians (ACP), representing 132,000 internal medicine specialists and medical student members, is pleased to report that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has resulted in major improvements in access and coverage for tens of millions of Americans seen by internal medicine physicians. Considering that it is just a little over two years since the ACA was enacted into law, and many of its programs are not yet fully effective, the ACA has had notable success in improving health insurance coverage. Looking to the future, the ACA will ensure that nearly all legal residents in the United States will have access to affordable coverage beginning in 2014—if the law is allowed to be fully implemented.

Interestingly, the public policy discussion of the improvements made by the ACA on its two-year anniversary is taking place in a context when the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments this week on lawsuits challenging the law’s constitutionality. ACP did not submit an amicus brief on the constitutional questions being considered by the Supreme Court because our expertise is in evidence-based assessment of the policies required to ensure that our patients have access to health insurance, not in constitutional law. But the evidence leads us to firmly believe that the ACA’s programs to expand health insurance coverage—including subsidies, health exchanges, essential benefits packages, an individual insurance requirement, and a single national eligibility standard for Medicaid—are necessary to help protect and ensure the health of the American people.

The ACA Already is Helping Millions of PeopleAs a direct result of the ACA:

2.5 million young adults kept their health insurance coverage because they were allowed to stay on their parents’ plans. The percentage of people between ages 19 and 25 being carried as a dependent on a parent’s employment-based coverage increased from 24.7 percent in 2009 to 27.7 percent in 2010. The number of young adults with employment-based coverage as a dependent increased from 7.3 million to 8.2 million.

Through the end of July 2011, 1.28 million Americans with Medicare received discounts on brand name drugs in the Medicare Part D coverage gap — up from 899,000 through the end of June and 478,000 through the end of May. These discounts have saved seniors and people with disabilities a total of $660 million. Figures released a week ago from the Department of Health and Human Services indicate 5.1 million seniors have saved more than $3.2 billion on prescription drugs because of the ACA.

More than 18.9 million Medicare beneficiaries, or 55.6 percent, have received one or more preventive services at no out-of-pocket cost to them.

The National Health Service Corps, which receives mandatory funding under the ACA, has awarded nearly $900 million in scholarships and loan repayment to health care professionals to help expand the country’s primary care workforce and meet the health care needs of communities across the country. There are nearly three times the number of NHSC clinicians working in communities across America than there were three years ago—increasing access to health care. In 2008, approximately 3.7 million patients were provided service by 3,600 NHSC clinicians. With field strength of more than 10,000 clinicians, NHSC now provides health care services to about 10.5 million patients.

The ACA will Help Many Millions More over the Next Two YearsMany patients seen by internal medicine specialists have multiple chronic diseases (often labeled as “pre-existing conditions” by health insurers), which makes it very difficult for them to find health insurance at a premium they can afford. Under the ACA, insurers won’t be allowed to exclude them from coverage, charge them an excessive premium, or refuse to renew their coverage. These protections, already in effect for children, will become effective for adults on January 1, 2014.

Studies suggest that an individual requirement is needed for such reforms to work. Without an individual insurance requirement, some people may wait to obtain insurance until they are sick, aware that insurers will not turn them down or charge them higher premiums (except for family size and tobacco use). This will drive up premiums for everyone else, causing more persons to drop coverage, and potentially, resulting in millions more uninsured persons.

ACP also strongly supports requiring Medicaid to cover all persons with incomes up to 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. This change, which initially will be paid for by the federal government, is the most effective way to ensure that low-income persons have access to coverage. Some 16 million vulnerable Americans will receive coverage from this change.

When these and other programs enacted by the ACA become fully implemented by 2014, it is estimated that 94 percent of legal residents in the United States will have access to affordable health insurance coverage, with 32 million persons who now have no health insurance being able to obtain coverage. This will be a historic achievement in improving the health of the American people. Studies show that people without health insurance live sicker and die younger than people with coverage.

ACP fervently hopes that the Supreme Court will chart a course that does not derail implementation of the ACA’s key programs to expand coverage, while responsibly carrying out the court’s constitutional obligation to clarify the constitutional questions. And we hope that a day will come when Congress will be able to move beyond a partisan debate over “repeal and replace” of the ACA to discussion of bipartisan improvements that could be made in the law, without sacrificing the commitment it made to helping nearly all Americans obtain affordable health insurance coverage.


The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 132,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection, and treatment of illness in adults. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

David Kinsman, (202) 261-4554
Jacquelyn Blase
2010-2011 Annual Report of the Executive Vice President 
Chair, Board of Regents
Executive VP
Immediate Past President
Jobs at ACP ·Contact Us ·Privacy ·Site Map ·For Advertisers ·For Media ·For Governors ·For Regents © Copyright 2012 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
190 North Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106-1572
Toll Free: (800) 523.1546 · Local: (215) 351.2400
3452  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: March 29, 2012, 03:17:53 PM
This Martin/Zimmerman situation is horrible enough but the explosion of emotion on the media is unbelievable.

Of course we keep hearing all these new pieces of evidence but I have to agree with Judge Napolitano that he probably should be arrested and charged.   While Martin may not be an angel he was not the instigator at least initially, and the 911 dispatcher did advise Zman to back off and it appears he didn't.  I don't see how neighborhood watch can be construed to be ok to chase someone down a street with a gun.

I guess this has many issues involved:

Racial profiling
concealed weapons
Fla unique stand "your ground law" (which to me has nothing to do with this - someone following another on public property)
gangster apparal

A trial seems to me the only way yet it would be OJ Simpson all over again.
3453  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: March 28, 2012, 04:24:12 PM
"its pervasive dishonesty"

Wow - almost the "L" word!
3454  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / J eff Toobin: Law will be struck down on: March 27, 2012, 05:09:22 PM
Doug writes,
"I imagine one could go wrong guessing their opinion by hearing their question."

Jeff Toobin whom we all know, and admits his forcast appears to have been dead wrong thinks the line of questioning by the Justices is quite telling:
3455  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: March 27, 2012, 04:01:40 PM
Another news report noted the French police had asked the video not be shown.
3456  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Another Reid deal on: March 27, 2012, 01:32:02 PM
January 30, 2007
Dems Should Dump Ethically Challenged Harry Reid
By Dennis Byrne

Instead of talking in sweeping platitudes about "ethics reform," Senate Democrats might want to prove they mean it by dumping their ethically challenged majority leader, Harry Reid.

The Nevada lawmaker has been implicated in yet another land scheme that this time could net him a tidy $50,000 to $290,000. Los Angeles Times investigative reporters Chuck Neubauer and Tom Hamburger, this week revealed that Reid paid $166 an acre for valuable northern Arizona land whose market value, according to the county assessor, four years ago was worth $2,144 an acre.

Who would be a big enough fool to sell Reid the land at such a ludicrously low price? A long-time pal who would financially benefit from some obscure legislation that the senator has often sponsored.

 It worked like this, according to the Times:

In 2002, Reid (D-Nev.) paid $10,000 to a pension fund controlled by Clair Haycock, a Las Vegas lubricants distributor and his friend of 50 years. The payment gave the senator full control of a 160-acre parcel in Bullhead City that Reid and the pension fund had jointly owned. Reid's price for the equivalent of 60 acres of undeveloped desert was less than one-tenth of the value the assessor placed on it at the time.
Six months after the deal closed, Reid introduced legislation [which failed to pass] to address the plight of lubricants dealers who had their supplies disrupted by the decisions of big oil companies. It was an issue the Haycock family had brought to Reid's attention in 1994, according to a source familiar with the events.

If Reid were to sell the property for any of the various estimates of its value, his gain on the $10,000 investment could range from $50,000 to $290,000.

It is a potential violation of congressional ethics standards for a member to accept anything of value -- including a real estate discount -- from a person with interests before Congress.

Reed apparently prefers to put his gains into dry desert land instead of into cold cash, as did Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.), whom the FBI said was harboring $90,000 in marked bills in his home freezer.

Last year the Associated Press disclosed that Reid "collected a $1.1 windfall on a Las Vegas land sale, even though he hadn't personally owned the property for three years." The deal was "engineered by Jay Brown, a longtime friend and former casino lawyer whose name surfaced in a major political bribery trial [last year] and in other organized crime investigations."

Reid and his office have denied any improprieties in these matters. Reid's spokesman noted that the transaction was "a sale, not a gift." The wording of the denial is interesting because Reid is co-sponsoring legislation that would ban "gifts" from lobbyists - or their clients - to lawmakers or their staffs. Reid himself touted that legislation in a Jan. 9 press release, "Reid: The Senate is committed to tough new ethics reform."

In a press release a day earlier ("Senate Democrats highlight commitment to tough new ethics reform"), Reid proclaimed: "The American people demanded change, and Democrats are ready to deliver. The new Democratic Senate is committed to giving American (sic) a government as good--and as honest--as the people it serves. The Senate will start with legislation that is good, and working together, we'll improve it to make it even better. In the end, the Senate will pass the most sweeping reforms since Watergate."

This is exactly the kind of hypocrisy, from both parties, that turns off so many Americans. It a word, it makes Americans vomit.

Let it not go by unnoticed that claiming and getting full credit for this brand of Democratic "ethics reform" is the luminous Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama of Illinois. "Now that the dust has settled and the new Congress is underway," he intoned, "we need to get down to business and show Americans that we are responding to their call for change. We now have the opportunity to give the American people what they deserve and demanded in November--real ethics and lobbying reform that holds their elected officials to the highest ethical standards."

This is from a senator who tromped around Africa, trailed by an adoring throng of media panderers, who condemned corruption there, but had nothing to say about the graft pervading his hometown and state. Quite the contrary, Obama last week endorsed Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley for re-election this spring, even though the suspected, indicted and convicted percolate through his administration like water through a coffee-maker.

You've got to hand it to Reid. With a record like his, to claim that he is the champion of a new day of congressional ethics takes a lot of brass. He could prove it by resigning. Or Democrats could prove it by giving him the heave-ho as majority leader.

Dennis Byrne is a Chicago Tribune op-ed columnist.

3457  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More Reid shenanigans on: March 27, 2012, 01:30:26 PM
3458  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Reid's pet project on: March 27, 2012, 01:28:18 PM
Sure this could be the usual pork project but someone who has time and the wherewithal should look into whether Mr. Reid owns any land or is joint owner of any land anywhere near this project.  This has bribe written all over it and the Reidster was noted for this kind of thing before:

****Lead StoryHarry Reid’s Pet Bullet Train Project on Verge of Securing $4.9 Billion Government Loan
By Doug Powers  •  March 26, 2012 03:32 PM **Written by Doug Powers

“Woo! Woo! Next stop, bankruptcy!”

Early last year Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the administration’s intention to sink $53 billion into high speed rail systems in the coming years. That news must have invigorated Harry Reid more than a cowboy poetry reading under his pomegranate trees, because now taxpayers might end up on the hook for an amount of money that could make Solyndra look insignificant:

On a dusty, rock-strewn expanse at the edge of the Mojave Desert, a company linked to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to build a bullet train that would rocket tourists from the middle of nowhere to the gambling palaces of Las Vegas.

Privately held DesertXpress is on the verge of landing a $4.9 billion loan from the Obama administration to build the 150 mph train, which could be a lifeline for a region devastated by the housing crash or a crap shoot for taxpayers weary of Washington spending.

The vast park-and-ride project hinges on the untested idea that car-loving Californians will drive about 100 miles from the Los Angeles area, pull off busy Interstate 15 and board a train for the final leg to the famous Strip.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has publicly blessed the train — it means jobs, he says — and it’s cleared several regulatory hurdles in Washington.

Yet even as the Federal Railroad Administration considers awarding what would be, by far, the largest loan of its type, its own research warns it’s difficult to predict how many people will ride the train, a critical measure of financial survival, an Associated Press review found.
Let me get this straight… the Obama administration might put taxpayers on the hook for billions to pay for a train so people can travel to the city that a couple of years ago Obama told them not to waste money in? “All aboard the Mixed Message Express!”

Then there’s the inevitable “well, we were gonna do this ourselves, but since you offered…”****

3459  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: After Obama's "last election" on: March 27, 2012, 11:27:03 AM
"Of course we should not presume to know his meaning or context; he could have playing mind games to our advantage with the Russians."

Doug, possible but you would agree this very unlikely?  I mean his attempts to "reset" the relationship with Russia his well known desire to decrease nucs, etc.

I think it more like what he is thinging as in they "cling to their guns and religion" remark.
3460  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "Transformation" down our throats on: March 27, 2012, 10:25:53 AM
Agreed.  The open mic talk clearly raises questions about what the big lib has in store for Americans whether they like it or not once he no longer has to worry about his poll numbers.   What I do take note as that even MSM types are playing the open mic thing.  CNN and I think ABC.  I am surprised they didn't blow it off.  Of course the Obama minions will be out in force making up some sort of phoney concoction that tries to spin it all away. 

My post from the Russia thread:

"This certainly makes one speculate that Obama, if he wins, will absolutely cut lose on his leftist agenda far beyond what we have seen."

3461  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-Russia on: March 26, 2012, 04:47:14 PM
It wouldn't surprise me if OBama asked him for a campaign donation and promised after the election he would cut Vladimir a good deal.

This certainly makes one speculate that Obama, if he wins, will absolutely cut lose on his leftist agenda far beyond what we have seen.

I wonder if this was before or after he handed over all the codes.
3462  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Nothing groundbreaking on: March 26, 2012, 02:29:12 PM
but a good synopsis of Hillary as SOS - In 2016 She will be 69 same age as RR:
3463  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Johnson family gossip on: March 24, 2012, 02:26:54 PM
A distant relative of Abe Lincoln married Eliza to Andrew Johnson (long before Abe was President) when she was 16 and he 18:
3464  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Don't mess with my boy on: March 24, 2012, 02:20:06 PM
says this lady of Dick Morris' rant:
3465  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Allen West on: March 23, 2012, 01:28:23 PM

What was Trayvon was doing in Sandford?   Whatever the reason sounds like Zimmerman did the wrong thing yet this question is not irrelevant.
3466  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: March 23, 2012, 12:51:12 PM
Well I guess there IS some pressure.  Though great one's (no not Marc Levin or Rush Limbaugh) response is not helpful:
3467  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: March 23, 2012, 12:09:56 PM
"I thought Obama was the post-racial healer"

Exactly.  Instead of feeding the shark frenzy how about Obama calling for calm and to stop the race baiting and threats of violence and the ridiculous attempt at turning this into a Democrat Republican thing.

To date he has not done this with any similar situation.   He simply tries to make political self gain out of it.

He did sit and have "a beer" with the Harvard professor and the Cambrige police officer after that bruhaha some years ago.   But only after HE, the ONE, looked like a fool weighing in and calling the police officer stupid.  It was more for damage control to HIS image rather than anything else.
3468  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / OMG; ok lets turn this into a race war on: March 23, 2012, 11:12:46 AM
We all know the anti gun crowd will go bonkers over th Sanford Florida thing but turning into a Demcratic party theme and of course the Farrakan/Sharptons of the world threatening to turn this into a race war.  Of course Obama is going to weigh in (oh, but he was pressured) .  There is never an end to the escalations, the attempts at extortion for more and more and more.  Why cannot this tragedy be dealt with as the individual case it is?:
3469  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / liar liar liar - except Obama on: March 23, 2012, 10:59:21 AM

Is rachel maddow a liar?
3470  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / War with Iran and gas prices on: March 22, 2012, 07:57:53 PM
.......How a War With Iran Would Cause $7 Gas

By Rick Newman | U.S.News & World Report LP – Wed, Mar 21, 2012 3:47 PM EDT
If gas prices are still close to $4 per gallon when Election Day rolls around, President Obama will face tough political odds. But Obama--or his successor--could end up with a far worse problem than that in the not-too-distant future.

Forecasting firm IHS Global Insight has run a detailed scenario on how a war with Iran would affect oil prices and the global economy, with disconcerting takeaways for anybody sensitive to oil and gas prices--including politicians. The forecast says that if a military campaign over Iran's nuclear program prompted Tehranto lay mines in an attempt to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, Brent crude prices could soar from current levels of about $125 per barrel to a peak of roughly $240. Gas prices would rise by the same magnitude--pushing them above $7 per gallon.

In the model, oil and gas prices probably wouldn't stay at those levels for long. Any major disruption of oil markets by Iran would likely bring a rapid and overwhelming response by the U.S. military, including attacks by ships and aircraft already stationed around the Persian Gulf. IHS predicts U.S. forces would probably be able to reopen the Strait of Hormuz, the world's most important oil chokepoint, in four weeks or less. But it would still take months for oil prices to settle back down to normal levels, while consumers and businesses grappled with collateral damage to their finances.

Most economists estimate that the threat of confrontation with Iran has already pushed oil prices up by about $20 per barrel.. In the United States, gas prices have risen by nearly 55 cents per gallon so far this year to a national average of $3.92. In addition to hurting consumers, that impacts investors, speculators and business leaders, who are all intently focused on oil prices and where they might be heading.

In its scenario, IHS assumed that Iran will use mines, missiles and small-boat swarming tactics to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, through which about 20 percent of the world's traded oil flows every day. That could come in response to a U.S. or Israeli preemptive attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, but Iran could also make such an aggressive move on its own. "Iran's leaders have done things that we expect rational leaders to avoid doing," Farid Abolfathi of IHS told clients in a recent presentation. "They might miscalculate or misjudge their chances of success."

Even though the model predicts U.S. forces could probably reopen the Strait fairly quickly, it might still take a while to completely defeat Iran. ines are notoriously tricky to clear and some could lurk undetected, threatening tankers for months. Iranian submarines and small attack boats could hide amidst a large fleet of civilian fishing vessels in dozens of villages and island harbors, mounting follow-on attacks on tankers and American ships.

The forecast also says that if oil were to rise to more than $200 a barrel, it could induce panicky consumer behavior, such as drivers topping off their gas tanks regularly out of fear that gasoline might run out. Lines at gas stations reminiscent of the 1970s might form. Pump prices would rise in line with oil prices, and stock markets could easily fall by 10 or 20 percent, possibly spurring a new recession.

IHS goes on to predict there would also be urgent efforts to relieve the supply crunch, such as a generous release of oil from emergency reserves in the U.S. and Europe. Saudi Arabia would be pressured to tap all the spare capacity it has, and export as much as possible via pipelines that run to the Red Sea. Many nations would institute rationing schemes and strict conservation measures.

Those actions, combined with the rollback of the Iranian military, would bring oil prices down to an average of about $160 per barrel for three months or so, then back to around $120, IHS believes. So the whole affair might rattle markets for six months or so, and perhaps end with something like a return to the status quo.

If it were to happen, the timing could upend American politics. A war with Iran in the fall, leading up to the elections, would intensify the financial pain soaring gas prices have on the typical American family, with gas costing them an extra $100 per month or more. But a surge of patriotism might offset that, electorally speaking, helping Obama more than it hurts him.

IHS assume that its scenario takes place at the beginning of 2013, which would saddle the U.S. president with one more tough and complex problem at the same time that momentous decisions about tax cuts (or hikes) need to be made, and big cuts in federal spending are due to kick in. Wriggling out of a recession under that blend of economic pressures would be an impressive Houdini act for whoever is president in 2013.

There's one other scenario, of course: Some kind of diplomatic resolution that avoids a military confrontation and pushes oil prices down instead of up. That would mean politics as usual, which is ugly enough. But the politicians, at least, would have one less thing to argue about.

Rick Newman is the author of Rebounders: How Winners Pivot From Setback to Success, to be published in May. Follow him on Twitter: @rickjnewman

3471  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "L" word on: March 22, 2012, 06:30:52 PM
Doug it is ok here but don't go on CNN and use that word.   [Well maybe it would be ok if it was a Republican.]

3472  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 22, 2012, 08:18:40 AM
Doug that video is a riot.   The greatest mind to ever occupy the WH using canned words.  As for Denmark everyknows Danes can't box cheesy

"Yo, Ben, I got your back bro."  wink
3473  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: March 22, 2012, 08:12:03 AM
And let's not forget Hillary has responsibility here. 

The brave champion of women's rights around the world.

I suppose Zakaria will be out in full force this weekend spinning the tale of Obama's brilliance in all this.
3474  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: March 21, 2012, 05:05:50 PM
On the eve of IRS day I post this challenge from Buchanan to Obama (sorry Rachel, I guess you no longer come to the board loaded with troglodytes so I what you don't see won't offend you; beyond that absolutely nothing personal meant and I do hope you will return to posting on the forum).

In any case here is Pat's pointed challenge:

***The glaring inequality of Obamavilleby Patrick J. Buchanan03/20/2012
CommentsRising inequality "is the defining issue of our time," said President Obama in his Osawatomie speech that echoed the "New Nationalism" address Theodore Roosevelt delivered in that same Kansas town a century ago.
In the last two decades, the average income of the top 1 percent in the U.S. has grown by 250 percent, bemoaned our populist president, while the income of the average American has stagnated.
"This kind of inequality -- a level we haven't seen since the Great Depression -- hurts us all," said Obama.
"Inequality ... distorts our democracy. ... It gives an outsized voice to the few who can afford high-priced lobbyists ... and runs the risk of selling out our democracy to the highest bidder."
But is the president, a former disciple of radical socialist Saul Alinsky, truly serious about closing the inequality gap?
Or is this just political blather to frame the election year as a contrast between Barack Obama, champion of the middle class, and a Republican Party that supposedly hauls water for the undeserving rich?
Obama's retort to those who say he is waging class warfare?
Republicans alone prevent him from raising the top U.S. income tax rate from 35 to 39.6 percent, where it stood under Bill Clinton, and advancing America toward true equality.
Republicans reply that the top 1 percent of U.S. taxpayers already carry 40 percent of the income tax load, while half of the nation and a majority of Obama voters pay no income tax at all. Moreover, these free-riders also consume almost all of the $900 billion the nation spends annually on Great Society programs.
Yet, a path has just opened up to test the seriousness of the president, to determine if he is a phony on the inequality issue, or a true egalitarian eager to close the gap.
That opportunity comes from a report last week that income inequality in America is at its greatest in the electoral precinct where Obama won his largest majority: Washington, D.C.
In Washington, the top 5 percent of households have an average income of $473,000, highest of all of the 50 largest cities in America. The average income of the top 20 percent of district households is $259,000. Only San Francisco ranks higher.
Moreover, that $259,000 average household income for the top 20 percent is 29 times the average household income of the bottom 20 percent, which is only $9,100 a year.
The citadel of liberalism that Obama carried 93-7 has a disparity of incomes between rich and poor that calls to mind the Paris of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
Washington is a textbook case of the inequality that Obama says "distorts our democracy," and it is the ideal place to prove that he is serious.
For Washington is Obamaville. The mayor is a Democrat. The city council is Democratic. There are more lawyers and lobbyists concentrated here than in any city in America.
Here we have the perfect test case -- the most liberal city in the republic, with the greatest income inequality, where Obama's political clout and personal popularity are highest. And there is no obstructionist Republican cabal to block progressive reforms.
If Obama and the Democratic Party will not use their power to close the inequality gap right here in their own playpen, how do they remain credible in Middle America?
How to proceed, if the left is serious about inequality?
Consider. The District of Columbia income tax reaches 8.5 percent after the first $40,000 in income. A 5 percent surtax takes that rate to 8.95 percent for incomes over $350,000.
Yet, half a dozen states have higher and more progressive income tax rates than that.
Obama should call on his allies in the city government to raise the district income tax to the 15 percent level New York had in the 1970s.
Since district income taxes are deductible against federal income taxes, this would translate into an actual top tax bite on the Washington rich of 9.75 percent. Is that too much to ask of true progressives?
The new revenue could be transferred to Washington's working class and poor through tax credits, doubly reducing the district's glaring inequality.
Republicans will argue that raising the district tax rate to 15 percent on incomes above $250,000 will precipitate an exodus into Maryland and Virginia, where the top tax rates are not half of that. Conservatives believe as an article of faith that tax rates heavily influence economic behavior.
But Obama, who has kept the U.S. corporate tax rate among the highest in the world and wants U.S. personal tax rates raised closer to European levels, rejects this Republican argument.
Has he the courage of his convictions?
When the district's schools were desegregated in the 1950s, liberals fled. Let us see if they will stick around for a "progressive income tax" to reduce this unconscionable inequality between Kalorama and Spring Valley -- and Anacostia and Turkey Thicket.

3475  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 20, 2012, 02:05:36 PM
"All this is more than a little frustraing to me.  Where's the well organized coherent statements of Romney or Saintorum"

Indeed. Romney will have to make these distinctions himself - over and over - and not let the dishonest leader in chief continue to get away with such distortions of the truth.  The MSM certainly will not call out OBama.  This AM CNN is showing one of the anchors making smirks and faces when speaking of Senator Brown of Mass calling for an additional opening of the immigrant gates for thousands of Irish.   She was clear that this is no doubt *political* pandering and will open flood gates from every other ethnic group.

She is exactly right.  The problem is CNN rarely calls out the Brockman the same way like they do Republicans.

So it is for Romney to articulate the lies falsehoods, distortions of Obama and team.

It is still early but one has to ask who is running Romney's team.  This stuff is not rocket science.  Why can't the ahndlers come out with scripts for the manager to study.  He can memorize.
3476  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 20, 2012, 10:26:48 AM

Another release of "classified" military non information that expresses what any idiot can see.

OK Franks what is the alternative to military stirke that will stop Iran from going nuclear?  The answer is nothing.  The plan is obvious - containment and hope for the best.

I am sick and tired of the WH releasing only information that will help with its re election.

If we are not going to back Israel then just say so.

Stop the double talk, the "I have your back" crap.  "No options are off the table" nonsense.  And we know Iran will strike back in subtle ways at first and there is no end to this as long as we don't deal with it fully now.

It seems to me that military action should include their government that is causing all this not most of the Iranians (at least as is reported)
3477  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "deleveraging" a thing of beauty on: March 19, 2012, 03:11:22 PM
Ray Dalio
Man and machine
The economic ideas of the world’s most successful hedge-fund boss
Mar 10th 2012 | WESTPORT, CONNECTICUT | from the print edition

 And my returns look like this
“THE most beautiful deleveraging yet seen” is how Ray Dalio describes what is now going on in America’s economy. As America has gone through the necessary process of reducing its debt-to-income ratio since the financial crash of 2008, he reckons its policymakers have done well in mixing painful stuff like debt restructuring with injections of cash to keep demand growing. Europe’s deleveraging, by contrast, is “ugly”.

Mr Dalio’s views are taken seriously. He made a fortune betting before the crash that the world had taken on too much debt and would need to slash it. Last year alone, his Bridgewater Pure Alpha fund earned its investors $13.8 billion, taking its total gains since it opened in 1975 to $35.8 billion, more than any other hedge fund ever, including the previous record-holder, George Soros’s Quantum Endowment Fund.

In this section
The new grease?
»Man and machine
Pausing for breath
Fixing LIBOR
Year of the tortoise
Better Than Goldman?
Natural stock selection
Arise and fall
Bond shelter


Related topics
United States
George Soros
Economic crisis
Mr Dalio, an intense 62-year-old, is following in the footsteps of Mr Soros in other ways, too. Mr Soros has published several books on his theories, and is funding an institute to get mainstream economists to take alternative ideas seriously. Mr Dalio, too, is now trying to improve the public understanding of how the economy works. His economic model “is not very orthodox but gives him a pretty good sense of where the economy is,” says Paul Volcker, a former chairman of America’s Federal Reserve and one of Mr Dalio’s growing number of influential fans.

Whereas Mr Soros credits the influence of Karl Popper, a philosopher who taught him as a student, Mr Dalio says his ideas are entirely the product of his own reflections on his life as a trader and his study of economic history. He has read little academic economics (though his work has echoes of Hyman Minsky, an American economist, and of best-selling recent work on downturns by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff) but has conducted in-depth analysis of past periods of economic upheaval, such as the Depression in America, post-war Britain and the hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic. He has even simulated being an investor in markets in those periods by reading daily papers from these eras, receiving data and “trading” as if in real time.

In the early 1980s Mr Dalio started writing down rules that would guide his investing. He would later amend these rules depending on how well they predicted what actually happened. The process is now computerised, so that combinations of scores of decision-rules are applied to the 100 or so liquid-asset classes in which Bridgewater invests. These rules led him to hold both government bonds and gold last year, for example, because the deleveraging process was at a point where, unusually, those two assets would rise at the same time. He was right.

What Mr Dalio calls the “timeless and universal” core of his economic ideas is set out in a 20-page “Template for Understanding” that he wrote shortly after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 and recently updated. The document begins: “The economy is like a machine.” This machine may look complex but is, he insists, relatively simple even if it is “not well understood”. Mr Dalio models the macroeconomy from the bottom up, by focusing on the individual transactions that are the machine’s moving parts. Conventional economics does not pay enough attention to the individual components of supply and, above all, demand, he says. To understand demand properly, you must know whether it is funded by the buyers’ own money or by credit from others.

A huge amount of Bridgewater’s efforts goes into gathering data on credit and equity, and understanding how that affects demand from individual market participants, such as a bank, or from a group of participants (such as subprime-mortgage borrowers). Bridgewater predicted the euro-zone debt crisis by totting up how much debt would need to be refinanced and when; and by examining all the potential buyers of that debt and their ability to buy it. Mr Volcker describes the degree of detail in Mr Dalio’s work as “mind-blowing” and admits to feeling sometimes that “he has a bigger staff, and produces more relevant statistics and analyses, than the Federal Reserve.”

Two sorts of credit cycle are at the heart of Mr Dalio’s economic model: the business cycle, which typically lasts five to eight years, and a long-term (“long wave”) debt cycle, which can last 50-70 years. A business cycle usually ends in a recession, because the central bank raises the interest rate, reducing borrowing and demand. The debt cycle ends in deleveraging because there is a “shortage of capable providers of capital and/or a shortage of capable recipients of capital (borrowers and sellers of equity) that cannot be rectified by the central bank changing the cost of money.” Business cycles happen often, they are well understood and policymakers are fairly adept at managing them. A debt cycle tends to come along in a country once in a lifetime, tends to be poorly understood and is often mishandled by policymakers.

An ordinary recession can be ended by the central bank lowering the interest rate again. A deleveraging is much harder to end. According to Mr Dalio, it usually requires some combination of debt restructurings and write-offs, austerity, wealth transfers from rich to poor and money-printing. A “beautiful deleveraging” is one in which all these elements combine to keep the economy growing at a nominal rate that is higher than the nominal interest rate. (Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: Mr Dalio expects America’s GDP growth to average only 2% over a 15-year period.)

Print too little money and the result is an ugly, deflationary deleveraging (see Greece); print too much and the deleveraging may become inflationary, as in Weimar Germany. Although Mr Dalio says he fears being misunderstood as saying “print a lot of money and everything will be OK, which I don’t believe, all deleveragings have ended with the printing of significant amounts of money. But it has to be in balance with other policies.”

Mr Dalio admits to being wrong roughly a third of the time; indeed, he attributes a big part of his success to managing the risk of bad calls. And the years ahead are likely to provide a serious test of whether the economic machine is as simple as he says. For now, he is in a more optimistic mood thanks to the European Central Bank’s recent moves, in effect, to print money. Although he still expects debt restructuring in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland, on top of that in Greece, he says that the “risk of chaos has been reduced and we are now calming ourselves down.” Here’s hoping he is right again.

See also: An interview with Ray Dalio

3478  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process on: March 19, 2012, 03:06:36 PM
don't worry be happy
we will 'grow' our way of this

let me see if I can find the article on that guy who says the US is elegantly or beautifully deleveraging ourselves out of our mess while Europe is not doing it is artfully or in a more ugly fashion.

What a joke.

It really is remarkable that probably few hundreds of  people truly control the world economy
3479  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CNN newscaster is not a journalist as much as a on: March 19, 2012, 01:38:12 PM

Here is what I mean about Fareed Zakaria who meets with Obama regularly to coordinate the framework of his shows with the agenda of the WH.   If I hear him ask one more guest, "don't you think Obama is right?",  or exclaim "you know it is true [what the wh says], give another lecture about the glories of whatever the WH policy is on whatever the topic du jour is:
3480  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / release of data that is 80 years old - NOW on: March 19, 2012, 12:09:43 PM
Ok now a lifetime later the Census Bureau which is now under the close scrutiny of the WH is releasing data from the 1930s.
Obviously there is some political reason for this.  There must be information they want released so they can compare the Brock in some sort of positive light.

Fareed Zakaria whose reason for living is to have endless shows cheerleading Obama from ever direction will probably make some sort of analysis comparing the Brockman to Roosevelt now:
3481  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: March 19, 2012, 10:21:39 AM
There is also the obvious trend for those Jews who are against military action to be invested in Obama and the Democrat party elections.
3482  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 18, 2012, 02:06:07 PM
Obama:  "That’s why he’s not on Mount Rushmore"

Remember I have posted how Obama holds up his chin like he is posing for a spot on Mt Rushmore?   Well this supports my theory that that is exactly what he is doing:

3483  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 16, 2012, 02:51:06 PM

Your may be right.

I don't quite understand why for some of my fellow Jews, the liberal die hard democrat wasserman schultz types - Republicans are worse than Nazis or middle eastern terrorists.
3484  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 16, 2012, 12:54:53 PM
3485  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Men & Women on: March 13, 2012, 04:36:23 PM
" Don't forget bi-racial, lefthanded, paraplegic history month!
« Reply #50 on: Today at 01:37:53 PM »"

Good news GM!,

The latter, at least, has been remembered:

Oh how I celebrate!
3486  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / women's history month on: March 13, 2012, 02:44:12 PM
Women's History Month
How did March come to be Women's History Month?
By Jone Johnson Lewis,
In 1911 in Europe, March 8 was first celebrated as International Women's Day. In many European nations, as well as in the United States, women's rights was a political hot topic. Woman suffrage — winning the vote — was a priority of many women's organizations. Women (and men) wrote books on the contributions of women to history.

But with the economic depression of the 1930s which hit on both sides of the Atlantic, and then World War II, women's rights went out of fashion. In the 1950s and 1960s, after Betty Friedan pointed to the "problem that has no name" — the boredom and isolation of the middle-class housewife who often gave up intellectual and professional aspirations — the women's movement began to revive. With "women's liberation" in the 1960s, interest in women's issues and women's history blossomed.

By the 1970s, there was a growing sense by many women that "history" as taught in school — and especially in grade school and high school — was incomplete with attending to "her story" as well. In the United States, calls for inclusion of black Americans and Native Americans helped some women realize that women were invisible in most history courses.

And so in the 1970s many universities began to include the fields of women's history and the broader field of women's studies.

In 1978 in California, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women began a "Women's History Week" celebration. The week was chosen to coincide with International Women's Day, March 8.

The response was positive. Schools began to host their own Women's History Week programs. The next year, leaders from the California group shared their project at a Women's History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. Other participants not only determined to begin their own local Women's History Week projects, but agreed to support an effort to have Congress declare a national Women's History Week.

Three years later, the United States Congress passed a resolution establishing National Women's History Week. Co-sponsors of the resolution, demonstrating bipartisan support, were Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, and Representative Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat from Maryland.

This recognition encouraged even wider participation in Women's History Week. Schools focused for that week on special projects and exhibitions honoring women in history. Organizations sponsored talks on women's history. The National Women's History Project began distributing materials specifically designed to support Women's History Week, as well as materials to enhance the teaching of history through the year, to include notable women and women's experience.

In 1987, at the request of the National Women's History Project, Congress expanded the week to a month, and the U.S. Congress has issued a resolution every year since then, with wide support, for Women's History Month. The U.S. President has issued each year a proclamation of Women's History Month.

To further extend the inclusion of women's history in the history curriculum (and in everyday consciousness of history), the President's Commission on the Celebration of Women in History in America met through the 1990s. One result has been the effort towards establishing a National Museum of Women's History for the Washington, DC, area, where it would join other museums such as the American History Museum.

The purpose of Women's History Month is to increase consciousness and knowledge of women's history: to take one month of the year to remember the contributions of notable and ordinary women, in hopes that the day will soon come when it's impossible to teach or learn history without remembering these contributions.

As the Women's History Guide at About, I focus on women's history 365 days a year. To honor this special month, I encourage you to explore this site, learning more about one important aspect of the history of all people. Women's history isn't just for women, although many women find that studying women's history helps them realize that women's place is everywhere.

3487  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iran from India point of view on: March 13, 2012, 01:03:28 PM
Strategies to deal with Iran sanctions
Srinath Raghavan
Share  ·   Comment   ·   print   ·   T+   Share  India's good relations with the Middle East countries will advance its interests in the region.

When it comes to Iran, India means business. This was clear from New Delhi's decision to send a delegation comprising officials and businessmen to Tehran. The delegation is exploring the opportunities created by the latest US and EU sanctions on Iran. India's serious pursuit of its economic interest is a welcome turn in its foreign policy. But New Delhi needs to orchestrate its economic and geopolitical moves on the complicated chess-board of West Asia.

The US has imposed sanctions that will penalise financial institutions transacting with the Iranian central bank. In tandem, the EU has slapped an embargo on Iranian crude imports that will come fully into effect in July 2012. American allies in Asia — Japan, Taiwan and South Korea — are also reducing their imports of Iranian crude. In all, Iran could miss out on as much as 35 per cent of its total exports. This leaves China and India as the two largest buyers of Iranian crude. Iran currently accounts for more than 11 per cent of India's oil imports, amounting to $12 billion a year.

Faced with such hard sanctions, it isn't surprising that Iran has agreed to a rupee payment mechanism for 45 per cent of its oil exports to India. This, of course, works rather well for us. It provides a major avenue for Indian exports. Iran is already the largest importer of rice from India, accounting for half of the 2.2 million tonnes exported by India last year. This is the time to surge ahead with exports in some other, higher-value sectors. We could also use this opportunity to upgrade the Chahbahar port and its transportation links with Afghanistan and some other Central Asian countries. Chahbahar was recently used by India to send 100,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan. Investing further in its development will considerably increase India's economic footprint in these parts.

While surging ahead with the opportunities presented by the current situation, India needs to prepare for potential pitfalls in its ties with Iran. For a start, the agreement on the payment mechanism doesn't spell the end of the problems in importing oil from Iran. There is the major issue of insurance for tankers shipping Iranian oil to India. European firms insure more than 90 per cent of tanker fleets globally. Their refusal, following the imposition of sanctions, to cover shipments from Iran presents serious problems for India.

New Delhi is apparently considering extending the sovereign guarantee to Indian ships that fetch Iranian crude. This still leaves us with the issue of covering foreign tankers chartered by India. We may find some interim solution to this. But in the longer run, we need to enhance our own fleet, and foster the development of protection and indemnity insurance in India. The position, vis-à-vis Iran, points to a larger strategic imperative for India. Our energy security hinges on our ability to become a serious maritime power. And historically, there have been few maritime powers that aren't financial powerhouses as well.

The more pressing challenges are geopolitical. As the US and its allies attempt to step up sanctions on Iran, there will be pressure on India to follow suit. So far, India has spoken out against these steps, and has rightly held that it isn't bound to comply with unilateral sanctions. New Delhi should be more forthcoming in pointing out that the sanctions are actually likely to be counterproductive. The heart of the problem is the ambiguity in Washington's approach to Iran.

On the one hand, the imposition of additional sanctions is aimed at forcing Iran to negotiate with the West and halt its nuclear enrichment activities. On the other, there is the unstated but evident hope that the sanctions might lead to regime change in Iran. In this context, Tehran has little incentive to comply with UN Security Council resolutions on its nuclear programme. What is more, having seen the fate of Muammar Gaddafi, who paid for abandoning his nuclear programme with the loss of his regime and life, the Iranian leadership will look for solid reassurances before engaging in serious negotiations.

Making these arguments, if only in private, is important, because India wouldn't like Iran to acquire nuclear weapons capability. The problem isn't that a nuclear Iran would present an existential danger to its Arab neighbours and Israel. The American nuclear umbrella and the Israeli nuclear arsenal are more than adequate to make sure that Iran doesn't even contemplate using nuclear weapons. Nor is it the case that a nuclear Iran will trigger a chain-reaction of nuclear proliferation in West Asia. The Arab countries have, after all, lived with the Israeli bomb for decades. The problem rather is that the acquisition of nuclear weapons might embolden Iran in using its proxies to advance its influence in the region. For the fear of escalation to the nuclear level would constrict the options available to Iran's rivals. The resulting instability will undermine India's interests in West Asia — and not least, the presence of 6 million Indian workers.

Further, a determined move by Tehran to acquire the bomb will catalyse the incipient rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia. This dynamic is currently playing out in third countries like Syria and Bahrain, where Iran and Saudi Arabia are supporting their respective clients. India has important interests in its relations with both Saudi Arabia and Iran. It is no coincidence that even as New Delhi is looking to expand its economic engagement with Tehran, the Indian defence minister went to Riyadh — the first visit of its kind. Similarly, India has interests at stake on both sides of the Iran-Israel divide. The challenge for New Delhi in all these sets of relationships is to avoid taking sides. The recent attack on the Israeli diplomat has led to exaggerated claims on the ‘war' in West Asia coming to India's doorstep, and the need for India to pick its partners.

On the contrary, India's good relations with all these countries provide it more options to advance its interests in the region. This is a game that New Delhi needs to play with patience and finesse.

(The author is Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.)

3488  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 13, 2012, 12:18:54 PM
Thanks for the post.  The more and more we here MSM saying that no repub can beat Obama and is the favorite (if not a shoe in) , the more I think it is clear to "short" O's stock.

I think he is done and as long as Mitt can carefully follow a good script he will win.

Obama's tactics are pure desperation.   The left MSM cheerleaders are running with whatever story the WH puts out thru the jurnolist and whatever connections they have.  It's OBVIOUS.

3489  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 13, 2012, 10:49:03 AM
Yes clearly the US military is against an attack on Iran.  The weight of the information we know publically is that they have already decided Iran will go nuclear, and they have already concluded of a strategy of "containment".  Along with some missle "defense" systems they know Israel has ~100 nuclear devices and submarines capable of launching them they appear to think a policy similar to US Soviet detante/mutual assured destruction is the best way to go.

Netanyahu does not agree with this strategy and is not willing to risk Iran getting the nucs.  The questions being thrown about from time to time like during the 60 minute interview with the Mossad chief, "are the Ayatolohs rational" comes into play here.  In other words would Iranian leaders who weld the power be level headed enough not to use nuclear weapons knowing full well they would suffer a devasting attack that would kill millions.  The Mossad guy says they are in his opinion "rational".  Well I say they are rational enough to plan to build nuclear weapons under the guise of a peaceful program, dig the program deep under ground, only let the IEA see what they want them to see, and make clear publically intentions of wanting to get all Jews out of Israel.  They have also been rational enough to have some talks over the years, hold off (reportedly) the program shortly after they saw Saddam being dragged out of a hole, and now again show some signs they want to talk ("to save face") just as it is becoming clear Israel will act alone - again - if aint obvious by now - to stall off any military attack so they can continue on the program they have paid extraordinarily dearly for in time, expense, with sanctions, with economic woes.

Folks they want bombs.  Every indication tis they plan on making good with their threats.   
Amadinajad keeps making it clear that Iran only need light up a few nucs to kill or injure most Israelis.  This is the same group (I think) that was willing to send 100 thousand children to near certain death across Iraqi mine fields.

So now we can either pray that containment would work aka Obama/US military or hope that what Netanyhu does works.

Either way Israel risks their existance.
3490  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Hillary's cornered the lady vote on: March 12, 2012, 05:22:57 PM
Obama is trying desperately to win over the women who I suspect didn't like him so much in 08 not because they loved McCain but because they love Hillary.   Hillary is a giant hit among woman.   She would win them over in a huge landslide in 2016:
3491  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: March 12, 2012, 05:17:28 PM
Looking for nat gas investors overseas:
3492  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 12, 2012, 03:50:17 PM
According to this writer Netanyahu need not worry.  He has Obama's ull support.  Obama said so.
(till Nov 2 wink)
3493  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Netanyahu can read stories like these - just like me! on: March 12, 2012, 03:40:40 PM
Personally I didn't like Obama's advice to calm down the rhetoric.  I don't recall ever seeing Bibi appear panicked, scared or irrational.
I notice MSNBC and CNN (though the latter was a far more balanced panel) had on guests implying that the IRan thing is diverting attention from the big issue at hand in the middle east which is the Israel Palestinian dispute without an end.  They had guests who made it clear that the entire problem are the Jewish settlements and if it weren't for the Jews settling on WEst Bank there would be peace.  Essentially the fault of the Jews.  Chris Hays sounded suspiciously putting forth this veiw which indeed is the view of the present WH occupant.  It is in my view no coicidence MSNBC is pushing this now.  It is direct propaganda from the WH or its minions.

All I can say to the WH is just keep it up.  You will lose many Jewish votes.   If Jews are somewhat paranoid and suspicious and untrusting it is for good reason.   On Obama's political gamesmanship:
3494  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ayatollas see the same things we do on: March 12, 2012, 03:27:40 PM
3495  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 12, 2012, 10:45:47 AM
In reading the opinion of the 60 minutes interview with the Mossad chief and Leslie Stahl  along with everything else we have read I conclude that Israel has marginal ability at best to stop Iran from going nuclear.  Indeed, the odds of success (without the US) are so low many Israelis would not do it alone.  Too scared and understandably so.

I still think Israel has no choice but to try.  The question is what will the US do?

What should they do?

There are many answers and many opinions.

Bottom line Iran will almost certainly have a nuclear bomb capability.

Military means was in retrospect and clearly is the only way to stop them.

Iran will have nuclear weapons will dictate to the Jews to leave Israel or else and the situation will be 100 times more dangerous than now. 

Everything points to this.  Despite years of talking about talkng nothing else has changed.

Iran has succeeded in digging in, and correctly judged the US to not be willing to do go the distance.
3496  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: March 10, 2012, 11:45:23 AM
makes sense
3497  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cal Thomas: may as well leave now on: March 10, 2012, 10:14:19 AM
****Leave Afghanistan now

By Cal Thomas | Most wars have a turning point that either signals the road to victory or the ditch of defeat. In Vietnam, the 1968 Tet Offensive by communist troops against South Vietnamese and American forces and their allies is regarded as the turning point in that conflict. Though communist forces suffered heavy losses, which would normally define defeat, CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite and others in the U.S. media, portrayed the operation as an allied loss, thus encouraging not only the anti-war movement, but North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops who believed all they had to do was hang on until America grew tired of the war and quit.

Since the Obama administration appears to care more about not offending those Afghans who want to kill Americans and since it has announced the deadline for the withdrawal of surge-level troops in Afghanistan for later this year, despite the fact that they have stymied the efforts of Taliban insurgents to destabilize the country, maybe it's time to pull all U.S. forces out and leave our puppet, Hamid Karzai, to his fate.

The latest affront comes courtesy of the burning of Korans by U.S. soldiers on a military base near Kabul. Military officials maintain the Korans were being used by imprisoned jihadists to pass messages to other prisoners and were confiscated and destroyed. A spokesman for the NATO-led force said the troops, "...should have known to check with cultural advisers to determine how to dispose of religious material properly." For this unintended action, however, Karzai wants the soldiers to be put on trial and has asked NATO commanders to allow it. If they do, they will have disgraced their uniform.


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

Does writing in a Koran desecrate it? One might expect it would, but the outrage is over the burning, not the writing. More than 1,700 Americans have died in and around Afghanistan and more than 14,000 have been wounded since the United States invaded shortly after September 11, 2011. And this is the thanks we get? How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless puppet.

When do jihadists apologize for mass murder or religious persecution? Two years ago in Rasht, Iran, Youcef Nadarkhani, a Christian pastor who converted from Islam, was arrested on charges of apostasy. He has been sentenced to hang for his religious conversion. Anyone hear any apologies from "moderate" Muslims about that, much less attempts to shame the ayatollahs, or label them apostates?

The New York Times reported recently that President Obama's three-page apology letter to President Karzai contained these sentences: "I wish to express my deep regret for the reported incident. I extend to you and the Afghan people my sincere apologies." This will only serve as further evidence to our enemies in Afghanistan of America's weakness and lack of resolve in what is likely to be a very long and global war. American impatience, fatigue and a desire not to offend, does not bode well for an American victory or for Afghan liberation. No one worried about offending our enemies during World War II. That's why the forces for good won.

Can Afghanistan be stabilized so as not to pose a threat to America and American interests? Probably not, if the surge forces pull out on schedule and America continues to fight under restrictive and self-imposed rules of war while the enemy does not.

So what's the point? Are we to stay only until after the election so President Obama won't be asked, "Who lost Afghanistan?" If our troops are coming out anyway and if the administration can't define victory, or commit the resources necessary to achieve it, waiting longer only ensures more casualties. As with Vietnam, that is a waste of blood and treasure. Ask the ghosts of the more than 58,000 fallen whose names appear on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, or the ghosts of the politicians who are responsible for putting them in their graves.****

3498  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: March 10, 2012, 09:57:10 AM
What does that mean with regards to the interest rates and changing the assumptions on funding?

3499  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Here is the video off yahoo on: March 10, 2012, 09:12:49 AM
This leaves out the first part of the exchange, I don't know if that is deliberate because it just shows the part where Christie loses his temper and not what led up to that point:;_ylt=AlcrjlK2vTBvj2sUtM5ePl.s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNqdHMxNDk3BGNjb2RlA2N0LmMEcGtnA2VkY2JkZTdiLTRhNWUtMzVlOC1hZjQ1LTRhOWU4ZmQ4NTdjNwRwb3MDMwRzZWMDbW9zdF9wb3B1bGFyBHZlcgM3ZWNiOTFhMy02YTRhLTExZTEtYmJmZi1lNzBlNzFkNDVmNmM-;_ylg=X3oDMTFrM25vcXFyBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAMEcHQDc2VjdGlvbnMEdGVzdAM-;_ylv=3
3500  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / video gotcha hit piece on: March 10, 2012, 09:10:09 AM
On yahoo is a video of governor Chris Christie losing his temper with a Rutgers law student.  I was not aware of the propose change to Rutger's name as a result of a merger with Rowan University.  I don't know the specifics of this law student but this whole thing somehow smells of teachers unions vs the governor.   The UMDNJ system has multiple corruption scandals.  As a state prosecutor before he was governor he was active in that area.

****Kevin Riordan: Rutgers-Camden, Rowan may marry, but they should keep their names
January 31, 2012|By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
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Gov. Christie's proposal to "merge" Rutgers-Camden and Rowan University under the Rowan name looks less like a collegial partnership and more like a hostile takeover. Or perhaps a shotgun wedding.

Whatever you call it, the plan - part of an effort to reorganize, if not revolutionize, higher education statewide - feels like a foregone conclusion.

It arrived last week, floating on promises of more money, more jobs, more . . . more. And like so many decisions with enormous consequences for Camden, it appears to have been made with little input from people who live or work there.

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Is it possible Camden and South Jersey would be better served by linking Rutgers and Rowan in a way that retains their identities? Could the schools gain academic and economic clout in a merger that more resembled a collaboration?

A "consortium," such as that proposed by the Rutgers-Camden faculty, could combine some programs at the universities, leveraging strengths but maintaining separate operations.

"There's nothing to stop a cooperative arrangement from happening," says Howard Gillette, history professor emeritus at Rutgers-Camden.

Others suggest creating an umbrella institution with a name such as University of Southern New Jersey. It would maintain key elements of Rutgers and Rowan, which would retain their names. The parent institution would have the scale and grant-attracting cachet of a large research university.

Some alternative seems preferable to Christie's bold proposal, which has not been well received at Rutgers-Camden.

"I don't trust [Christie]," third-year Rutgers law student Jessica Starkman said Monday, as applause rose in the Camden campus' Walter Gordon Theatre.

Starkman, 25, of Cherry Hill, was one of nearly 200 law students who attended an afternoon question-and-answer session. No one who spoke, including Dean Rayman Solomon, applauded the merger.

Several antitakeover events are scheduled on campus this week, and more than 3,000 people have signed an online petition against the merger.

"I've never seen Rutgers-Camden so united," Janet Golden, a professor of history and a leader of the union that represents the teaching staff, told me Monday.

Christie's proposal is largely driven by his desire to dismantle the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and distribute its components to higher-education institutions, mostly in Newark and New Brunswick. New Jersey would end up with a large research university in each of its three major regions.****

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