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3501  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Race-baiting Industrial Complex on: August 31, 2011, 10:54:06 AM
Kissel's article is depressing.

I have almost given up hope.

I still agree with Bob Grant and that it is already too late.

We both hope we are wrong but our guts tell us otherwise.

Your post on political rants showing the mindset of entitlement of that person is extraordinarily depressing.

3502  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: August 31, 2011, 10:49:18 AM
Crafty,

Wow!

If everyone thought like her we would be back to the stone age.

I am not sure what her alternative would be.  Someone has to build shelter and gather, grow, or hunt for food even without civilization.

She thinks people stopped working under communism?

And she might wonder why people might not want to hire her?

3503  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / buffett deconstructed on: August 31, 2011, 10:41:15 AM
Interesting analysis from RN.

This is a perfect example of what I was trying to explain that we have do not have fairness in our system.

The guys at the top ARE ripping us all off big time.  The system IS rigged.  Republicans could, I think, win over the independents by putting stops to this kind of crap (at least giving the effort of trying).

If the government has any role it is not to penalize the successful but it could be to at least try to keep the system fair for all to succeed.

This game Buffett is playing is a perfect example of how the game can be rigges and those "at the top" are simply robbing the rest of us.  The Democrats certainly do have a point here but the Republican answer is not to turn around and rob the rich (as the Dems want to do) and redistribute.  It should be to try to make the system fair for all.  The government must not be a position to play favorites.  It is so corrupt.  The cans simply seem to ignore all of this.  Continue to ignore this and thus continue to have millions resent the Rep party.  What else can I say?
3504  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dick Morris: Perry v Romney on economy/jobs on: August 30, 2011, 02:55:09 PM
PERRY VS. ROMNEY ON ECONOMY
By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann08.30.201130 8 84Share125Share
Now here comes Rick Perry challenging Mitt Romney’s record on job creation. The stats are definitely in his favor. Between June of ’09 and June of ’11, 50% of the net new jobs created in the United States were in Texas, making Texas number one in job growth by a loooooooooong shot.

Under Romney, Massachusetts’ record was terrible by comparison. The Bay State ranked 47th in job growth with employment rising less than one percent from ’03 to ’07 – his years in office (during which US job growth was 5 percent).

Governor Perry clearly did better than Governor Romney at creating jobs. But it is not two governors who will square off over the issue, it is two men with two lifetimes of experience to look at.

Ever since President Clinton drummed the concept of net job creation into our heads with his mounting claims of the millions of jobs “I created,” we have become accustomed to monitoring this figure as evidence of executive economic skill. But, in this case, Romney can point to a lifetime of actually creating jobs while Governor Perry can only cite his role in presiding over their creation as head of state.

It’s quite a difference. Perry’s Texas has had historically low taxes for decades and is one of only a handful of states without an income tax. In 1970, for example, Texas had 11 million people and Michigan had 10 million. Now Texas has 25 million while Michigan cannot find jobs for its current population of 11 million. The credit for Texas’ low taxes belongs not just to Perry, but to Governors George W. Bush and Bill Clements before him. (And even a nod is due Governor Ann Richards in between).

The job creation record is partially due to a surge in oil demand (one quarter of the new Texas jobs are in the energy sector) and some of the new jobs are due to the efforts of former Governor (and client) Mark White in getting the chip research industry to locate in Austin in the 80s.

Romney has actually, personally, financially created tens of thousands of jobs. His record of buying companies, fixing them up, selling off the unprofitable parts, obtaining financing to grow the money-making parts is invaluable in helping us to get out of the current job creation funk.

Any good Republican president will hold down taxes and block new regulations. But it may take a businessman with Romney’s skill set to dig down into the bureaucracy and understand precisely how bank regulation or EPA controls stop job creation. Romney needs to make the case that we need more than broad brush policy strokes to get the job machine running again. It is not enough to have been a good driver of the economic engine. You need to be a mechanic who knows how it works.

3505  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Race-baiting Industrial Complex on: August 30, 2011, 12:09:23 PM
I am not clear what Black caucus and leadership want Brock to do.  They want him to create jobs for Blacks?
Well it ain't going to happen by expanding big government and spending and taxing white boys.  They continuously shoot themselves in their feet.  Keep voting for endless doles.  Keep voting for a party that is allowing competition to come in to the country.

Are we ever going to have a Republican who can articulate this to Blacks?  Herman Cain, Michael Steele, have not been able to do this it seems.

***The face of the unemployed
Thousands of the unemployed came to a job fair in Miami Tuesday, August 23, 2011 sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus.
Miami Herald Staff

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson speaks to job hunters at a job fair sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus at the James L. Knight Center in downtown Miami Tuesday, August 23, 2011.
TIM CHAPMAN / MIAMI HERALD STAFF
By Patricia Mazzei
pmazzei@MiamiHerald.com
President Barack Obama could have a political problem with black voters in 2012.

Obama is still immensely popular with African Americans. But at a town hall-style meeting held in Miami Gardens this week, some black leaders and Democratic members of the Congressional Black Caucus said they are exasperated that the country’s first black president has not done more to address the needs of the black community — particularly its 16 percent unemployment rate.

“Can you say, ‘black’?” Rep. Maxine Waters of California snapped at Don Graves, the executive director of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. He had told the crowd of hundreds at Mount Hermon AME Church that Obama is focused on helping every community, though “certain communities have been hit harder.”

The meeting Monday night, coupled with a jobs fair in downtown Miami on Tuesday, was part of a national, five-city tour intended to draw attention to hurting, urban communities and to connect employers to job-seekers.

The tour was a contrast to Obama’s bus trip last week when he ventured to rural areas in the Midwest before heading with his family to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts for vacation.

The White House is expected to unveil a new jobs plan after Labor Day.

The tense moments at the meeting underscored an increasing cause of concern for Obama, who has argued that turning the economy around will help all communities. Some black leaders want the president to target aid directly to African Americans, who were crucial to Obama’s victory three years ago. In 2008, Obama won 96 percent of the vote from black women vote; 95 percent of black men.

But Obama is trying to appeal to independents and other voters across the political spectrum. And even if he does not champion African Americans as much as some black leaders hope, it is unlikely that black voters would vote against him.

Still, there is another possibility: that discouraged black voters stay home on Election Day next year, a particular worry for Democrats in swing states with sizable black populations — such as Florida, where about 13 percent of registered voters are black.

At the meeting, panelists acknowledged that blacks find it difficult to disagree with Obama or to say that they are disappointed with him because they fear their concerns will be misinterpreted as flagging support.

“We don’t want to talk about it, because we don’t want to come across as being critical of the president,” said the Rev. Victor Curry, president of the local NAACP. But African Americans, he said “should expect something from the man that’s getting 90 percent of their support.”

“President Obama needs us to hold him accountable as well,” Curry said. “We’re not blaming President Obama. We know what he inherited: He inherited a bad team.”

Rep. Frederica Wilson of Miami Gardens, who hosted the meeting and jobs fair, suggested Obama would be able to do more in a second term — and that things would be worse if a Republican were in the White House.

“The real enemy is the tea party — let’s remember that,” Wilson said. “The tea party holds Congress hostage…They have one goal in mind, and that’s to make President Obama a one-term president.”

Earlier, Waters, the California congresswoman, had gone after Graves, the Obama aide, when he said an obstacle to job creation is “folks who are going to stand in the way and block the legislation that the Congressional Black Caucus has proposed.”

“Say tea party,” Waters interrupted. “Say it!”

“It was tea-party Republicans,” a quiet Graves said.

The thorny politics, however, did not keep some 6,000 people from attending Tuesday’s job fair at the James L. Knight Center in downtown Miami. Entering the hall in orderly groups, the attendees shook hands and distributed résumés to recruiters from more than 120 companies and government agencies looking for new hires.

The going was tough, job-seekers said, because employers were directing them to apply to jobs online instead of taking down their information on the spot.

“I just don’t get responses,” said Michelle Gil, a 33-year-old from Kendall who has been looking for a marketing job for a year and a half. “I can’t get a job at Wal-Mart.”

Naomi Wright of Miami Gardens, who attended Monday’s meeting and Tuesday’s jobs fair, said she was disappointed that employers weren’t conducting interviews on site.

“It’s been difficult,” said Wright, who is African-American and has been unemployed for two years. “But I understand the president is in a very tough spot. I can’t say that he has not done enough.

“Just because we disagree does not mean we don’t support him and don’t respect him.”

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/08/23/2371894/black-lawmakers-want-obama-to.html#ixzz1WX4cOadL***
3506  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 29, 2011, 05:56:54 PM
I forgot about the maternity leave "entitlement", ahem excuse me, I mean "human/civil right".

http://thecallblog.com/?p=99
3507  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: August 29, 2011, 05:37:05 PM
"I think GM would leave the country before he moved to or lived in California!"

True but I thought he is there.  In any case I wondered if he was not on the East Coast and therefore he didn't get the same media blitzkeig we got here in the NYC metro area. 
3508  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Buffett pulling a Jeff Immelt? on: August 29, 2011, 01:58:08 PM
The saying something rotten in Denmark seems appropo here.  When we have such a big political supporter/investor in bed with the most powerful pol in the world affecting policy and naturally investing accordingly well...:

****The Examiner Washington Is Barack buddy Buffett betting on bank bailout?
Is Barack buddy Buffett betting on bank bailout?
byTimothy P. Carney Senior Political Columnistposted18 hours ago at8:06pmwith19 Comments

President Barack Obama presents the 2010 Medal of Freedom to Warren Buffett during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)If you're looking for proof that Too Big to Fail is still alive, and that Washington won't leave large financial institutions to the mercies of capitalism, consider billionaire Obama fundraiser Warren Buffett's $5 billion bet on struggling Bank of America.

Buffett, who recently won plaudits for advocating higher taxes, has spent four years betting on bailouts and big government -- and tilting the playing field in that direction by putting his money and prestige at the service of Barack Obama.

Buffett gave the maximum donation to Obama in 2007 -- $4,600 to his campaign, and $28,500 to the Democratic National Committee -- and also hosted a fundraiser for Obama in Omaha. By mid-2008, Obama had tapped Buffett as an official economic adviser to the campaign.

When Wall Street nearly collapsed in September 2008, Buffett rallied behind the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and bet big on its passage. He put $5 billion into failing investment bank Goldman Sachs. "If I didn't think the government was going to act, I would not be doing anything this week," Buffett said on CNBC at the time.

Obama had campaigned against policies that mainly serve wealthy Americans, belittling the notion that "somehow prosperity will trickle down." Obama was the only man in position to block the bailout, but he voted aye and took much of his party with him.

As Congress was passing TARP and Republicans were falling in the polls, Buffett made another investment in Obamanomics, taking a $3 billion stake in General Electric.

Goldman got $10 billion in TARP funds, and by late 2009 was reporting record profits. Buffett made more than $3.6 billion in profit off the investment.

GE never got TARP money, but a month after the Buffett investment, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation gave GE a $139 billion guarantee on its debt, and GE was a regular recipient of other Federal Reserve bailouts besides TARP. Then GE forged an intimate alliance with the Obama administration, boosting investments in greenhouse-gas credits, embryonic stem cells, wind power, battery technology, and trains -- all technologies subsidized by Obama. GE Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt, who lauded Obama's "reset capitalism" in which government would be an "industry champion," became Obama's "job czar."

More recently, Buffett said he's considering investments in ethanol pioneer Archer Daniels Midland, nuclear-power king Exelon, and government contracting giant General Dynamics. ADM was built on close ties to politicians, as was Exelon. ADM relies on ethanol subsidies for profits, while Exelon lobbies for greenhouse-gas restrictions that will profit the company's nuclear-power holdings. And General Dynamics, with $139 billion in federal contracts since 2000, is also cozy with government.

In this light, and recalling his Goldman-bailout profit, consider Buffett's investment last week in Bank of America.

Investors had been dumping Bank of America shares, presumably over worries about the mortgages it holds. But B of A holds ugly mortgages mostly because it bought Countrywide in 2008 -- a move government officials encouraged because they thought it would stabilize the financial sector. Similarly, B of A bought up Merrill Lynch with some nudging from the Treasury Department.

Finally, the Obama administration is simultaneously siding with struggling mortgage-holders against their banks while also trying to promote more lending. You could say Uncle Sam owes Bank of America.

At least Moody's, the credit-ratings agency, seems to think so. In a June 2 announcement, Moody's (owned by Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, by the way) wrote that Bank of America's credit rating "currently incorporates an unusual amount of 'uplift' from Moody's systemic support assumptions that were increased during the financial crisis." In other words, Moody's -- and thus most creditors -- assumes the government will not let Bank of America fail.

By putting $5 billion in B of A, Buffett seems to be following his mantra: "Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful." But does the Oracle of Omaha, as he did in 2008, find his courage in the promise of a bailout? And does he have good reason to expect one?

Last week, when Buffett spoke with Obama and decided to invest in Bank of America, we learned that he is hosting another Obama fundraiser. This all sounds familiar.

It's beginning to look a lot like 2008, which is bad news economically -- unless you know how to profit off bailouts.

CORRECTION: This column originally understated the size of Buffett's investment in Bank of America. The correct figure is $5 billion, not $3 billion.

Timothy P.Carney, The Examiner's senior political columnist, can be contacted at tcarney@washingtonexaminer.com. His column appears Monday and Thursday, and his stories and blog posts appear on ExaminerPolitics.com.****
3509  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / To GM on: August 29, 2011, 01:36:28 PM
Appears most people are agreeing with you.  I guess this is the new big government paradigm.  You're in California aren't you?

Perhaps you were not blankeded with 24/7 total wall to wall coverage on every single  cable and local news stations for several days on end.  We also got calls from the police not to leave the house and when it was ok to leave.  The *max* winds were 75 miles per hour.  A tropical storm is up to 74 mph.  People were being informed they were breaking the law by not evacuating certain areas.  I don't know.  This was beyond necessary to me.  Where does it end?  Can't we just use common sense?   To me it was more about politicians covering their behinds than realistic threat.  That said this is obviously the way it will be from now on.

****Mayor Bloomberg's sky-is-falling act makes him hero of Hurricane Irene
BY Erin Einhorn
DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU CHIEF

Monday, August 29th 2011, 4:00 AM

 Robert Mecea for NewsMayor Bloomberg at NYPD's Joint Operations Center on Sunday. Take our PollHurricane hero?
Are you happy with the job Mayor Bloomberg did to brace for Irene?

      Yes. New York City was very prepared for the crisis.
 No. The early evacuations and closings were unnecessary.
 Not sure. I am just glad Irene was not as devastating as it could have been.

 Related NewsBloomberg: ConEd may be forced to shut off power in southern tip of ManhattanNYC 'preparing for worst' in hurricane: BloombergNYC planning to shut down transportation systemBloomberg's plane was last to land at LGA as Christmas blizzard intensifiedAnalysis: Bloomy's 'not in Bermuda' campaignClaims of test cheats tripleNote to pols: Too much is better than not enough.

Or as mom always said, better safe than sorry.

Those words of wisdom are political winners.

PHOTOS: IRENE HITS NEW YORK

Sure, Irene wasn't quite as advertised. Plenty of New Yorkers grumbled that mandatory evacuations and constant warnings were an extreme overreaction, but history will remember Hurricane Irene as a victory for Mayor Bloomberg.

He was the one who evacuated low-lying parts of the city, who was on TV seemingly at every moment warning, cautioning and coaching New Yorkers on how to deal with what was touted as a killer hurricane.

STORM TRACKER: THE LATEST NEWS

The foresight and hustle won kudos - some begrudgingly.

In sharp contrast to the bruising Bloomberg took as the city struggled to dig out from the debilitating post-Christmas blizzard, Hizzoner was lavished with praise yesterday from even his toughest critics.

"I'm not a critic today. I'm a fan," said City Councilwoman Letitia James (D-Brooklyn), who last spring conducted what some called the "Mother of all Hearings" into the city's disastrous blizzard response.

"I'm sorta disappointed. I emailed some of my colleagues today and said, 'Damn! I missed my opportunity to have the Mother of All Hearings, Part II.'"

Last winter, elected officials from across the city said they spent the days after the blizzard fielding furious complaints from constituents and getting no response from the administration.

This time they were invited to frequent conference calls and meetings ahead of the storm.

Top city officials responded to emails and calls as the winds and rains pelted the city.

And by yesterday, James said that when she notified the administration of downed trees in her central Brooklyn district, "they responded with the cavalry."

Maybe it was a little too much, some acknowledged.

Maybe some New Yorkers were inconvenienced by the forced evacuation or alarmed by the panic.

Surely many are steamed at Gov. Cuomo and the MTA for yanking the crucial lifeline of the city's public transit system for nearly two days, but, this time, no one could complain that their mayor was AWOL.

"He wanted to go from bozo of the blizzard to hero of the hurricane," said Baruch College political science Prof. Doug Muzzio.

Instead of swooping back into the city from Bermuda as Bloomberg did just before the blizzard, New Yorkers could barely turn on their TVs over the weekend without seeing the mayor giving a briefing or inspecting the troops.

"This was Michael Bloomberg saying, 'You know what, nothing else is going to happen on my watch,'" said Councilman Domenic Recchia (D-Brooklyn), who helped evacuate thousands of people from his Coney Island district.

"Some people are going to say he overreacted, but you know what? It's better to be safe than sorry."

eeinhorn@nydailynews.com****
3510  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: August 29, 2011, 12:44:29 PM
Well we have wondered why Mexicans come here for work.

Carlos Slim didn't get to be worth 74 billion being a nice guy:

"Nearly two-thirds of Mr Slim’s wealth is thought to lie in América Móvil, the biggest or second-biggest mobile-phone operator everywhere in Latin America except Chile (where it is third). In Mexico Mr Slim’s grip is particularly strong, with 70% of the cellular market and 80% of landlines. In half the country’s 400 local areas, only his company has the infrastructure to put through calls to landlines. Not surprisingly, after accounting for purchasing power home landlines in Mexico cost 45% more than the OECD average and business lines 63% more (see chart 3). Mobiles are better value, particularly for those who do not make many calls. But basic broadband access costs nearly ten times more (per megabit per second of advertised speed) than in the rest of the OECD."


3511  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Economist; study suggest cloud science may be wrong on: August 29, 2011, 11:57:16 AM
 
****Clouds in a jar
A new experiment with old apparatus reveals a flaw in models of the climate
Aug 27th 2011 | from the print edition
 
CLOUD chambers have an honoured place in the history of physics. These devices, which generate vapour trails that mark the passage of high-energy subatomic particles, were the first apparatus that allowed such passage to be tracked. That was in the 1920s and led, among other things, to the discovery of cosmic rays. Science has moved on since then, of course, and cloud chambers are now largely museum pieces. But the world’s leading high-energy physics laboratory, CERN, outside Geneva, is dusting the idea off and putting it into reverse. Instead of using clouds to study cosmic rays, it is using cosmic rays to study clouds. In doing so, it may have thrown a spanner into the works of the world’s computer models of the climate.

Clouds are formed by the condensation of water vapour in the atmosphere around clusters of molecules such as ammonia and sulphuric acid. Ions created by the passage of cosmic rays can trigger the formation of such molecular seeds—a process of particular interest because the arrival of cosmic rays is regulated, in part, by the sun. The 11-year solar cycle, which governs the appearance of sunspots, also changes the sun’s magnetic field. That, in turn, affects the passage of cosmic rays (which are mostly protons released by distant supernova explosions), and thus the number of such rays that make it to Earth. Since clouds help regulate the climate, by reflecting sunlight back into space and cooling the atmosphere, some researchers think cosmic rays are a means by which changes in solar activity are translated into terrestrial climate change.

Just how much cosmic rays affect cloud formation has, however, remained elusive. A team at CERN, led by Jasper Kirkby, therefore decided to recreate both the solar cycle and the atmosphere in a lab. Their “cosmic rays” are generated by one of CERN’s particle accelerators. To simulate the atmosphere, they have built a special cloud chamber of their own, with the air manufactured from scratch, using liquid nitrogen and oxygen together with precise amounts of trace compounds, including sulphuric acid and ammonia.

A typical run at CLOUD, as the experiment is unimaginatively named, begins by tracking the growth of seeds from single molecules into clusters in the presence of ultraviolet radiation, which is known to encourage such growth. An electrical field removes any ions present, so the rate of seed growth should be equivalent to that in nature with no cosmic rays around. Next, the field is switched off, allowing actual cosmic rays to permeate the chamber for a while. Finally, a beam of artificial rays from the accelerator is added to the mix.

By comparing rates of seed formation during the different phases of the experiments, the researchers have been able to put a figure on cosmic rays’ contribution to the process. The results, reported in this week’s Nature, suggest naturally occurring rays enhance seed-formation rates by a factor of ten. That implies the rays’ varying intensity could indeed affect the climate.

Dr Kirkby and his colleagues remain cautious about the result, however, because of a second finding. To their surprise, they discovered that the seed-formation rates for sulphuric acid and ammonia are between a tenth and a thousandth of those needed to account for the cloud seeding actually seen in the atmosphere. That suggests other compounds are important, too—and this, in turn, implies that current climate models, which assume most seeds are made of ammonia or sulphuric acid, may require revision.

Atmospheric physics is, of course, notoriously complex. And it would be foolish to start reprogramming all the models on the basis of this single result. But it does suggest that a closer look is needed into what is going on in the real atmosphere. Clearly, there is life in the old cloud chamber yet.

from the print edition | Science and Technology
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3512  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mexico economics; from Economist on: August 29, 2011, 11:33:28 AM
Mexico’s economy
Making the desert bloom
The Mexican economy has recovered somewhat from a scorching recession imported from America, but is still hobbled by domestic monopolies and cartels
Aug 27th 2011

HOT and high in the Sierra Madre, the city of Saltillo is a long way from Wall Street. Stuffed goats keep an eye on customers in the high-street vaquera, or cowboy outfitter, where workers from the local car factories blow their pesos on snakeskin boots and $100 Stetsons. Pinstriped suits and silk ties are outnumbered by checked shirts and silver belt-buckles; pickups are prized over Porsches.

The financial crisis of 2008 began on the trading floors of Manhattan, but the biggest tremors were felt in the desert south of the Rio Grande. Mexico suffered the steepest recession of any country in the Americas, bar a couple of Caribbean tiddlers. Its economy shrank by 6.1% in 2009 (see chart 1). Between the third quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of 2009, 700,000 jobs were lost, 260,000 of them in manufacturing. The slump was deepest in the prosperous north: worst hit was the border state of Coahuila. Saltillo, its capital, had grown rich exporting to America. The state’s output fell by 12.3% in 2009 as orders dried up.

The recession turned a reasonable decade for Mexico’s economy into a dreary one. In the ten years to 2010, income per person grew by 0.6% a year, one of the lowest rates in the world. In the early 2000s Mexico boasted Latin America’s biggest economy, measured at market exchange rates, but it was soon overtaken by Brazil, whose GDP is now twice as big and still pulling away, boosted by the soaring real. Soon Brazil will take the lead in oil production, which Mexico has allowed to dwindle. As Brazilians construct stadiums for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, Mexicans, who last year celebrated the bicentenary of their independence from Spain, are building monuments to their past (and finishing them late).

Mexico’s muscles

Yet Mexico’s economy is packed with potential. Thanks to the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and a string of bilateral deals, it trades more than Argentina and Brazil combined, and more per person than China. Last year it did $400 billion of business with the United States, more than any country bar Canada and China. The investment rate, at more than a fifth of GDP, is well ahead of Brazil’s. Income per person slipped below Brazil’s in 2009, but only because of the real’s surge and the peso’s weakness. After accounting for purchasing power, Mexicans are still better off than Brazilians.

Though expatriates whinge about bureaucracy, the World Bank ranks Mexico the easiest place in Latin America to do business and the 35th-easiest in the world, ahead of Italy and Spain. In Brazil (placed 127th) companies spend 2,600 hours a year filing taxes, six times more than in Mexico. Registering a business takes nine days in Mexico and 26 in Argentina. The working hours of supposedly siesta-loving Mexicans are among the longest in the world. And although Mexico’s schools are the worst in (mainly rich) OECD countries, they are the least bad in Latin America apart from Chile’s.

These strengths have helped Mexico to rebound smartly from its calamitous slump. Last year the economy grew by 5.4%, recovering much of the ground lost in 2009. Exports to the United States, having fallen by a fifth, have reached a record high. In the desert there are signs of life: Saltillo’s high street, where four out of ten shops closed during the recession, is busy again. CIFUNSA, a foundry that turns out some 400,000 tonnes of cast iron a year for customers such as Ford and Volkswagen, shed 40% of its staff in 2009, but has rehired most of them and is producing more than it did before the slump.

However, the jobs market has yet to return to its pre-recession state. Nationally, the official unemployment rate is 5.4%, having peaked at 6.4% in 2009. Javier Lozano, Mexico’s labour secretary, believes that the pre-recession mark of 4.1% will not be matched within the term of this government or the next (ie, before 2018). What’s more, the new jobs are not as good as those that were lost. Average pay last year was 5% lower than in 2008. Because of this, and rising food prices, more Mexicans have slipped into poverty: last year 46.2% of them were below the official poverty line (earning less than 2,114 pesos, or $167, per month), up from 44.5% in 2008.

Just as recession came from the gringos, recovery depends partly on them. Many analysts who once predicted economic growth of 5% this year cut their forecasts to under 4% after a downward revision of American GDP in July. Exports account for nearly a third of Mexico’s trillion-dollar GDP, and most go to the United States. Remittances provide $190 per person per year (down from $240 in 2007). Now America faces several years of lacklustre growth, which poses a dilemma for Mexico.

Some look at the recent explosive growth of Brazil and wonder if it is time to follow its example and look to new markets. In 2009 only 3% of Mexico’s exports went to Brazil, Russia, India or China, whereas Brazil sent 16% of its exports to its fellow BRICs. Industrialised countries receive less than half of Brazil’s exports but 90% of Mexico’s. The Inter-American Development Bank, the biggest lender in the region, describes a “two speed” Latin America, in which economies, such as Mexico, which do most of their trade with developed countries, lag behind those, such as Brazil, that have forged links with emerging markets.

South or north?

Mexico has already diversified its exports. America’s share of them has fallen from 89% in 2000 to perhaps 78% this year and will fall further, according to Miguel Messmacher, head of economic planning at Mexico’s finance ministry. Sales to Latin America and Asia are growing twice as fast as those to America. The automotive industry, Mexico’s biggest exporter, is ahead of the trend: though exports to America continue to rise, they now make up only 65% of the total. Eduardo Solís, head of the industry’s national association, says he would like to get the figure down to 50% by focusing on Latin America and Europe.

Others say Mexico’s economic future will always be to the north. “We can’t just become a commodity exporter and start sending soy beans to China,” says Jorge Castañeda, a former foreign secretary. History, geography and natural resources have wedded Mexico to its wealthy neighbour: “It’s not something we chose,” he says. If the American economy is growing slowly, Mexico will just have to get a bigger chunk of it.

That task has been made harder by China. Since China joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001 its share of American imports has grown fast and is now the biggest. The shares of Canada and especially Japan have fallen. Mexico’s share, which almost doubled in the seven years after NAFTA came into effect, slipped after 2001. But it is edging up again (see chart 2).

China’s low wages, which lured factories away from Mexico, are rising rapidly. In 2003 Mexican pay was three times Chinese rates but now it is only 20% higher, Mr Messmacher says. The rising yuan and the cheap peso accentuate this trend.

Proximity to America, Mexico’s trump card, has been made more valuable by the high oil price. The resolution in July of a long dispute has allowed Mexican lorries to make deliveries in America, which the Mexican government reckons will reduce firms’ shipping costs by 15%. The rise of China may also help Mexico too, by forcing American companies to compete more keenly. Detroit carmakers cannot export cars to South Korea, but a Mexican factory using American parts can, notes Luis de la Calle, a former trade minister.

Luring foreign investors has been made trickier by a spike in violence. Since 2007, a crackdown on organised crime has caused Mexico’s drug-trafficking “cartels”, as they are known (though they are in fact rather competitive), to splinter and fight. Last year the murder rate was 17 per 100,000 people, a little lower than Brazil’s, but more than two-thirds up on 2007. Ernesto Cordero, the finance minister, has estimated that the violence knocks about a percentage point off Mexico’s annual growth rate.

The fighting is highly concentrated: last year 70% of mafia-related killings took place in 3% of the country’s municipalities. In Yucatán state, where tourists scramble around Mayan ruins, the murder rate is no higher than in Belgium. Last July was the busiest ever for Mexico’s foreign-tourist trade, but there are signs that the drip of bloody stories is starting to hurt bookings. In the first five months of this year, arrivals were 3.6% lower than last. Acapulco, which caters mainly to domestic tourists, has virtually emptied thanks to frequent shootings in the heart of the hotel zone.

Many of the roughest areas are in the north, where foreign investment is concentrated. In Ciudad Juárez, a centre of maquila factories that assemble products for export, the murder rate has climbed to one of the highest in the world, as the Sinaloa and Juárez cartels battle for control of the border crossing, little restrained (and often aided) by the local police. In Tamaulipas, a border state where violence surged last year, the unemployment rate has risen to 7.5%, the highest in the country. The head of a Mexican multinational with operations there found recently that his local manager had been siphoning company money to the cartels. Many rich businessmen have moved their families to America; the governor of one border state is rumoured to have done the same (his office denies it).

Investors have largely held their nerve. Foreign direct investment, which reached $30 billion in 2007 but fell to half that in 2009, is expected to recover to $20 billion this year. Businessmen play down the violence: Mr Solís admits that some car transporters have been robbed on highways, but says that this year has been better than last. This month Honda became the latest carmaker to announce plans to expand in Mexico, in spite of the insecurity.

Still, insecurity adds costs and delays. The road from Saltillo to Monterrey, the nearest big airport, has become dicey, so more people rely on Saltillo’s own tiny airport, where a single airline offers flights to Mexico City for upwards of $400. Conferences, concerts and sporting fixtures have been cancelled in Monterrey. In Coahuila on August 20th a football match was abandoned after shots were fired outside the stadium. Some foreign companies are even nervous about sending executives to Mexico City, although it has a lower murder rate than many American cities.

From Uncle Sam to Uncle Slim

Despite Mexico’s difficulties, one of its citizens is the richest person in the world. Carlos Slim, the son of a Lebanese immigrant, has made a fortune estimated by Forbes at $74 billion. The magazine reckons that last year his net worth rose by $20.5 billion.

Nearly two-thirds of Mr Slim’s wealth is thought to lie in América Móvil, the biggest or second-biggest mobile-phone operator everywhere in Latin America except Chile (where it is third). In Mexico Mr Slim’s grip is particularly strong, with 70% of the cellular market and 80% of landlines. In half the country’s 400 local areas, only his company has the infrastructure to put through calls to landlines. Not surprisingly, after accounting for purchasing power home landlines in Mexico cost 45% more than the OECD average and business lines 63% more (see chart 3). Mobiles are better value, particularly for those who do not make many calls. But basic broadband access costs nearly ten times more (per megabit per second of advertised speed) than in the rest of the OECD.

Telecoms is not the only monopolised sector. A study by the OECD and Mexico’s Federal Competition Commission (CFC) found that 31% of Mexican household spending went on products supplied in monopolistic or highly oligopolistic markets. The poorest tenth suffered most, 38% of their expenditure going on such things.

The cost of these captive markets is ruinous. Until recently, for example, firms selling generic medicines were required by law to operate a plant in Mexico. This, along with a system that allows doctors to prescribe medicines by brand rather than by generic compound, means that the market is dominated by expensive brands. Generics account for less than 17% of the drugs market, against 66.5% in America. Medicine is a third pricier than in Britain.

Transport is expensive too. The handful of budget airlines that arrived in the past decade have struggled to get take-off and landing slots at Mexico City’s airport, which are dished out by a committee dominated by incumbents. The CFC found that flights to and from Mexico City were between 40% and 80% dearer than those to less strangled airports. Intercity bus routes are dominated by four firms that have divided up the country. Fares are 10% higher than they ought to be, the CFC estimates.

Banking is similarly uncompetitive. Two banks control almost half the market for deposit accounts and two-thirds of the credit- and debit-card markets. The lack of choice means that 95% of account-holders have never switched banks. Top of the list of Saltillo businesses’ complaints is the scarcity and cost of credit.

Some of these pinch points are being addressed. The collapse last year of Mexicana, North America’s oldest airline, has presented an opportunity to auction landing slots to nimbler competitors. Drugs should get cheaper thanks to an auction system devised by the CFC for Mexico’s social-security institute. In April a new competition law introduced penalties of up to ten years in jail for collusion, and empowered the CFC to make surprise inspections. The same month it fined Mr Slim’s mobile-phone operator a record $1 billion for abusing its market dominance.

Banking has been opened to entrants such as Walmart, which has already shaken up Mexican retailing. Commercial credit is expanding: it stands at 19% of GDP, nearly double the ratio in 2003. Lending is still less than half of what it was before the banking crisis of 1994, suggesting plenty of room for growth—certainly more than in Brazil, where credit already equals about half of GDP.

Forcing competition on cosy industries is still not easy. When the government decided in 2009 to shut down Luz y Fuerza, a state-run electricity company that was costing the taxpayer $3 billion a year, it required 1,000 police in riot gear to occupy the firm’s offices. Since Luz y Fuerza shut, the wait for new connections in Mexico City has fallen from ten months to four. But its ex-employees still bring parts of the capital to a halt with protests. Labour-reform efforts, to ease hiring and firing and allow six-month trial contracts, have met opposition in congress. Even with the new competition law, few people fancy the authorities’ chances against Mr Slim’s lawyers.

The answer is to open the economy and let foreign competition force Mexican firms to adapt, believes Mr de la Calle. “If you have free trade, you don’t need structural reforms because the companies have to compete,” he says. He cites the pork industry, which used to be blighted with hog cholera. Farmers resisted pressure to eradicate it, preferring to sell low volumes at high prices. When tariffs were dropped, cheap pork from America forced Mexican farmers to clean up their act. Cholera was eliminated, output rose and prices fell.

Other industries are ripe for similar treatment. Oil is a prime candidate. Pemex, a state monopoly, handles everything from exploration to petrol pumps. Its profits contribute a third of government revenue, allowing Mexico to maintain a generous and feebly enforced tax regime. But decades of underinvestment have hurt production, which fell from 3.4m barrels a day in 2004 to 2.6m. Brazil, which has allowed foreign investment in its oilfields, is producing around 2m barrels a day and expects to be pumping 6m by 2020.

Pemex’s output has stabilised in the past year, and this month it awarded its first performance-based contracts, a precursor to getting oil majors to explore the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. But efforts to make the company more efficient have been vetoed by the oil workers’ union. Refineries are poorly run; petrol stations forbid self-service.

The Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, a think-tank, estimates that the GDP growth rate could be raised by 2.5 percentage points if the oil industry were opened up and labour and competition laws reformed. Reeling from an American-made recession, however, Mexico is hardly in the mood for a more open economy. With a presidential election next year, it would be easier to keep puttering along in the shadow of Brazil, an economy which in some ways Mexico outclasses. Mexico’s rebound from slump and its resilience to lawlessness show its underlying strength. If it could only bust the monopolistic dams that have parched its economy, its desert might one day start to bloom.

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3513  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China/baidu on: August 29, 2011, 11:29:21 AM
From the Economist:

****The internet in China
Bashing Baidu
State television fires on China’s Google
Aug 27th 2011 | from the print edition
 
LAST year Google remembered its motto (“Don’t be evil”) and stopped co-operating with China’s censors. Since then, Google has found it much harder to do business in mainland China. The chief beneficiary was Baidu, China’s leading search engine. Its share of internet searches, already vast, grew to a dominant 75%.

Robin Li, Baidu’s Chinese-born, American-educated co-founder, is only 42 but one of China’s richest men. That makes him a target, despite his scrupulous efforts not to upset the ruling Communist Party. Since August 14th Baidu has been the subject of a series of damning investigative reports on CCTV, the main state-run broadcaster. Using undercover cameras, CCTV exposed Baidu employees apparently helping firms circumvent laws that bar unlicensed companies from advertising online. The reports also suggested that the lack of transparency in Baidu’s advertising system could lead advertisers to overpay. A Baidu spokesman refused to comment.
It was not the first time that CCTV has bashed Baidu. Reports in 2008 made similar allegations, prompting Baidu to apologise publicly. The latest attacks go further, though. It might seem a bit rich for the state broadcaster of a secretive, authoritarian country to chide Baidu for murkiness. And it certainly surprises some China-watchers. Baidu has done all it can to comply with the government’s whims. It is also a national champion: its shares are listed on New York’s NASDAQ exchange, and foreigners can’t get enough of them.

So what might the criticism signify? Is CCTV attacking Baidu for political reasons, or commercial ones? CCTV has a search engine, too, which hardly anyone uses. So do two other big government-run media outfits—the People’s Daily newspaper and the Xinhua news agency. CCTV, though state-run, is not just a propaganda outfit. It is also expected to make money through advertising (and it does). It must be tempting to nobble a rival.

That no other state-run media outlets carried stories on Baidu suggests this is not a government-orchestrated campaign against the company or the internet more generally. However, the Communist Party is wary of the influence of private internet companies, and no doubt keen to see that Baidu doesn’t get too big for its boots.

The party was slow to grasp how big the internet was going to be in China, and it missed its chance to own the digital commanding heights. So it tries to control them indirectly. On August 23rd, for example, Beijing’s Communist Party chief paid a friendly visit to the offices of China’s biggest microblogging site, Sina Corp’s Weibo, and suggested that it “absolutely put an end to fake and misleading information”. Sina Corp, a private firm, deletes postings that annoy the party within hours. Not quick enough, said the party chief.

Perhaps the most likely motive for CCTV’s attacks on Baidu is that its journalists are trying to do their jobs. Public anger about toxic food, corporate mismanagement and official corruption has emboldened reporters. Journalists at CCTV led the extensive media coverage of a high-speed-rail crash at Wenzhou in July that killed 40 people, until the censors curbed them.

Such reporting embarrasses the party, which likes to boast that China builds big infrastructure projects faster and better than anyone else. The CCTV attack on Baidu could reflect a decision to go after a less protected target. Or not. This being China, no one knows for sure.****
3514  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: August 29, 2011, 09:45:01 AM
"The political subscript is to contrast Baraq with Bush's handling of Katrina."

True.  Brock was of course playing the script of a caring worried father with thousands of troops ready with the comfort blankets, tents and TV dinners.

But not just him....

It seems all of the pols were getting in the act.  Cristie, Boomer Bloomberg, and the rest.

They are all out in force taking credit.  The media covers every little mud slide and flood and power outage to justify the whole thing.  Nothing wrong with warnings and information but the whole thing was overdone in a crazy way.

Fox seems to have been the worst.  24/7 coverage the entire weekend and still going strong.

The fear of political fall out like Katrina has now turned our polticians into law suit fearing doctors who order everything under the sun. 
3515  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Gas pipeline attack stopped on: August 27, 2011, 12:37:36 PM
FROM WND'S JERUSALEM BUREAU

Did Israel just stop 'spectacular' terror attack?
Sources say it would have devastated both Jewish state and Gaza population

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted: August 12, 2011
1:00 am Eastern


By Aaron Klein
© 2011 WND

Israeli troops on Gaza border
 
TEL AVIV – Israel stopped what would have been a spectacular border terrorist attack planned from inside the Gaza Strip, according to Egyptian security officials.

The Egyptian officials said there is information the attack Tuesday was aimed at the sole pipeline that supplies Gaza with gas. The pipeline, located at the Israeli town of Nahal Oz, is manned and provided by Israel.

Israeli security officials would not comment on the matter.

In a rare incident, on Tuesday all electricity, phone and Internet service was suspended for about 18 hours in the Gaza Strip.

The blackout was reportedly caused by Israeli military bulldozers operating near the fuel pipeline in the Israeli town of Nahal Oz, which is close to the Gaza Strip.

At about the same time the electricity went out in Gaza, the Egyptian officials said Israel passed a message for Egypt to be on high alert for possible attacks from inside the Gaza Strip.
The Egyptian officials said they have information that Israel was actually working to stop a cross border attack aimed at the fuel pipeline. The officials said the downing of communications inside Gaza was central to halting the attack.

The Egyptian officials said members of Jihadiya Salafiya, an al-Qaida-allied group in Gaza, are suspected of attempting the major attack along with elements of the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad.

An attack on Gaza's pipelines would be devastating for both Israel and the Gaza population, which relies on the supply lines for its fuel.

Since the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in February, similar attacks have been carried out three times now on an Egyptian pipeline located in the Sinai desert that supplies Israel with about 35 percent of its gas needs. All three attacks have been blamed on Jihadiya Salafiya and likeminded Islamist jihad groups.

Hamas telecommunications officials said yesterday an Israel Defense Forces bulldozer damaged a communications cable and cut all phone and Internet networks in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip the day before.

The IDF spokesman's office denied the army was "responsible for the incident" but added it was willing to "help restore communications."

An attack on Gaza's fuel pipelines could have negative implications for Gaza's Hamas rulers.

While both Hamas and al-Qaida are offshoots of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the groups often clash over a difference in tactics.

In August 2008, Jihadiya Salafiya announced it established an armed wing, which it called the Damascus Soldiers, brandishing weapons in a public display in Gaza while openly identifying with al-Qaida ideologically.

Unlike other radical Islamic organizations such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, which have demonstrated some pragmatism in aspects of political life while still holding an Islamist worldview, the new al-Qaida organization believes in a strict interpretation of the Quran and that only the Quran can dictate how to act.

The Islamist group believes violent jihad is the primary way to spread Islam around the world, including jihad against secular Muslim states.

Hamas has worked with the al-Qaida-allied groups in Gaza. It took credit along with Jaish al-Islam for the kidnapping in June 2006 of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

But Jihadiya Salifiya has been regularly publishing pamphlets labeling Hamas as "non-Muslim" since the terror group ran in 2006 democratic elections, which the Islamist organizations see as an expression of Western values.

Also, for the past two years, al-Qaida leaders themselves have released audio tapes blasting Hamas for participating in elections and in the democratic process.

Hamas several times has engaged in heavy fire clashes with the Islamist organizations in Gaza, including Jihadiya Salafiya.

Read more: Did Israel just stop 'spectacular' terror attack? http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=332373#ixzz1WFg9Fhx2
3516  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / correction on: August 27, 2011, 12:28:18 PM
"He sounded like the appearer"

should have been appeaSer.  Sorry.
3517  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: August 27, 2011, 12:26:23 PM
"I would rather he not have put things like that, mostly because some people   will be determined to misportray it."

Exactly.  The main reason it is important so as not to give political adversaries fodder.

In a side note  but related, it has been interesting to see Bushies like Rove become adversaries.  I ask who elected him?

He damaged O'Donnel and now Perry. 

I saw Jeb Bush on Fox again.  He is definitely NOT the Republican this country needs.   He sounded like the appearer of the past not like I sounded last week. 

His families political "accomodating", if you will, has in retrospect, clearly helped lead us into the mess we are in now.

We don't need niceness.  We need someone who can express and explain the urgency/emergency we are in and give us a clear path out without appeasement.

No appeasement.  Respectful ok.  But strict and clear.  If we can't stop it here it is probably over.  As Doug also pointed out, here we are in the wrost economic crises in a lifetime and Brock still has a 50/50 chance of winning.  If that doesn't make it clear what we are up against (the welfare state) than nothing will.
3518  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Is this going to happen with every thunder storm now? on: August 27, 2011, 12:13:15 PM
Leon Panetta says 100,000 reserves are ready to help in hurricane disaster areas.

Troops abroad shouldn't worry their loved are safe.

Gov. Christie is advising thousands to get the hell out!

Mayor Bloomberg has evacuated  a million.

All for at most a category 1?

I agree with Michael Savage.  I have never seen such ridiculous hysteria over a storm.

Tomorrow we will read how it wasn't as bad as "expected" and thank God etc etc.

A few branches will come down a few basements flooded a power line down here or there for a hours or a day.

But the politicians will brag how they protected us and the media as always makes lots money.

Howard Kurtz will question the media frenzy on his CNN show and will have guests on who will after some phoney hand wringing conclude the media was correct in how they handled it all along.

And I was once told as a kid I was cynical?

3519  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / rebuttal part 3 on: August 27, 2011, 11:49:46 AM
Page 3 of 3

Portraying WWII as bounteous economically because statistical measures bettered is like confusing a high batting average with winning championships. You can hit well and still lose. Normally, hitting safely and decreased joblessness reflect success, but war is different. Unemployment lessened because the draft sent men into combat. Increasing production because women were forced into factories building bombs is deceptive.

Economics studies the transformation of scarce resources into that which best fulfills our unlimited desires. How does blowing up Germany boost American living standards? How is making men sleep in frigid fox holes under enemy fire enriching? How did rationing everything from the enjoyment of luxuries to our clothing and diets lift anyone’s material standing?

The military doesn’t jumpstart the economy, it protects producers. This represents patriotic sacrifice, not prosperity.

Production is the progenitor of wealth, but making things unvalued by markets doesn’t improve life. Neither does working harder to achieve the same result. Repairing damage caused by war or natural calamity through debt encumbrance does nothing to support sustainable growth. Once said project completes, we’re back where we started with debts to boot.

During the postwar era, both parties believed spending was stimulating and thought government intervention essential during downturns. But we almost invariably recovered before the spending packages even passed Congress. Unfortunately, rather than conclude that intervention is unnecessary, now, we rush spending bills through as if racing a deadline to preempt the natural ricochet so politicians can take credit.

Stimulus spending doesn’t augment aggregate demand unleashing our “animal spirits” towards growth. It invites crony capitalism, patronage and dependency. As funds flow through Washington, producers reorient from satisfying customers to lobbying politicians. War spending leads to the dreaded Military-Industrial Complex Republicans like Ike feared, but Neo-Cons today relish.

If resources were unlimited or little effort was necessary to extract value, we could consume at will. Instead, markets prioritize output by channeling resources via price signals. Government spending fails because politicians lack the vital feedback mechanism of profits and losses. It’s not their money. Military outlays exemplify this faulty prioritization. Once Congress gets involved, we can’t even cut defense projects the military finds redundant. What the military does demand is often exorbitantly overpriced.

Stimulus efforts allow politicians to dispense dollars in patronage schemes conferring power upon themselves at taxpayer expense. Congress buys votes with your money. Even if public spending did stimulate, such corruption is too repugnant to condone.

As government grows, it becomes increasingly self serving. Bureaucracy inevitably seeks its own expansion. Businesses succeed by producing efficiently and pleasing customers. Bureaucracies thrive via inefficiency. Exceeding one’s budget makes it easier to ask for more. Failure allows sinecures to grovel before Congress that greater funding can achieve what lower funding merely wasted.

Deficit spending has never once successfully stimulated recovery. Like our failed war on poverty or public education, interventionists consistently claim we haven’t spent sufficiently. Mimicking the New Deal’s failure, Keynesians today decry that the Bush and Obama stimulus bills were half-hearted.

Dr. Krugman so desperately seeks more spending that he wishes Congress would pretend aliens are invading. Washington could then control the economy – for our good, not theirs, he’d have us assume. Krugman assures us liberals have a conscience.

Whether they have any common sense is less certain.
3520  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / rebuttal part 2 on: August 27, 2011, 11:49:02 AM
After campaigning on fiscal discipline, FDR promptly accelerated Hoover’s initiatives, devising new economic experiments almost daily. As FDR’s economist Rexford Tugwell conceded, “We didn’t admit it at the time, but practically the whole New Deal was extrapolated from programs that Hoover started.” Despite ridiculing Hoover’s “extravagance,” FDR increased spending another 83% in his first three years.

The best unemployment result prior to WWII was 14% in 1937. European unemployment was far lower. By 1939, unemployment was back at 19% as FDR increased taxes and cut spending in preparation for war. As the government reined in its make-work projects, rather than weaning a sustainable recovery off the Keynesian incubator, the recovery reversed. The New Deal clearly failed to prime the private pump.

On the surface, wartime spending finally propelled America from the Depression’s pits. As war production expanded from roughly 2% of GDP to almost 40%, statistically, America rebounded. In 1940 dollars, GDP shot from $101.4 billion to $120.7 billion in 1941 up to $174.8 billion by 1945 while unemployment fell below 2%.

America didn’t officially enter the fray until December 1941. FDR had by then rescinded most New Deal regulations, scuttled the WPA and similar agencies and ceased his incessant public bickering with private business. Some surmise he stopped attacking industry recognizing he needed their help attacking fascism.

The pre Pearl Harbor boost stems from three factors: wartime spending by others, which does not reflect stimulus on Washington’s part; Lend-Lease, but giving away munitions abroad promotes no prosperity here, and the demise of the New Deal.

After netting out federal spending, GDP surged 17% from $91.9 billion in 1940 to $107.7 billion in 1941. Once engaged, our non-federal output trickled down to $101.4 billion by WWII’s conclusion in 1945. The private economy reflected little improvement, partly because private consumption was curbed. Living standards didn’t regain 1929 levels until America restored a market based economy in the aftermath of victory.

FDR dreaded the recession’s return as Keynesian theory suggested severe trouble when ten million plus soldiers returned home unemployed. The president proposed a “Bill of Economic Rights” predicated on aggregate demand maintenance. Congress thankfully repudiated it. Tax rates were slashed while war time rationing, price controls and regulations receded.

America was one of few industrial nations with its productive infrastructure intact. Despite federal spending falling from $93 billion in 1945 to under $30 billion by 1948 (in 1945 dollars), unemployment stabilized around 4% as Americans, free of New Deal shackles, launched an economic boom.
3521  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / From Forbes: Rebuttal to Krugman 1 on: August 27, 2011, 11:47:04 AM
From Doug's link from cognitive dissonance of the left moved here:

****No, Paul Krugman, WWII Did Not End The Great Depression
   
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” – Benjamin Disraeli

It’s a recurring fantasy for left wing academics fascinated by central planning that in cyclical downturns government should act decisively on a scale equivalent to war. Nobel Prize recipient Paul Krugman exemplifies this intellectual longing to steer our lives.

Krugman effortlessly slides into a war footing espousing intervention comparable to America’s crusade against Hitler, who, take note, centrally planned an economy himself:

“World War II is the great natural experiment in the effects of large increases in government spending, and as such has always served as an important positive example for those of us who favor an activist approach to a depressed economy.”

After WWII until its glaring failures manifest in the Seventies, Keynesianism inundated economic thought. Paul Samuelson’s textbooks became mainstays across the academy. Samuelson championed mathematical analysis, which transformed macroeconomics into a pseudo science spawning waves of budding planners infatuated with statistics.

From this basis the myth prevails that WWII finally overcame the Great Depression. History has revised Hoover, easily the most meddlesome peacetime president before FDR, into a laissez-faire reactionary. The New Deal – a disastrous example of everything not to do during downturns became beneficial, only it supposedly wasn’t aggressive enough.

Hoover tinkered with the economy throughout his term. The Smoot-Hawley Act of 1929 launched the trade war many believe precipitated the stock-market crash and the Depression. Then, fearing falling prices, he signed Norris-LaGuardia, Davis-Bacon and other acts, formed business cartels and farming associations all striving to arrest falling prices. Hoover also authored massive public works as he increased federal spending by 50%.

Page 1 2 3 « Previous PageNext Page »
Bill Flax
3522  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: August 27, 2011, 11:44:39 AM
Republicans must not let MSM and right elistist like the Bush people distract from the task at hand.

Stop worrying and hand wringing about minor issues like ocassional choice of words.

We must have a man/woman who as Doug rightly pointed out can stand right next to Brock and point out where he is lying, where he is wrong and starkly contrast why he is purposely taking this country in a direction that is wrong.

See my post from the Hillsdale college piece that beautifully shows how we are on a path to dismal mediocracy and probably eventiual ruin like in Europe.

JDN wants a paternalisitic security driven economy and welfare state.  I don't.  And I believe most people in America who truly understand what it means don't.

As for the immigrants the legal ones are not the same as the illegal ones.  The ones who are illegal clearly don't give a shit about our laws, our culture, our society.  They are here for jobs, to siphon off money to send back home and get whatever they can in the way of giveaways.  They are tilting the balance in favor of a welfare state.

This may very well be the last stand as the Hillsdale piece suggests.  Soon more than 50% of our population will receiving bribes.

The whole system will come crashing down eventually.

3523  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / From Hillsdale College - great piece on: August 27, 2011, 11:33:06 AM
July/August 2011

Václav Klaus
President,
Czech Republic
The Crisis of the European Union: Causes and Significance
Václav Klaus, the president of the Czech Republic, spoke to friends of Hillsdale College in Berlin during Hillsdale’s 2011 cruise in the Baltic Sea. The speech was delivered at Berlin’s Hotel Adlon on June 11, 2011.

As some of you may know, this is not my first contact with Hillsdale College. I vividly remember my visit to Hillsdale more than ten years ago, in March 2000. The winter temperatures the evening I arrived, the sudden spring the next morning, and the summer the following day can’t be forgotten, at least for a Central European who lives—together with Antonio Vivaldi—in le quattro stagioni. My more important and long-lasting connection with Hillsdale is my regular and careful reading of Imprimis. I have always considered the texts published there very stimulating and persuasive.

The title of my previous speech at Hillsdale was “The Problems of Liberty in a Newly-Born Democracy and Market Economy.” At that time, we were only ten years after the fall of communism, and the topic was relevant. It is different now. Not only is communism over, our radical transition from communism to a free society is over, too. We face different challenges and see new dangers on the horizon. So let me say a few words about the continent of Europe today, which you’ve been visiting on your cruise.

You may like the old Europe—full of history, full of culture, full of decadence, full of fading beauty—and I do as well. But the political, social and economic developments here bother me. Unlike you, I am neither a visitor to Europe nor an uninvolved observer of it. I live here, and I do not see any reason to describe the current Europe in a propagandistic way, using rosy colors or glasses. Many of us in Europe are aware of the fact that it faces a serious problem, which is not a short- or medium-term business cycle-like phenomenon. Nor is it a consequence of the recent financial and economic crisis. This crisis only made it more visible. As an economist, I would call it a structural problem, which will not, by itself, wither away. We will not simply outgrow it, as some hope or believe.

It used to look quite different here. The question is when things started to change. The post-World War II reconstruction of Europe was a success because the war eliminated, or at least weakened, all kinds of special-interest coalitions and pressure groups. In the following decades, Europe was growing, peaceful, stable and relevant. Why is Europe less successful and less relevant today?

I see it basically as a result of two interrelated phenomena—the European integration process on the one hand, and the evolution of the European economic and social system on the other—both of which have been undergoing a fundamental change in the context of the “brave new world” of our permissive, anti-market, redistributive society, a society that has forgotten the ideas on which the greatness of Europe was built.

I will start with the first issue, because I repeatedly see that people on other continents do not have a proper understanding of the European integration process—of its effects and consequences. It is partly because they do not care—which is quite rational—and partly because they accept a priori the idea that a regional integration is—regardless of its form, style, methods and ambitions—an exclusively positive, progressive and politically correct project. They also very often accept the conventional wisdom that the weakening of nation-states, and the strengthening of supranational institutions, is a movement in the right direction. I know there are many opponents of such a view in your country—at such places as Hillsdale—but it has many supporters as well.

A positive evaluation of developments in Europe over the past 50 years can be explained only as an underestimation of what has been going on recently. In the 1950s, the leading idea behind the European integration was to liberalize, to open up, to remove all kinds of barriers which existed at the borders of individual countries, to enable the free movement of goods, services, people and ideas across the European continent. This was undisputedly a step forward, and it helped Europe significantly.

But European integration took a different course during the 1980s, and the decisive breakthrough came with the Maastricht Treaty in December 1991. Political interests that sought to unify and create a new superpower out of Europe started to dominate. Integration had turned into unification, and liberalization had turned into centralization of decision making, the harmonization of rules and legislation, the strengthening of European institutions at the expense of institutions in the member states, and what can even be called post-democracy. Since then, Europe’s constituting elements—the states—have been consistently and systematically undermined. It was forgotten that states are the only institutions where real democracy is possible.

After the fall of communism, the Czech Republic wanted to reassume its place among European democracies. We did not want to sit aside—as we were forced to do throughout the communist era—and European Union membership was the only alternative. Nothing else legitimizes a country in Europe these days. Therefore we joined the EU in May 2004. However, for those of us who spent most of our lives in the authoritative, oppressive, and non-functioning communist regime, the ongoing weakening of democracy and of free markets on the European continent represents something we did not expect and did not wish for in the moment of the fall of communism.

The most visible European problem today is the European monetary union, which was presented as the most important unification achievement following the Maastricht Treaty. The realization of this monetary union has not delivered the positive effects that—rightly or wrongly—had been expected from it. It was intended to accelerate economic growth, reduce inflation, and protect member states against external economic disruptions or so-called exogenous shocks. It has not worked. After the establishment of the euro zone, the economic growth of its member states slowed down relative to previous decades, thus increasing the gap between the rate of growth in the euro zone countries and that in other major economies. The internal disequilibria—such as trade imbalances and state budget imbalances—became larger, not smaller. And there is no indicator pointing towards a growing convergence in the euro zone countries. During its first decade of existence, a common currency has not led to any measurable homogenization of the member states’ economies.

It should have been clear to all, as it was to me, that the idea of a single European currency was essentially wrong—that it would create huge economic problems and lead inevitably to an undemocratic centralization of Europe. To my great regret, this is exactly what has been happening. The euro zone, which comprises 17 countries, is not an “optimum currency area” as defined by economic theory. In a currency or monetary union—which amounts to an extreme form of fixed exchange rates—it is inevitable that the costs of establishing and especially maintaining it exceed its benefits. Most economic commentators were satisfied by the ease and apparent inexpensiveness of the establishment of Europe’s common monetary area. In recent years, however, the negative effects of the straightjacket of a single currency have become more and more evident. When good economic weather prevailed, no visible problems arose. But when bad economic weather set in, the lack of homogeneity manifested itself quite strongly.

It is difficult to speculate about the future of the euro. I suppose that it will not collapse, because a huge amount of political capital was invested in its existence. It will continue to exist, but at a very high price in terms of large-scale fiscal transfers—the shuffling around of problems between countries, which amounts to a non-solution—and of low economic growth rates.

The second reason for European economic problems—not specifically European, but worse in Europe than elsewhere—has to do with the quality, productivity and efficiency of its economic and social system. Europe is characterized by a seemingly people-friendly, non-demanding, paternalistic and—in consequence—insufficiently productive economic and social system called die soziale Markwirtschaft, or social democracy. This system, with its generous social benefits, weakened motivation, shortened working hours, prolonged years of study, lowered retirement ages, diminished the supply of labor—both at the macro level and structurally—and led to very slow economic growth.

In Europe, we have witnessed a gradual shift away from liberalizing and removing barriers and towards a massive introduction of regulation from above, an ever-expanding welfare system, new and more sophisticated forms of protectionism, and continuously growing legal and regulatory burdens on business. All of these weaken and restrain freedom, democracy and democratic accountability, not to mention economic efficiency, entrepreneurship and competitiveness.

Europeans today prefer leisure to performance, security to risk-taking, paternalism to free markets, collectivism and group entitlements to individualism. They have always been more risk-averse than Americans, but the difference continues to grow. Economic freedom has a very low priority here. It seems that Europeans are not interested in capitalism and free markets and do not understand that their current behavior undermines the very institutions that made their past success possible. They are eager to defend their non-economic freedoms—the easiness, looseness, laxity and permissiveness of modern or post-modern European society—but when it comes to their economic freedoms, they are quite indifferent.

The critical situation in Europe today is visible to everybody. It is not possible to hide it. I had believed that this spectacle would be a help to the cause of political and economic freedom in Europe, but this is not proving to be the case. Of course, with the way your American government has been going, you might be able to catch up with us—in terms of our problems—very soon. But you are not as far along yet. So maybe seeing Europe’s crisis today will at least help you in America turn back toward freedom.
__________________________________________________________________________________
On Václav Klaus

Larry P. Arnn
President, Hillsdale College

The following remarks were made in introducing Václav Klaus to Hillsdale College cruisers at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin on June 11, 2011.

We will have lived fortunate lives if we meet more people than we can count on our fingers who have studied the art of politics and the principles of economics, and who have done high and courageous service in that art. Today we meet and hear from such a man.

Václav Klaus is the president of the Czech Republic, and has served twice as its prime minister. He was born in Prague in 1941, and holds his doctorate in economics from the University of Economics in Prague, where he still teaches. He also studied in Italy in 1966 and in the United States in 1969.

In 1989, large events began to unfold in the world, including events right outside this hotel where the Berlin Wall stood. These events were terribly significant in the native country of our speaker, who had begun his career as an academic, worked for a long time in a state bank, and eventually returned to the academy. In the month in which the prospect of freedom came in the Czech Republic—or Czechoslovakia as it was then—he was immediately appointed its finance minister, in which role he set out to restructure his nation’s economy.

Our speaker is a believer in the free market and a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, a society dedicated to freedom that was founded in 1947 by people like Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman. Lately he has been something incredible and unique in the context of European politics—a person in high authority who is critical of the steady advance of centralized power in the European Union, and of the absence of accountability in its government to the peoples who are ruled by it.

Our speaker is part of one of the greatest stories in modern times. The people of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic are among the handful of peoples who had the disaster strike them of being ruled first by the German Nazis and then by the Soviet Communists. Nothing could be more abusive than to have either of those things happen, except to have both of them happen. And there is something about the Czech Republic that it has always stood up against such rule. Churchill thought that one of the worst tragedies of the 1930s was to abandon that brave place to Hitler. When the Iron Curtain fell, it would be one of the first places to rally.

Today we meet a man who came forward to show the alternative to collectivist rule, based on a distinction that Churchill loved. It had been a government where the government owned the people. How then could it become a government where the people own the government? I think it is no exaggeration to say that one of the most clear-sighted, deeply learned, and steadily courageous of all of the servants of human freedom in our age is the president of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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3524  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the Republicans on: August 26, 2011, 04:23:54 PM
My only request is for Republicans to stop being afraid of speaking the truth.  For example Senator Inhofe makes good points but then has to add:

"and I don’t mean this disrespectfully,"

Will other Republicans get a titanium spine like Bachman and just say it like it is?  Why do they have to always temper their opinions with things like "I like the President personally" or "I think he is well meaning" or "a great American".  He is not a nice guy.  He is not honest and he is more about being a great *anti*- American, and he is *not* well meaning.  He is destroying out country plain and simple.  I wish Mark Levin could reach out to the rest of American and not just the choir.  He says it like it is.  Why won't her run for office?

****Inhofe lays long list of nation’s ills at Obama’s feet
 
BLAME GAME
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe: He said Obama is at fault for the U.S. debt problem.
By RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Published: 8/24/2011  4:04 AM
Last Modified: 8/24/2011  4:04 AM

BROKEN ARROW — President Barack Obama alone is to blame for the nation’s budget deficit – and just about everything else, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe told the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.
“We now have a president, and I don’t mean this disrespectfully, who is destroying these very institutions that made America great,” Inhofe, R-Okla., said.

Inhofe went on to say the Obama administration has “disarmed America,” is solely responsible for the federal budget deficit, mostly responsible for the nation’s dependence on imported oil and suffocating business with regulations.

He also said Obama engineered the House Republicans’ ban on earmarks in order to give himself more control of the budget.

“When they came along with this moratorium, you have to let the president run everything,” Inhofe said. “They conceded that authority to the president of the United States, so that’s why the president was behind the whole earmark thing."

Inhofe said the earmark ban allowed the administration to block a new $10 million control tower scheduled for Tinker Air Force Base.

He said military spending, as a share of gross domestic product, has declined during the Obama administration and criticized unflattering descriptions of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where terror suspects are held, saying, “You know the biggest problem for prisoners when they get to Gitmo? Obesity."

Inhofe said the idea that prisoners have been tortured there was invented by Obama and others “to make you think something bad is happening in America — the same thing he does and others do when they go around talking about how bad America is."

Inhofe said the deficit is Obama’s fault because “it’s the president’s budget. Period. That’s the end of it."

He said the recent debtlimit agreement is a sham that does little or nothing to reduce overall spending. One solution, he continued, would be to repeal the health-care reform law, which he said is an example of “social engineering” designed to make Americans more dependent on the federal government.

Inhofe also cited extended unemployment benefits, saying he saw no reason for them in Oklahoma because the state has “virtually full employment."

Inhofe laid out a long list of regulatory steps he said would cost taxpayers and employers billions of dollars in taxes and lost productivity, and said the country could be “totally independent from the Middle East in a matter of weeks, not years,” if the administration allowed unfettered oil and gas development on public lands.

Noting that he will not be up for re-election until 2014, Inhofe said, “Don’t misunderstand, (nothing) I’m saying now is for political purposes."*****
3525  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / rebuttal part 3 on: August 26, 2011, 04:09:50 PM
Page 3 of 3

Portraying WWII as bounteous economically because statistical measures bettered is like confusing a high batting average with winning championships. You can hit well and still lose. Normally, hitting safely and decreased joblessness reflect success, but war is different. Unemployment lessened because the draft sent men into combat. Increasing production because women were forced into factories building bombs is deceptive.

Economics studies the transformation of scarce resources into that which best fulfills our unlimited desires. How does blowing up Germany boost American living standards? How is making men sleep in frigid fox holes under enemy fire enriching? How did rationing everything from the enjoyment of luxuries to our clothing and diets lift anyone’s material standing?

The military doesn’t jumpstart the economy, it protects producers. This represents patriotic sacrifice, not prosperity.

Production is the progenitor of wealth, but making things unvalued by markets doesn’t improve life. Neither does working harder to achieve the same result. Repairing damage caused by war or natural calamity through debt encumbrance does nothing to support sustainable growth. Once said project completes, we’re back where we started with debts to boot.

During the postwar era, both parties believed spending was stimulating and thought government intervention essential during downturns. But we almost invariably recovered before the spending packages even passed Congress. Unfortunately, rather than conclude that intervention is unnecessary, now, we rush spending bills through as if racing a deadline to preempt the natural ricochet so politicians can take credit.

Stimulus spending doesn’t augment aggregate demand unleashing our “animal spirits” towards growth. It invites crony capitalism, patronage and dependency. As funds flow through Washington, producers reorient from satisfying customers to lobbying politicians. War spending leads to the dreaded Military-Industrial Complex Republicans like Ike feared, but Neo-Cons today relish.

If resources were unlimited or little effort was necessary to extract value, we could consume at will. Instead, markets prioritize output by channeling resources via price signals. Government spending fails because politicians lack the vital feedback mechanism of profits and losses. It’s not their money. Military outlays exemplify this faulty prioritization. Once Congress gets involved, we can’t even cut defense projects the military finds redundant. What the military does demand is often exorbitantly overpriced.

Stimulus efforts allow politicians to dispense dollars in patronage schemes conferring power upon themselves at taxpayer expense. Congress buys votes with your money. Even if public spending did stimulate, such corruption is too repugnant to condone.

As government grows, it becomes increasingly self serving. Bureaucracy inevitably seeks its own expansion. Businesses succeed by producing efficiently and pleasing customers. Bureaucracies thrive via inefficiency. Exceeding one’s budget makes it easier to ask for more. Failure allows sinecures to grovel before Congress that greater funding can achieve what lower funding merely wasted.

Deficit spending has never once successfully stimulated recovery. Like our failed war on poverty or public education, interventionists consistently claim we haven’t spent sufficiently. Mimicking the New Deal’s failure, Keynesians today decry that the Bush and Obama stimulus bills were half-hearted.

Dr. Krugman so desperately seeks more spending that he wishes Congress would pretend aliens are invading. Washington could then control the economy – for our good, not theirs, he’d have us assume. Krugman assures us liberals have a conscience.

Whether they have any common sense is less certain.

3526  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / rebuttal part 2 on: August 26, 2011, 04:08:19 PM
 Bill Flax, Contributor

I write about the intersection of economics and culture.

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No, Paul Krugman, WWII Did Not End The Great Depression
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 Mr. Delosangeles, Thank you for the date correction. Production peaked in the summer [...]

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 18 9 3 3 2 Page 2 of 3

After campaigning on fiscal discipline, FDR promptly accelerated Hoover’s initiatives, devising new economic experiments almost daily. As FDR’s economist Rexford Tugwell conceded, “We didn’t admit it at the time, but practically the whole New Deal was extrapolated from programs that Hoover started.” Despite ridiculing Hoover’s “extravagance,” FDR increased spending another 83% in his first three years.

The best unemployment result prior to WWII was 14% in 1937. European unemployment was far lower. By 1939, unemployment was back at 19% as FDR increased taxes and cut spending in preparation for war. As the government reined in its make-work projects, rather than weaning a sustainable recovery off the Keynesian incubator, the recovery reversed. The New Deal clearly failed to prime the private pump.

On the surface, wartime spending finally propelled America from the Depression’s pits. As war production expanded from roughly 2% of GDP to almost 40%, statistically, America rebounded. In 1940 dollars, GDP shot from $101.4 billion to $120.7 billion in 1941 up to $174.8 billion by 1945 while unemployment fell below 2%.

America didn’t officially enter the fray until December 1941. FDR had by then rescinded most New Deal regulations, scuttled the WPA and similar agencies and ceased his incessant public bickering with private business. Some surmise he stopped attacking industry recognizing he needed their help attacking fascism.

The pre Pearl Harbor boost stems from three factors: wartime spending by others, which does not reflect stimulus on Washington’s part; Lend-Lease, but giving away munitions abroad promotes no prosperity here, and the demise of the New Deal.

After netting out federal spending, GDP surged 17% from $91.9 billion in 1940 to $107.7 billion in 1941. Once engaged, our non-federal output trickled down to $101.4 billion by WWII’s conclusion in 1945. The private economy reflected little improvement, partly because private consumption was curbed. Living standards didn’t regain 1929 levels until America restored a market based economy in the aftermath of victory.

FDR dreaded the recession’s return as Keynesian theory suggested severe trouble when ten million plus soldiers returned home unemployed. The president proposed a “Bill of Economic Rights” predicated on aggregate demand maintenance. Congress thankfully repudiated it. Tax rates were slashed while war time rationing, price controls and regulations receded.

America was one of few industrial nations with its productive infrastructure intact. Despite federal spending falling from $93 billion in 1945 to under $30 billion by 1948 (in 1945 dollars), unemployment stabilized around 4% as Americans, free of New Deal shackles, launched an economic boom.

3527  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Forbes rebuttel to Krugman 1 on: August 26, 2011, 04:06:16 PM
From Doug's link from cognitive dissonance of the left moved here:

****No, Paul Krugman, WWII Did Not End The Great Depression
   
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” – Benjamin Disraeli

It’s a recurring fantasy for left wing academics fascinated by central planning that in cyclical downturns government should act decisively on a scale equivalent to war. Nobel Prize recipient Paul Krugman exemplifies this intellectual longing to steer our lives.

Krugman effortlessly slides into a war footing espousing intervention comparable to America’s crusade against Hitler, who, take note, centrally planned an economy himself:

“World War II is the great natural experiment in the effects of large increases in government spending, and as such has always served as an important positive example for those of us who favor an activist approach to a depressed economy.”

After WWII until its glaring failures manifest in the Seventies, Keynesianism inundated economic thought. Paul Samuelson’s textbooks became mainstays across the academy. Samuelson championed mathematical analysis, which transformed macroeconomics into a pseudo science spawning waves of budding planners infatuated with statistics.

From this basis the myth prevails that WWII finally overcame the Great Depression. History has revised Hoover, easily the most meddlesome peacetime president before FDR, into a laissez-faire reactionary. The New Deal – a disastrous example of everything not to do during downturns became beneficial, only it supposedly wasn’t aggressive enough.

Hoover tinkered with the economy throughout his term. The Smoot-Hawley Act of 1929 launched the trade war many believe precipitated the stock-market crash and the Depression. Then, fearing falling prices, he signed Norris-LaGuardia, Davis-Bacon and other acts, formed business cartels and farming associations all striving to arrest falling prices. Hoover also authored massive public works as he increased federal spending by 50%.

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Bill Flax
3528  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The congnitive dissonance of the left on: August 26, 2011, 12:43:44 PM
Doug,
Thanks for your response.

"the foundations of Christianity are the same.  Helping the poor is a wonderful theme - always on display in church.  We are merely arguing politically over which system helps them best.  I have not yet found in the Bible where they measure the good you do in terms of coercive measures you impose on other people's work and money, or anything that supports the erosion of responsible personal freedoms.  More specifically I believe it warns (commands) against the worship of these other Gods, like sacred govt entitlement programs.

Excellent points.  What is moral about forcing some to pay for others or for those others to sit back and demand that the some pay for them?

It seems it is no longer hallowed to speak about God.  We can no longer sing the national enthem.  The pedge of allegence is banned.  No prayer in school.  God and anything public must be banned.  No clergy at 9/11.  Yet say anything bad about Social Security or Medicare and those on those doles howl like warewolves.  These have become the (false) Gods/idols as you suggest.

They are now the hollowed framework or ground of America.

Everyone is entitled to not just  health care whether they can or will pay for it or not, but school, education, food, housing, retirement, pensions, vacation, travel time, unemployment, disability for anything, free internet. 

But it doesn't work when the numbers of people footing the bills for all this are becoming less and less.

Liberals will never give in.  I  am guessing it is too late for change without a real disaster.  The disaster may not be around the corner but it is inevitable because of the malignant growth and persistance of progressive ideology. 

For example, do away with mother or father and use only "parent".  Why not get do away with male, female, heterosexual, homosexual, black, white, muslim, jew, christian, hindu, rich poor, american french, arab, indian, chinese.  We should all be the same.  Not fat, not skinny, not tall.  Just people.  "individual" - my point is there can be no end to this.


3529  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Doug: Narcissism is the key on: August 26, 2011, 11:03:58 AM
"clueless" is not the only word.

Alter is one of the Jewish progressives who sit in their little narcisstic world thinking they are better, smarter, more all knowing than those that cling to guns and religion.  They think because they come out publically to champion the poor this somehow makes them better.  It is not just a religious thing wherein Judaism teaches to help the poor.  It is as had been clued to me by a post on this board - NARCISSM.   These sort of Jews (and non-Jewish liberals as well) really do think they are better, smarter and more clever because they are for the Democrat party.  Yet many if not most spend their entire lives working to get better of financially.

Apart from their outrageous hypocracy, they refuse to admit their political theories of redistribution, equal wealth to all, government enforcement of this, socialism, communism and the rest of it is actually going to make things worse.  History proves it makes things worse.  They think they are levelling the playing field for all when instead they are creating power for those few elites who pretend to know what is best for all.

It is more precisely this all knowing all paternalitstic attitude and condescention that turns the world off to Jews IMHO.  For all their pretending to lose sleep over the poor (until their pocketbooks are threatened - not the "taxpayers") - just to the contrary - intead of us being appreciated and loved for our (Jewish) concern for the downtrodden, the underdog if you will - Jews are the most despised disliked and beaten down group in history.  Look at Soros.  He himself stated he has "inadvertantly" served to propogate the idea that Jews run the world.  Well, he has certainly used every ounce of his financial power and political connections that confers to do just that.

So Jonathan ALter thinks because he votes as a Democrat we/he will be loved?

He certainly loves himself.  Narcissim IS the word that explains it to me.  It hit me like a club a few weeks ago.  That is the key that unlocks the mystery behind why Jews are so liberal.  It makes them think they are therefore better than everyone else.  That is it.   The answer. 

Quite the contrary.  We are resented.  Who the hell do we think we are telling what is best for everyone and forcing it all on us with big government!

I am proud of being Jewish yet I am disgusted by this narcissistic group within our ranks. 
3530  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / thanks BD on: August 26, 2011, 10:41:17 AM
The only time I was in Memphis was at a Gilder conference.  cry  Those tech boom days were much happier for me.
I don't think this museum was there yet.  As part of the Gilder tour we did see the Elvis Presley museum. cheesy

Something like this makes sense to be in DC (as well).  It makes mores sense than a holocaust museum frankly since it is directly associated with our nation's history.
3531  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Race in America/ will it ever stop dividing us? on: August 26, 2011, 10:19:37 AM
The scars of slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, etc run deep.  Only Blacks can actually still think the media is unfair to Brock.  It is like OJ Simpson is found innocent despite overwhelming evidence in the news (not necessarily the trial) and yet Blacks decide to celebrate when he is found innocent.  It isn't simply all emotional however.  It is about reparations and the expectation of due for some transfer of wealth.

****Posted on August 26, 2011
Rep. Cummings: Most Blacks Think Obama "Has Been Treated Unfairly"
rep cummings most blacks think obama has been treated unfairly
"There's another thing the press seems to not get. A lot of African-Americans that I've talked to, most of them say that they 'feel this President has been treated unfairly.' They believe he has done every single thing in his power to try to create jobs, to try to make sure this economy moves forward. He's gone against just fierce opposition. I think, I mean if you look at the evidence, that's true. He's accomplished a lot in the short time he's been President. But the fact is, it has not been easy and will not continue to be easy," Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said on "Morning Joe" this morning.****

   
3532  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Museum would have been far smarter on: August 25, 2011, 02:44:59 PM
It would have made more sense to have a museum dedicated to civil rights portraying it from slavery to the present thereby encompassing the whole struggle and the (millions) who (not just the one guy) did not struggle in vain. 

It would have been a learning experience for those too young to know and a reminder for those who are old enough to remember.

Instead we got a politically correct monstrosity.

This statue stands for appeasement in my view.  Not a stark reminder of a shameful part of our history.
3533  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / W is the hero of Libyia on: August 25, 2011, 02:35:55 PM
Well naturally Brock is going to take credit for Lybia.  He turned it mostly over to Nato and it was a no brainer that Ghaddafi, a brute with a third rate military force could be defeated at any time.  Yet now he wants credit for it. 

The truth is none of this "Arab spring" or whatever one wants to call it would have ever happened if not for W getting rid of Saddam.  So if one wants to give credit for this than give W and the neocons credit.

That all said I don't buy any of it myself.
3534  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: August 25, 2011, 02:31:23 PM
"he is 'too-Texas'"

You mean like LBjerk?

For me, Brock is too Hahvood.

The liberals sure think they know what is best for the world don't they.
Never enough pinstripes.
3535  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / From the Los Angeles slimes on: August 24, 2011, 12:59:05 PM
I guess the left is deflecting ties between Communism ideology and Jewish progressivism with this: 

"The visit is focusing renewed attention on the growing, and some say unlikely, alliance between right-wing Israelis and Christian fundamentalists in the U.S."

Here's the article again from leftist Jews trying to make a stink about Beck:

****Glenn Beck's Israel tour raises eyebrows
The former Fox News host's event has triggered a debate over whether he is a true friend of Israel or just a fanatic who has been accused of anti-Semitism.
 
Glenn Beck speaks during an event in Caesarea, Israel. (Oliver Weiken, European Pressphoto Agency / August 23, 2011)

  Obama's Jewish backers on edge over his Mideast peace plan
By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
 
August 23, 2011
Reporting from Jerusalem— Perhaps it was only a matter of time before conservative American commentator Glenn Beck, viewed by many supporters as a modern-day prophet, brought his messianic message to Jerusalem.

But even in an ancient city that has seen its share of religious enthusiasts, Beck's high-profile Holy Land tour this week, culminating Wednesday in a rally just a stone's throw from the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock mosque, is raising eyebrows.

Before Beck's arrival, most Israelis were unfamiliar with the former Fox News host, whose cable TV show went off the air in June amid sagging ratings. But his rally has triggered a debate over whether he should be embraced as a pro-Israel friend or condemned as a fanatic who has battled allegations of anti-Semitism.

The visit is focusing renewed attention on the growing, and some say unlikely, alliance between right-wing Israelis and Christian fundamentalists in the U.S.

Beck, who declined to be interviewed, is calling his Jerusalem rally "Restoring Courage," playing off his "Restoring Honor" event in Washington last summer. The purpose, he has said, is to demonstrate American solidarity with Israel. Hundreds of Christian supporters, many from the U.S., are expected to attend.

Beck's staunch support for Israeli control over Jerusalem and his criticism of Palestinians' ambitions to create their own state have won him praise from many conservative Israeli leaders.

"He is a friend who supports Israel, and we should work with him," said Danny Danon, an outspoken member of the Likud Party who advocates the annexation of the West Bank to Israel. "It's important for us to see that there are people out there who support us and not all the world is against us."

But critics say Beck's track record of controversial statements makes him an inappropriate ally. Last month he likened Norwegian youths gunned down at a political camp by an anti-Islamic extremist to "Hitler Youth." Twice in the last year Beck has been denounced by the Anti-Defamation League for "bigoted" and "horrific" comments on his show, one likening Reform Judaism to "radicalized Islam" and another in which he said Holocaust survivor and billionaire George Soros betrayed fellow Jews to Nazis.

Under pressure from Jewish groups in the U.S., Beck apologized for the remark about Reform Judaism.

He has several times had to fend off allegations of anti-Semitism. Last year he appeared to endorse the notion that Jews killed Jesus Christ; his list of the world's nine most "dangerous" people includes eight Jews; he speculated in 2009 "that Israel might be wiped off the map, leading to all-out Armageddon."

"If this is the only kind of friend Israel's government can find around the world, that's a very poor sign," said Yariv Oppenheimer, secretary-general of Peace Now, the Israeli anti-settlement group. "It's a reflection on our current leadership that instead of having the world on our side, we can only get someone like Glenn Beck."

Arab Israeli lawmaker Ahmed Tibi warned that Beck's tour could provoke violence, calling him "a neo-fascist comedian who is motivated by a hatred of Islam."

Beck's visit reflects the partnership between conservative Israelis and some American Christian groups. So-called Christian Zionist groups and evangelical churches, such as Texas-based John Hagee Ministries, donate millions of dollars to help fund settlement construction in the West Bank and support Israel.

The support comes, in part, from a belief among some Christian fundamentalists that Jews are God's "chosen people" and that a return of the Jewish people to the Holy Land and the rebuilding of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem are signs of the second coming. Beck, who converted to the Mormon faith in 1999, frequently discussed such end-of-the-world prophecies and biblical themes on his program.

For conservative Israelis, the benefits of the alliance are more pragmatic. American evangelical groups have become a key source of tourist dollars and political and financial support, particularly as the divide has grown between American Jews, who remain predominantly liberal, and Israelis, who are shifting more toward the right.

"It's a marriage of convenience," said Hebrew University political science professor David Ricci, an expert in U.S. relations. "Over the last 10 years, fewer liberals in the U.S. are willing to be clearly identified with the Israeli government."

But Ricci and others see potential fault lines in the partnership. For starters, evangelicals are often active in missionary work, something Israelis do not tolerate.

Last week, Texas-based Daystar Television Network hosted "Israel Day," in which it broadcast live from Jerusalem. In between on-air solicitations for $1,000 pledges, the program's hosts condemned efforts to make part of East Jerusalem the capital of a new Palestinian state, and they vowed unconditional support for Israel.

Yet at the same time, the station boasted of "bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the land of Israel." One host said that more Jews have been converted to Christianity in the last 20 years than in the last 2,000.

Such comments don't sit well with most Israelis. Likewise, Jewish people don't fare very well in some Christian "end times" scenarios, in which Israel will be destroyed by an apocalyptic war during which Jews are either converted to Christianity or killed.

"This type of Christianity believes in the gathering of the Jews in Israel in order to bring about Armageddon," said Jeremy Ben-Ami, executive director of J Street, a U.S. lobbying group that advocates for a two-state solution. "That's not exactly good for the long-term survival and security of Israel."

Ben Ami said that the tie between conservative Israelis and fundamentalist Christians "threatens to turn this whole conflict into ground zero for a religious war, rather than a territorial war, and a religious war is much more difficult to resolve through peaceful compromise."

Danon, who agreed that American evangelical groups were becoming an important political ally for Israel, said he's not worried about the religious divide.

"When the messiah comes, we'll ask whether this is the first time or the second time," Danon joked. "In the meantime, we have a lot in common. We don't need to argue about it today."

edmund.sanders@latimes.com
Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times
   
3536  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / QE - government code for Ponzi on: August 24, 2011, 12:40:39 PM
Thanks for your thoughts.  It just seems like obvious common sense is that printing more money IS NO different than any Ponzi scheme - borrowing from one to pay off another until the whole thing collapses all the while praying for some miracle like winning the lottery) or in the Fed's case - economic growth to go sky high and flood revenues to cover the borrowing.  (Although in the case of Democrats and Republicans trying to buy off the votes that would otherwise go to Dems - keep spending it all on entitlements anyway)
3537  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Erza Klein started the Jornolist on: August 24, 2011, 12:32:30 PM
Doug,

This is the guy who according to Wikepedia started the Journolist which according to Wikepedia he reports to have disbanded (though we know that is obviously not true and they just keep a lower profile).  See the portion I have highlighted between the stars below:

Ezra Klein
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Ezra Klein

Klein on Halloween, 2008
Born May 9, 1984 (1984-05-09) (age 27)
Irvine, California
Nationality American
Education B.A., Political Science
Alma mater UCLA
Occupation Journalist and Political pundit
Employer Washington Post, MSNBC, Bloomberg
Website
Ezra Klein - Washington Post
Ezra Klein (born May 9, 1984) is an American blogger and columnist for The Washington Post, columnist for Bloomberg, a columnist for Newsweek, and a contributor to MSNBC. He was formerly an associate editor of The American Prospect political magazine and a political blogger at the same publication.[1]

Contents [hide]
1 Early life
2 Career
2.1 Health care debate
2.2 JournoList
3 Personal life
4 Awards
5 Notes
6 External links
 

[edit] Early life
Klein was born and raised in Irvine, California, and went to school at University High School. He attended the University of California, Santa Cruz but later transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles, from which he graduated in 2005 with a B.A. in political science. While at UCLA, he applied to write for the Daily Bruin but was rejected.[2]

Klein is a middle child,[2] raised in a Jewish family, though today, he identifies as a devout agnostic.[3] His father is a math professor, his mother an artist.[2]

[edit] Career
Klein started his first blog in February 2003.[4] He soon joined with Matt Singer, and the name was changed to "Klein/Singer: Political Consulting on the Cheap." In June 2003, he moved to the blog "Not Geniuses" along with Matt Singer, Ryan J. Davis, and Joe Rospars.[5]

Following "Not Geniuses," Klein partnered with Jesse Taylor at Pandagon. This partnership helped Klein gain even more visibility, leading to his eventual founding of his blog "Ezra Klein."[6]

Besides his online contributions, Klein worked on Howard Dean's primary campaign in Vermont in 2003, and interned for the Washington Monthly in Washington, D.C. in 2004. "I used to have political aspirations," said Klein. "...in the sense of getting my name on a ballot and promising Iowans more ethanol subsidies than they could handle. But over time, I found that I enjoy writing far more. More to the point, I think that the creation of a media environment that can sustain and propel progressivism is more important than any single elected official. I'd trade a liberal O'Reilly (or Limbaugh!) for 5, 10 congressmen. The media is as effective and important an agent for change as the legislative bodies, and I think it's where I'm happiest and most effective."[7]

In 2003, he and Markos Moulitsas were two of the earliest bloggers to report from a political convention, that of the California State Democratic Party.[8] In 2006, Klein was one of several writers pseudonymously flamed by The New Republic writer Lee Siegel (posting as a sock puppet called sprezzatura).[9]

On December 10, 2007, Klein moved his blog full time to the American Prospect.[10]

Klein's prolific blogging caught the attention of Steve Pearlstein, the Washington Post's veteran business columnist. A friend referred him to Klein's work in the American Prospect. "I was blown away by how good he was—how much the kid wrote—on so many subjects," Pearlstein said. Pearlstein sent samples of Klein's work to managing editor Raju Narisetti. A few weeks after he heard from Pearlstein, Post foreign correspondent John Pomfret asked Klein to have lunch with him and financial editor Sandy Sugawara. Narisetti quickly hired Klein to be the Post’s first pure blogger on politics and economics.[2] On May 18, 2009, he began writing at the newspaper.[11]

His writing interests include health policy, the labor movement, electoral politics and food.[12] He writes a primer on policy called "Wonkbook," which is delivered by e-mail and on his blog each morning.

Klein frequently provides political commentary on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show and Hardball with Chris Matthews. He is a former contributor to the now-cancelled Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

In May 2011 when it launched, Klein became a columnist for Bloomberg View in addition to his work at The Washington Post and MSNBC.[13]

[edit] Health care debate
In December 2009, Klein wrote an article in the Washington Post that because Senator Joe Lieberman was motivated to oppose health care legislation in part out of resentment at liberals for being defeated in the 2006 Connecticut Democratic Primary, it meant that Lieberman was "willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score".[14] Klein based his estimate off of an Urban Institute report that estimated that 22,000 people died in 2006 because they lacked health-care insurance.[15] This article was criticized by Jonah Goldberg of the National Review, who called it a "silly claim."[16] Charles Lane, also of the Washington Post, described Klein's article as an "outrageous smear". But EJ Dionne, also of the Washington Post, agreed with Klein's claim, saying that "Klein is right that there is not a shred of principle in Lieberman's opposition."[17] Klein later said he regretted the phrasing[18] and his position is that despite universal coverage, the social determinants of health are still powerful predictors that, on average, ensure the lower socioeconomic classes die sooner than those with more income and education.[19][20]

[edit] JournoList
Main article: JournoList

******In February 2007 Klein created a Google Groups forum called "JournoList" for discussing politics and the news media. The forum's membership was controlled by Klein and limited to "several hundred left-leaning bloggers, political reporters, magazine writers, policy wonks and academics."[21] Posts within JournoList were intended only to be made and read by its members.[22] Klein defended the forum saying that it "[ensures] that folks feel safe giving off-the-cuff analysis and instant reactions". JournoList member, and Time magazine columnist, Joe Klein added that the off-the-record nature of the forum was necessary because “candor is essential and can only be guaranteed by keeping these conversations private”.[21]

The existence of JournoList was first publicly revealed in a July 27, 2007 blog post by blogger Mickey Kaus.[23] However, the forum did not attract serious attention until March 17, 2009 when an article was published on Politico that detailed the nature of the forum and the extent of its membership.[21] The Politico article set off debate within the Blogosphere over the ethics of participating in JournoList and raised questions about its overall purpose. The first public excerpt of a discussion within JournoList was posted by Mickey Kaus on his blog on March 26, 2009.[24]

Members of JournoList included, among others: Ezra Klein, Jeffrey Toobin, Eric Alterman, Paul Krugman, Joe Klein (no relation to Ezra Klein), Matthew Yglesias, and Jonathan Chait.

On June 25, 2010, Ezra Klein announced in his Washington Post blog that he would be terminating the Journolist group. This decision was instigated by fellow blogger Dave Weigel's resignation from the Post following the public exposure of several of his Journolist emails about conservative media figures.[25][26]*****

Klein had justified excluding conservative Republicans from participation as "not about fostering ideology but preventing a collapse into flame war. The emphasis is on empiricism, not ideology".[27]

[edit] Personal life
Klein is engaged to Annie Lowrey, an economics reporter at Slate.[28]

[edit] Awards
2007 The Hillman Prize, for "Tapped", The American Prospect.
[edit] Notes
^ The American Prospect political magazine.
^ a b c d Jaffe, Harry (2010-03-04). "Post Watch: Whiz Kid on the block". The Washingtonian. http://www.washingtonian.com/blogarticles/people/capitalcomment/15063.html. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
^ "Ezra Klein: Religion Archives". Blog.prospect.org. http://blog.prospect.org/blog/ezraklein/religion/. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
^ Ezra K blog.
^ Not Geniuses blog.
^ Ezra Klein blog.
^ "A Conversation With Political Blogger Ezra Klein of Pandagon". LAist.com. 2004-11-02. http://laist.com/2004/11/02/a_conversation_with_political_blogger_ezra_klein_of_pandagon.php. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
^ Weiss, Joanna (May 10, 2004). "Blogs colliding with traditional media: Convention credentials expected for Web logs". Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2004/05/10/blogs_colliding_with_traditional_media?mode=PF. Retrieved 2008-01-12. [dead link]
^ Carr, David (2006-09-11). "A Comeback Overshadowed by a Blog". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/11/technology/11carr.html. Retrieved 2008-01-12. 
^ Goodbye post at Klein's old blog
^ Introductory post at the Washington Post
^ "Down with the GVP!". Washington Post. 2010-04-07. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/04/down_with_the_gvp.html. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
^ Hagey, Keach (April 29, 2011). "Bloomberg View reveals columnists, editorial board". Politico.com. http://www.politico.com/blogs/onmedia/0411/Bloomberg_View_reveals_columnists_ed_board.html. Retrieved August 6, 2011. 
^ "Joe Lieberman: Let's not make a deal!". The Washington Post. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/12/joe_lieberman_lets_not_make_a.html. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
^ Dorn, Stan. Uninsured and Dying Because of It: Updating the Institute of Medicine Analysis on the Impact of Uninsurance on Mortality. Urban Institute.
^ Jonah Goldberg (2009-12-15). "Lieberman Loves Death More than Ezra Klein Loves Life". The Corner. National Review Online. http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YzJlMDlhOWIzZmYwMWMyYzIzNTkyZWRmNWQ0YTQ2YmY=. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
^ "The public option died last summer". The Washington Post. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2009/12/the_public_option_died_last.html. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
^ "Washington's Brat Pack Masters Media". The New York Times. 2010-03-25. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/fashion/27YOUNGPUNDITS.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&pagewanted=2&adxnnlx=1301529679-mk6oLlEdLch/o9b3TPMRCQ. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
^ Carney, Timothy (2011-02-28) Turns out ObamaCare might not save hundreds of thousands of lives, Washington Examiner
^ Ezra Klein (February 28, 2011). "Health care doesn't keep people healthy -- even in Canada" The Washington Post Accessed July 14, 2011.
^ a b c Michael Calderone (2009-03-17). "JournoList: Inside the echo chamber". The Politico. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20086.html. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
^ JournoList Google Groups.
^ Mickey Kaus (2007-07-27). "Educating Ezra Klein". Slate (magazine). http://www.slate.com/id/2171362/#kleinklub. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
^ Mickey Kaus (2009-03-26). "JournoList Revealed! Inside the Secret Liberal Media Email Cabal". Slate (magazine). http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/kausfiles/archive/2009/03/26/journolist-revealed-inside-the-liberal-media-email-cabal.aspx. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
^ Klein, Ezra (June 25, 2010). "On Journolist, and Dave Weigel". The Washington Post. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/06/on_journolist_and_dave_weigel.html. Retrieved June 25, 2010. 
^ Keach Hagey, "David Weigel quits – and a debate begins, Politico.com, June 25, 2010. Retrieved 6-27-2010.
^ "EzraKlein Archive". The American Prospect. http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/ezraklein_archive?month=03&year=2009&base_name=obligatory_journolist_post. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
^ Klein, Ezra (2010-11-03). "Reconciliation -- and more". The Washington Post. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/11/reconciliation_--_and_more.html. Retrieved 2010-11-04. 
[edit] External links
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The American Prospect Ezra Klein page and writings
Ezra Klein's old blog at The American Prospect magazine
Ezra Klein's articles and essays published in various media
Video conversations and debates involving Ezra Klein on Bloggingheads.tv
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3538  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, Inflation, US Dollar & other currencies, & Gold/Silver on: August 23, 2011, 02:13:49 PM
Well I am trying to figure out if a QE3 would be good for the country or just a poltical gimmick for Brock and or wall street:
http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/breakout/markets-awaiting-fed-qe3-matter-153811266.html
3539  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Can Taiwan Escape China's Ever-Tightening Embrace? on: August 23, 2011, 11:04:00 AM
As I think Doug pointed out the threat to Taiwan is akin to Israel's situation: 

****Can Taiwan Escape China's Ever-Tightening Embrace?

By Doug Bandow | Forbes – 20 hrs agotweet4Share0EmailPrintRelated ContentCan Taiwan Escape China's Ever-Tightening Embrace?
Kinmen Island, Taiwan—A half century ago the world seemed poised for war over the island of Kinmen, known then as Quemoy.  Today Kinmen has become a transit point between Taiwan and China, as tourists tread where bombs once fell.  But this peaceful traffic also may threaten Taiwan, albeit in a very different way.

In 1949 the Communist Party pushed Chiang Kai-shek's Republic of China off the Chinese mainland.  Chiang retreated to the island of Taiwan, seized by Japan in 1895 and returned at the end of World War II.  The ROC also retained control of several smaller islands off the mainland's coast, including Kinmen.

The newly created People's Republic of China attempted to forcibly reclaim the latter in October 1949, but failed after a three-day battle.  After that a Chinese Cold War ensued, with the Communist regime periodically shelling Kinmen and threatening another invasion.

The Nationalist government developed a vast underground military complex and honeycombed the island with bunkers.  Up into the 1980s the island was under military administration and official visitors would be flown in low over the water in military aircraft.   Although no shots had been fired in years, the potential for war seemed real.

The PRC and ROC maintained dueling claims as the sole legitimate government of China, but the balance steadily shifted in favor of the former.  Even the U.S. eventually switched recognition, though it kept close, unofficial ties with Taiwan.

Beijing's economic success has transformed the competition between the two Chinas.  Fifteen years ago China responded to Taiwan's presidential election—won by Lee Teng-hui, a strong advocate of Taiwan's sovereignty—with conveniently timed "missile tests."  Since then the PRC has abandoned overt military pressure, while refusing to formally eschew the use of military force.


Thus, the mainland's mailed fist still lurks in the background.  Indeed, both nations are engaged in almost continuous military shadow-boxing.  With great fanfare China recently launched its first aircraft carrier, the Varyag.  I was visiting Taiwan in early August when the ship began its first sea trials.  On the same day, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense highlighted its newest cruise missile, the Hsiuing Feng III, as an "aircraft carrier killer."

But overall, worried Lin Wen-cheng, executive director of the Institute for National Policy Research, "because the balance of military power has been changed in recent decades, it is very hard to resist pressure from the PRC."  Clearly international good will is no defense.  Wang Jin-pyng, president of the Legislative Yuan (or parliament), observed:  "because there is so much unpredictability in Mainland China our security cannot solely depend on Mainland China."

So Taiwan continues to purchase weapons from the U.S.  In fact, one of the sharpest disagreements between Washington and Beijing is over U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.  While breaking relations with the ROC more than three decades ago, Washington promised to continue supplying Taipei's military.  However, China has grown increasingly angry over American transfers; after the Obama administration announced its latest package last year the PRC temporarily cut bilateral military ties.

Now the Administration reportedly has decided against selling the F-16 C/Ds needed by Taiwan to contest air superiority over the Taiwan Strait.  Vice Defense Minister Yang Nien-Dzu (Andrew) expressed concern that without the newer planes "we lose our leverage and immediately face the challenge of fulfilling our responsibility of preserving peace and stability in the region."   The issue has a diplomatic impact as well.  Explained Ambassador Chen S.F. (Stephen), now at the National Policy Foundation, a stronger defense would enhance Taiwan's bargaining power:  "when we enter into political negotiations with the mainland we need to go into negotiations from a position of strength."

With the election of Ma Ying-jeou as president in 2008, Taipei changed course, moderating its push for recognition as a separate country.  For instance, no longer is Taiwan pursuing its hopeless quest to get back into the United Nations.

China also eased the diplomatic competition.  Both governments closed their checkbooks and ended their expensive use of foreign aid to add or subtract to the 23 small nations which now recognize the ROC.

Most significant, the two nations now emphasize economic and cultural interdependence.  Investment and trade originally developed through Hong Kong.  But eventually the two Chinas dropped the pretense (and expense) of indirect dealings.

Today 70 percent of Taiwanese investment goes to the Mainland, where nearly 100,000 Taiwanese businesses operate.  The PRC accounts for 41 percent of Taiwan's international commerce.


Economic ties would increase naturally, but both Chinas are accelerating the process.  Chao Chien-min, Deputy Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council, said that Taipei is "trying to change the relationship from a one-way street to a two-way street."  So far the two countries—they actually deal with each other through unofficial organizations since neither formally recognizes the other—have reached 15 cross-strait agreements on issues ranging from tourism to fisheries to crime.

Taiwan has steadily loosened restrictions on Chinese tourists, who have become a common sight at the National Palace Museum and elsewhere.  Some 5.71 million Mainland residents have visited Taiwan since July 2008.

The most important accord, finalized last year, is the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, which significantly lowered economic barriers.  Tariffs on hundreds of products will be eliminated over time.

These growing economic ties have profited both sides.  However, the PRC wants more than closer relations.  It wants sovereign control.  Although Beijing has suggested some form of autonomy for Taiwan, there is no doubt where ultimate authority would lie.

Yet as economic links have tightened, the Taiwanese people have moved in the opposite direction politically, ever more determined to retain their independence, de facto if not de jure.  The more they learn about the PRC, the less it seems they want to be ruled by Beijing.

Observed Huang W.F. (David) of National Taiwan University, "more and more Taiwanese realize that they are different than people from the Mainland."  But even if they were the same, why would 23 million people wish to submerge their prosperous and robust democracy in a nation of 1.3 billion, topped by an oppressive autocracy and threatened by violent social unrest?

However, ECFA "is all about politics," wrote John Lee of Sidney's Centre for Independent Studies.  In China's view "this is about enmeshing the two economies in such a way that Taiwan's future is tied to China's."

Which is precisely what Professor Huang fears:  "our autonomy is eroding through closer economic integration with China."  He predicted that "If this goes on for ten years, Taiwan will lose its autonomy."  Huang particularly pointed to Chinese influence over the media.  Hsiao Bi-khim, a former legislator and head of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party's Department of International Affairs, voiced similar concern, stating that "some of the media practices self-censorship" in hopes of profiting from Mainland business.


Government officials respond that Chinese visitors are impressed by Taiwan's open political process and its people's willingness to criticize political leaders.  Ambassador Chen argued that Taiwan "may be the only country which can impact the development of the Mainland."  In his view, Chinese visitors "want to see the way of life here," including Taiwan's democracy.  Ding Shuh-fan (Arthur) of the Institute of International Relations contended that the way 'to improve the situation is to make people in Taiwan more identify with Taiwan," in which case they will keep their autonomy.

On the other hand, it is hard not to feel that some of these arguments are born of desperation:  Ending economic ties with the PRC is inconceivable, ergo they must be beneficial.  Hsiao Bi-khim is less sanguine:  "Instead of Taiwan trying to change China, we see China trying to change Taiwan."  This fear, she claimed, has caused an increasing number of businessmen to secretly support the DPP.

How to best preserve Taiwan's autonomy is an important issue with legislative and presidential elections scheduled for January.  Traditionally the ruling Kuomintang, or KMT, insisted that the ROC was the rightful ruler of all China.  Today the KMT promotes Taiwan's separate existence, while pressing for a more conciliatory policy towards Beijing.  President Ma has espoused "no unification, no independence, and no use of force."

Economic integration, exemplified by ECFA, is the centerpiece of KMT policy.  President Ma declared:  "We have transformed the Taiwan Strait from a danger zone into a peace corridor."  And the process is not over.  Chao Chien-min said that "if President Ma is reelected the current pace will be continued."

What of political integration, as desired by the PRC?  Ambassador Chen said President Ma has refused to talk about reunification:  "Maintenance of the status quo is his top priority."  However, some question the KMT's commitment to Taiwanese sovereignty.  Hsiao Bi-khim said "The perception of our supporters is that Ma is getting too close to China" and they "suspect that Ma would move faster [if reelected] toward political integration."

The opposition DPP once formally advocated independence.  Today it reluctantly accepts the status quo, while pushing to enlarge Taiwan's international space.  The DPP has been critical of Taiwan's growing economic dependence on the PRC.

Nevertheless, DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen has pledged to continue negotiating with China, but without preconditions.  Chao was skeptical, contending that "if the opposition wins we are going to have a problem" since the DPP does not agree with the so-called "92 consensus," by which Beijing and Taipei fudged the status of Taiwan (one China, interpreted differently).  Without that agreement, he argued, the Chinese may not continue negotiations, since doing so could lead to charges "of accommodating Taiwan's independence."  Lin Wen-cheng similarly warned that "the PRC may grow frustrated and discontinue talks" in the event of a DPP victory.

However, Hsiao Bi-khim responded that the "so-called 92 consensus is a very weak foundation."  There was no real consensus in 1992 between Taipei and Beijing, she argued, and "there is no domestically agreed to consensus."  The only real consensus might be "between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party."


She noted that the PRC could be expected to attempt to contribute to the DPP's defeat, as in the past, but that does not mean Beijing would not talk with a Tsai government.  Hsiao said there is "no way to come up with a formulation to make China happy, so we won't try to play with words."  Instead, "we need to deal with China and build a stable framework with each other."  She said that former President Chen, the first DPP president, tried to be flexible after his election in 2000, but the PRC "was not prepared to respond" and "the window of opportunity closed quickly."

As for ECFA and the other deals, "We would constantly review them to see if they benefit or hurt the national interest."  However, "whether we should change or even eliminate them is another question."  The issue, Hsiao explained, would "need to be addressed as part of the normal democratic process like any other international agreement."

Although the DPP has emphasized domestic economic issues, Lin Wen-cheng figures that the KMT will press Tsai to answer the China question.  Until now, he said, she "has tried to avoid any discussion of this."  Yet no one really expects the DPP, even if it wins the presidency and control of the legislature, to tear up existing economic accords.

Indeed, Chang Chung-Young of Fo Guang University predicted that even "if the DPP takes power next year they might change their perspective and not go back to the confrontational perspective of three years ago."  Chyungly Lee of National Chengchi University suggested that practical necessity would triumph:  "cross-strait economic relations are irreversible."  They "cannot be reversed."

He's almost certainly correct.  Who in Taiwan wants to give up the extra money earned from commerce and tourism?  Who in Taiwan wants to listen to a renewed litany of threats from Beijing?  Who on Kinmen wants to head back to a bomb shelter to escape an artillery barrage from the Mainland?

Whoever wins in January will face only difficult choices.  As Chao Chien-min acknowledged, "China is doing everything to exploit its strength."  Today that influence in Taiwan is more economic than military.

How can Taiwan escape Beijing's potentially suffocating embrace?  It won't be easy.  Government Information Minister Yang Y.M. (Philip) observed:  "We need to be prudent and patient in dealing with cross-strait relations" in order to "maintain our independence and prosperity."

The Taiwanese people have built an engaging, vibrant, and free society.  One can only hope that sufficient prudence and patience exists on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.****

3540  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Thoughts on QE3 on: August 23, 2011, 10:54:12 AM
US News & World Report  Home Money
 
Could QE3 Help the Economy?
Why another round of quantitative easing might not be a cure-all for the economy
By Meg Handley

Posted: August 11, 2011
Print
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A third bond-buying program by the Federal Reserve—or quantitative easing, as it's commonly called—is likely to resume by the end of the year or in early 2012, Goldman Sachs economists said in a report Wednesday. The forecast comes on the heels of the Federal Reserve's announcement Tuesday that it would keep rates steady at near-zero levels for the next two years.

 
"We have changed our call because [Tuesday's] statement suggests that the committee's reaction function to incoming economic news is more dovish than we had previously thought," said the report, which also cited remarks by the Federal Open Market Committee that it would employ additional policy tools if economic conditions deteriorated further.

While this might be welcome news for jittery investors clamoring for Fed intervention to help boost market confidence, experts caution that another round of quantitative easing wouldn't be a panacea for the ailing U.S. economy. Some critics say it would likely amount to just another Band-Aid on the economy's skinned knees.

[In Pictures: 6 Numbers Every Investor Should Follow.]

For starters, the global economic landscape is drastically different than it was when the Fed launched its second quantitative easing program, QE2, in November 2010. Since then, a series of temporary shocks—a catastrophic earthquake in Japan, debt-ceiling drama in Washington, and the sovereign debt crises in the eurozone, coupled with more fundamental economic maladies—have rocked the global financial system to its core. "The old rules we judge the economy by, the old rules we tried—they may not be completely applicable anymore," says Diane Swonk, chief economist at Chicago-based Mesirow Financial.

The challenges policymakers face differ tremendously as well. Back in 2010, deflation was the crisis of the moment, with markets fearing an unavoidable downward spiral of lower prices, weak demand, and massive lay-offs. Despite the many critiques leveled at the bond-buying program, QE2 seems to have staved off deflation, preventing a vicious cycle that could have plunged the United States into an even deeper recession.

Inflation is now the enemy. Through June, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures the average change in prices of goods and services over time, has increased 3.6 percent over the past 12 months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (July's CPI is due next week.) At this time last year, the CPI was increasing at an annual rate of 1.1 percent. Core inflation—the index for all items, less food and energy—edged up to 1.6 percent in June, its highest reading since January 2010. (This measure is more closely tracked by the Fed.)

[See Inflation Stands in the Way of QE3.]

"QE2 prevented deflation, which would have been really bad for the jobs situation," says Guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at financial-services firm Janney Montgomery Scott. "Right now the risk of deflation is pretty slim, so there's really no need to expand the [Fed's] balance sheet."

While the economy might have sidestepped a deflation disaster for the time being, a host of other grave economic problems confront the country, the most pressing being less-than-stellar growth over the past few years. According to recent government figures, GDP grew a meager 1.3 percent in the second quarter, revised downward from initial estimates of almost 2 percent. That figure comes on the heels of a stunningly low 0.4 percent GDP growth rate in the first quarter of the year. Exacerbating a situation already rife with uncertainty and angst, the debt-ceiling drama concluded with the first-ever downgrade of U.S. debt, sending shockwaves through equity markets worldwide.

The situation across the pond doesn't look much better. With much of Europe facing rampant public debt problems and equally serious, if not worse, projections for economic growth, investors are on the defensive, fleeing to ultra-safe investments and even cash, draining global equity markets and depressing business confidence and investment.
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 > Reader Comments Read All 6 Comments
 Add Comment
 QE2
I find it humorous that the author writes "QE2 seems to have staved off deflation" and immediately follows that sentence with "Inflation is now the enemy." I guess it's too big of a leap to realize that QE2 actually caused all that inflation right.

I know it's too big of a leap for anyone at USNEWS to realize that deflation doesn't cause recessions. Stick to Keynes, he's done so well for us.

[report comment]
Joe of VA @ Aug 22, 2011 17:09:35 PM

QE3
What did Einstein say about the definition of Insanity

[report comment]
Mr.Wright of TX @ Aug 20, 2011 17:10:33 PM

Tell FED Infrastructure, Not QE3
The Warren Goup sent this letter to Ben Bernanke and the FED. They have not and can not rebuke the merit of it's simplicity and effectiveness. Please read this and give it traction by talking it up. It is a far more effective way to grow the economy than QE3 which just puts more money in the pockets of people who are not the least bit interested in GDP except as underlying assets for their derivatives.

http://www.themarketsvalue.com/2010/12/warren-capital-group-wealth-managers-letter-to-ben-bernanke-.html

3541  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / MLK memorial on: August 23, 2011, 10:14:50 AM
Wow.  Who designed this thing?  It is the ugliest memorial I have ever seen:

http://www.theleafchronicle.com/article/20110823/NEWS01/108230350/1002/rss
3542  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: August 23, 2011, 09:40:58 AM
JDN writes:

"Perry's dealings with Mexico seem to consist of complaining about the border."

Well yeah.  What else is he supposed to do JDN?  Look at Arizona.  They try to take up border security on their own and Brock takes them to court.

Well Gallup has Perry dead even in a poll for PResident with Brock!  He hasn't even gotten off the ground yet and the political assasination attempts by the Democratic party and the MSM so far are failing big time. 
Even Romeny is ahead  grin

3543  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Illogical on: August 23, 2011, 09:36:02 AM
"A dictator with American blood on his hands is about to be overthrown by a popular revolt invoking democratic principles. Not a single American has died in the effort"

No but thousands of Libyans have died.  All the US or one of the European countries had to do was assasinate Khaddafi.

Oh but "assasination" is against international law! rolleyes

So intead we give them weapons, throw in a few bombs missles and let them kill each other for some crazy legal argument?

The logic is all twisted and pathetic in my view.

3544  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: August 22, 2011, 01:16:52 PM
"Newt is pulling a Newt, but he also is a historic figure and brings something of substance to the stage."

Yes.  He made a fantastic point about the absurdity of the NEW 6 person "bipartisan" debt panel in advance.

This is genius to cut off the political fiasco of it all by the knees even before it gets off the ground.

The whole idea of it is nonsense and a waste of time.  We know what they are going to say.  It has all been said before and it is just horse BM.

Newt was brilliant to point it out now so the Repubs can right off the bat let it be known they are not going to be taken for any rides along the socialist pathway based on some silly debt panel commission.   

I think Jeb Bush is on the cable again tonight.  This is as far as I know the second time on.  I wonder if he is trial ballooning.

I agree with Doug's point that G senior was a first rate diplomat but a so so Pres.  W. was great with 9/11 but left a big mess after that.  Not all his fault of course but...

As for Jeb he may be too moderate but he didn't sound like that a few weeks ago.  He was liked in Florida when I lived there.

I remember seeing him campaign with W in Orlando.  Most importantly Bo Derek was on stage with them. grin
3545  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 21, 2011, 03:12:33 PM
Doug writes Hispanics vote 40/60 Rep/Dem.  I find it hard to believe that most illegals, if had the chance to vote (some I bet do already) would vote Rep at a rate as high as 40% yet this from Barone?Rasmussen:

 ****GOP Shouldn't Panic If Whites Become a Minority
A Commentary By Michael Barone
Monday, April 04, 2011 Email to a Friend ShareThisAdvertisement
 Are whites on the verge of becoming a minority of the American population? That's what some analysts of the 2010 Census results claim. Many go on, sometimes with relish, to say that this spells electoral doom for the Republican Party.   

I think the picture is more complicated than that. And that the demise of the Republican Party is no more foreordained than it was a century ago when Italian, Jewish and Polish immigrants were pouring into the United States in proportions much greater than the Hispanic and Asian immigration of the past two decades.   

The numbers do appear stark. The Census tells us that 16 percent of U.S. residents are Hispanic, up from 13 percent in 2000 and 9 percent in 1990, and that 5 percent are Asian, up from 4 percent in 2000. The percentage of blacks held steady at 13. Among children, the voters of tomorrow, those percentages are higher.   

But it's a mistake to see blacks, Hispanics and Asians as a single "people of color" voting bloc. The 2010 exit poll shows that the Republican percentages in the vote for the U.S. House were 60 percent among whites, 9 percent among blacks, 38 percent among Hispanics and 40 percent among Asians.   

Simple arithmetic tells you that Hispanics and Asians vote more like whites than like blacks. The picture is similar in the 2008 exit poll.   

Moreover, while blacks vote similarly in just about every state, there is wide variation among Hispanics. In 2010 governor elections, Hispanics voted 31 percent Republican in California, 38 percent Republican in Texas and 50 percent Republican in Florida (where Cubans are no longer a majority of Hispanics).   

As RealClearPolitics senior political analyst Sean Trende has written, Hispanics tend to vote 10 percent to 15 percent less Republican than whites of similar income and education levels. An increasingly Hispanic electorate puts Republicans at a disadvantage, but not an overwhelming one.   

The same is true of Asians. In 2010, Democratic Sen. Harry Reid got 79 percent from Asians in Nevada, where many are Filipinos. But the Asians in Middlesex County, N.J., most of whom are from India, seem to have voted for Republican Gov. Chris Christie in 2009.   

The 2010 Census tells something else that may prove important: There's been a slowdown of immigration since the recession began in 2007 and even some reverse migration. If you look at the Census results for Hispanic immigrant entry points -- East Los Angeles and Santa Ana, Calif., the east side of Houston, the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago -- you find that the Hispanic population has dropped sharply since 2000.   

One reason is the business cycle. The 2000 Census was taken on April 1, 2000, less than a month after the peak of the tech boom. Unemployment was low, immigration was high, and entry-point houses and apartments were crammed with large families. 

The 2010 Census was taken after two years of recession, when immigration had slackened off. We simply don't know whether this was just a temporary response to the business cycle or the beginning of a permanent decline in migration.   

Past mass migrations, which most experts expected to continue indefinitely, in fact ended abruptly. Net Puerto Rican migration to New York City stopped in 1961, and the huge movement of Southern blacks to Northern cities ended in 1965. Those who extrapolate current trends far into the future end up being wrong sooner or later. 

Finally there is an assumption -- which is particularly strong among those who expect a majority "people of color" electorate to put Democrats in power permanently -- that racial consciousness never changes. But sometimes it does. 

American blacks do have common roots in slavery and segregation. But African immigrants don't share that heritage, and Hispanics come from many different countries and cultures (there are big regional differences just within Mexico). The Asian category includes anyone from Japan to Lebanon and in between. 

Under the definitions in use in the America of a century ago, when Southern and Eastern European immigrants were not regarded as white, the United States became a majority non-white nation sometime in the 1950s. By today's definitions, we'll become majority non-white a few decades hence.   

But that may not make for the vast cultural and political change some predict. Not if we assimilate newcomers, and if our two political parties adapt, as we and they have done in the past.   

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.

COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
Rasmussen Reports Platinum Members get an all-access pass to polling news, analysis and insight not available to the general public.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade. To learn more about our methodology, click here.
TOP STORIES
©2011 Rasmussen Reports, LLC****
3546  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bin Laden death photo on: August 20, 2011, 11:32:08 AM
Drugereport reveals POTUS has decided to release Bin Laden death photo.

For the life of me I cannot understand why NOW.  Absolutely no one I know or have read or seen is questioning if Bin Laden is dead or not. 

This has to be a political decision.  Like to remind us what a great military leader he has been because "he" got the guy.

As far as I am concerned I don't need to see the photo.

As far as I am concerned this won't help this guy in the polls.

Wow is he desparate or what?

Even Jimmy Carter was not this bad.
3547  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / cynical cannot barely begin to explain Brock on: August 18, 2011, 07:36:27 PM
From my post of July 15:

"Mark my words if Brock loses we will see him pardon every illegal here and around the world.  That will be HIS payback."

Fast forward to present.

Well since he is cratering in the polls (along with the country) he has decided not to wait to start the pardon process.
Just as he finishes his "bus tour" of those gun and religion "clinging" middle America types he pulls
this proverbial "eat me" or "middle finger" to conservatives:

****New DHS Rules Cancel Deportations – Washington Times

The Homeland Security Department said Thursday it will halt deportation proceedings on a case-by-case basis against illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria such as attending school, having family in the military or are primarily responsible for other family members’ care.

The move, announced in letters to Congress, won immediate praise from Hispanic activists and Democrats who had chided President Obama for months for the pace of deportations and had argued he had authority to exempt broad swaths of illegal immigrants from deportation.

“Today’s announcement shows that this president is willing to put muscle behind his words and to use his power to intervene when the lives of good people are being ruined by bad laws,” said Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, Illinois Democrat.

In the letters to Congress, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said her department and the Justice Department will review all ongoing cases and see who meets the new criteria on a case-by-case basis.

“This case-by-case approach will enhance public safety,” she said. “Immigration judges will be able to more swiftly adjudicate high priority cases, such as those involving convicted felons.”

The new rules apply to those who have been apprehended and are in deportation proceedings, but have not been officially ordered out of the country by a judge. Miss Napolitano said a working group will try to come up with “guidance on how to provide for appropriate discretionary consideration” for “compelling cases” in those instances where someone has already been ordered deported.

It was unclear how many people might be affected by the new rules, though in fiscal year 2010 the government deported nearly 200,000 illegal immigrants who it said did not have criminal records.

The Obama administration has argued for months that it did not have authority to grant blanket absolution, and Miss Napolitano stressed that these cases will be treated individually, though the new guidance applies across the board.

In June, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that handles interior immigration law enforcement, issued new guidance expanding authority to decline to prosecute illegal immigrants. The goal, ICE leaders said, was to focus on their priority of catching illegal immigrants who have also committed other crimes or are part of gangs.

The chief beneficiaries of the new guidance are likely to be illegal immigrant students who would have been eligible for legal status under the Dream Act, which stalled in Congress last year.

“Today is a victory not just for immigrants but for the American people as a whole because it makes no sense to deport Dream Act students and others who can make great contributions to America and pose no threat,” Mr. Gutierrez said. “It is not in our national interest to send away young people who were raised in the U.S. and have been educated here and want only to contribute to this country’s success. “

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat who earlier this year wrote asking Homeland Security to exempt illegal immigrant students from deportation, said the move will free up immigration courts to handle cases involving serious criminals.

Both men said, though, that they will continue to push for legislation that would grant a path to citizenship to illegal immigrants and expands new pathways for more immigrants to come legally in the future.

But groups pushing for a crackdown on illegal immigration said the administration’s move abused the Constitution by usurping a power Congress should have.

“Supporters of comprehensive and targeted amnesties for illegal aliens have consistently failed to win approval by Congress or gain support from the American public,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. “Having failed in the legislative process, the Obama administration has simply decided to usurp Congress’s constitutional authority and implement an amnesty program for millions of illegal aliens.”****

3548  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 18, 2011, 05:19:58 PM
Doug,
Which bus do you think Brock is in the black one or the red one?  Or neither?   undecided
Maxine Waters is pissed his tour didn't go through urban Black communities.   tongue
Hell he knows her crowd is going to vote for him.

What does she think?
3549  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: August 18, 2011, 03:10:16 PM
"Gore was then considered the most conservative of the Dems running"

I recall listening to Gore back then and he did not sound like the Gore of Clinton.  He did sound strong on defense and social values.

The only conceivable Rep candidate I would have trouble voting for Ron Paul.

To vote for him I would have to decide to allow Israel to be destroyed or vote against a Republican.

It is analogous to the situation that liberal American Jews are in now.  They apparantly decided to support their party over Israel.

For me to vote for Ron Paul would be the same for me. 

He has made his intentions over Israel clear.  Additionally I suspect though I guess I have little evidence he simply does not like Jews.

3550  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Muslims in love with Obama on: August 16, 2011, 01:47:18 PM
Yet my fellow Jews are not too far behind smiley

****(CNSNews.com) -- Eighty percent of Muslim Americans approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president, according to a newly released survey conducted by the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center, a partnership between Gallup and the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi.

According to the survey, 65 percent of Jewish Americans approve of the job Obama is doing; 60 percent of atheists, agnostics, and those of no religion approve; 50 percent of Catholics approve; 37 percent of Protestants approve and 25 percent of Mormons approve.

Although published this month, the survey of Muslim Americans was actually completed on April 9. (In Gallup’s overall polling in the week that ended April 10, Obama’s approval was at 45 percent, slightly higher than the 42 percent it hit last week.)

Obama’s approval among Muslim Americans has declined since 2009 but still remains far higher than the approval President George W. Bush’s won among Muslim Americans in 2008.  In that year, only 7 percent of Muslim Americans said they approved of the job Bush was doing.

In 2009, 84 percent of Muslim Americans said they approved of the job Obama was doing. That dropped to 78 percent in 2010 and then rose to 80 percent this year.

The Abu Dhabi Gallup Center says it interviewed 3,883 self-identified Muslim Americans between Jan. 1, 2008 and April 9, 2011 to get its polling trends in that community. The interviews were part of Gallup’s ongoing polling of at least 1,000 American adults 350 days per year.****

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