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3601  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / What WE need is a version of Netanyahu on: August 13, 2010, 12:07:51 PM
What America needs is a man like this.  Who can bring pride and strength to America - not shame and weakness.  What a difference!  For Israel I say this brings me only pride and greatfulness there is a real man at their helm.   grin  For America the opposite -  a great deceiver, a huckster of sorts, a lover of himself.  cry angry

From Greorge Will - another great article:

***Israel's anti-Obama

By George Will | JERUSALEM — Two photographs adorn the office of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Together they illuminate a portentous fact: No two leaders of democracies are less alike — in life experiences, temperaments and political philosophies — than Netanyahu, the former commando and fierce nationalist, and Barack Obama, the former professor and post-nationalist.

One photograph is of Theodor Herzl, born 150 years ago. Dismayed by the eruption of anti-Semitism in France during the Dreyfus Affair at the end of the 19th century, Herzl became Zionism's founding father. Long before the Holocaust, he concluded that Jews could find safety only in a national homeland.

The other photograph is of Winston Churchill, who considered himself "one of the authors" of Britain's embrace of Zionism. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 stated: "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." Beginning in 1923, Britain would govern Palestine under a League of Nations mandate.

Netanyahu, his focus firmly on Iran, honors Churchill because he did not flinch from facts about gathering storms. Obama returned to the British Embassy in Washington the bust of Churchill that was in the Oval Office when he got there.

Obama's 2009 speech in Cairo, courting the Arab world, may have had measurable benefits, although the metric proving this remains mysterious. The speech — made during a trip when Obama visited Cairo and Riyadh but not here — certainly subtracted from his standing in Israel. In it, he acknowledged Israel as, in part, a response to Jewish suffering in the Holocaust. Then, with what many Israelis considered a deeply offensive exercise of moral equivalence, he said: "On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people — Muslims and Christians — have suffered in pursuit of a homeland."


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

"On the other hand"? "I," says Moshe Yaalon, "was shocked by the Cairo speech," which he thinks proved that "this White House is very different." Yaalon, former head of military intelligence and chief of the general staff, currently strategic affairs minister, tartly asks, "If Palestinians are victims, who are the victimizers?"

The Cairo speech came 10 months after Obama's Berlin speech, in which he declared himself a "citizen of the world." That was an oxymoronic boast, given that citizenship connotes allegiance to a particular polity, its laws and political processes. But the boast resonated in Europe.

The European Union was born from the flight of Europe's elites from what terrifies them — Europeans. The first Thirty Years' War ended in 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia, which ratified the system of nation-states. The second Thirty Years' War, which ended in 1945, convinced European elites that the continent's nearly fatal disease was nationalism, the cure for which must be the steady attenuation of nationalities. Hence the high value placed on "pooling" sovereignty, never mind the cost in diminished self-government.

Israel, with its deep sense of nationhood, is beyond unintelligible to such Europeans; it is a stench in their nostrils. Transnational progressivism is, as much as welfare state social democracy, an element of European politics that American progressives will emulate as much as American politics will permit. It is perverse that the European Union, a semi-fictional political entity, serves — with the United States, the reliably anti-Israel United Nations and Russia — as part of the "quartet" that supposedly will broker peace in our time between Israel and the Palestinians.

Arguably the most left-wing administration in American history is trying to knead and soften the most right-wing coalition in Israel's history. The former shows no understanding of the latter, which thinks it understands the former all too well.

The prime minister honors Churchill, who spoke of "the confirmed unteachability of mankind." Nevertheless, a display case in Netanyahu's office could teach the Obama administration something about this leader. It contains a small signet stone that was part of a ring found near the Western Wall. It is about 2,800 years old — 200 years younger than Jerusalem's role as the Jewish people's capital. The ring was the seal of a Jewish official, whose name is inscribed on it: Netanyahu.

No one is less a transnational progressive, less a post-nationalist, than Binyamin Netanyahu, whose first name is that of a son of Jacob, who lived perhaps 4,000 years ago. Netanyahu, whom no one ever called cuddly, once said to a U.S. diplomat 10 words that should warn U.S. policymakers who hope to make Netanyahu malleable: "You live in Chevy Chase. Don't play with our future."

3602  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: August 13, 2010, 10:57:02 AM
Alright.  Is the killing suspect who is an "Israeli National" a Jew, a Christain, or a Muslim?

Notice the silence so far.   

To me it makes a difference.  Does he even have ties to Hazballah?

I am looking forward to this information.  I hope he ain't another David Berkowitz.

3603  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: August 13, 2010, 10:44:36 AM
This is just corruption plain and simple.  There is just nothing, or no one money can't buy.  Someone at the FHA should go to jail for this nonsense.  Has anyone tried to get a Federal employee fired?   Almost impossible.  Talk about an "club".

****Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Housing Administration is providing a lifeline to new Manhattan luxury condominiums after sales stalled. Bloomberg's Monica Bertran reports. (Source: Bloomberg)

A one-bedroom apartment is pictured at the 99 John Deco Loft condo building in New York. Photographer: Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg
Whitney Gollinger, marketing chief for a Manhattan condo building with an outdoor movie theater and panoramic city views, is highlighting a different amenity to spur sales: the financial backing of the federal government.

The Federal Housing Administration agreed in March to insure mortgages for apartments at the 98-unit Gramercy Park development, known as Tempo. That enables buyers to make a down payment of as little as 3.5 percent in a building where apartments range from $820,000 to $3 million.

“It’s a government seal of approval,” said Gollinger, a director at the Developments Group of New York-based brokerage Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “We need as many sales tools as we can have these days, and it’s one more tool.”

The FHA, created in 1934 to make homeownership attainable for low- to moderate-income Americans, is providing a lifeline to new Manhattan luxury condominiums after sales stalled. Buildings featuring pet spas, concierges and rooftop lounges are applying for agency backing to unlock bank financing for purchasers. The FHA guarantees that if a homebuyer defaults on his mortgage, the agency will pay it.

At least nine Manhattan condo developments south of 96th Street have sought approval for FHA backing since the agency loosened its financing rules in December, according to a database of applications kept by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The change allows the FHA to insure loans in new projects where only 30 percent of units are in contract, down from at least 50 percent. About 1,900 apartments in New York’s most expensive neighborhoods would be covered by the applications.

Filling a Void

The agency also offers insurance to half of all mortgages in a single building after previously setting a limit at 30 percent, according to the new standards, which expire in December. The entire property must be approved for a buyer to get backing. Most of those that applied in Manhattan are buildings converted to condos or built since 2007.

The FHA is filling a void left after mortgage-finance agency Fannie Mae tightened its condo lending standards last year. The Washington-based company won’t back loans made in new buildings where fewer than 51 percent of the units are in contract, sometimes setting a requirement as high as 70 percent.

That in turn makes mortgage lenders hesitant to make loans at developments under those thresholds, said Orest Tomaselli, chief executive officer of White Plains, New York-based National Condo Advisors LLC, which advises condominiums on how to adhere to Fannie Mae and FHA standards.

‘Not an Accident’

“It’s not an accident that the FHA is offering this -- not private lenders,” said Christopher Mayer, senior vice dean at Columbia Business School’s Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate in New York. “An unfilled condominium complex is not the kind of thing that a bank looking to rebuild its balance sheet on real estate is looking to do.”

In New York City, the priciest urban U.S. housing market, the FHA insures loans of as much as $729,750, and permits buyers to borrow up to 96.5 percent of the price.

No buildings in Manhattan applied for FHA recognition between 1998 and 2008 -- though in those years the program didn’t require an entire property be approved and condo buyers could seek FHA-insured loans on their own, Tomaselli said.

New development in Manhattan represented 23 percent of the sales market in the second quarter, compared with 35 percent two years earlier, according to New York appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. About 8,700 new apartments in the borough were empty as of June, partly because of a lack of available financing for buyers, said Jonathan Miller, president of the firm.

‘Ironic’ Move

“Something has to happen for this product to be marketable,” Miller said. “I just find the whole thing ironic that FHA is providing financing for luxury housing.”

The FHA loosened the condo rules because of “market conditions,” according to Lemar Wooley, an agency spokesman.

“We are certainly cognizant of falling sales prices, limited availability of liquidity, etc., so we wanted to be flexible,” Wooley wrote in an e-mail. “The risk was considered before issuance of the temporary guidance.”

The new rules are a “game changer,” said Ryan Serhant, vice president at Nest Seekers International, a brokerage with offices in New York and Florida. He’s marketing 99 John Deco Lofts, a 442-unit conversion project in downtown Manhattan that features a “zen” flower garden and Brooklyn Bridge views.

The development, where sales began more than two years ago, had 10 units go into contract with FHA backing since approval in March. The FHA suspended its support for the building Aug. 3, according to the agency website. The property is working to have it reinstated, Serhant said.

Eager for Approval

Angela Ferrara, who markets the Sheffield condos on West 57th Street, checks every day whether the 597-unit property, which applied to the FHA in May, has won approval. Ferrara, vice president of sales for New York-based the Marketing Directors Inc., says she is eager to start touting the FHA backing to potential buyers. That’s a reversal from the past, when government loan programs weren’t necessary -- or advertised.

“People would get the wrong idea, and think it was a different type of government-subsidized product,” Ferrara said. “It was almost regarded as a negative, particularly in the luxury properties.”

Now, she said, “It’s actually became a widely accepted marketing tool.”

The Sheffield promotes amenities such as concierge service, a pet spa and massage rooms, according to the project’s website. A neighborhood guide on the site lists chef Thomas Keller’s four-star restaurant Per Se as a nearby attraction, along with Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and Tiffany & Co.’s flagship Fifth Avenue store.

‘Great Solution’

The Sheffield’s owner, New York-based Fortress Investment Group LLC, took over the condo conversion project in foreclosure last August after the original developer, Kent Swig, defaulted on a loan. With 56 percent of the converted units sold or in contract, the building has about 230 units left to sell, Ferrara estimates.

FHA is “definitely is a great solution right now,” said Tomaselli of National Condo Advisors, which prepared the FHA applications for Tempo and Sheffield.

“The savvy developers did it first,” Tomaselli said. “But everybody else is catching up.”

In the borough of Brooklyn, FHA support accounted for half of the 29 units sold at the 111 Monroe condos in Clinton Hill and a quarter of apartments in Williamsburg’s NV building, which is sold out after two years on the market, said David Behin, executive vice president at the Developers Group, a New York brokerage for new buildings.

Limits to Success

The FHA’s effectiveness will be limited in Manhattan because apartment prices are higher than in Brooklyn and the insured loan is capped at $729,750, Behin said. The median price of a Manhattan apartment in a new development was $1.4 million in the second quarter, according to Miller Samuel and Prudential Douglas Elliman.

“With apartments over $1 million, FHA isn’t going to help you,” Behin said. “You’d have to put down 30 percent to get the loan of $729,000. And if you have 30 percent to put down, a bank will loan to you without FHA.”

Borrowers backed by FHA are essentially buying mortgage insurance, said Debra Shultz, managing director at Manhattan Mortgage Company Inc. in New York. Buyers pay an upfront premium of 2.25 percent of their loan value, and a monthly fee equal to about 0.5 percent of the loan amount for at least five years, she said.

Nationwide, the FHA insured 21 percent of all mortgages made in the second quarter, or $71.4 billion worth of loans, according to Geremy Bass, publisher of the Inside FHA Lending newsletter. That’s close to the $79.5 billion total value of all FHA-backed loans in 2007.

Rising Defaults

Nine percent of all FHA-insured loans were 90 days or more past due or in the process of foreclosure in the first quarter, compared with 7.4 percent a year earlier, data from the Washington-based Mortgage Bankers Association show.

The agency doesn’t require a minimum credit score for the mortgage insurance, though many lenders who fund the loans insist on a rating of at least 580, said Shultz.

The FHA is considering a minimum required score of 500, according to a notice the agency filed in the Federal Register on July 15. A person with a 500 rating is in the lowest one percentile of credit scores nationally and was likely delinquent on several accounts in the last year, said John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education for, a consumer and credit education company based in San Francisco.

Taking on Risk

“The government is taking on more risk,” said Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance. “That’s the bottom line. They really can’t say no, because that’s their purpose. It’s to support the housing market when there’s no other funding.”

Until they heard about FHA, Asha Willis and her boyfriend, Cesar Rivera, didn’t think they would buy a place for at least five years -- enough time to save a 20 percent down payment, she said. The couple reasoned that they earned enough to make monthly mortgage payments, and began an apartment search in February, limiting their hunt to buildings with agency backing.

Willis, an attending physician at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn; and Rivera, a sales associate at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, toured several glass and steel high rises and decided on a one-bedroom at Toll Brothers Inc.’s Two Northside Piers in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It didn’t have FHA approval at the time, but developers promised it was on its way, Willis said.

Contract Contingency

“Our contract had a contingency that if they weren’t FHA approved we could get out of the contract,” said Willis, currently a renter at Manhattan’s Stuyvesant Town.

Prices at the building range from the “high $300,000s” to more than $2 million, according to Adam Gottlieb, project manager for Northside Piers. The property, which began sales in October 2008, received FHA approval in June.

Shultz, whose Manhattan Mortgage has sourced FHA loans for buyers in Brooklyn, the borough of Queens and on New York’s Long Island, said the last month brought a sudden surge of calls from would-be buyers seeking FHA insurance for Manhattan purchases.

“It’s definitely breaking through to the Manhattan market,” she said.

At Tempo, which is still under construction, developers are hoping that FHA approval will appeal to buyers of lower-priced units and inch the number of contracts signed to the 51 percent that conventional mortgage lenders require, Gollinger said. About 15 percent of the 98 units are under contract.

The developers plan to tout FHA support in e-mails and other promotions in a sales push next month as the building nears completion, Gollinger said.

“I never even dealt with this,” she said. “All of a sudden it became an absolute must.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Oshrat Carmiel in New York at****
3604  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / rant on: August 13, 2010, 10:11:52 AM
Friends, Americans (what is left of us), countrymen (also what is left of us),

One hospital where I work has just made pay and benefit cuts to all its employees.  Another where I used to work has just laid off 200.

It is felt that this is just for openers.  ONe MBA type states that 2011 will be far worse as the health care sector tends to lag the general economic business sector.

In my mind there is no question this is just the tip of an iceberg.  As 45 more million people come on to the rolls the insurers will have to raise their rates so much there will be public outcry.  Of course the Dems will rush to the "rescue" and continue consolidation towards the "end stage disease" (if you will pardon my medical imagery) of single payer full government controlled health care.

This IS the road map.  Make no mistake or be fooled by anything else Bamster and the rest of the far left, which he certainly IS part of despite those hucksters on CNN claim he is not, want.

*Only* a political win this fall and in 12 will stop this steamroller.  If not the groundwork they have put into place will lead the chemical reaction to its inevitable end - Czar Berwick as supreme dictator telling the masses what they can and cannot have, who gets what, who does not get what, everyone is the same and he and some mock panel of "experts" will decide it all.

That is not to say we don't need something done about health care.  And I am the first to admit I am not sure what the answer is.  But I am totally against this continued, forced, and expanding redistribution of wealth as the answer to the country's problems.  It is destroying the leadership role of the US.

And make no mistake about it - you can't give access to care to 45 million without costs skyrocketing.  Thus we will have rationing, restirctions, waits, and the rest.
Keeping people out of ERs won't save anywhere near enough to make up for the office visits, drugs screening and the rest.

It is total propaganda.  They know this and they have their plan to respond to this ready in the wings - that is the ONLY answer is single payer gov controlled internet controlled care.  And Bill Gates is heavily promoting this at least in part because he wants MSFT technology to have an in with the "revolution".  I really wnat to see this blithering little weasel geek have his father or mother or he himself have to wait on line for a CT someday and maybe they will day waiting.  Does anyone think that will happen to this guy or his family?  I wouldn't bet a dime on it.

I have to get off my soap box now.
3605  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 13, 2010, 09:35:14 AM
I think much of what you said is part of it.  I suppose also some of the work done by illegals is somewhat skilled such as construction - though the quality of their construction may be suspect.  In any case, we do not hear this obvious relationship one ioda from MSM (at least that I have heard) about this obvious relationship.  IT is simple to connect the dots.

The phoney dirtballs at "keeping them honest" CNN continue to ommit discussing the discongruity of having illegals flooding our low wage market while at the same time we see that youth unemployment is at an all time high.

It *doesn't fit* in their agenda of protecting the plight of illegals while the USA burns. The persist in prvoding cover for illegas showing us day after day about their "sad" plight.

Another example of the fruadulent political agenda of those at CNN.  As for the Dems in the WH and other houses of bullshit, well it is obvious they are just gunning for votes to enhance their power. 
3606  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / a nuclear bomb on: August 12, 2010, 06:16:45 PM
with more on the way.

3607  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / What do you get if... on: August 12, 2010, 06:16:05 PM
you have two bullshit artists trying to shit each other:

****Barack Obama 'may be prepared to meet Iranian president’
Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Gen James Jones, has indicated the President may be prepared to meet Mahmoud Ahmadinejad if the regime resumed negotiations over its nuclear programme.
By Robert Winnett in Washington
Published: 10:57PM BST 11 Aug 2010

 Gen James Jones, the US National Security Adviser Photo: AP
The retired general also indicated that the return of three American hikers held in Iran for the past year would be an “important gesture”.

Earlier this month, Mr Ahmadinejad requested face-to-face talks with Mr Obama during the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. The White House had appeared to rule out any meeting.

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Iran election: Barack Obama refuses to 'meddle' over protestsHowever, in an interview with CNN, Gen Jones said “the door’s open” if the Iranians agree to resume talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

When asked whether Mr Obama may meet the Iranian leader, Gen Jones said: “Ultimately if we find a convergence of paths all things are possible.

“One thing they might do is return our three hikers. That would be an important gesture. It could lead to better relations.” However, the President’s national security adviser said there would be “no point in a theatrical meeting.” It is unlikely that the Iranians will agree to the American’s demands as the regime has repeatedly circumvented previous attempts to rein in its nuclear programme.

Earlier this month, Mr Ahmadinejad said he was ready for face-to-face talks.

“We are hopefully coming for the UN assembly,” Mr Ahmadinejad said in an address to expatriate Iranians which was broadcast live on state television.

“We are ready to sit down with Mr Obama face-to-face and put the global issues on the table, man-to-man, freely, and in front of the media and see whose solutions are better. We think this is a better approach.”

In the interview, Gen Jones refused to be drawn on whether military action might be considered against Iran if it fails to comply with international demands.

“I’m not going to speculate on that,” he said.

There are currently extensive UN sanctions against the country.****

answer next post

3608  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 12, 2010, 02:27:34 PM
Today on drudge we have the report that youth unemployment is an all time high. 

Yet we have tens of millions of illegals who seem to find work here.

So for kids today those jobs are all too demeaning?

3609  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 11, 2010, 11:25:20 AM
ON the yahoo news, another liberal MSM outlet written by someone who read a NYT published article from David Stockton.  I cannot pull up the NYT article since I don't subscribe.  It is interesting how the claim is it is all the fault of Republicans.  I see it more as the fault of liberals with Republicans trying to keep up with "conservative compassion" so to speak.  I have pointed out before that I do agree the widening gap between wealth and non wealth is a huge problem that is getting bigger.  It is not merely that wealthy people are the only ones with brains, the only ones who work hard. It is in our capitlistic society once they reach a certain lelel they do indeed hold all the cards.  I have never heard an answer about this from the right.  OTOH I don't believe welath confiscation and doles are the answer either.

In any case blaming republicans for this coming catastrophy and not dems is in my very humble and arm chair opinion ridiculous.  Yet some points appear to have some merit on the face of the logic of the arguments. 

Lastly I don't know how accurate this guy's assesment of Stocktons take is since no doubt he is a grinning liberal happy to post all over this hit piece on the Republicna party.

 Aug 11, 2010, 12:06PM EDT - U.S. Markets close in 3 hrs 54 mins
Reagan Insider: 'GOP Destroyed U.S. Economy'
by Paul B. Farrell
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ShareretweetEmailPrintCommentary: How: Gold. Tax cuts. Debts. Wars. Fat Cats. Class gap. No fiscal discipline

"How my G.O.P. destroyed the U.S. economy." Yes, that is exactly what David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan's director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed piece, "Four Deformations of the Apocalypse."

Get it? Not "destroying." The GOP has already "destroyed" the U.S. economy, setting up an "American Apocalypse."

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Yes, Stockman is equally damning of the Democrats' Keynesian policies. But what this indictment by a party insider -- someone so close to the development of the Reaganomics ideology -- says about America, helps all of us better understand how America's toxic partisan-politics "holy war" is destroying not just the economy and capitalism, but the America dream. And unless this war stops soon, both parties will succeed in their collective death wish.

But why focus on Stockman's message? It's already lost in the 24/7 news cycle. Why? We need some introspection. Ask yourself: How did the great nation of America lose its moral compass and drift so far off course, to where our very survival is threatened?

We've arrived at a historic turning point as a nation that no longer needs outside enemies to destroy us, we are committing suicide. Democracy. Capitalism. The American dream. All dying. Why? Because of the economic decisions of the GOP the past 40 years, says this leading Reagan Republican.

Please listen with an open mind, no matter your party affiliation: This makes for a powerful history lesson, because it exposes how both parties are responsible for destroying the U.S. economy. Listen closely:

Reagan Republican: the GOP should file for bankruptcy

Stockman rushes into the ring swinging like a boxer: "If there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. The nation's public debt ... will soon reach $18 trillion." It screams "out for austerity and sacrifice." But instead, the GOP insists "that the nation's wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase."

In the past 40 years Republican ideology has gone from solid principles to hype and slogans. Stockman says: "Republicans used to believe that prosperity depended upon the regular balancing of accounts -- in government, in international trade, on the ledgers of central banks and in the financial affairs of private households and businesses too."

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Visit the Banking & Budgeting Center 

No more. Today there's a "new catechism" that's "little more than money printing and deficit finance, vulgar Keynesianism robed in the ideological vestments of the prosperous classes" making a mockery of GOP ideals. Worse, it has resulted in "serial financial bubbles and Wall Street depredations that have crippled our economy." Yes, GOP ideals backfired, crippling our economy.

Stockman's indictment warns that the Republican party's "new policy doctrines have caused four great deformations of the national economy, and modern Republicans have turned a blind eye to each one:"

Stage 1. Nixon irresponsible, dumps gold, U.S starts spending binge

Richard Nixon's gold policies get Stockman's first assault, for defaulting "on American obligations under the 1944 Bretton Woods agreement to balance our accounts with the world." So for the past 40 years, America's been living "beyond our means as a nation" on "borrowed prosperity on an epic scale ... an outcome that Milton Friedman said could never happen when, in 1971, he persuaded President Nixon to unleash on the world paper dollars no longer redeemable in gold or other fixed monetary reserves."

Remember Friedman: "Just let the free market set currency exchange rates, he said, and trade deficits will self-correct." Friedman was wrong by trillions. And unfortunately "once relieved of the discipline of defending a fixed value for their currencies, politicians the world over were free to cheapen their money and disregard their neighbors."

And without discipline America was also encouraging "global monetary chaos as foreign central banks run their own printing presses at ever faster speeds to sop up the tidal wave of dollars coming from the Federal Reserve." Yes, the road to the coming apocalypse began with a Republican president listening to a misguided Nobel economist's advice.

Stage 2. Crushing debts from domestic excesses, war mongering

Stockman says "the second unhappy change in the American economy has been the extraordinary growth of our public debt. In 1970 it was just 40% of gross domestic product, or about $425 billion. When it reaches $18 trillion, it will be 40 times greater than in 1970." Who's to blame? Not big-spending Dems, says Stockman, but "from the Republican Party's embrace, about three decades ago, of the insidious doctrine that deficits don't matter if they result from tax cuts."

Back "in 1981, traditional Republicans supported tax cuts," but Stockman makes clear, they had to be "matched by spending cuts, to offset the way inflation was pushing many taxpayers into higher brackets and to spur investment. The Reagan administration's hastily prepared fiscal blueprint, however, was no match for the primordial forces -- the welfare state and the warfare state -- that drive the federal spending machine."

OK, stop a minute. As you absorb Stockman's indictment of how his Republican party has "destroyed the U.S. economy," you're probably asking yourself why anyone should believe a traitor to the Reagan legacy. I believe party affiliation is irrelevant here. This is a crucial subject that must be explored because it further exposes a dangerous historical trend where politics is so partisan it's having huge negative consequences.

Yes, the GOP does have a welfare-warfare state: Stockman says "the neocons were pushing the military budget skyward. And the Republicans on Capitol Hill who were supposed to cut spending, exempted from the knife most of the domestic budget -- entitlements, farm subsidies, education, water projects. But in the end it was a new cadre of ideological tax-cutters who killed the Republicans' fiscal religion."

When Fed chief Paul Volcker "crushed inflation" in the '80s we got a "solid economic rebound." But then "the new tax-cutters not only claimed victory for their supply-side strategy but hooked Republicans for good on the delusion that the economy will outgrow the deficit if plied with enough tax cuts." By 2009, they "reduced federal revenues to 15% of gross domestic product," lowest since the 1940s. Still today they're irrationally demanding an extension of those "unaffordable Bush tax cuts [that] would amount to a bankruptcy filing."

Recently Bush made matters far worse by "rarely vetoing a budget bill and engaging in two unfinanced foreign military adventures." Bush also gave in "on domestic spending cuts, signing into law $420 billion in nondefense appropriations, a 65% percent gain from the $260 billion he had inherited eight years earlier. Republicans thus joined the Democrats in a shameless embrace of a free-lunch fiscal policy." Takes two to tango.

Stage 3. Wall Street's deadly 'vast, unproductive expansion'

Stockman continues pounding away: "The third ominous change in the American economy has been the vast, unproductive expansion of our financial sector." He warns that "Republicans have been oblivious to the grave danger of flooding financial markets with freely printed money and, at the same time, removing traditional restrictions on leverage and speculation." Wrong, not oblivious. Self-interested Republican loyalists like Paulson, Bernanke and Geithner knew exactly what they were doing.

They wanted the economy, markets and the government to be under the absolute control of Wall Street's too-greedy-to-fail banks. They conned Congress and the Fed into bailing out an estimated $23.7 trillion debt. Worse, they have since destroyed meaningful financial reforms. So Wall Street is now back to business as usual blowing another bigger bubble/bust cycle that will culminate in the coming "American Apocalypse."

Stockman refers to Wall Street's surviving banks as "wards of the state." Wrong, the opposite is true. Wall Street now controls Washington, and its "unproductive" trading is "extracting billions from the economy with a lot of pointless speculation in stocks, bonds, commodities and derivatives." Wall Street banks like Goldman were virtually bankrupt, would have never survived without government-guaranteed deposits and "virtually free money from the Fed's discount window to cover their bad bets."

Stage 4. New American Revolution class warfare coming soon

Finally, thanks to Republican policies that let us "live beyond our means for decades by borrowing heavily from abroad, we have steadily sent jobs and production offshore," while at home "high-value jobs in goods production ... trade, transportation, information technology and the professions shrunk by 12% to 68 million from 77 million."

As the apocalypse draws near, Stockman sees a class-rebellion, a new revolution, a war against greed and the wealthy. Soon. The trigger will be the growing gap between economic classes: No wonder "that during the last bubble (from 2002 to 2006) the top 1% of Americans -- paid mainly from the Wall Street casino -- received two-thirds of the gain in national income, while the bottom 90% -- mainly dependent on Main Street's shrinking economy -- got only 12%. This growing wealth gap is not the market's fault. It's the decaying fruit of bad economic policy."

Get it? The decaying fruit of the GOP's bad economic policies is destroying our economy.

Warning: This black swan won't be pretty, will shock, soon

His bottom line: "The day of national reckoning has arrived. We will not have a conventional business recovery now, but rather a long hangover of debt liquidation and downsizing ... it's a pity that the modern Republican party offers the American people an irrelevant platform of recycled Keynesianism when the old approach -- balanced budgets, sound money and financial discipline -- is needed more than ever."

Wrong: There are far bigger things to "pity."

First, that most Americans, 300 million, are helpless, will do nothing, sit in the bleachers passively watching this deadly partisan game like it's just another TV reality show.

Second, that, unfortunately, politicians are so deep-in-the-pockets of the Wall Street conspiracy that controls Washington they are helpless and blind.

And third, there's a depressing sense that Stockman will be dismissed as a traitor, his message lost in the 24/7 news cycle ... until the final apocalyptic event, an unpredictable black swan triggers another, bigger global meltdown, followed by a long Great Depression II and a historic class war.

So be prepared, it will hit soon, when you least expect.
3610  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 06, 2010, 11:25:42 AM
"our cops can follow any one of us for nothing and watch for a screwup to pull us over"

I was once pulled over while driving a relative's car while mine was in the shop.

My wrong?  I stared at a local police officer while driving past him in his car because I thought he looked familiar and might be a patient. of mine.  He thought that was odd so he looked up the plate and then realized the registration was overdue by a few days.  So I got pullled over and had to explain all the above.

I gave my relative the ticket after getting an oil job and filling the tank for his allowing me the privilege of using his car.  It was all a minor thing. 

But if I was illegal and the policeman happened to ask for proof of residence than perhaps I could have said the police officer had profiled me - a Jew - and sued.

I am not sure if the ACLU would have picked up the case because I am also a white guy. 

Doug your right.  Like so many of us are saying this country is turned up side down by liberals who are hell bent on giving it away towards a world government, and world socialism.
3611  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: August 06, 2010, 10:47:44 AM
"Israeli satellite captured photos of submarine off loading weapons to Hizbullah"

Whose Submarines?
3612  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: August 06, 2010, 10:15:30 AM
Perhaps I am missing it but every time I watch CNN, who bills it self as non partisan all I ever see is partisinship on this issue.  When they discuss the issue of anchor babies, we see anchors, guests, pundits one after the other say with a shit eating grin after another and snickering that it is clearly in the constitution that the babies of two illegal parents are citizens and end of story.

Then we see over and over the 4 foot tall Guatemalan working in a yard shoveling dirt breaking his back living in a room with only clothes to his name as the example of all illegals and how can anyone with a heart deny this poor man the "right" to be in America and work and struggle and dream for a better life like all of the rest of us who were all from other countries?  How could anyone but a Republican be so heartless.

No where or never have I seen them ever discuss the displacement of American workers (many of whom quite naturally sit back and collect unemployment), try to get disability, etc, discuss the benefits the illegal's children get, schooling, health in ER, free births and child care, food stamps, welfare, medicaid. 

I want to see networks start to hire bilingual illegals for far less wages than these G-D assholes on these stations and make them news anchors.  Then and only then, when it hits them in the wallet will they change their tune. 

Comon Soledad you American hating white hating jerk.  Instead of cherry picking the adorable Latino family why don't you give us the real objective picture about illegals.  And why are we not talking about illegals from all countries rather than making Latinos believe this is all about them. It isn't!!!

Comon you dumb Republican "leaders" what about all the illegals including those who overstay their visas.  Those from Asia, from Europe, From Africa, From the Carribbean.  By keeping silent about this and making it solely a "border" issue you feed the concept that it is about people who look Mexican.
3613  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Music on: August 05, 2010, 04:09:18 PM
Usually when they start telling you the "story" behind the lyrics it is because the person didn't write it and it is pure BS to cover it.  The rush out of the song is very suspicious.  Often they rush it out because it is stolen or has been stolen not by downloaders but by the middle men. As soon as they get the evidence they throw it out there.  Delays in singers coming out with their albums are because they can't steal the evidence.  They will not do a song if the real writer hass evidence.  They will wait days, weeks, months or even years.  That it why it is so rare to hear in the news when anyone gets caught.  And then there is a behind the scenes deal or they work on stealing the evidence as it comes forward and we never hear in the nuews anything about it again.

 In any case I will look forward to seeing the lyrics.  Taylor Swift is really Taylor little shit.
Every day lately there are people sitting outside our house.  Today one guy was sitting in a SUV in front of the house next to us. Hey it is only 90 degrees.  After I passed him twice he finally dirves away.  Later some guy in a small truck again sitting out facing our back door for no obvious reason until he left after I watched him for five minutes. Meantime Katherine's computer keeps crashing while they buy time.

****Taylor Swift, 'Mine' -- Story Behind the Lyrics
Posted Aug 5th 2010 9:00AM by Nancy Dunham Comments [2] Print
Big Machine Records
The lyrics to Taylor Swift's new song, 'Mine,' give fans a glimpse into her love life that you'll only hear her sing about. In a webchat held last week, the 20-year old superstar told fans she won't discuss her personal life in interviews, but she "definitely sings about it," especially on her upcoming album 'Speak Now,' set for release on October 14.

Taylor's management team announced on August 4 that they rushed 'Mine,' the album's first single, to iTunes and country radio after "an unauthorized low-quality mp3 file of the single appeared online earlier today. As the low-quality file started to spread virally the decision was made to rush release 'Mine' to iTunes and Country radio to ensure that Taylor's fans were able to hear the single as she intended."

During the webchat, Taylor also told fans that she didn't use co-writers for the songs on her upcoming album because most of the lyric ideas came to her late at night on her Fearless tour. She also shared the very personal story behind what led her to write 'Mine.'

It's a song that is about my tendency to run from love. It's sort of a recent tendency.

For me, every really direct example of love I have had in front of me has ended in goodbye and has ended in break ups. So I think I've developed this pattern of running away when it is time to fall in love and stay in a relationship.

This song is about finding the exception to that and finding someone who would make you believe in love and realize that it could work out. I'm never, ever going to go past hoping that love can work out. I'm always going to be very hopeful and blindly optimistic when it comes to love even if it does seem like it's very hard.

Tune in to Aol Radio's Top Country radio station, where 'Mine' is playing in heavy rotation, here.****

3614  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / speaking of bbking on: August 04, 2010, 03:24:55 PM

My first date with Katherine was to a BBKing concert in WPB, Fla.
After over a decade of getting our lives destroyed by music thieves my/and her enchantment with anything to do with music is, well let's just say, the
"thrill is gone".  She now realizes she was getting robbed almost certainly all the way back to ~1989.  The year she was in Nashville.

BBK has broken through.  Many of the other old time Black musicians have their own long stories about how they were treated like garbage and left to rot.
3615  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Twice?? on: August 02, 2010, 03:05:18 PM
It seems Margaret's house is a thoroughfare for drug dealers on the run:

Seizing Elderly Woman’s Home in Philadelphia
Margaret Davis, a 77-year-old homeowner with multiple serious medical conditions, including end-stage renal disease, was in the habit of leaving her North Philadelphia home unlocked so her neighbors, who routinely checked up on her, could come and go.  She used paratransit to travel to dialysis treatment three times a week.[1] 
In August 2001, police chased several alleged drug dealers through Davis’ front door.  The suspects escaped out the back.  Davis gave the officers permission to search her home and they found drugs, left in plain view, presumably by the fleeing suspects.[2]  The matter should have ended there, but in September 2001 the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office filed a motion to seize the home even though Davis was not a party to any drug dealing.[3] 
Unable to afford an attorney, Davis was referred to the Civil Practice Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, which took on the case in February 2002.  In April, as the case was working its way through court, police chased another suspect into Davis’ house and caught him attempting to hide drugs.  Fortunately, Davis’ attorney was able to reach an agreement with the District Attorney’s office, which withdrew the petition in November of 2003.[4]

[1] E-mail exchange with Louis S. Rulli, Practice Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Programs, University of Pennsylvania Law School, August 18-20, 2009.

[2] Amended Petition for Forfeiture at 10, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. 1365 W. Colwyn Street No. 2903 (Pa. Ct. Common Pleas filed May 16, 2002).

[3] Civil Docket Report, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Davis, Case ID: 010902903.

[4] E-mail exchange with Louis S. Rulli; Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. 1365 W. Colwyn Street No. 2903 at 10. 

Return to Forfeiture main page
3616  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: August 02, 2010, 01:34:13 PM
Do you have any sense about what proportion of Muslims or Christian Arabs in Israel feel like Khaldi?

MSM like interviews with the disenchanted not people like Khaldi.  Particularly, if they fit into the liberal agenda.

For example I doubt Soledad O'Brien would want to interview this guy.  She would much more quickly jump to interview the angry Arab Muslim who exclaims discirimination.
3617  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / yeah right. It is all racial. on: August 02, 2010, 10:37:15 AM
Is this not ridiculous?  Now people are trying to say that the Rangel, Waters thing is racial.  Of course.  What else is new?  Sharpton was on cable this weekend not explicitly saying this just stating one has to ask this question.  He still refuses to apologize for his lies with Twana Brawley.  He is on the cover of some mag supposedly with the title of reinventing himself.  To me he is still the same race baiting hustler he has always been.  I don't know why msm keeps giving him some sort of legitimacy.  I guess they still find his BS still fits their liberal agenda and incorporates him into the progressive strategy to get fight republicans.

3618  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / another scam attempt this AM on: August 02, 2010, 10:29:35 AM
This morning as I leave the house I see a large dump truck next to our back yard fence gate with guy sitting there reading paper, our "neighbor" who is a plant sitting on her porch like she does off and on all day everyday smoking her cigarette on the other side of house, new guy who just moved in standing in his driveway directly next to our house, pickup truck from guy named Mcyintire who I have found following me, his vehicle is registered to son who moved in the house three doors down.  He doesn't live there he lives 30 minutes away but the truck is registered to the son.   they moved out from Brooklyn .  They *all* moved in after us.

They were hoping to get in the house after I leave and if Katherine lets out the dogs in our yard and by accident leaves the back door unattended even for minutes.

They will know exactly where in our house to go, understand from monitoring us the time needed to do what they need to do, and sit and wait, and have all the people in the scam in place.  They will get in the house, take what they want and leave no obvious trace.  The only thing(s) missing will be related to songs, lyrics, copyrights, documents related to Fidelity trading scam where they were robbing Katherine by some insider at the trading desk or at Fidelity.

I don't know who is the one calling the shots behind all these low level bozos who are being dircted by someone who is a professional crook who does this for a living for the music industry middle men.  I am told the big guys corporate execs at sony, disney, Gaffner etc. are not directly doing this.  They are reportedly just looking the other way.  I am not so sure.  But that is what some have told me.

I have been told there is an Irish Mafia that has a group that does this as well as the Italians.  The Blacks in music of course are all associatecd with the drug gangs.

It is obvious to us that when there is something they *must* get in our house we see more and more obvious people wlaking dogs, smoking cigarettes, parking in the Chruch lot next to our house.  We get offers for service, like a plumber who is offering low rates (just while we happen to need one), left on our door, on the local cable station, the neigbhors two doors down, the Flanagens had a miad crew come in driving the exact same model '95 black Caddy I used to drive.  Not only that after a slid on ice and crack into a sign pole causing a dent in the front, so did their car later show a dent almost exactly the same location as mine.  I suspect they were going to park it where I usually park my car and make it look like it was me at my house while they were in the house.

3619  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: August 01, 2010, 02:30:59 PM

"Some Bedouin--Muslim also serve in the IDF."

Perhaps my perception is wrong about the difference between Arab Christains and Muslims with regards to their perception, attitudes, and interaction with Jews.  Feel free to ellaborate and teach me.  I am not an expert in the area.
3620  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: August 01, 2010, 02:28:01 PM
"CCP,  The female equivalent might be shopping, not gazing at men."

Yes you are right!  I could have a shelf titled "men's health" with playboy and penthouse mags and a "women's health" shelf loaded with retail catalogues.

Patients may not mind waiting for their doctor too!   grin

Hugh Hefner will pick up on this and promote his mag and website claiming them for health benefits.  Hey look at the master breast connoiseur himself - what is he 90 and still going?
3621  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: July 31, 2010, 10:59:11 AM

I don't know how soon after one is granted amnesty they will be able to vote.  Perhaps you are right and it wouldn't be soon enough to give Bamster all thse votes.

The larger more despicible situation is this guy can alter the course of our history by granting amnesty to tens of millions who will largely vote for a party that taxes and spends money to buy votes of their contstuents.  And not a damn thing anyone can do about it.  The founders gave too much power to the President in retrospect.
Wikepedia even points out how this was troubling to them from day one. 

I see no reason why bama wouldn't do this.  It totally fits with his goals of distributing wealth to buy votes and keep power.  Again does anyone for one second think the Dems would be stalling for this if these people were not going to vote for them.  Sure come to this country and vote for socialistic programs that distributes money to them.  I don't know why American Blacks do not see this as screwing them as well.  As well as the Latinos who cme here legally.
3622  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama pardon all illegals on: July 30, 2010, 04:39:04 PM
From wikepedia.  The constitution grants pardon power to the Pres.  So nothing can stop Bamster from doing this.  I predict he will.  Suppose in 2012 he loses reelection.  Nothing can stop him as a lame duck from pardoning 20 million illegals before he walks out the door.  And I believe he will do it if it comes to that.  I wonder if the founders ever imagined this.  I believe Obama will do it sooner if he can get away with it politically.  Suppose he simply decides to do this before the election.  He will then have 20 million more people to vote for him.  I wonder how long in advance he would have to do this so the illegals can register/qualify to vote for him.

Reagan made a big mistake setting precedent for this.   

****In the United States, the pardon power for federal crimes is granted to the President of the United States under Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution which states that the President "shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment." The Supreme Court of the United States has interpreted this language to include the power to grant pardons, conditional pardons, commutations of sentence, conditional commutations of sentence, remissions of fines and forfeitures, respites and amnesties.[12]

All federal pardon petitions are addressed to the President, who grants or denies the request. Typically, applications for pardons are referred for review and non-binding recommendation by the Office of the Pardon Attorney, an official of the United States Department of Justice. The percentage of pardons and reprieves granted varies from administration to administration (fewer pardons have been granted since World War II).[13]

The pardon power was controversial from the outset; many Anti-Federalists remembered examples of royal abuses of the pardon power in Europe, and warned that the same would happen in the new republic. Alexander Hamilton defended the pardon power in Federalist Papers, particularly in Federalist No. 74. In his final day in office, George Washington granted the first high-profile federal pardon to leaders of the Whiskey Rebellion.

Many pardons have been controversial. Critics argue that pardons have been used more often for the sake of political expediency than to correct judicial error. One of the more famous recent pardons was granted by President Gerald Ford to former President Richard Nixon on September 8, 1974, for official misconduct which gave rise to the Watergate scandal. Polls showed a majority of Americans disapproved of the pardon, and Ford's public-approval ratings tumbled afterward. Other controversial uses of the pardon power include Andrew Johnson's sweeping pardons of thousands of former Confederate officials and military personnel after the American Civil War, Jimmy Carter's grant of amnesty to Vietnam-era draft dodgers, George H. W. Bush's pardons of 75 people, including six Reagan administration officials accused and/or convicted in connection with the Iran-Contra affair, and Bill Clinton's commutation of sentences for 16 members of FALN in 1999 and of 140 people on his last day in office, including billionaire fugitive Marc Rich. Most recently, George W. Bush's commutation of the prison term of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was controversial.

The Justice Department recommends anyone requesting a pardon must wait five years after conviction or release prior to receiving a pardon. A presidential pardon may be granted at any time, however, and as when Ford pardoned Nixon, the pardoned person need not yet have been convicted or even formally charged with a crime. Clemency may also be granted without the filing of a formal request and even if the intended recipient has no desire to be pardoned. In the overwhelming majority of cases, however, the Pardon Attorney will consider only petitions from persons who have completed their sentences and, in addition, have demonstrated their ability to lead a responsible and productive life for a significant period after conviction or release from confinement.[14]

It appears that a pardon can be rejected, and must be affirmatively accepted to be officially recognized by the courts. Acceptance also carries with it an admission of guilt.[15] However, the federal courts have yet to make it clear how this logic applies to persons who are deceased (such as Henry Ossian Flipper - who was pardoned by Bill Clinton), those who are relieved from penalties as a result of general amnesties and those whose punishments are relieved via a commutation of sentence (which cannot be rejected in any sense of the language.)[16]

While a presidential pardon will restore various rights lost as a result of the pardoned offense and should lessen to some extent the stigma arising from a conviction, it will not erase or expunge the record of that conviction. Therefore, even if a person is granted a pardon, they must still disclose their conviction on any form where such information is required, although they may also disclose the fact that they received a pardon. In addition, most civil disabilities attendant upon a federal felony conviction, such as loss of the right to vote and hold state public office, are imposed by state rather than federal law, and also may be removed by state action. Because the federal pardon process is exacting and may be more time-consuming than analogous state procedures, pardon recipients may wish to consult with the appropriate authorities in the state of their residence regarding the procedures for restoring their state civil rights.****

[edit] State law
3623  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Princess Chelsea on: July 30, 2010, 12:10:36 PM
I don't care if the Clintons spend whatever they want for their only daughter's wedding.  It is just the hyporcracy of it all.  Chelsea who is some sort of assistant fund raiser for NYU has a building set aside for her that is the size of half a city block!  Marrying her hedge fund guy who is the son of a convicted crook.
NYU which is going global setting up the liberal child of their favorite liberal secretary of state.  The same liberal who feels that succesful people don't pay enough.  The hypocracy of limousine liberals is astounding.  Obviously grooming Chelsea for public office.  This folks, is big money/political power at its worst: 
****I'm constantly amazed at how much some money people blow on the Great White Wedding.

But Chelsea Clinton's forthcoming extravaganza takes the cake. The $11,000 cake, reportedly.

So in honor of this weekend's crazy Gilded Age circus, here are seven financial messages for would-be brides, grooms—and their parents.

1. Yes, the wedding-industrial complex marches on. The Age of Austerity? Ha. If you thought the recession was going to kill the GWW, think again. "We're in a recession-resistant industry," says Carley Roney, editor-in-chief of Knot Inc.'s TheKnot, the weddings website. The company's data suggest that the price of the median wedding, which dropped from $19,000 to $17,500 from 2008 to 2009, has now stabilized this year. Revenues rose 16% in the first quarter of 2010.

View Full Image

AFP/Getty Images
A sign outside a store in Rhinebeck, N.Y., where Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky are to be married on Saturday.
2. Spending a fortune on a wedding is a choice, not a necessity. Chelsea's wedding is likely to cost $2 million to $3 million, says Ms. Roney. But first daughter Jenna Bush managed to hold a somewhat quieter affair for a lot less when she got married two years ago. She invited about 200 guests and held the wedding on her parents' ranch in Texas. It was hardly cheap, but at $100,000, the tab wasn't even in the same ballpark.

3. Spend what you can afford. Sure, the Clintons are spending a lot, but they are rich. Their net worth was estimated at $35 million not long ago. Chelsea is their only child. And Bill gets paid about $250,000 a speech. After taxes, that's about $160,000. So he could clear a $3 million tab for Chelsea's big day with 19 speeches. Even at one speech a day, that's three weeks' work. The average family maybe earns $3,000 in three weeks. Yet they spend about $17,500 on a wedding.

4. Look at the hourly costs. For Chelsea's event, if the ceremony starts at 6 p.m. and the guests party into the small hours, the whole affair may last maybe 11 hours. For $3 million, that's $270,000 an hour. How much fun can anyone have in an hour? Even if you're, say, doing the tango with Oprah Winfrey? Look at the numbers for a regular wedding. A $17,500 event that lasts 11 hours is costing you about $1,500 an hour. If it lasts only, say, six hours, you're spending nearly $3,000 an hour. Enjoy.

Rhinebeck Wedding Gridlock Rhinebeck Conspiracy Theory 5. The lifetime cost is off the map. People get angry when I point this out. But if your money earns, say, 4% a year above inflation, every dollar you save at age 20 will grow to about $6 by the time you retire. So that $17,500 will grow to about $100,000. If you're financially secure, maybe it doesn't matter so much. But most middle-class Americans are in a far more precarious situation than they realize. They have saved little, if anything, for their retirement, and they are deeply in debt. (Household debts are about twice what they were a decade ago.) And we've seen what can happen to jobs and wages in a slump. In these circumstances, saving money instead of spending it matters very much.

6. You might—possibly—be able to profit from others' extravagance. For those who still play the market, Knot Inc. may be of speculative interest. With its stock trading at $8, the company's entire market value is down to $270 million. It has about $130 million of cash and equivalents and no debt. Operating cash flow last year was $12 million. Results are due next week. One to watch.

7. How do you cut costs and still have a great wedding? Avoid Saturdays and peak seasons, says Ms. Roney. Avoid fancy venues and big cities. Make it more casual: A lot of the money goes toward those big formal dinners. And invite fewer guests. Five hundred people is going to cost you, even if they're not famous.

Bottom line? Think more like Jenna Bush, and less like Chelsea Clinton.

Write to Brett Arends at

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved***
3624  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: July 29, 2010, 01:49:51 PM
I dunno....

Should I start recommending this to my male patients?

Should I rec. to my female pts they start staring at mens private parts ten minutes a day?

Maybe we should change the magazine selection in the waiting room.  I mean it is all in the name of improving health.
My practice might even take off.....
3625  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 29, 2010, 01:03:44 PM
"Arab Christian family"

I doubt she would feel this way if she were an Arab Muslim.

It is not so much the Arab part - it is the Muslim part that want the Jews wiped out.
3626  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / British system not a model for us?! on: July 28, 2010, 11:35:33 AM
Coincidentally, the woman from England who was touting the British system as being so good afterwards told of a new born nephew having mental status alterations.
To make a long story short it took days to finally have a cat scan of her brain approved wherein they found a fractured skull and a bleed that they think was probably due to forceps injury during child birth.
She later recanted and reportedly said that "maybe the British health care system is not so good".

If weasle Berwick has his way we will all have no choice.  As far as progressives are concerned it is "inevitable".  If not with this bill then the next one.  Caveat emptor, Reid recently saying we will get a public option. [shoved down our throats] 
3627  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc. on: July 28, 2010, 11:29:56 AM
This lady has some courage.

Being a whistleblower against a President, especially this one, is sure to bring heat on her life.

The left will make her pay for this, personally, financially, emotionally, and in every possible to make her suffer.

Many criticize whistleblowers for doing it for money.  I don't know the circumstances of why this person is doing it.

But as long as they are telling the truth they deserve to make money.  Otherwise no one will come forward and have their life ruined for ideology alone. (or very rare).
3628  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: July 27, 2010, 10:22:41 AM
It certainly seems that it is all political that we are starting to hear NOW rumors of war with Iran before the election with sagged poll numbers.

Better to change the subject when your domestic ideology is not popular before an election, eh?

This is not just cynical.  It is just connecting the dots.
3629  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / gel instead of fillings? on: July 27, 2010, 09:30:27 AM
 Gel that can help decayed teeth grow back could end fillings
By Pat Hagan

Open wide: Thanks to a new gel, soon this won't hurt
A gel that can help decayed teeth grow back in just weeks may mean an end to fillings.

The gel, which is being developed by scientists in France, works by prompting cells in teeth to start multiplying. They then form healthy new tooth tissue that gradually replaces what has been lost to decay.

Researchers say in lab studies it took just four weeks to restore teeth back to their original healthy state. The gel contains melanocyte-stimulating hormone, or MSH.

We produce this in the pituitary gland, a pea-sized gland just behind the bridge of the nose.

MSH is already known to play an important part in determining skin colour - the more you have, the darker your flesh tone.

But recent studies suggest MSH may also play a crucial role in stimulating bone regeneration.

As bone and teeth are very similar in their structure, a team of scientists at the National Institute for Health and Medical Research in Paris tested if the hormone could stimulate tooth growth.

Their findings, published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano, could signal hurtnot just an end to fillings, but the dreaded dentist drill as well. Tooth decay is a major public health problem in Britain. Around £45m a year is spent treating decayed teeth and by the age of 15, teenagers have had an average of 2.5 teeth filled or removed.

Decay is caused by bacteria, called streptococcus mutans, that live in the mouth and feed on sugar in the diet. Once the bacteria stick to the enamel, they trigger a process called demineralisation - they turn sugar in the diet into a harmful acid that starts to create holes in the teeth.

For decades, the main treatment for cavities has been to 'drill and fill'. However, an estimated one in five Britons suffers from dental phobia, a fear of dentists which means some would rather endure pain and suffering than face the prospect of having their teeth drilled.

The new treatment is painless. And although fillings halt decay, they can come loose and sometimes need refilling.

Experts believe new tooth cells would be stronger and a permanent solution.

The French team mixed MSH with a chemical called poly-L-glutamic acid. This is a substance often used to transport drugs inside the body because it can survive the harsh environments, such as the stomach, that might destroy medicines before they get a chance to work.

The mixture was then turned into a gel and rubbed on to cells, called dental pulp fibroblasts, taken from extracted human teeth. These cells are the kind that help new tooth tissue to grow.

But until now there has been no way of 'switching' them back on once they have been destroyed by dental decay. The researchers found the gel triggered the growth of new cells and also helped with adhesion - the process by which new dental cells 'lock' together.

This is important because it produces strong tooth pulp and enamel which could make the decayed tooth as good as new.

In a separate experiment, the French scientists applied the gel to the teeth of mice with dental cavities. In just one month, the cavities had disappeared. The gel is still undergoing testing but could be available for use within three to five years.

Professor Damien Walmsley, the British Dental Association's scientific adviser, said the gel could be an interesting new development, but stressed it is unlikely to be able to repair teeth that have been extensively damaged by decay.

'There are a lot of exciting developments in this field, of which this is one,' he said. 'It looks promising, but we will have to wait for the results to come back from clinical trials and its use will be restricted to treating small areas of dental decay.'

Scientists have developed a 'tongue' gel as part of a new approach to tackling bad breath and preventing tooth decay.

Halitosis is usually caused by bacteria in the mouth. The latest treatment, developed by Meridol, takes a mechanical and chemical approach. It consists of a tongue scraper, gel and mouth wash.

The extra-flat tongue cleaner is used to scrape bacteria off the tongue. The tongue gel and mouthwash are anti-bacterial and contain chemicals that attach themselves to odour-producing compounds, which are then flushed out with the mouthwash. Both gel and mouthwash contain fluoride.

3630  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: July 26, 2010, 10:28:06 AM
I don't know how accurate or complete this list is but I cannot deny, as a Jew, how many obviously Jewish names there are on this list (over 40).

It rather does give weight to the notion that Jews do have a unusually large influence in media.  That said I am proud of our accomplishments and not disparaging them.

OTOH I just don't get the reason or even justification for the liberal bias of so many of my fellow Jews.  They think they are being intellectual but I look at them as being foolish.

3631  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant on: July 22, 2010, 02:57:24 PM
This has been my default search.  I was doing a search "CNN and Bobby Seales".  I was trying to find out who was the CNN anouncer who told Seales it was a "privilege" to have him on the show.  I posted this last week.  I noticed O'Reilly literally that evening then had a 30 second shot of her saying this on the show I saw and commented rather sarcastically "a privilege, really?'

When I did the serach it says "latest posts by ccp" and there is my post on the issue from the board.  I tried to do latest posts for others from the board and some of them also come up.  I get to bing from the msn site:
3632  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / live on the net on: July 22, 2010, 02:11:08 PM
Just thought I would serve notice that our posts here go *right* to the internet courtesy bing search though I don't get it with google or yahoo search.

Do a search on bing on your user name

for example:

"latest post crafty dog" and see what comes up.
3633  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Republicans:Puerto Rico for statehood? on: July 20, 2010, 03:06:42 PM
Interesting read from G Will:

Through Puerto Rico, the GOP can reach out to Hispanics

By George Will | Republican governor -- a very Republican governor -- has an idea for solving one of his party's conundrums. The party should listen to Luis Fortuno, the Reaganite who resides in Puerto Rico's executive mansion.

Conservatives need a strategy for addressing the immigration issue without alienating America's largest and most rapidly growing minority. Conservatives believe the southern border must be secured before there can be "comprehensive" immigration reform that resolves the status of the 11 million illegal immigrants. But this policy risks making Republicans seem hostile to Hispanics.

Fortuno wants Republicans to couple insistence on border enforcement with support for Puerto Rican statehood. This, he says, would resonate deeply among Hispanics nationwide. His premise is that many factors -- particularly, the Telemundo and Univision television channels -- have created a common consciousness among Hispanics in America.

How many know that Puerto Ricans are American citizens? That every president since Truman has affirmed Puerto Rico's right to opt for independence or statehood? That every Republican platform since 1968 has endorsed Puerto Rico's right to choose statehood? That Ronald Reagan, announcing his candidacy in 1979, said, "I favor statehood for Puerto Rico"?


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Fortuno supports H.R. 2499 (also supported by such House conservatives as Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence and former Republican Study Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling), which would provide for a plebiscite on the island's current status. If a majority favor this status, the question could be asked again in eight years. If a majority vote for change, a second plebiscite would offer a choice among the current status, independence, "sovereignty in association with the United States" and statehood.

Puerto Rico, which is only half as far from Florida as Hawaii is from California, is about the size of Connecticut. Its population is larger than the populations of 24 states. There are, however, problems.

Puerto Rico's per capita income ($14,905) is only 50 percent of that of the poorest state (Mississippi, $30,103) and 27 percent of the richest (Connecticut, $54,397). The fact that Puerto Ricans are at home in American society does not entail the conclusion that the commonwealth, a distinct cultural and linguistic entity (most on the island do not speak English), belongs in the federal union. Currently, Puerto Ricans pay federal income taxes only on income from off the island.

Fortuno says the present system has failed to prevent the income disparity with the mainland from widening. But America does not want lukewarm citizens. In three referendums (1967, 1993, 1998), Puerto Ricans favored the status quo -- an unincorporated territory -- over statehood. In 1998, the vote was 50.4 percent to 46.5 percent. In the 1950s, the last time the federal union was enlarged, Hawaiians and Alaskans overwhelmingly supported statehood.

Many Republicans suspect that congressional Democrats support statehood for the same reason they want to pretend that the District of Columbia is a state -- to get two more senators (and in Puerto Rico's case, perhaps six members of the House). Such Republicans mistakenly assume that the island's population of 4 million has the same Democratic disposition as the 4.2 million Puerto Ricans in the Bronx and elsewhere on the mainland.

Fortuno disagrees, noting that while Republicans on the mainland were losing in 2008, he was elected in the island's biggest landslide in 44 years. The party he leads won more than two-thirds of the seats in both houses of the legislature and three-fifths of the mayoralties, including that of San Juan. Fortuno, who calls himself a "values candidate" and goes to Catholic services almost every day, says that Puerto Ricans are culturally conservative -- 78 percent are pro-life, 91 percent oppose same-sex marriage and 30 percent of the 85 percent who are Christian are evangelicals. A majority supports his agenda, which includes tax and spending cuts, trimming 16,000 from public payrolls to begin eliminating the deficit that was 45 percent of the size of the budget.

Fortuno, 49, who has degrees from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and the University of Virginia's law school, looks half his age. "Republicans," he says, "cannot continue to oppose every Hispanic issue." If he is correct that Puerto Rican statehood is, or can become, such an issue, Republicans should hear him out.

The United States acquired Puerto Rico 112 years ago in the testosterone spill called the Spanish-American War. Before another century passes, perhaps Puerto Ricans' ambivalence about their somewhat ambiguous status can be rectified to the advantage of Republicans.

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3634  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: July 20, 2010, 01:49:10 PM
Mexico, Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru

You know what.  It is time we expolre suing these countries for damages they cause us with the drugs they send over.

We need a Prez that will stand up to this abus of our country.  Not one who sides with THEM! angry

3635  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Race in America on: July 20, 2010, 11:29:11 AM
Bill Ayers, the man who helped launch Bama's political career.   For Ayers Obama's Presidency is all about settling scores.   The msm give Bama a pass for the most part on this topic.  They refuse to connect dots.
3636  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: July 19, 2010, 12:40:11 PM
I spoke to a young lady from England recently.  She states anyone can go to a doctor in England and it is "free".  Five minutes later she says they all put in 11% of their pay into the National Health Care system.

3637  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: July 19, 2010, 12:37:35 PM
He certainly pursues an active social life.
3638  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Here it comes again on: July 17, 2010, 02:28:51 PM
Yes the E is for Ellis.  I never knew that was his middle name, or even that his first name is John.

On another note IT is starting again.  Could anyone really have thought that either of them would simply go away?

It is no accident we are seeing  more headlines of Hillary lately.  I only post the news item below as an example of increasing Assoc Press releases about Hillary.  As always they follow her and discuss what she is doing without EVER being able to document ANY accomplishment on her part in anything she does.  As Crafty has so deftly pointed out with the simple question, what has Hillary ever accomplished?  The answer is nothing. Yet the MSM would have us believe she is and has accomplished so much for the country and the world.  Did we already here "rumors" that foreign leaders are "confiding" to her that they do not like Bmaster's policies.
 I am sick to think that we will be hearing and seeing more of her from lovers of Clinton and co. who are panicking over the failures of the ONE.  And of course behind the scenes she will encourage this while pretending to be loyal to the greatest super human who ever lived.  Pretending she is not interested in 2012 while waiting (and praying) for the "groundswell" of support with screams of "you go and girl", and "run Hillary run!"  Then she will due her duty for America and patriotically answer the people's calling for her to bring "Clintonism" back to save us (and of course the world).

***Clinton on key Afghan mission as US war fears grow
             Clinton AFP By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer Matthew Lee, Associated Press Writer – Sat Jul 17, 11:39 am ET
WASHINGTON – As concerns grow about the war in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is heading to South Asia on a mission aimed at refining the goals of the nearly 9-year-old conflict.

U.S. lawmakers are increasingly questioning the course of the war. The number of soldiers from the U.S. and other countries in the international coalition in Afghanistan is on the rise. Corruption is a deep problem in Afghanistan, and members of Congress wonder about the utility of massive aid to both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Clinton will attend an international conference in Kabul on Tuesday where the Afghan government is expected to outline plans to improve security, reintegrate militants into society and crack down on corruption. She also plans to stop in Pakistan to push greater cooperation between Islamabad and Kabul.

Clinton, who left Washington on Saturday, will meet up in the week ahead with Defense Secretary Robert Gates in South Korea, where tensions with the communist North have risen after the sinking of a South Korean warship that was blamed on the North.

She will finish her trip in Vietnam for discussions with regional leaders. Among the topics will be the upcoming elections in Myanmar.

At the Kabul conference, she will renew Washington's commitment to support Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government, but press him to follow through on reform pledges he made earlier this year.

Richard Holbrooke, President Barack Obama's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, has said the conference "will be a very important international demonstration of support" for Karzai and his administration.

But Holbrooke acknowledges concerns that the war and the reconstruction effort are not going as hoped or planned.

He told Congress this past week that "there are significant elements of movement forward in many areas, but I do not yet see a definitive turning point in either direction."

Last month was the deadliest of the war for international forces: 103 coalition troops were killed, despite the infusion of tens of thousands of new U.S. troops. So far in July, 54 international troops have died, 39 of them American. An American service member was killed by a blast in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, and an American died in a blast in the south on Friday.

International troops working with Afghan forces say they have killed or captured dozens of senior insurgent figures since April as they aggressively step up operations against the Taliban leadership. But those successes haven't slowed the pace of militant attacks, which continue daily, killing dozens of people each month.

The administration has said it will review its Afghan strategy at year's end. The slow progress against the Taliban and the disruptive effects of the firing of the outspoken American commander there last month, have led to a growing unease among many in Congress, including leading members of Obama's own party.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said it's not clear that the administration has a solid strategy for prevailing. The committee's top Republican, Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, decried "a lack of clarity" about U.S. war goals.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who leads the Senate Armed Services Committee, has said that while there remains "solid support" for the war among Democrats, "there's also the beginnings of fraying of that support."

In the House, Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., has put a hold on nearly $4 billion in assistance to Afghanistan, demanding that allegations of corruption be addressed and that the Afghan government be held accountable.***


3639  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Krauthammer: don't underestimate Obama on: July 16, 2010, 03:42:19 PM
I don't agree with Charles on this one.  He gives Bamster way too much credit comparing him to Reagan with regards to accomplishments in putting into law their ideologies.  Reagan never had majorities in either houses (I don't think).  Bamster started out with super majorities in both.  They barely could squeek out legislation despite having big majorities.  It is overrated to state Bamster got the legislation through.  No one was listening to him later in the discourse.  No one is listening to him now.  Additionally, Bamster has an adoring media, and of course the liberal academia.  Reagan never had this.  Reagan got his policies through despite these oppositions. With Bamster the policies got through despite his failures.  Once Bamster has one or both houses against him he will fold.  I do agree though that great damage is already done and will be hard if at all possible to reverse once we trun back Bamsterism.  It doesn't help that Bamster was lucky to have the opportunity to pick two Justices already in his first term.

So in short the problem is not over-estimating Bamster.  He is way overrated.  The point is not to over-estimating the Republicans to straighten out this mess.
In that regard I agree with Charles - Republicans be careful!

****Obama's next act

By Charles Krauthammer | In the political marketplace, there's now a run on Obama shares. The left is disappointed with the president. Independents are abandoning him in droves. And the right is already dancing on his political grave, salivating about November when, his own press secretary admitted Sunday, Democrats might lose the House.

I have a warning for Republicans: Don't underestimate Barack Obama.

Consider what he has already achieved. Obamacare alone makes his presidency historic. It has irrevocably changed one-sixth of the economy, put the country inexorably on the road to national health care and, as acknowledged by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus but few others, begun one of the most massive wealth redistributions in U.S. history.

Second, there is major financial reform, which passed Congress on Thursday. Economists argue whether it will prevent meltdowns and bailouts as promised. But there is no argument that it will give the government unprecedented power in the financial marketplace. Its 2,300 pages will create at least 243 new regulations that will affect not only, as many assume, the big banks but just about everyone, including, as noted in one summary (the Wall Street Journal), "storefront check cashiers, city governments, small manufacturers, home buyers and credit bureaus."

Third is the near $1 trillion stimulus, the largest spending bill in U.S. history. And that's not even counting nationalizing the student loan program, regulating carbon emissions by Environmental Protection Agency fiat, and still-fitful attempts to pass cap-and-trade through Congress.

But Obama's most far-reaching accomplishment is his structural alteration of the U.S. budget. The stimulus, the vast expansion of domestic spending, the creation of ruinous deficits as far as the eye can see are not easily reversed.

These are not mere temporary countercyclical measures. They are structural deficits because, as everyone from Obama on down admits, the real money is in entitlements, most specifically Medicare and Medicaid. But Obamacare freezes these out as a source of debt reduction. Obamacare's $500 billion in Medicare cuts and $600 billion in tax increases are siphoned away for a new entitlement -- and no longer available for deficit reduction.

The result? There just isn't enough to cut elsewhere to prevent national insolvency. That will require massive tax increases -- most likely a European-style value-added tax. Just as President Ronald Reagan cut taxes to starve the federal government and prevent massive growth in spending, Obama's wild spending -- and quarantining health-care costs from providing possible relief -- will necessitate huge tax increases.

The net effect of 18 months of Obamaism will be to undo much of Reaganism. Both presidencies were highly ideological, grandly ambitious and often underappreciated by their own side. In his early years, Reagan was bitterly attacked from his right. (Typical Washington Post headline: "For Reagan and the New Right, the Honeymoon Is Over" -- and that was six months into his presidency!) Obama is attacked from his left for insufficient zeal on gay rights, immigration reform, closing Guantanamo -- the list is long. The critics don't understand the big picture. Obama's transformational agenda is a play in two acts.

Act One is over. The stimulus, Obamacare, financial reform have exhausted his first-term mandate. It will bear no more heavy lifting. And the Democrats will pay the price for ideological overreaching by losing one or both houses, whether de facto or de jure. The rest of the first term will be spent consolidating these gains (writing the regulations, for example) and preparing for Act Two.

The next burst of ideological energy -- massive regulation of the energy economy, federalizing higher education and "comprehensive" immigration reform (i.e., amnesty) -- will require a second mandate, meaning reelection in 2012.

That's why there's so much tension between Obama and congressional Democrats. For Obama, 2010 matters little. If Democrats lose control of one or both houses, Obama will probably have an easier time in 2012, just as Bill Clinton used Newt Gingrich and the Republicans as the foil for his 1996 reelection campaign.

Obama is down, but it's very early in the play. Like Reagan, he came here to do things. And he's done much in his first 500 days. What he has left to do he knows must await his next 500 days -- those that come after reelection.

The real prize is 2012. Obama sees far, farther than even his own partisans. Republicans underestimate him at their peril.

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3640  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / correction on: July 16, 2010, 12:40:51 PM
"he or I underestimate"

Sorry, I meant he or I do NOT underestimate" the Dems willingness to bribe voters with taxpayer money.
3641  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: July 16, 2010, 12:38:28 PM
"Christie of NJ is showing a lot of testicular fortitude of the sort we need for budget issues, but is unknown to me with regard to other matters."

May I suggest we all keep our eye open to this guy.  Everytime I hear him on talk shows he sounds better and better.  This guy learns.  He improves. Some have criticised him for not being "conservative" enough.  They are worng and he is right.  He cannot win if he comes out to as to "right".  We are in a Demcoratic state.  One out of three New Jerseans have been reported to be on some sort of dole.

Taxes are astronomical. Costs of living are high.  Most are working class.  They are struggling.  Unions are powerful.  Private unions and public unions.  They have a stranglehold on the Dem party.  Cristie seems to have been able to get past this more than anyone could have hoped.  Even Bob Grant says his accomplishments on union concessions while hardly great are still impressive.  He held teachers to I think a 2% raise rather thna 4 to 5%.

Corruption in local, county, state government is legendary though I doubt any more than anywhere else in the US, or at least the NE or West coast or other major metropolitan areas.

Watch this guy.  His learning curve, going from someone who could barely talk and give speeches to someone who is quite logical, convincing, charismatic, realistic, and taking on the unions by going to voters directly is so far impressive to me.  FINALLY we have someone who is doing what needs to be done.  And people are agreeing with him.  Yet as he has said, he has not won, and it remains to be seen the final result, he or I underestimate the use of bribery by the Dems to buy votes amongst working class, and dole receiving voters.
3642  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: July 16, 2010, 11:39:45 AM
Again it is the Jews who get singled out for their abuse of blacks with slavery and other issues.  Were there not Catholics, Presbyterian, Prostestant slave owners.
And why does not Farrakhan note the Muslim "white" Arab slave traders who brought Black Africans from the interior of the continent to the coast and sell them to white slave traders?

Where is his outrage of this?

So Blacks are outraged about Al Quada using Blacks from Africa as cannon fodder for their war against the West?

Arabs enslaved blacks for hundreds of years.  So what's the surprise?

Again, it is get the Jews.

This is one reason why I am annoyed at liberal Jews who think that they have so much in common with Blacks with discrimination and all and think Blacks appreciate there is long history of fighting for the rights of Blacks during civil rights along with fighting for their own civil rights.

They think Blacks appreciate them.  Well let me tell you, most don't.

Again liberal Jews are dupes imo.

It doesn't take high IQ to connect the dots.  Farrakhan hates Jews, as does Reverend Wright.  Bamster sat in Wright's church for decades.  Bamster is pressuring Israel and clearly has altered the balance of power with the  Israelis/Palestinians towards the latter.  Gee, and liberal Jews are surprised?  And yet many still support Bamster?

Like I said the alternative is worse then Nazism to liberal Jews - Republicans!  Crafty, I really think we will see Clinton getting more and more support from many Jews.
They could never stand voting for a Repub alternative to Bamster.  They will either sit at home during the polls, or come up with an alternative - and Hillary is number one at this time.  Or they will vote for Bamster anyway and sell Israel down the river.
They are that stubborn and stupid while they shot themselves in the head tryiing to pretend how they are such humanitarians and do gooders.
3643  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / JDN - thnx on: July 16, 2010, 10:27:25 AM
Thank you for sharing this story.
My grandfather died of pancreatic cancer before I was born.  My middle name is after him.

I do believe that if Berwick has his way your wife would likely have been sent to hospice.
I don't think some sort of cost effective control is unreasonable when we are providing care free of charge courtesy of taxpayers to those who don't pay for whatever reason but I reject out of hand the notion that all of us must be forced into the same system and that is only FAIR as Berwick contends.  I just cancelled my sbscription to the NEJM.  I find THEM obnoxious!
Health care is not a right.  Yet, I don't think we can't be a humane society and provide some care to those who can't pay, but health care is never free and for those of us who do pay or choose to pay we have a right too, to get the best and not simply the most cost effective care.

Berwick, the little Harvard  data and bean counting weasel will throw all kinds of numbers at you stating more is not necessarily better, and infant mortality, and life span and all the rest of liberal ivy league garbage.  But I guarantee you, when he, his family or members of our fearless progressive government get sick  they will want and demand world class care.

BTW, I don't find you obnoxious.  We agree on a lot and I like diversity of opinion. 
I hope your wife continues to do well.  Thanks to the US research complex there is always hope of new drugs coming out.  Bamster should be going around the world (as well as this communist clown Berwick) praising US health care.  It is broken but if one gets really sick I don't want to be anywhere else.

3644  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: July 15, 2010, 04:04:17 PM
"As for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force this was the group that stopped recommending mammograms for women at average risk between ages 40 and 50 that just last year resulted in a gigantic uproar from other medical groups, babe organizations, political pundits, that gave the cable industry a nice chance to make a buck discussing ad nauseum for months."
Sorry already noted in the article posted by BBG.

And clarify:

" The concept of a medical home is not for prevention as much as it is  a central point as a command center to manage care or ration care based on 'cost effective' formulas."  Not my opinion.  I meant that that is Berwick's opinion and overall goal.
I can't wait to see the elites and their families at Harvard and in Congress, and the Senate have to go on managed medicaid like the rest of us.  I am not holding my breath.

3645  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: July 15, 2010, 03:14:22 PM
From Obama's director of Health,Human,Services:

"Too many Americans don't get the preventive care they need to stay healthy and keep health-care costs down for all of us," Sebelius said.

From Obama's new health czar or whatever he is called:

"One over-demanded service is prevention: annual physicals, screening tests, and other measures that supposedly help catch diseases early."

As for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force this was the group that stopped recommending mammograms for women at average risk between ages 40 and 50 that just last year resulted in a gigantic uproar from other medical groups, babe organizations, political pundits, that gave the cable industry a nice chance to make a buck discussing ad nauseum for months.
3646  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "E" in twelve? on: July 15, 2010, 02:38:53 PM
H in 1988, W in 2000, and E in 12?
From Huffington Post:

2010 Bush Revival, Bush 3rd Term, Bush Brand, Bush Gillespie, Bush Jeb, Bush Reemergence, Jeb Bush, Jeb Bush 2012, Jeb Bush Revival, Karl Rove, Rosenberg Bush, Rove Bush, Simon Rosenberg, Politics News

Simon Rosenberg is the most bullish of Democratic strategists. The former Clinton administration official and head of the young non-profit group NDN has been the chief proponent of the belief that Barack Obama's election produced the opportunity for a "30-to-40-year era of Democratic dominance." A specialist in the political habits of different demographic groups (specifically Hispanics), he insists that, absent a drastic makeover, the GOP risks cementing itself "as irrelevant to the 21st century."

Sagging poll numbers and policy setbacks have done little to dissuade these rosy prognostications. There's only one thing that makes Rosenberg nervous: another Bush.

"Jeb [Bush] is married to a Latina, is fluent in Spanish, speaks on Univision as a commentator, his Spanish is that good," Rosenberg said of the former Florida governor and brother to the 43rd president during a lunch at NDN headquarters last week. "And if you look at the electoral map in 2012, you have to assume that Obama is going to have a very hard time in holding North Carolina and Virginia. The industrial Midwest, where the auto decline has been huge, has weakened Obama's numbers... a great deal. So Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin become a bit more wobbly. So if you're Barack Obama, the firewall is the Latin belt from Florida to southwestern California. And there is only one Republican who can break through that firewall. And it is Jeb."

Such a sentiment, Rosenberg admits, carries a slight hint of hysteria. After all, there is a good chunk of the country that recoils at the idea of another pol with the Bush surname. But that chunk has begun narrowing. And even within Democratic circles, there is an emerging belief that in a Republican Party filled with base-pleasing dramatizers or bland conservatives, Jeb stands out.

"The vast majority of the voting public yearns for a non-Bush," said longtime Democratic strategist Donna Brazille. But, she added, "Jeb has the talent, the experience and the ability to rebuild the GOP's tent."

"I believe Jeb Bush could run," said Stanley Greenberg, a longtime Democratic pollster. "He is more of a genuine conservative than Romney. Bush is a big hangover, but not impossible." The question, Greenberg asks, is "does his immigration position get him into primary trouble?"

Talk of a prospective Jeb Bush presidential run in the 2012 election is, by definition, speculative. But Rosenberg's frankness in acknowledging his fears gets at a larger, more immediate political phenomenon. Roughly one-and-a-half years after George W. Bush left office with abysmal approval ratings and the likelihood of historical ignominy, the Bush brand is vying once more for political relevance. Within Republican circles, the fear that once accompanied any association with the 43rd president has diminished. There remain, of course, substantive critiques of Bush's presidency. And news that the former president would be releasing his book right around the time of the November election ignited some consternation among Republicans on Thursday.

Story continues below

But the criticisms are mainly offered as a method of distinguishing oneself as a fresh, fiscally sound breed of Republican. Behind the scenes, some of the major figures from the Bush years have assumed influential roles.

Karl Rove, the strategist chiefly responsible for George W. Bush's rise to political prominence, has become the de facto Yoda of the Republican Party, dispensing wisdom in private and from his various public perches. Ed Gillespie, the former RNC chair and Bush hand, has assumed a more institutionally important position, launching a public opinion firm (Resurgent Republic) as well as a election-oriented organization (American Crossroads) that is promising to spend big on the 2010 elections. To be sure, many Bush-linked figures have become, essentially, apolitical in the post-administration era (think: former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman). But others have yet to kill the political bug, such as Sara Taylor, an ex-Rove aide who now plays an important role with likely 2012 candidate, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

And then there is Jeb. The former governor, GOP officials say, has become increasingly engaged in charting the future of Republican politics. In addition to working closely with House leadership on various rebranding efforts, he helped craft the delicate strategy that the party took in the Florida Senate Republican primary. Understanding that the National Republican Senatorial Committee was essentially obligated to put its support behind his successor, Charlie Crist, he cautioned chairman John Cornyn (R-Tex) to anticipate Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio's rise. The committee was, subsequently, well-positioned to handle Crist's GOP defection.

"I am running into him more around the country than before I would have expected, more [than] when he was governor," said Grover Norquist, head of the influential Americans for Tax Reform and a connected Republican tactician if there ever was one. "As I travel around, I hear Jeb Bush was here last week or is coming next month. And I didn't hear that when he was governor..."

What kind of impact the Bush reemergence will have on the broader landscape is a hotly debated question within both party circles. During the 2008 cycle, these officials were marginalized -- either burned out from the past eight years or too toxic for prospective candidates to touch (the McCain campaign, famously, had a fiery relationship with the former president and his team). Now back on, what one operative called "political terra firma," they have already positioned themselves as the axis around which the GOP's election strategies will turn. Both Rove and Gillespie have used their Rolodexes to recruit major donors and their reputations to pow-wow with some of the more high-profile candidates.

Of course, there's some self-aggrandizement going on, several officials cautioned anonymously. Rove, in particular, is often described as more interested in advancing his own brand, often by overstating his influence. "Karl seems to be mostly in the Karl Rove business," said one GOP operative. "Selling books, going on TV, writing for the Wall Street Journal, speaking engagements. I don't know much advising he is doing."

But that sentiment is not shared by everyone. Indeed, at a time when the campaign committees (mainly the RNC) have floundered, more top-flight Republicans are looking at the operatives who led the Bush years as the closest they can get to a sure thing.

"I think that those two particularly [Rove and Gillespie] bring a credibility," says Norquist. "If you want to write a really big check, you trust Ed Gillespie and Rove will spend $1 million wisely... Both of them you can look at through the prism of the last six election cycles. They've won some and lost some but they are always shooting in the right direction."

Whether that direction ends up being right for the GOP in 2010 remains to be seen. For Democrats, Rove's involvement has been cheered -- in as much as it's created the ideal boogeyman to get the 2010 blood flowing.

"He is larger than life all across the spectrum," explained Tracy Sefl, a Democratic strategist who has worked on campaigns at all levels of governance. "His contradiction is being well-known for the colossal failures attributed to his watch and also being well-known for his intellectual, strategic abilities."

But the major question is whether or not the old Bush guard is properly suited for the modern GOP. Rove, to this point, has had two high-profile endorsement busts: Sen. Bob Bennett in the Utah Republican primary, and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson in the Texas gubernatorial primary. In each instance, he found himself on the wrong side of the Tea Party movement. Whether those are simply glitches in a broader effort to get Republicans elected or indicative of the grassroots and the Bush clan not operating off the same playbook is a major question going forward. And it's one that Jeb Bush -- as he ponders a potential 2012 bid -- will have to consider as well.

"I think that Bush-ism is still alive," said John Feehery, a longtime GOP consultant. "There is, however, an anti-Bushism in the party associated with the Rand Paul crowd. They don't like neocons and government. And Sarah Palin could be seen as part of that group... What people like about Jeb Bush is that he is smart and conservative and well-liked by the base... If there is going to be a Bush revival, Jeb is going to be the leader of that revival. But he has to contend with that [anti-Bushism]."
3647  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Race in America on: July 15, 2010, 02:02:28 PM
Everytime I hear critics try to bash the tea party as racist all I can think of is the response is simple

What *real* racist organization would just love to have more people of color in it?

Why the teaparty wants *more* people of color to join them!  Not exclude the party.   Everyone knows real racist groups exclude those they hate.

Everytime I see a teaparty person on cable sit and have to defend the party (same for Republicans) all I can think of is they simply say we are not racist and we want more Latinos, more Blacks, more Asians to join us as Americans.  Why so hard?
3648  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: July 15, 2010, 01:55:41 PM
Great article BBG; looking well ahead.  I haven't seen this before.
Bamster would have to be thrown out in 2012.  Or else he could still have veto power from 2014 to 16.  Of course if the Cans can get 66 seats....

It is nice to dream.  Unleash America's potential!  Bring us back the faith in ourselves and place in the world.

We just need a few good men... and women.
3649  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: July 15, 2010, 12:26:53 PM
Yes he is as dishonest as they come.
Probably your right.  He will continue to demogague and deceive the public to the bitter end rather than moving to the middle in actions as well as phoney rhetoric to garner more "independents" or otherwise voters who change their minds from one day to the next.

I don't think Repubs could ever get 60 votes on ideology alone, ie. Reaganism and that is why I am calling on a leader who can give more of a roadmap and be able to convince Americans that the bama way is the wrong way, not just for America as a whole but all of us - if anything is to be left.
3650  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: July 15, 2010, 12:09:16 PM
Good summary of what is in the plans for us with regards to Health care.

Take these for example from the new controller of one seventh of the economy, Berwick:

1) ***"One over-demanded service is prevention: annual physicals, screening tests, and other measures that supposedly help catch diseases early."***
Well if the issue is costs than this is probably true that these things are overrated.  But this is my point.  The concept of a medical home is not for prevention as much as it is  a central point as a command center to manage care or ration care based on 'cost effective' formulas.

2) ****"Young doctors and nurses should emerge from training understanding the values of standardization and the risks of too great an emphasis on individual autonomy."***
This is key.  I don't know if it is obvious to lay people if you will, perhaps it is.  But what this means is that doctors (and there patients) will not be granted the freddom to practice as they see fit in a given situation or case.  Doctors and nurses will need to be "taught", if you will, or better yet forced, to do what they are told with regards to how and what care they deliver.  And that is the big goal of HIT in health care.  All of the data that gets put in will travel to Dr. Berwick's and team's office where he and his friends at Harvard will be able to study endless reams of data, and take there analysis, do studies, design studies, then dictate back to health care providers what they MUST do in any given situation.
I don't necessarily object to this - it is managed care.  What I object to is that all of us will be FORCED into this situation whether we like it or not, whether we are able and willing to pay more or not.  Whether we have earned it, whether some abuse the system and the rest.   IT is HMO medicaid care forced on every person in America whether a citizen, legal immigrant, or illegal immigrant.  It is true communism of the health care system.

***Barack Obama's incredible "recess appointment" of Dr. Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is probably the most significant domestic-policy personnel decision in a generation. It is more important to the direction of the country than Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court.

The court's decisions are subject to the tempering influence of nine competing minds. Dr. Berwick would direct an agency that has a budget bigger than the Pentagon. Decisions by the CMS shape American medicine.

Dr. Berwick's ideas on the design and purpose of the U.S. system of medicine aren't merely about "change." They would be revolutionary.

One may agree with these views or not, but for the president to tell the American people they have to simply accept this through anything so flaccid as a recess appointment is beyond outrageous. It isn't acceptable.

Daniel Henninger discusses President Obama's incredible "recess appointment" of Dr. Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Podcast: Listen to the audio of Wonder Land here. The Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus, was taken aback at the end-around: "Senate confirmation of presidential appointees is an essential process prescribed by the Constitution that serves as a check on executive power."

Let's look, then, at what President Obama won't let the American electorate hear Dr. Berwick say in front of a committee of Congress. These excerpts are from past speeches and articles by Dr. Berwick:

"I cannot believe that the individual health care consumer can enforce through choice the proper configurations of a system as massive and complex as health care. That is for leaders to do."

"You cap your health care budget, and you make the political and economic choices you need to make to keep affordability within reach."

"Please don't put your faith in market forces. It's a popular idea: that Adam Smith's invisible hand would do a better job of designing care than leaders with plans can."

"Indeed, the Holy Grail of universal coverage in the United States may remain out of reach unless, through rational collective action overriding some individual self-interest, we can reduce per capita costs."

"It may therefore be necessary to set a legislative target for the growth of spending at 1.5 percentage points below currently projected increases and to grant the federal government the authority to reduce updates in Medicare fees if the target is exceeded."

"About 8% of GDP is plenty for 'best known' care."

"A progressive policy regime will control and rationalize financing—control supply."

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AP Photo/ Goodman Media International, Inc.
Donald Berwick
"The unaided human mind, and the acts of the individual, cannot assure excellence. Health care is a system, and its performance is a systemic property."

"Health care is a common good—single payer, speaking and buying for the common good."

"And it's important also to make health a human right because the main health determinants are not health care but sanitation, nutrition, housing, social justice, employment, and the like."

"Hence, those working in health care delivery may be faced with situations in which it seems that the best course is to manipulate the flawed system for the benefit of a specific patient or segment of the population, rather than to work to improve the delivery of care for all. Such manipulation produces more flaws, and the downward spiral continues."

"For-profit, entrepreneurial providers of medical imaging, renal dialysis, and outpatient surgery, for example, may find their business opportunities constrained."

"One over-demanded service is prevention: annual physicals, screening tests, and other measures that supposedly help catch diseases early."

"I would place a commitment to excellence—standardization to the best-known method—above clinician autonomy as a rule for care."

"Health care has taken a century to learn how badly we need the best of Frederick Taylor [the father of scientific management]. If we can't standardize appropriate parts of our processes to absolute reliability, we cannot approach perfection."

"Young doctors and nurses should emerge from training understanding the values of standardization and the risks of too great an emphasis on individual autonomy."

"Political leaders in the Labour Government have become more enamored of the use of market forces and choice as an engine for change, rather than planned, centrally coordinated technical support."

"The U.K has people in charge of its health care—people with the clear duty and much of the authority to take on the challenge of changing the system as a whole. The U.S. does not."

There is no need to rehearse the analogies in literature and social thought that Dr. Berwick's ideas summon. That the Obama White House would try to push this past public scrutiny with a recess appointment says more about Barack Obama than it does Dr. Berwick.

Vilifying Dr. Berwick alone for his views is in a way beside the point. Within Mr. Obama's circle they all think like this. Defeat Dr. Berwick, and they will send up 50 more who would pursue the same goals.

If the American people want the world Dr. Berwick wishes to give them, that's their choice. But they must be given that choice with full, televised confirmation hearings.

Barack Obama, Donald Berwick and the rest may fancy themselves philosopher kings who know what we need without the need to inform or persuade us first. That's not how it works here. That is Sen. Baucus's point.

It should be clear why Berwick is bigger than Kagan. We need a large public debate over these views, over what Mr. Obama has said his health plan would and would not do. We need to find out if every Democrat in Congress and every Democrat writing newspaper columns and blogs agrees with Dr. Berwick about clinical and individual autonomy and about leaders with plans.

Then we need to build an election around whether we want to go down the road Dr. Berwick has planned for us, or start dismantling the one that President Obama paved through Congress on a partisan vote.

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