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3951  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 18, 2012, 09:17:48 AM
"Doug, do you know of any crime, anyone more hideous and destructive to our country than a traitor?"

How about a WH staff that releases sensitive security intelligence to the whole world for political gain?

Obama saying he did not "authorize it" bespeaks that he knew.

He didn't "authorize it" but he knew and winked.  At least that is what it sounds like to me.
3952  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 17, 2012, 02:47:49 PM
"Was he lying to us then or is he lying to us now?"

Both.   It doesn't seem to matter thought.   The deciders of elections, the  "undecideds" don't seem to think honesty is important enough a requisite job qualification.   Clinton certainly proved that case in the 90's.

Say whatever it takes to get re elected.

3953  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 17, 2012, 02:10:22 PM
"Separately, I note the author's lack of rage at the recent giving up of secret intel to the who fg world , , ,"

Great point.

3954  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Krauthammer on: June 17, 2012, 02:06:52 PM
 Echoes Crafty's question of a week ago about Obama should be getting trounced in the polls.  He is so Carteresque.   Yet they polls are still around 50/50.  Well if I recall correctly, Reagan and Carter were neck in neck going into the debates.   Only then did Reagan pull ahead only to win with a large margin.  I still think Morris is more accurate here and Romney will do better than expected.  OTOH Romney is not the communicator Reagan was:

I like Kruathammers lament that Jeb Bush is illogical when he points out the Repub party is controlled by right wing fanatics while the reality is we have a nominee who is distinctly way to the *left* of Reagan.  Frankly I have had enough of the Bushes.  H gave us Clinton,  and W gave us Obama.   One could only imagine what Jeb would give us.   They are IMHO all great Americans.   Yet I sorta wish they would go to pasture along with the Clintons.

 ****Charles Krauthammer
Opinion Writer Silly Season, 2012
  June 14The Washington Post Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama is not exactly Jefferson-Adams or Lincoln-Douglas. No Harry Truman or Bill Clinton here, let alone FDR or Reagan. Indeed, it’s arguable that neither party is fielding its strongest candidate. Hillary Clinton would run far better than Obama. True, her secretaryship of state may not remotely qualify as Kissingerian or Achesonian, but she’s not Obama. She carries none of his economic baggage. She’s unsullied by the past 31 / 2 years.

Similarly, the Republican bench had several candidates stronger than Romney, but they chose not to run. Indeed, one measure of the weakness of the two finalists is this: The more each disappears from view, the better he fares. Obama prospered when he was below radar during the Republican primaries. Now that they’re over and he’s back out front, his fortunes have receded.

.He is constantly on the campaign trail. His frantic fundraising — 160 events to date — alternates with swing-state rallies where the long-gone charisma of 2008 has been replaced by systematic special-interest pandering, from cut-rate loans for indentured students to free contraceptives for women (the denial of which constitutes a “war” on same).

Then came the rush of bad news: terrible May unemployment numbers, a crushing Democratic defeat in Wisconsin, and that curious revolt of the surrogates, as Bill Clinton, Deval Patrick and Cory Booker — all dispatched to promote Obama — ended up contradicting, undermining or deploring Obama’s anti-business attacks on Romney.

Obama’s instinctive response? Get back out on the air. Call an impromptu Friday news conference. And proceed to commit the gaffe of the year: “The private sector is doing fine.”

This didn’t just expose Obama to precisely the out-of-touchness charge he is trying to hang on Romney. It betrayed his core political philosophy. Obama was trying to attribute high unemployment to a paucity of government workers and to suggest that the solution was to pad the public rolls (with borrowed Chinese money). In doing so, though, he fatally undid his many previous protestations of being a fiscally prudent government cutter. (Hence his repeated, and widely discredited, boast of the lowest spending growth since Eisenhower.)

He thus positioned himself as, once again, the big-government liberal of 2009, convinced that what the ailing economy needs is yet another bout of government expansion. A serious political misstep, considering the fate of the last stimulus: the weakest recovery since the Great Depression, with private-sector growth a minuscule 1.2 percent.

But that’s not the end of the tribulations that provoked a front-page Washington Post story beginning: “Is it time for Democrats to panic”? The sleeper issue is the cascade of White House leaks that have exposed significant details of the cyberattacks on Iran, the drone war against al-Qaeda, the double-agent in Yemen, and the Osama bin Laden raid and its aftermath.

This is not leak-business as usual. “I have never seen it worse,” said Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 11 years on the Intelligence Committee. These revelations, clearly meant to make Obama look the heroic warrior, could prove highly toxic if current investigations bear out Sen. John McCain’s charges of leaks tolerated, if not encouraged, by a campaigning president placing his own image above the nation’s security. After all, Feinstein herself stated that these exposures were endangering American lives, weakening U.S. security and poisoning relations with other intelligence services.

Quite an indictment. Where it goes, no one knows. Much will hinge on whether Eric Holder’s Justice Department will stifle the investigation he has now handed over to two in-house prosecutors. And whether Republicans and principled Democrats will insist on a genuinely independent inquiry.

Nonetheless, there is nothing inexorable about the current Obama slide. The race remains 50-50. Republican demoralization after a primary campaign that blew the political equivalent of a seven-run lead has now given way to Democratic demoralization at the squandering of their subsequent ­post-primary advantage.

What remains is a solid, stolid, gaffe-prone challenger for whom conservatism is a second language vs. an incumbent with a record he cannot run on and signature policies — Obamacare, the stimulus, cap-and-trade — he hardly dare mention.

A quite dispiriting spectacle. And more than a bit confusing. Why, just this week the estimable Jeb Bush averred that the Republican Party had become so rigidly right-wing that today it couldn’t even nominate Ronald Reagan.

Huh? It’s about to nominate Mitt Romney, who lives a good 14 nautical miles to the left of Ronald Reagan.

Goodness. Four more months of this campaign and we will all be unhinged.****
3955  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jonathan Pollard on: June 17, 2012, 01:31:02 PM

I am certainly no expert on this case but at least one thing bothers me about it.  Listening to radio programs on this it is alleged that NO other person accused of passing information to an ally has ever been given a life sentence.   No one has ever served as much time for a similar crime.   Thus the question begets, what gives here?

It really does sound like some sort of vendetta.   I really don't understand why he is not by now released.  Is something else going on, we the publick are not privy to?

As for Roland Martin,  I again ask what liberal Black Democrat has ever spoken publically in defense of Jews, or Israel?

If ths Martin rant you posted does not have an anti-semitic "scent" to it, I do not know what does.

If you ask me, liberal Jews have done more than any other minority to stick up for Blacks.  This is an example of the thanks they get.

While I am Jewish I am not liberal.  That said I do sympathize with the history of the way Blacks have been treated in the in the US.

It is astounding how they have not been included in American life.   I still cannot believe that only a generation ago they were segregated let alone slaves a few generations ago.

That said, I don't feel like just rolling over and allowing that *angry* Martin guy to get away with this rant.

It is really interesting to see how so many Jews have helped Obama politically over the decades and still do.  Yet what he has done is write a book about his Muslim Communist probably Jew hating father who he never knew (Dreams FROM my father).  He joined a Church in Chicago when it was poltically expedient with a Reverend who is obviously NOT "enamored" with Jews (to put it mildly).

We see pictures of him wearing yamukahs and recently giving  the Medal of Freedom to Shimon Peres when he needs our votes.   He even has Peres make the ridiculous statement when accepting the award that he appreciates the "fact" that Obama "never took  all options off the table!!!"

Well excuse me, the military option was cearly NEVER on the table and I am not sure if it is now.  It was always about talks, sanctions and the rest of the soft stuff.  Any idiot could see that.   So did the Iran leadership.  Anyway I am going off on a tangent.
3956  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / follow up on PSA screening on: June 17, 2012, 01:02:55 PM
For better disclosure in that the use of PSA screening is still advocated by many though again it seems like mostly urologists.  On one hand the urologist deal with prostate disease more than anyone else and are most qualified.   At the same time they also have a financial stake in this.    Here is one of the two Fox news health commentators advocating for the test as a screening test.  It is noteworthy that he IS a urologist.   However,  I noted that today, in direct contradiction to himself a few weeks ago Dr. Siegal who is an internist also recommneded the test.   I have disagreed with him before and with a few things he said today.   In this case I agree with the USPTF that the test appears to do more harm than good and is of unclear or rare benefit benefit.  That said, the best course may be to use it with symptoms, with a family history, or if digital rectal exam is abnormal and with full disclosure to the patient about all of the above based upon their decision.

This is my *opinion* along with many, but clearly not all doctors.

Apparantly the next big *screening* "debate" is going to be for yearly chest cat scans on patients who are high risk for lung cancer - smokers or previous smokers.   You will all start hearing more and more about this too.

The infinite iterations of humans and the universe we live in is mind boggling.  And exhausting at least to me - not exciting just tiring.
3957  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: June 15, 2012, 04:40:56 PM
"I forget where I saw/heard it (pollster Luntz on FOX?) but the political answer to the question as to how the hell Baraq is even competetive is that people tend to see the choice between:

a) the Bush policies that got us in this mess
b) the Baraq policies that keep us in this mess"

I guess this is supposed to be some sort of proxy for voters' decision on what is the best course of action going forward - that is is smaller government as proposed by conservative orthodoxy the best way forward for independents.  

Or is bigger government as proposed by liberals better for them.

Unfortunately as previous posts point out it is not black or white.  First Bush was not a strict conservative.  Indeed he had followed this compassionate conservative thing trying to pick off Democrat or Independent voters from the entitlement crowd.

Jeb seems to think this is wise and ultimately needed because of future demographics.

OTOH, Obama has not been totally liberal on foreign policy though I have to say he is liberal on the domestic front and going more that way every day.  (One can only imagine what a radical he would be in a second term).

All that said we are really talking about how to win the undecided voters as the rest of us are already in the right or left camps.

My impression is the undecideds are clearly frustrated and sick of Obama.  I think the nagging question for them is if Romney gets in and governs as a conservative Republican with all sorts of spending cuts then they will lose out on entiltlement payments or safety net items (unemployment, medicare, food stamps).  Sure if they are guaranteed all sorts of jobs with decent pay then they would go head over heals for Mitt.

If people are getting unemployment, health benefits, Soc Sec. food stamps in order to survive, sure they want the economy to grow with job creation but  they don't want to be out on the streets as Bill Clinton apply put , having "bread lines come back".

3958  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc. on: June 13, 2012, 02:26:15 PM
I keep hearing Democrats saying that there is no proof of "rampant" voter fraud.   That it is an aboration, rare, the exception to the rule.

But this begets the question how can we know if we don't even ID anyone how much fraud there really is?

How can one know without following people around if they are who they say they are or are elligible to vote or are not voting for other people without some ID (at least)?

If only 1% of vote are fraudulent that could have still meant 20 thousand votes in Wisoconsin were illiegitimate.   While 1% is not a lot 20,000 is.   Try sorting out one of a hundred.
3959  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: June 13, 2012, 02:19:44 PM
Well it sounds like we won't have to worry about Chelsea going far.   In her defense her parents, for better or worse, are certainly a tough act to follow.

That said I still contend we well have Hillary running in '16.  We are not done with the Clintons and their political machine yet.

3960  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / sweeteners on: June 12, 2012, 02:53:41 PM
Harvard epidemiologist Willet (been around for decades [like me  embarassed] - I saw him give a lecture in West Palm Beach around 20 yrs ago) on sweeteners and health.  One must remember epidemiology can show a relationshp but that is not necessariy causation and is usually only the first step in studying the relationship of different traits (at least in meidicine).   As for my theory that Bloomberg's banning larger sodas is going to do nothing for slowing weight loss - Willet makes a case for Bloomberg here.   I admit I had a patient come in just recently and tell me she lost weight and when I asked how - she replied she got rid of the sodas!  shocked undecided
3961  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: June 12, 2012, 02:37:07 PM
"Obama in 10-Point Drop among Jews
Among U.S. Jews, 64% support Obama, down from 74% in 2008 and similar to what Dukakis got in 1988."

Now we know why (most likely approved by, if not done by himself by Alexrod) is leaking security information to the Times including supposed cyber sabotage/eavesdropping in Iran.

Got to keep those Jews sending in the dollars aye Brock?

3962  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / the first black president; Radical socialist "New Party" member on: June 12, 2012, 02:33:21 PM
And first marxist president:

Friday, 08 June 2012 12:11 Obama Belonged to Radical Socialist "New Party" in 1996
Written by  Bruce Walker font size decrease font size  increase font size  Print Email
 Stanley Kurtz, in his June 7 article "Obama's Third-Party History" for National Review Online, reports that Barack Obama’s connection to far-left radicals is much more recent that had been previously thought. On January 11, 1996, Kurtz notes, Obama joined the New Party, a radical socialist political movement deeply opposed to capitalism and of the opinion that the Democratic Party was far too moderate.  The New Party sought to transform America into the sort of socialist democracy that is common in Europe.

Perhaps more importantly, Kurtz notes that when he first raised this issue in National Review a few weeks before the 2008 presidential election, the Obama campaign dismissed his story as a “crackpot smear,” firmly maintaining that their candidate had belonged to only one political party his whole life — the Democratic Party. On the Obama campaign's “Fight the Smears” website Carol Harwell stated: “Barack did not solicit or seek the New Party endorsement for the state senate in 1995.”

Kurtz bases his proof of Obama’s membership in the New Party on documents obtained from the Illinois ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) records at the Wisconsin Historical Society. Obama also signed a contract, Kurtz reveals, in which he promised that while in office he would publicly support and associate himself with the New Party. Kurtz quotes from the January 11, 1996 minutes of the Chicago chapter of the New Party:

Barack Obama, candidate for State Senate in the 13th Legislative District, gave a statement to the membership and answered questions. He signed the New Party "Candidate Contract" and requested an endorsement from the New Party. He also joined the New Party.

The National Review Online article notes that the Chicago chapter of the New Party listed Obama as a party member beginning in early 1997.

Kurtz then identifies several different threads that tie Barack Obama to radical Marxism, which include these facts:

• His father wrote a paper which advocated 100% taxation of the rich, communal ownership of land and confiscation of private property, and penned an article in Kenya entitled “The Problems Facing Our Socialism”;

• His mother was a Communist sympathizer who had been described as a “fellow traveler” while she was alive, whose teachers at Mercer Island High School forced students to read the Communist Manifesto;

• His parents met in a Russian language class;

• His mentor was known Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis and in Hawaii from 1971 to 1979, Davis treated Obama like a son;

• His brother Roy Obama is a Marxist, and also a radical Muslim;

• His cousin Odinga is also a Marxist and a radical Muslim who seeks to establish Shariah courts in Kenya;

• He attended a socialist conference at Copper Union;

• He was hand picked by Illinois State Senator Alice Palmer to succeed her, and Palmer attended the 27th Communist Party Congress in the Soviet Union;

• His campaign for the Illinois State Senate was organized by avowed Marxists Bill Ayers (pictured above) and Bernadette Dorhn.

The evidence which Kurtz (and others) have assembled to show the deep immersion of Barack Obama in Marxism is overwhelming. The latest proof, his membership as recently as 15 years ago in the radical socialist New Party, shows his Marxist upbringing remained with him and, crucially, that he has concealed that information from Americans.


3963  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / OMG! on: June 12, 2012, 02:18:54 PM
Obama losing support among Blacks in NC!   Welcome back to the party of Lincoln my fellow Americans!

Save the country for all of us.   Now if only my fellow Jews who are crazy liberal Democrats would start to wake up then this country will not go the way of Europe.

No wonder the Dems are panicking.

The recently offered proof that Bamster WAS in the Socialist Party and he lied about it says it all.   He absolutely does despise this country and his saying the private sector is doing "fine" is absolutely not a gaff and absolutely is consistent with his political thought.
3964  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: June 12, 2012, 10:51:21 AM
"when they decided to sit out and the polls Obama saw when he decided to fly over and tweet it in."

Agreed.  It is still quite remarkable how the left spinners with their journolist accomplices can still come up with some sort of BS that paints a better picture for themselves.

I guess when it is ok to have a sitting president say things like it depends what one means by "is" and have his media thugs saying things like she had sex with him but not vice a versa or an attorney general claiming he was referring to something other than "fast and furious" in an email....

I remember Stephanopoulus when he was Clinton's first press BS artist on TV every day just astonishingly spin everything around twisting the language the logic the rationalizations to such an absurd extent.  I thought this guy has to go.

This kind of stuff is routine now.

3965  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: June 12, 2012, 10:02:12 AM
Morris agrees with Doug and myself, the Wisconsin exit poll data is skewed.   The Dems are in total denial.   Wait until Romney wins in November by a *good margin* (barring something unforeseen or a melt down on his part).   Everyone will be saying they knew Obama's loss was inevitable.  It won't be close.  It won't come down to a few states.  Jimmy Carter II:
3966  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: June 07, 2012, 04:07:17 PM
Speaking of lying.   When our Atty General sworn to uphold the law can't even tell the truth!

What does this say about our country?

Thanks to Clinton lying at the highest levels has become total sport and an art.

Any semblence of honesty with integrity is simply out the window.
3967  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stocks and Supreme Ct decision on Obamacare? on: June 07, 2012, 04:04:04 PM
In one evaluation 86% lf the time the side that was asked more questions lost their case in front of the Supreme Court.

I wonder what the market will do if the Justices decide against the law either in whole or part of it:
3968  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NJ Christie suddenly a sports betting man on: June 07, 2012, 10:09:35 AM
NJ Revenue shortfall. 

***Sports betting
Gambling man
Can New Jersey do what it wants?
Jun 2nd 2012 | NEW YORK | from the print edition

..CHRIS CHRISTIE, New Jersey’s Republican governor, is a recent recruit to the cause of gambling. In early 2011 he kept quiet when Ray Lesniak, a state senator, tried to challenge the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which limits sports betting to the four states that had already legalised it by 1992. A court threw out the case. Mr Christie also vetoed a bill that would have legalised online gambling, saying it would violate the state constitution’s requirement that wagers should originate in Atlantic City.

But much has changed in the past year. In particular, Mr Christie faces a fiscal crunch: on May 23rd the legislature’s budget officer predicted that taxes in 2012-13 would bring in $1.3 billion less than forecast. Levies on sports bets could be a rich new source of revenue.

The next day Mr Christie completed his conversion to pro-gambling politician. After voters approved a non-binding referendum backing sports betting, and the legislature legalised it, he announced he would authorise it in time for it to take effect this autumn, directly violating PASPA. “If someone wants to stop us, let them try to stop us,” he said.

Many powerful actors will take up his challenge. The National Football League (NFL) has long opposed gambling for fear of match-fixing. In 2009 it joined other sports leagues to sue Delaware, after the state tried to allow betting on individual NFL games. Delaware is one of the four states that are allowed to host sports gambling. But PASPA limited the four only to the specific forms of sports betting they allowed before 1992; Delaware was naughtily trying something new.

Mr Christie is likely to make this a states’-rights issue. Since the bets would have to be placed in person—federal law bans gambling using telecommunications—the business would take place entirely in New Jersey, and commerce has to cross state lines in order to be regulated by Congress. Moreover, even if a court does affirm federal control over sports gambling, it still might require all states to be treated equally, ending Nevada’s privileged status.

Despite such arguments, Mr Christie faces an uphill legal battle. His best chance probably lies with lobbying Congress to overturn PASPA, rather than hoping a judge will throw it out.***

3969  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: June 07, 2012, 10:04:56 AM

"Something needs to be done besides just raising taxes."

Wow JDN.

You just hit a triple.

If you said something needs to be done instead of raising taxes that would have been a homerun. grin

3970  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Alexrod at security meetings? on: June 07, 2012, 09:40:52 AM
Sen McCain seems convinced the leaks are political and from the WH.   Congressman Peter King was on cable a day or two ago pointing out to the visibly annoyed (partisan) CNN anchor that the leaks absolutely *have to be* coming from high up at the WH because they include converstaions from only the very few high ranking individuals who were even at these meetings.

I would cherish the fantasy that FBI investigation will take us to Axeljerk as the source.  Of course, I would not hold my breath enough evidence will ever be discovered to make such a link (if it exists).   In the end, probably the maid or cleaning guy will go down:
3971  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: June 07, 2012, 09:35:33 AM
I wonder what Schwarzenegger is thinking watching the events in Wisconsin and with regard to these two recent local events in kALIFORNia.

Didn't he lose big to the public unions 4 years ago or so - even while spending lots of his own money?

After that he made a huge left turn in governance.

I wonder if the outcome would be different today in Commifornia.
3972  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Zuckerman on: June 07, 2012, 09:32:29 AM
Seems like a good summary of the economic turmoil in the Euro "zone":
3973  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Exit Poll BS on: June 06, 2012, 11:36:52 AM
"17% of Walker voters will vote for BO"

Dem operatives are all over the cable airwaves touting this.

However, one must realize this is from "exit poll" data.

The SAME exit polls that Wolf the Blitzer was emphasizing over and over again during the late stages of the elecion yesterday that he claims showed the race was a nearly 50/50 tie.   We now know that these exit polls for whatever reasons were way off - several percentage points.

The election results were not close.   So why shoudl be believe these same polls that suggest Brockman still has an edge in popularity in Wisconsin?   More likely the Presidential race is either even or giving Romney the edge and at least the momentum in Wisconsin. 

As far as the money advantages quoted in the MSM that Repubs supposedly had, one has to question the accuracy of this.

As for me not for one second do I believe that there were not thousands of votes for Barrett that of a questionable nature which seems common place at least in Midwestern elections. 

Obama is in real trouble.

Time to buy into stocks?

Intersting the market is uop big today.
3974  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: June 05, 2012, 12:05:23 PM
 Main FeedMember FeedCollege FeedConversations I'm FollowingIntel.Close
 Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
Ben Domenech · Jun 3 at 3:25pm
One of the few Republicans in the country who's been tirelessly pushing for the implementation of Obamacare at the state level has been tapped to head Mitt Romney's transition team, should he become president.

Former HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt, and his consulting group Leavitt Partners, are the primary advocates within Republican circles for implementation of Obamacare's exchanges. It just so happens that his consultancy is one of the major beneficiaries of the taxpayer funded gold mine of hundreds of millions of dollars in exchange implementation grants. But that's a coincidence, of course.

Leavitt has said some relatively positive things about certain elements of Obama’s health reform law, suggesting earlier this year that “Obamacare” empowers the HHS secretary “to do certain things that are clearly aimed at trying to move us in the right direction.”

McKeown, who still works with Leavitt at his Utah-based health care consultancy, acknowledged that the former governor does not want to undo one key part of the controversial legislation.

“We believe that the exchanges are the solution to small business insurance market and that’s gotten us sideways with some conservatives,” he said.

The exchanges are not only a matter of principle for Leavitt — they’re also a cash cow.

The size of his firm, Leavitt Partners, doubled in the year after the bill was signed as they won contracts to help states set up the exchanges funded by the legislation.

Over the past year, Leavitt and his staff have repeatedly tangled with conservative and libertarian think-tanks and advocates who oppose him on this point, understanding that there is no such thing as a state run exchange under Obamacare, and that this represents the primary front for states in the battle against Obamacare's implementation. This hasn't stopped him from lobbying all over the country for it. Here's Leavitt speaking last year to the National Governors Association, urging them to implement while failing to disclose his financial stake in doing so.

Speaking to a bipartisan group of governors at the National Governors Association,  the former Republican governor who served as secretary of health and human services in the Bush administration, called the exchanges where individuals and small businesses can purchase health plans “a very practical solution to a problem that needs to be solved.” He warned governors who are reluctant to move forward with their state-level exchanges that their intransigence will only empower federal regulators.

And he said the health care law that passed is a compromise that gives the states the flexibility they need.

“This is a profoundly important time for the states,” said Mr. Leavitt. “States need to lead.” ...

The federal law gives the states until January 2014 to set up their own exchanges, with federal oversight. If they fail to do so, their citizens will get access to a federal exchange.

But some Republican governors have been reluctant. They oppose the federal law and say they hope it will be repealed by a Republican president in 2013.

Mr. Leavitt urged them to get moving anyway... He urged the governors not defend their “partisan flags” over the interests of their states.

Thankfully, this has been a push that Leavitt has been losing. A host of Republican governors have turned back his appeal to implement (you can read my own case against exchange implementation here). In fact, their obstinate refusal to implement has become an item of support in the courts for overturning Obamacare. And now most Republican-led states are holding back to see what happens at the Supreme Court, as they should've done in the first place.

One can argue about the merits of an exchange absent Obamacare's rules, regulations, authority shifts, price controls, and taxpayer funded subsidies. But the overwhelming majority of conservative policymakers understand that Obamacare's exchanges are nothing more than delivery mechanisms for massive taxpayer-funded subsidies and bureaucratic regulations from Washington. What's more, states which avoid implementing exchanges may be able to avoid the implementation of Obamacare almost in its entirety.

Those who favor implementation have been rebuffed, and they don't like it. As Michael Cannon notes:

USA Today reports that groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Cato Institute have had much success in discouraging states from creating Obamacare’s health insurance “exchanges.” Even the Heritage Foundation, which once counseled states to establish “defensive” Obamacare exchanges, now counsels states to refuse to create them and to send all exchange-related grants back to Washington.

In response, Obamacare contractor and self-described conservative Republican Cheryl Smith sniffs: "When you work at a think-tank, it’s really easy to come up with these really high-risk plans."

Except, there is no risk to states. The only risks to this strategy are that health insurance companies won’t get half a trillion dollars in taxpayer subsidies, and that certain Obamacare contractors won’t get any more of those lucrative exchange contracts.

Smith works for Leavitt Partners. So does David Merritt, who as recently as two months ago, was making the case that Republicans should ignore the positions of governors like Bobby Jindal and Rick Scott and implement exchanges. Neither, of course, notes their financial stake in doing so (but hey, it's a living).

What's most concerning about all of this is not that Romney selected one of the few Republicans in the country who backs implementation of Obamacare's exchanges. It's what the selection of Leavitt means as an indication of how Romney would potentially "fix" Obamacare if repeal proves impossible. According to Politico, "already, plugged-in Republicans from Washington to Salt Lake City are buzzing that Leavitt could make his own transition next January into the job of White House chief of staff or as a Valerie Jarrett-like personal counselor to a President Romney."

Should the Supreme Court strike down only a portion of Obamacare, it seems clear Leavitt would be a major voice in deciding how to replace it. And he is convinced that "exchanges are part of the future, no matter what."

UPDATE: Matt Lewis reached out to Team Romney for response, and they say not to worry.

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Jul '10Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
I told you so.

(Not you personally, of course, Ben.)

Edited on Jun 3 at 3:46pm
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May '11Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
I'm not going to panic. It's too nice a day. I'm going to hold my nose, vote for Romney, then reassess in January, or whenever the cabinet appointments are made, whether panic is necessary.

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May '11Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
This is the kind of thing conservatives have to push back hard and early on.

The GOP has to understand that business as usual is not acceptable.

A crony capitalist leading the transition team. Good grief.

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May '12Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
Ok, I've been encouraged about Romney lately, but this... not so much. The needle ticks down. Nevertheless, Romney's got my vote. This shows the need for conservative wins in the House and Senate. Here's hoping for a Supreme Court smack-down as well.

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 Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
Ben Domenech
libpastor: Ok, I've been encouraged about Romney lately, but this... not so much. The needle ticks down. Nevertheless, Romney's got my vote. This shows the need for conservative wins in the House and Senate. Here's hoping for a Supreme Court smack-down as well. · 1 minute ago 

I think it's just a reminder that Phil Klein is right.

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May '11Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
I love the new media. Ben only has a few thousand twitter followers, but many of them have a microphone and influential connections in DC.

Matt Lewis of The Daily Caller got a response from the Romney campaign about these concerns.

It's just words, but at least there is a response with firm commitments to repeal.

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May '10Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
Bryan G. Stephens
He gets elected and tells the rest of real conservatives to go suck lemons. Just watch.

Still have to vote for him over the other guy, though. Lessor or two evils.

Vote Team Romney: Driving America into Tyranny slower than the other Guy!

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Jan '12Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
Noesis Noeseos
John Derbyshire may not be the best liked person among some at Ricochet, but when he wrote We Are Doomed, he wasn't just frothing with uncivilized blather.

He came from a more rural part of  England that in some ways resembled small-town America.  Neighbors felt they shared a common culture, and they would look out for each other, help each other when they could.  British socialism had not expanded so obscenely when he was a child.  The insidious conspiracy between the mammary state and the nanny state had only begun to metastasize.  But the cancer has only grown to maleficent proportions, fed by the two-stage virus.

So, we push aside Obama's stage-4 only to grasp Romney's virulence-lite.  Marvelous!  Awesome, even, considering that these seem to be the only two public choices available.

Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.

Edited on Jun 3 at 7:20pm
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May '10Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
Scott Reusser
Take it up with Paul Ryan then, because state-based exchanges have been part of his Roadmap since the get-go. I haven't a clue whether such schemes are workable, but let's not suggest that since one element of a gazillion-page bill overlaps with some policy proposal of a Romney advisor, it means, QED, Romney is a stealth Obamacare supporter.

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Mar '11Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
And here I was feeling bad because I couldn't join in the thrill-up-the-leg fest on Friday.

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Jul '10Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
If we make it to 2016 without some form of ObomneyCare imposed on the republic, it will be because we sat on this squirming toad of a likely nominee the whole way and whacked him every time he moved in that direction. Of course, if he achieves reelection, we know what 2017 will bring.

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May '12Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
Gov. Romney is a great business leader with outstanding character, but things like this make me think he and/or his staff do not get it.

Admittedly I may be in the minority around here, but I don't think this election is going to be won with a rallying cry of pragmatic evolution. 2010 wasn't a marginal adjustment (although I concede it is hard to tell from what little the house of reps stands for) it was a statement about making a big course change.

Hiring a guy with a vested interest to implement a bastardized portion of Obamacare isn't a big course change, it is more of the same with a different guy behind the wheel.

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Dec '10Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
Funeral Guy
Good.  Now I can stop pretending that I'm a "Go Romney" guy and return to my original thinking that he's a spineless tool who will sell out conservatives the day after his first nasty New York Times editorial.

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May '12Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
Bryan G. Stephens: He gets elected and tells the rest of real conservatives to go suck lemons. Just watch.

Still have to vote for him over the other guy, though. Lessor or two evils.

Vote Team Romney: Driving America into Tyranny slower than the other Guy! · 42 minutes ago

Nailed it.

Nobody is going to stay home over something like this, but just showing up and holding our nose isn't going to win this election. It is going to take 'willing to die for what Romney stands for' type enthusiasm.

There are more people on food stamps than live in Spain, as many people receive something from the fed gov't. as there are paying into it via income taxes and all of them are going to be fighting to keep what they have and keep Obama in office.

If Romney doesn't have equal passion supporting him and what he stands for as those that will turn out for the entitlement state then I think we are toast.

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Dec '10Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
James Gawron

Let's get clear about postulate no. 1. Obamacare is 100% complete toast. The mandate will be struck down by the Court. President Romney and the Republican House and the Republican Senate will repeal anything that's left.

We live in a society that still teaches Strict Darwinism (Krypto-Fascism) and Man Made Global Warming (Krypto-Bolshevism) as Science. Such a world can not be trusted with even more Statist control.



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Apr '11Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
I guess this is what we're going to be all hysterical about for the next week or so.

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Nov '11Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
Fred Cole
This is why the two parties craft the myth that you MUST MUST MUST hold your nose and vote for their candidate or else the sky will fall.

So it doesn't matter how odious Romney is, you have no choice.

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Apr '11Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
Fred Cole: This is why the two parties craft the myth that you MUST MUST MUST hold your nose and vote for their candidate or else the sky will fall.

So it doesn't matter how odious Romney is, you have no choice. · 5 minutes ago

I can't believe this group is going into such hysterics over some guy who will be performing the purely administrative task of overseeing the transition.

"Odious?!?" Geez...

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May '12Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare

Fred Cole: This is why the two parties craft the myth that you MUST MUST MUST hold your nose and vote for their candidate or else the sky will fall.

So it doesn't matter how odious Romney is, you have no choice. · 5 minutes ago

I can't believe this group is going into such hysterics over some guy who will be performing the purely administrative task of overseeing the transition.

"Odious?!?" Geez... · 1 minute ago

Because the man who is asking for our support to be the next President of the United States put this gentleman in the position for 'purely administrative task...'.

It isn't about Mr. Leavitt - it is about the person that thinks this is a good idea.

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Nov '11Re: Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare
Hey Ben, I'll just ignore this sentence:

One can argue about the merits of an exchange absent Obamacare's rules, regulations, authority shifts, price controls, and taxpayer funded subsidies.

and go ahead and pretend that you're arguing against the concept of exchanges.  Also, I'll go ahead and ignore the conflict of interest aspect of this story wrt Leavitt.  Thanks for trying, though!

#20 ·Jun 3 at 6:08pm ·LikeUnlike (0) Like (0) ·  Quote
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Re: Fighting Mad in Colombia
Rob Long
Whoops. Corrected now. But for the record: I misspelled Colombia. But had it automagically fixed.
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Rob Long
Fighting Mad in Colombia
24 minutes ago
I have a friend who is doing interesting and dangerous work in Colombia, working with women who have become involved -- and are trying to get away from -- the terrorist organization FARC.

She's written a gripping piece for Foreign Affairs, under a pseudonym:

In the summer of 2009, during a lunch with a retired colonel of the Colombian army, I asked about his experiences fighting female members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), an insurgency that has plagued the country since the mid-1960s. Although the colonel did not say it was official policy to shoot women first during a firefight, he hinted that any sensible soldier would do so. Women, with their "Kamikaze-like" mentality, he said, were the most deadly combatants.

Talk about a powerful lede!  She goes on:

Twenty-eight years old today, Athena is barely over five feet tall, compact, and attractive. Her body is never fully relaxed. Even when she sits down, her light eyes scan her surroundings. She always appears at the ready. She grew up with her mother, an older brother, and two younger sisters in an impoverished rural town. She does not describe her home life before she became a militant as abusive, although her brother regularly beat her whenever she "misbehaved." (Misbehavior included her refusal to obey commands to perform random demeaning tasks.) After one such beating, Athena ran away, and within a few weeks of her arrival in a neighboring village, a "kind, old man" named Paco approached her, offering "protection and fun" if she would come with him to la finca (the farm). Had he been making his pitch to a boy, he probably would not have played up physical security. Generally speaking, FARC recruits boys with the promise of a motorcycle, a cell phone, and cool clothes, all of which will help them get girls.

It's a powerful and deep look at what happens inside a terrorist organization -- how young people are recruited and how they're kept, often against their will.

She's a brave person, doing very dangerous stuff, and the article is really worth your time.
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Re: Taylor Morris, American Hero
Diane Ellis, Ed.
The Great Adventure!: Diane - lest you think the limited number of posts on this indicates disinterest, let me say that this touched me deeply.  And I promptly had to have everyone else in the house read it as well. · 25 minutes ago 

Thank you.  When Member bourbonsoaked sent me the link to the story yesterday morning, I read it and was very moved.  I thought about it for 7 hours and told two friends about Taylor Morris before I could sit down and write a word about him.  So I understand firsthand how a story like this can render people without words.
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Re: Re: Portrait of a President
Bill McGurn
Here's one of the photos I like:

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Re: Romney Personally Advocated For Individual Mandate
Mollie Hemingway, Ed.
Tommy De Seno: Wall Street Journal scoop?  You're being a bit generous there Mollie.  Some of us have been talking about Romney's refusal to renounce individual mandates since the day he threw his hat in the ring.

I would rather have a Democrat in office promoting liberal policies than a Republican in office promoting liberal policies.  You get the same government, but only one of them makes the rest of us look bad. · 4 minutes ago

Well, I think the personal involvement is important, since some suggested Romney was just following advisors. I also think the discussions about publicly shaming companies is worrisome.

As for the rest, that is part of something I wonder about -- with the memory of Bush's presidency still fresh. He advocated big government solutions but capitalists and free marketers got blamed for them.
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Re: Romney Personally Advocated For Individual Mandate
Tommy De Seno
Wall Street Journal scoop?  You're being a bit generous there Mollie.  Some of us have been talking about Romney's refusal to renounce individual mandates since the day he threw his hat in the ring.

I would rather have a Democrat in office promoting liberal policies than a Republican in office promoting liberal policies.  You get the same government, but only one of them makes the rest of us look bad.
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Nancy Gibbs, Guest Contributor
The Presidents Club, Back Center Stage
3 hours ago
Hello Ricocheters! Nancy Gibbs here, also posting for the first time, along with my co-author Michael Duffy.

We’ve watched with particular interest how The Presidents Club has come out of the shadows these last few days.  First came the White House reunion: 41, 43 and 44 all together for the unveiling of George W. Bush’s portrait last week, a moment of bipartisan camaraderie even as the two campaigns were hurling mudballs at each other. Meanwhile Bill Clinton, Obama’s unmatched but unbridled surrogate, was causing the White House all kinds of heartburn by calling Mitt Romney’s Bain record “sterling.” He was back on message last night, when he joined Obama for three New York fundraisers and faithfully declared the prospect of a Romney presidency “calamitous” for the country.

 We’ll discuss the Clinton Challenge later: for the moment, it is President Bush I am more curious about. At the Club reunion last week, the protocols were generally honored: “It’s been said that no one can ever truly understand what it’s like being President until they sit behind that desk and feel the weight and responsibility for the first time,” President Obama said. “And that’s why, from time to time, those of us who have had the privilege to hold this office find ourselves turning to the only people on Earth who know the feeling. We may have our differences politically, but the presidency transcends those differences.  We all love this country.  We all want America to succeed.  We all believe that when it comes to moving this country forward, we have an obligation to pull together.”

This was all but an echo of what Bush himself had said when he turned over the keys to Obama in January, 2009, with all the Club members standing by:  “We want you to succeed,” Bush said. “Whether we're Democrat or Republican we care deeply about this country. All of us who have served in this office understand that the office itself transcends the individual.”

 Which just makes me wonder: how will the Romney campaign handle the most recent Republican president—particularly this summer, as the conventions approach and the veepstakes loom and President Bush breaks silence with a new book about strategies for economic growth.

 On May 15, the day Bush endorsed Romney, the campaign issued a press release touting the support of Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison; Bush’s endorsement did not merit a mention.  The first President Bush and son Jeb have been embraced; is W. radioactive? Or due for a revival? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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James Pethokoukis
Why Paul Krugman and Larry Summers Are Wrong About America Needing Another Mega-Stimulus
3 hours ago
Here we spend again, I mean, “go” again.

Two of America’s leading liberal economists, Paul Krugman and Larry Summers, want Washington to start spending more—probably much, much more—to boost the sputtering U.S. economy. Extremely low interest rates, they argue, both allow government to borrow cheaply and signal a deep hibernation by bond market vigilantes unconcerned by federal debt levels.

Lots of potential reward with little potential risk—or so Krugman and Summers argue.

Their proposal raises many questions and issues:

1. How much? The 2009 stimulus cost $831 billion, not counting borrowing costs. Without it, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the unemployment rate today would be 0.1 to 0.8 percentage point lower. Using, charitably, the most favorable CBO estimate, we are talking about $100 billion per tenth of a percentage point. So how much is enough for Krugman and Summers, $800 billion? $900 billion? $1 trillion? Or is the sky the limit?

2. What would the money be used for? Summers says in his op-ed that it would be “amazing if there were not many public investment projects” that would pay for themselves by “expanding the economy’s capacity or its ability to innovate.”

First, I would like to vet that short list. Second, is a check from Washington the best way to make these supposed projects happen? Third, what happened to Summers’s famous admonition that stimulus should be “timely, targeted, temporary?” These projects would likely take some time to get going. And if you believe the economic forecasts from the Obama White House, the economy is—yet again—approaching a mini-boom: 3% GDP grow this year, 3.0% in 2013, 4.0% in 2014, 4.2 in 2015, 3.9% in 2016, 3.8% in 2017. Now, I don’t place much stock in those predictions from Summers’s old pals on Team Obama, but he just might.

3. Would the bond vigilantes really stay asleep? Krugman and Summers are preternaturally confident that another big step-up in U.S. indebtedness would have no effect on our ability to borrow. That’s a big assumption, argues AEI’s Desmond Lachman: “An important lesson that the U.S. should be drawing from the Greek experience is how mistaken it is to be guided by low market interest rates. Since it might be recalled that as late as 2009, when it should have been obvious to all that Greece’s public finances were on an unsustainable path, the Greek government was able to raise as much long-term money as it liked at a mere 0.2 percentage points above the rate at which Germany could borrow such money. It might also be recalled how quickly markets turned on Greece and how soon a country that had no difficulty in borrowing from the international capital market at unusually favorable terms found itself totally shut out from that very same market.”

And let’s also keep in mind that the last time Summers tried to outsmart financial markets he lost $2 billion for Harvard’s endowment fund.

4. Might not more debt actually hurt long-term U.S. growth? A new paper from Kenneth Rogoff, Carmen Reinhart, and Vincent Reinhart finds that very high debt levels of 90% of GDP are a long-term burden on economic growth that often lasts for two decades or more: “The average high-debt episodes since 1800 last 23 years and are associated with a growth rate more than one percentage point below the rate typical for periods of lower debt levels. That is, after a quarter-century of high debt, income can be 25% lower than it would have been at normal growth rates.”

5. What about taxes? One huge mistake the high-tax EU has made is making nearly half its austerity program come in the form of even higher taxes. Not only should the U.S. not be raising taxes, we should be cutting them. Our corporate tax is so high that cutting it to 25% from 35% might well pay for itself—not to mention boosting business and investor confidence.

The U.S. economy has been malfunctioning since 2006. Shouldn’t it finally be time to address the deep problems of an anti-growth tax code, economy-stifling regulations, and out-of-control spending?
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→ show Paul A. Rahe's comment (#)
Re: Romney Personally Advocated For Individual Mandate
Paul A. Rahe
Thanks, Mollie. Alas, this comes as no real surprise. If he is elected President, Romney may govern as a conservative. If, however, we are to judge by his record in the past, he will turn out to be just another managerial progressive. In the past, he has been a fervent supporter of the administrative entitlements state and no friend to individual liberty. Let's hope that he has learned a few things along the way or that he is enough of a chameleon to take his direction from us.
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Mollie Hemingway, Ed.
Romney Personally Advocated For Individual Mandate
4 hours ago
This Wall Street Journal scoop is not going to make many folks feel particularly enthusiastic about Mitt Romney Presidency. It's about the discovery of a few emails from the time Mitt Romney worked so hard to pass his controversial health-care law:

When Mitt Romney left office as Massachusetts governor, his aides removed all emails from a server computer in the governor's office, and purchased and carted off hard drives from 17 state-owned personal computers, according to a current state official.

But a small cache of emails survived, including some that have never publicly surfaced surrounding Mr. Romney's efforts to pass his now-controversial health-care law. The emails show the Republican governor was closely engaged in negotiating details of the bill, working with top Democratic state leaders and drafting early copies of opinion articles backing it.

Mr. Romney and his aides, meanwhile, strongly defended the so-called individual mandate, a requirement that everyone in Massachusetts have or buy heath insurance. And they privately discussed ideas that might be anathema to today's GOP—including publicly shaming companies that didn't provide enough health insurance to employees.

Mr. Romney signed the bill April 12, 2006, and that night sent an email thanking a top aide, saying the law would help "hundreds of thousands of people…have healthier and happier lives."

A few days ago, Ben Domenech wrote about how Romney had picked someone who has been tirelessly pushing Obamacare implementation at the state level to lead his transition team.

Here we see the type of ideas that are encouraged in the Romney inner circle, including some tactics that even Barack Obama might find heavy handed.

I know that Team Romney is telling advocates of increased liberty to not worry about what he'll do surrounding Obamacare, but this slow drip of scary information is not helping.
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Re: Don't Look Up, Buckaroos
C.J. Box
tabula rasa C.J.:  If Obama stays in power you're not going to have to think up any central plot points again.  The government will simply provide them to you (though they'll probably want to charge you a fee).

Honestly, if I used this kind of thing in a novel no one would believe it.  They'd consider it too over-the-top.  That's one of the painful realities about writing novels set in contemporary (Western) settings.  It's necessary in plotting to dial things back or they'll be perceived as too reactionary.
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Re: "Sending Me Angels" A Medical Journey
Dave Carter
Doug Kimball: Dave:

Nothing like Delbert to keep you company on the road!  Remember, no more pretending to be a camel and avoiding fluids while on the road.  Get a "Trucker's Helper" (like the character Bert Reynold's used in "Semi Tough" when he cheated whuile trying to get "It".)  Keep a water bottle at your side at all times.  As a man who lives in the desert knows, the only way to keep kidney stones away is to drink and drink some more. · 26 minutes ago

As luck would have it, I have the movie Semi Tough in the truck.   Not a bad idea, that.  Thanks for that song too.  That's hilarious! 
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Rob Long
Weird Japan
17 hours ago
Japan, I think we can all admit, is often a weird place.  Robots, giant lizards, odd comic books, that sort of thing.

But every now and then, they're both weird and cool:

A Segway, essentially, steered by the muscles in the posterior.  You just kind of squirm your way along, if you get my meaning. From Yahoo! Autos:

No automaker keeps quite as many strange side projects afloat as Honda, which has everything from jet planes to walking robots underway in its engineering studios. On Tuesday, Honda revealed its plans for another company invention, a rolling stool it now calls the Uni-Cub which users steer by the seat of their pants. One can only hope for a racing version.

Designed to mimic the speed and height of walking, the Uni-Cub's lithium batteries power a trick wheel that can move any direction. Using sensors on the seats, riders simply shift their weight in the direction they wish to travel -- there's also a smartphone control app --  and the unit rides high so that the riders have eye contact with people not cool enough to glide around the office up to 3.7 miles on a charge.

Sign me up.
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Re: Don't Look Up, Buckaroos
C.J. Box
Wait a minute - are those Hellfire missiles under the wings?

I believe the are.  But not to worry -- they're only fired when cowboys spit tobacco juice in areas not approved for that designated use.
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Diane Ellis, Ed.
Taylor Morris, American Hero
17 hours ago
One month ago yesterday, 23-year old Taylor Morris lost all of his limbs in the line of duty.  A Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) tech from Cedar Falls, Iowa, Taylor was serving out his first tour in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan.  His job—surely one of the highest stress, highest risk jobs in the military—was to defuse bombs, disable mines, and to secure hazardous areas in advance of fellow troops so that they could do their job without being blown up.

But on May 3, 2012, Taylor stepped on an IED and nearly lost his life.  Speaking to a reporter at The Chive, Taylor recounts his memory of the explosion:

As soon as I stepped on it, I knew. There was a moment, then I heard the blast. I felt the heat. I knew I had lost my legs. As I summersaulted through the air, I watched my legs fly off.

Taylor remained conscious through the blast, and though he could see that he was bleeding out fast, he called out to his team requesting that no one come to his aid until the area was completely cleared of mines.  After the area was secured, the medic was able to administer battlefield trauma care and save Taylor's life.

A few days later, Taylor was transported to Walter Reed hospital in D.C., where he underwent and survived a four limb amputation.

His willingness to pay the ultimate sacrifice for his country and for his brothers-in-arms is more than enough to qualify Taylor Morris as one of America's great heroes.  But that's not the part of his story that I find so inspirational and remarkable.  Faced with a brutal situation in which most people would despair–and couldn't be blamed for doing so—Taylor has met his suffering with an incredible hope, humility, and courage.

His recovery in the few short weeks that have followed has been nothing short of miraculous.  Over the weekend, Taylor's stitches were removed and he was fitted for prosthetics.  He's already able to sit up and has begun the long, painful process of rehabilitation and physical therapy.

The other part of Taylor Morris's story that I find particularly moving has less to do with Taylor and more to do with his network of support that has rushed in to care for him.  Family, girlfriend, friends have all been there to pray for and with him, encourage him, be with him.  But beyond his immediate relations, a vast network of complete strangers has stepped up to do right by this American patriot.  A few days ago, on May 31, the aforementioned website called The Chive told Taylor's story and called out for donations to provide for Taylor's dream lakeside cabin.  The website set a goal of $30,000 which was met and exceeded within a matter of minutes.  In a beautiful outpouring of generosity in response to an even greater generosity, complete strangers donated more than $230,000 over the span of a few hours to provide for a young patriot.

My thanks to Member "bourbonsoaked" for alerting me to the story.  The Chive's story of Taylor Morris can be found here (but be forewarned that other stories on the site are definitely not Ricochet CoC compliant).
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C.J. Box
Don't Look Up, Buckaroos
18 hours ago
The entire congressional delegation from my neighboring state of Nebraska has written a letter to EPA Commissar Lisa Jackson to ask why it is -- and under whose authority -- the rogue agency has been using unmanned drones to spy on...cattle ranchers.  That's right.

Under some mind-numbing interpretation of the Clean Water Act, the EPA has been sending up spy drones to count cows in feedlots in Nebraska and Iowa.  And who knows what else they've been checking out?  It's outrageous.  I'll leave it up to the many sharp legal minds on Ricochet to explain -- or rail against -- this kind of encroachment.

Out here in the fly-over states, we are sometimes accused of being the embodiment of the "black helicopter crowd."  Maybe there's something to that, since there are so many federal agencies running our land and lives.   But when you find out the EPA has hundreds of armed federal agents and now they're using spy drones to  intimidate ranchers... what is one to think?
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→ show Mollie Hemingway, Ed.'s comment (#)
Re: Wisconsin Is Not In The Bag!
Mollie Hemingway, Ed.
James Of England: 

More is better. Winning, beating the recount threshold, 6% (the poll-based expectations), and 10% seem like landmark numbers, but the numbers really aren't transferable from one race to another in a firm way, so "not close" seems subjective. · 19 minutes ago

I covered a losing campaign in 2010 where some of its staff and volunteers were so convinced of victory that they shut down their GOTV operation in order to travel to the big city for the victory party. Their candidate lost.

What's most important in campaigns is to push hard, hard, hard until that last poll closes. Even if you think you're winning, you need to work to win by more.
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→ show John Grant's comment (#)
Re: Useful Readings on Progressivism and Contemporary Politics
John Grant
The early Progressives would reject some aspects of later Liberalism (e.g. gay marriage,sexual liberation, no-fault divorce, much of contemporary feminism). But their view of government's power to regulate was quite expansive.  See the Progressive Party Platform of 1912 (linked in the original) for some examples.

Ross Conatser: A quote from TR's speech at the end of the Heritage piece caught my eye.

“if we do not have the right kind of law and the right kind of administration of the law, we cannot go forward as a nation.”

. . . .  IMHO, they could not envision the world of NGO's, protected classes, and one-size-fits-all legal activism that exists today.  Remember in the world of 1910, 20,000 workers per year died in the workplace (mostly coal miners).  The Hatfield and McCoy feud was just cooling down.  They were going after low hanging fruit.

I suspect that if you explained Title 9, or the Americans with Disablities Act, or Gay Marriage Curriculum for grade schools they would have laughed in your face because those things were so impossibly foolish as to not need consideration.

Consider it now. · 5 hours ago
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Re: The Devil Votes Obama
James Lileks
I'll take political advice from a botoxed albino mantis when I take fashion advice from a politician.
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Re: The Devil Votes Obama
Mollie Hemingway, Ed.
My husband kept playing the original video invite to this dinner over and over and over and guffawing. It's hilarious.

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3975  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Excercise duration and intensity on: June 05, 2012, 10:54:46 AM
I don't recall ever seeing anything written about a maximum benefit or limit to exercise before.   So for me this is interesting.  It was hard to believe that triathalons, extreme endurance sports, etc are not damaging to the body in the long term.   Just the wear and tear....:

Interstingly for weight loss/maintenance 60 to 90 minutes a day is recommneded although not at extreme intensities.   Her at lest 60 minutes is recommended for children.

****Excess exercise 'hurts the heart' and cause dangerous long-term harm, say scientists
By Jenny Hope
PUBLISHED: 23:39 EST, 3 June 2012 | UPDATED: 23:39 EST, 3 June 2012
Comments (102) Share

Extreme exercise such as marathons may permanently damage the heart and trigger rhythm abnormalities, warn researchers.
They say the safe ‘upper limit’ for heart health is a maximum of an hour a day - after which there is little benefit to the individual.
A review of research evidence by US physicians says intensive training schedules and extreme endurance competitions can cause long-term harm to people’s hearts.
 Damage: Excessive endurance exercise can do long-term harm to the cardiovascular system, U.S. scientists say
Activities such as marathons, iron man distance triathlons, and very long distance bicycle races may cause structural changes to the heart and large arteries, leading to lasting injury.
Lead author Dr James O’Keefe, of Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, said exercise was generally beneficial for health but could tip into becoming harmful when taken to excessive lengths.

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'Thank you for saving me': Moment British hostage returned to safety after being kidnapped by Afghan insurgents

He said ‘Physical exercise, though not a drug, possesses many traits of a powerful pharmacologic agent.

A routine of daily physical activity can be highly effective for prevention and treatment of many diseases, including coronary heart disease, hypertension, heart failure, and obesity.
However, as with any pharmacologic agent, a safe upper dose limit potentially exists, beyond which the adverse effects of physical exercise, such as musculoskeletal trauma and cardiovascular stress, may outweigh its benefits.’
 Dangers: Too much physical exercise can cause musculoskeletal trauma and cardiovascular stress
A review published in the medical journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings (must credit) looked at studies detailing the mechanisms, pathophysiology, and clinical manifestations of cardiovascular injury from excessive endurance exercise.
Dr O’Keefe and colleagues said research suggests that extreme endurance training can cause transient structural cardiovascular changes and elevations of cardiac biomarkers, all of which return to normal within one week.
But for some individuals, over months and years of repetitive injury, this process can lead to the development of patchy scarring of certain areas of the heart, and abnormal heart rhythms.
In one study, approximately 12 per cent of apparently healthy marathon runners showed evidence for patchy myocardial scarring, and the coronary heart disease event rate during a two-year follow up was significantly higher in marathon runners than in runners not doing marathons.
The review said it had been known that elite-level athletes commonly develop abnormal electrocardiogram readings.
However, studies now show that changes to the heart triggered by excessive exercise can lead to rhythm abnormalities.
Endurance sports such as ultramarathon running or professional cycling have been associated with as much as a five-fold increase in the prevalence of atrial fibrillation, or abnormal heart rhythms.
Chronic excessive sustained exercise may also be associated with other heart problems including artery wall stiffening.
Dr O’Keefe said lifelong vigorous exercisers generally have lower death and disability rates compared with non-exercisers, but it was becoming important to detect intense exercisers whose regime might put them at risk.
The phenomenon has been dubbed Phidippides cardiomyopathy - after the fatal heart damage suffered by the original marathon runner.
 Suffering: Massive physical efforts like those delivered by professional cyclist can be harmful, scientists say
The young Greek messenger in 490BC died suddenly after running 175 miles in two days, with the last leg of 26.2 miles from Marathon to Athens.
His death was the first report of a sudden cardiac death of a long distance runner.
Dr O’Keefe stressed the review findings should not undermine the message that physical exercise was good for most people.
He said ‘Physically active people are much healthier than their sedentary counterparts. Exercise is one of the most important things you need to do on a daily basis.
‘But what this paper points out is that a lot of people do not understand that the lion’s share of health benefits accrue at a relatively modest level.
‘Extreme exercise is not really conducive to great cardiovascular health. Beyond 30-60 minutes per day, you reach a point of diminishing returns’ he added.
Government guidelines recommend adults take aerobic exercise five times a week for 30 minutes or more for maximum health benefits.
Children should have at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a day, including taking part in sports, brisk walking and running.
Aerobic exercise is achieved through sports such as jogging, running, cycling, tennis and swimming.
The level of aerobic exertion should be enough to raise the heart rate to 120 beats a minute or higher, which includes a brisk walk and swimming. But taking a stroll or even gardening is also regarded as healthy activity.

Read more:****
3976  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: June 05, 2012, 09:21:24 AM
Clinton is obviously campaigning for Hillary for '16.

He must have decided better for Brock to lose now and have Hillary run against the Repub in 16 rather than follow Brock's coat-tails.
3977  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Red vs Blue on: June 02, 2012, 12:20:16 PM
A fair amount written on Wikipedia on the issue.   The assignment of the red vs blue state to Rep and Crat parties respectively seems to have become a permanent label in 2000.   Crafty I would agree there is a huge suspicion about left wing media seemingly assigning red to the right when in fact certainly there is the left wing socialist/marxist/communist ties to the color red, Red from the Soviet Russian flag, "Red" communist China etc.  While each party is affiliated with these respective colors as being done now is mentioned in Wikipedia as "criticism", the perception given is that this was more or less incidental or a random event.  

Yellow and purple colors have also been used.  

But I agree with you - it is HARD to believe this was somehow an accident or random choice - and now the media seems to have taken up the mantra in unison branding the parties with these colors as though it fits, or have always been that way:
3978  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Brock the cyber warrior on: June 01, 2012, 11:25:37 AM
OK with me if he is doing this AND making it public to shore up Jewish support (won't help one ioda with me though).

I guess the question is Netanyahu going to wait till after the election or do before November.   An American led "Ocotober surprise" will be solely on the basis of Brock's re election outlook at that time:
3979  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: May 31, 2012, 07:22:22 PM
I forgot to add as I drifted off down the left's "progression" to total government control of our lives as well as control coming from every other avenue within the digital universe,

*The soda restriction will have absolutely no effect on obesity*.

To think that if we only avoided soda we would all be thin... tongue

If only it were that easy. wink

Medicine is fast becoming increasingly controlled with industrial strength quality controls.  If one thinks it pleasant to have every single step, thought process, time documented for every single action all day long..

I can look forward to the day I come home and the same process exists there too (as well as in the office and the hospital) when my flushes, sink usages, wattage amounts etc or also being measured, taxed, restricted, regulated, requiring more and more forms , permissions, feedbacks loops, and endless measures, changes, commnets, opinions, studies that change what we should do every 6 months,  and more.

I long for the 60's and 70's and 80's.

3980  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Here it comes on: May 31, 2012, 05:21:09 PM
Bloomberg's ban on large sugared drinks .

First the continuance of the government's control of our lives to the extent of INDUSTRIAL QUALITY level control is a problem.

Think of it, from the time we get up to the time we go to sleep our lives can be controlled.   We get up go to the bathroom.  Brush our teeth because if we don't don't we get tooth decay and we cost the society more.  We go to the BR and use only an allotted amount of water to wash, flush, drink, brush.   We are told how much electric to use for our coffee maker, our oven, our stove, our electronics, lights, our wash machines, AC, our cars are regulated with endless safety features, kind of fuel, we are punished if we don't  use mass transit, bike or walk to work, we can't eat anything that doens't conform with the proper Harvard decided nutritional values, we must never use elevators, we cannot sit at our desks but must work at stations that are on treadmills, lunch can consist of no more than a salad bar, every single detail of everything we do is chronicalled, catalogued, data warehoused, sold to marketers, or sent off to government agencies, CDC, FDA, HHS, and the political machines, CIA, FBI, and probably over to China as well as professional criminal organizations from the US and overseas, and on and on and on:
3981  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / follow up post on antisemitism thread on: May 30, 2012, 07:21:28 PM
3982  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wikipedia tends to confirm the previous post on: May 30, 2012, 07:20:59 PM
For centuries Poland was indeed tolerant of Jews.   As in the rest of post WW1 Europe antisemitism grew but it still appears to have been less than in other countries druing WW2.   So it appears disparaging memories of Poles from people who knew holocaust survivors that I heard growing up were anecdotal and not a fair representation of the population:
3983  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: May 30, 2012, 06:44:45 PM
I agree.   No one can in their right mind expect people to risk their own lives and family's lives in such a situation.

I really don't know that Poles were any more or less antisemitic than other Europeans.

But some did hold thumbs up watching Jews pass by on trains to death camps.

As for Poland being the only country where those who helped Jews were executed - actually I doubt that very much.

When I have more time I could perhaps do a more thorough search.    This article was something I just pulled up.   The author's points may well be more accurate than not.   I just don't know.

 I had a patient who recalled a story to me as a young girl in occupied Czechoslovakia.    A Jew suddenly barged into their house and hid under the bed.   A "gestapo" agent knocked on the door and asked her mother if she saw this man.   At the risk of her own life and her daughter's life she said no.

After the Gestapo left the Jewish man came out from under the bed and was advised to hide in the barn.  The next morning when they went to the barn he was gone.

She told me the gestapo WAS just like in the movies.   They wouldn't take any bull from anyone  and would quite quickly have blown them away if they realized they were lying and hiding a Jew.

I had tears in  my eyes.  Would I have been as courageous?  I think one can not know until that "moment of truth" as they say.

The woman told me this story because she was immensely proud of the bravery and kindness her mother showed.  I couldn'ty agree more.
3984  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: May 30, 2012, 06:29:54 PM
Regarding Crafty's post about the PSA test a few things I would chime in.

Mr. Perkins situation with the prostate cancer is a shame to say the least.

The problem is that the PSA test is not a good screening test.

It is not that it costs too much.   It is that studies have not been able to show a net benefit.  Not in terms of cost but in terms of human harm vs. good.  At best statistically 1,400 men would have to be screened for maybe, one would not die as soon as expected from prostate cancer.   Around 50 other will have surgery or radiation without any statistical benefit yet they may be harmed with anxiety, pain, impotence, urinary incontinence and the rest.

While prostate cancer is serious, and many men do die, the vast majority will never know they have it or ever have any problem from it.

Most experts from what I read do not recommend doctors recommend the test unless the patient wants it or has some other high risk to get one.

From what I am rading in the journals is that the only ones who are still recommending it are some of the urologists.

I still do a digital exam and offer the PSA test with more or less the above statistics and allow the patinet the choice.
3985  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Poles/Jews/Nazis on: May 30, 2012, 12:05:50 PM
A brief search on the subject.   Amongst Jews there were many memories of Poles very happy to see them exterminated.  Is this fair?

Is this accurate?   I don't really know but I do remember growing up many olders Jews discuss this subject.  My impression is very anecdotal but I was left the impression many Poles as well as Germans were quite OK with them being sent to death camps. 

Perhaps this article points out that this perception is wrong or unfair.   I certianly agree to expect anyone to risk his/her own life to save others during such a situation is expecting people to be worthy of Sainthood and not realistic. 

In short I agree Brock made a foolish mistake.   But I do not take my eye off the fact many Poles were not only not Saints, they may well have been gleeful.  Is that fair or not I don't know:
3986  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama's Oct surprise on: May 30, 2012, 11:56:18 AM
The Old Conservative for Today
columnist: Kevin C. Caffrey   
Topic: Iran
Obama's Re-election May Force a War with Iran an 'October Surprise.'


Iran since 1953 has been an American problem. The article points out that sanctions will not work and that war with Iran is inevitable.
by Kevin C. Caffrey
Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The ‘October Surprise’ is this writer’s personal hypothesis about American and Iranian foreign policy between "US" and "Them". The argument goes that in September, 2012 if the Presidential Election is too close to call then Obama may go to war with Iran in order to insure his re-election. President Obama has a psychological pretense towards grandiosity and in his own words “a fellow citizen of the World.” President Obama is an Internationalist before an American. This conclusion is drawn from his actions in light of international policies. Obama has put international concerns before the American people who continually have ended up under the bus throughout his administration (read: next article). Obama suffers from Malignant Narcissism. In a September, 2008 article the American Thinker, quoted roughly five journalists who had remarked about Senator Obama’s grandiosity at the time. Later in the article Sam Vaknin PhD., wrote: “Barak Obama appears to be a narcissist.” The previous psychological argument is the weakest of the premises for the ‘October Surprise.’ One of the strongest premises revolves around “The Preemptive Strike Doctrine” it allows hair trigger Cart Blanche to Presidents since 9/11 to attack foreign nation-states. The fact is it appears Congress cannot stop a President today from attacking a foreign country. Congressional approval is needed by the Constitution in order to take America to war. President Obama committed the United States military in [his] "Humanitarian" war with Libya. Attacking foreign nations is nothing new for President Obama.

First it is a good idea to study a little bit about the dynamics of the Middle East; American foreign policy in the region, and specifically, America’s relationship with Iran.The CIA overthrow of the government of Iran in 1953, and the CIA’s insertion of a Monarchy was fantastic for the United States. The Monarchy was America’s staunchest ally in the Middle East until 1979. The Iranian Revolution (1979) removed the Monarchy of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Iran became a Theocratic-democracy under the ‘Supreme Ruler” Ayatollah Rohullah Khomeini. Iran this writer argues is the crux of America’s Middle Eastern Foreign Policy problem (Some would argue it is are ally Israel). Iran has always strived to control all the nation-states in the Middle East region.  The U.S. Iran Relations are very complicated unless these relations are looked at from a Neo-realist international perspective, either from an Offensive or Defensive Structural Realist International Theory. The fact is America has always resisted the idea of a regional hegemon in the Middle East, which is one Nation-state who is the powerhouse of the entire region both economically and militarily. The entire run down of interaction within the Middle East demonstrates that American foreign policy is one that will stop any attempt by a Nation-state to become a Regional Hegemonic power in the Middle East. If a person looks at the Khatmai Era (1997 – July, 2005) or what is called the Iran-Contra Affair to Iraqgate: and the Admadinejad Era from (August 2005 to Present) what is found is an American policy to suffocate the regime in Iran with sanctions (CRS reports 75 different), Executive Orders (at least 5),  Iran has mostly been at odds with the United States since 1979. However, America in the past has turned to Iran and actually treated Iran as an ally. For example, the United States armed Iran when it was losing the war with Iraq and vice-versa; if Iran was winning then the United States armed Iraq. This strategy is an Offensive realist strategy called “bait and bleeding” that allows for no clear winner in the war and hence, no hegemon.  America’s Middle East policy was and remains a foreign policy that keeps each nation-state in conflict with the other nation-states in the region. The American foreign policy concerning the Middle East changed after the terrorist attack on September 11 that took down the World Trade Center in New York.

The Iraq War was a nightmare and the repercussions are beginning to display themselves today. The domestic internal problems of: Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iran, Lebanon, the Israelis and Palestinians, not to mention Israel screaming about bombing Iran over its nuclear program; all of this, in one way or another, has a lot to do with America disturbing the “Balance of Power” in the Middle East region. Nation building (International theory about making democracies i.e. Iraq) and one that President Obama adheres too) is a concept that will never work. This is due to the cultural and religious differences of the various people living in different areas around the world. Multiculturalism is a secular idealist construct that is beyond human understanding and unworkable in the real world. The International bodies are all a farce. People must be impressed with how well the Syrian dictator listens to the United Nations. President Obama believes in Multiculturalism, Nationbuilding, International law and treaties that tie America too International Institutions with no regard for the American Constitution. President Obama believes in multi-international policing for humanitarian reasons. For example, Libya the “War Powers Resolution” was trampled on, but so many Presidents have since 1973 it just seems that Executive Privilege outweighs the laws of Congress. If a President can wage war and get in and out quick enough it’s alright. The President can be in the middle of a fully fledged war before he needs money and must go to Congress to vote on a Declaration of War. President Obama the Nobel Peace prize winner and antiwar President was also the person who ordered:  U.S. Forces Lead Attack Against Libya in Operation 'Odyssey Dawn'  hundreds of missile strikes from ships and sub-marines in the area along with airstrikes were ordered by President Obama. America in ten years may know the number of dead, because of Obama’s "Humanitarian Operation." President Obama made a few comments on his little war in Libya: "Make no mistake: today we are part of a broad coalition," he said, a contrast to the Iraq invasion that was opposed by many allies and by Mr. Obama himself. "We are acting in the interest of the United States and the world." And President Obama did say after the fact that he would keep the American people informed. It is all about President Obama. Remember the commercial were the American people are told about how President Obama killed Osama bin Laden this is part of the Presidents personality and "Malignant Narcissism" disorder.

Many Democrats probably thought that President Obama was going to do away with President Bush’s “Preemptive Strike Doctrine.” However, Matt Welch in an article entitled the “Obama’s Preemptive Strike Doctrine” writes that, “The "anti-war candidate" puts some multilateral lipstick on George W. Bush's war pig.” And that is what Obama’s Defense Department did at the Quadrennial Defense Review in 2010, its interesting reading. Most American's have heard the same old stories for ten years now. Iran is once again stalling and playing the world leaders for fools and buying time for their nuclear program. From Bagdad, to Moscow, to Disneyland it will all end up the same, the Iranians will not budge, the Israel’s will get anxious, and October will be here in no time. The last comments that the reader should be left with are those that will make Obama believe that his International Throne will stay in place by Obama's Presidential election win in his decision to bomb Iran? Paul Joseph Watson quotes Obama: Barack Obama has told America’s allies that the United States will attack Iran before fall 2012 unless Tehran halts its nuclear program, a time frame that suggests Obama is willing to use war as a re-election campaign tool to rally the population around his leadership. President Obama is setting the stage in his remarks: “Addressing the powerful pro-Israel lobby, Obama delivered messages to multiple political audiences: Israel, Iran, Jewish voters, a restless Congress, a wary international community… At the core was his bullish assertion that the United States will never settle for containing a nuclear-armed Iran or fail to defend Israel.” In order to put the icing on the cake for the "October Surprise" is in an article by Pat Buchanan: “And Obama surely knows that an October confrontation with Iran, with war a possibility, or a reality, will mean the nation rallies around him and he wins a second term.” The only thing those of us who follow politics can do is watch and wait.

3987  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Facebook on: May 30, 2012, 11:36:08 AM
Any thoughts?

3988  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We are already bankrupt on: May 30, 2012, 11:35:09 AM
Contrast this to Paul Krugman who seems to believe we can spend forever:
3989  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: May 28, 2012, 10:19:26 AM
Lets see the Olympics will be July 27 through early August.

I will be so bold to guess that there is no attack before, or during these games.
3990  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More thoughts on: May 26, 2012, 12:31:34 PM
Taking the thought process from my previous two posts a little farther, if I was an Iranian leader, hell bent, on wiping all Jews from Israel when would I attempt a "breakout"?  Would I want to be able to rapidly produce 5, 10, 15 nuclear devices?  I would think it would also be necessary to have the ability to put them on missles that could reach Israel, the Persian Gulf (US Navy).

Amadenablowjob has already pointed out what we know 3 nuclear explosions in Israel will effectively wipe out the main centers of the country.

Just my armchair guess would be that once they get to around "10 weapons" grade material and can put on the tip of a missle they will try a breakout - announce and or threaten in some way to the world not to screw with them and then what - I don't know.

Or will they just attempt detonate the devices in Tel Aviv without any warning, etc?  
3991  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Enough Uranium for 5 bombs? on: May 26, 2012, 12:19:43 PM
Iran increased its uranium by 0.825 ton since February.  Now estimated total of 6.2 tons enough for five bombs.
In my previous post the estimate was enough for four bombs.   At this pace the risks from what I can gather is what in the previous Scientific American author calls is a "breakout" wherein they can enrich rapidly to weapons grade uranium unbeknown to the West.

Otherwise they sound like they are still months to a few years away.   Yet they keep accelerating the process and keep hardening their defenses against attack.   Clearly Israel (with US) would have been far better off destroying their capabilities a long time ago.

Iran read America's timidness correctly.  From everything I can read about it in the media - Israel has absolutely no choice.   Netanyaho clearly knows this and appears to be attempting to force Brockman's hand.   Some reported in the media is he is planning a pre-election strike so Brockman will have to act - if he wants the Jewish money (and maybe the support from that portion of the media controlled or influenced by Jews) to get elected.

As a proud Jew - this is what I conclude from the information I have.
3992  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / review of electoral college on: May 26, 2012, 12:05:10 PM
Kali-fornicate (itself) with 55 of the 538 votes.   Without it, Brock would have no chance.  Thank God for Texas:
3993  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Greece good or bad for Euro? on: May 26, 2012, 11:57:20 AM
Economist position is that Greece's exit would be worse than shoring it up.  If I were German I would say good riddance:

(Reminds me of my thoughts on Kalifornia)
3994  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / gimme a break on: May 26, 2012, 11:52:05 AM
What garbage.  This sounds like some romance novel:

..In Maraniss excerpts, Obama’s ex-girlfriend recalls his ‘sexual warmth’ and charm but also his detachment
.Here is the future most powerful man in the world, judged through the eyes of a long-ago ex-girlfriend as she records in her personal journal the demise of their brief but intense relationship:

Thursday, May 23, 1985

Barack leaving my life—at least as far as being lovers goes. In the same way that the relationship was founded on calculated boundaries and carefully, rationally considered developments, it seems to be ending along coolly considered lines. I read back over the past year in my journals, and see and feel several themes in it all ... how from the beginning what I have been most concerned with has been my sense of Barack's withholding the kind of emotional involvement I was seeking. I guess I hoped time would change things and he'd let go and "fall in love" with me. Now, at this point, I'm left wondering if Barack's reserve, etc. is not just the time in his life, but, after all, emotional scarring that will make it difficult for him to get involved even after he's sorted his life through with age and experience. Hard to say, as obviously I was not the person that brought infatuation. (That lithe, bubbly, strong black lady is waiting somewhere!)

Barack was, of course, future President Barack Obama. The woman was Genevieve Cook, who met Obama in 1983 at a Christmas party in Manhattan's East Village. He was barely six months from his graduation from Columbia University. They crossed paths in the kitchen. He was wearing blue jeans, a T-shirt and a dark leather jacket.

The poignant, often intimate recollections come from "Barack Obama: The Story" by David Maraniss. Vanity Fair published excerpts of the book, which will be published in June. They confirm Obama's description of himself in his memoir "Dreams From My Father" as grappling with his identity. And they will resonate with those who regard Obama as charming but powerfully reserved, almost aloof—traits that have led more than one observer to liken him to "Star Trek's" Mr. Spock.

Thursday, January 26 How is he so old already, at the age of 22? I have to recognize (despite play of wry and mocking smile on lips) that I find his thereness very threatening. ... Distance, distance, distance, and wariness.


Saturday, February 25 The sexual warmth is definitely there—but the rest of it has sharp edges and I'm finding it all unsettling and finding myself wanting to withdraw from it all. I have to admit that I am feeling anger at him for some reason, multi-stranded reasons. His warmth can be deceptive. Tho he speaks sweet words and can be open and trusting, there is also that coolness—and I begin to have an inkling of some things about him that could get to me.

At another point, in March, she described Obama as "drawing others' cards out of their hands for careful inspection" without reciprocating. "There's something also there of smoothed veneer, of guardedness ... but I'm still left with this feeling of ... a bit of a wall—the veil," Cook wrote.

Maraniss writes that "when she told him that she loved him, his response was not 'I love you, too' but 'thank you'—as though he appreciated that someone loved him."

A May 9 entry described Obama as "so wary, wary. Has visions of his life, but in a hiatus as to their implementation—wants to fly, and hasn't yet started to take off, so resents extra weight."

Readers who want to will see Cook as predicting Obama's eventual marriage to first lady Michelle Obama.

"I can't help thinking that what he would really want, be powerfully drawn to, was a woman, very strong, very upright, a fighter, a laugher, well-­experienced—a black woman I keep seeing her as," she wrote.

3995  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Schultz on: May 25, 2012, 02:26:57 PM
No not Ed.  The other idiot:

Yes I know some will start with calls that this is sexist, anti-woman (or the "war on women), or anti-semitic etc, etc.

3996  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / I'm getting old on: May 25, 2012, 11:42:13 AM
The world is fast becoming a boring place:

Days after deaths, another crowd attempts Everest
May 25, 4:41 AM (ET)

(AP) In this Tuesday, May 6, 2003 file photo, Mount Everest, at 8,850-meter (29,035-foot), the...

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) - Scores of climbers were headed for the summit of Mount Everest on Friday in what is expected to another busy weekend on the top of the world.

Last weekend, four climbers died on their way down from the summit amid a traffic jam of more than 200 people scrambling to conquer the world's highest peak as the weather worsened. A similar crowd is expected this weekend, but there have been no reports of climbers in trouble and the weather is good.

Gyanendra Shrestha, an official with Nepal's Tourism Ministry, said he had reports that 82 climbers reached the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit on Friday morning.

Shrestha, who is at the base camp, said 120 climbers started the last phase of the climb on Thursday night but not all of them reached the summit. He said it was normal for some of the climbers to quit at the last treacherous part of the climb for various reasons.

There were still more climbers expected to try to reach the summit on Saturday - probably the last day of this climbing season.

"This is the last chance for climbers to attempt to reach the summit. If they can't, then there is not going to be another opportunity this season," another official Mohan Krishna Sapkota said.

Several climbers began their trek from the last camp at the South Col, located at 8,000 meters (26,240 feet), on Thursday night and climbed all night, reaching the summit in the morning.

The deaths last weekend raised concerns about overcrowding above the highest trail on the mountain. The area above the South Col is nicknamed the "death zone" because of the steep, icy slope, treacherous conditions and low oxygen level.

Officials said that last weekend, climbers were heading to the summit as late as 2:30 p.m., even though 11 a.m. is the latest start time recommended. That meant climbers were staying too long at high altitudes and exhausting their oxygen supplies because they didn't anticipate having to wait.

More than 3,000 people have climbed Everest since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first to do so in 1953. Some 225 climbers have died attempting it.

The deadliest day was May 10, 1996, when eight people were killed. The main reason was said to be that climbers who started their ascent late in the day were caught in a snowstorm in the afternoon and lost their way.

The climbing season normally runs from late March to the first week in June, but this year the season's first clear conditions were only last weekend.

3997  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: May 24, 2012, 07:24:37 PM
Mitt:  for freedom
The left:  for free Birth control.
3998  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 23, 2012, 12:54:08 PM
"But as Obama embarks in earnest on his second presidential campaign, deliberately invoking the echoes of 2008 as he does so, the contrast with his old image is especially stark."

One point I suggest is that Obama's image in 2008 was jsut a facade.

I haven't read his books but some of the exerpts clearly suggest he was a very confused and often angry boy/man growing up.  He was abandoned by his father.   And by his mother and left to be raised by white grandparents.   Though his mother was white he is black skinned and appears to have had lots of identity issues growing up with regards to race, religion, his nationality, his allegiences, his culture.   He has certainly sounded very angry.  

I also hypothesized that this man has a gigantic narcissim problem and when the going gets rough he will start to blame everyone else and be ruthless.   So far he is living true to form.

My point is the main difference between now and 2008 is we are really seeing the true nature of the politics and ruthlessness of this man.  We have more than his words, his charm along with accusations from his political enemies and hints of information from his past.
We have years of his OWN actions, deeds, dishonesty, hypocracy, cover-ups, self adoration to prove who he is .
You can fool some of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but not all of the people all of the time.

Yes Bigdog.  This is essentially unspeakable to Democrats.  Cory Booker's quotes are rare from their side.   He will be hushed.  He may be punished by the DNC as well though we will not hear of it.

3999  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / From Scientific American politics is "tribal" on: May 21, 2012, 04:28:47 PM
Clinton is from the Democrat tribe.   Gingrich is from the Republican tribe.   Brock is from the radical liberal tribe.   Santorum is from the strict conservative tribe.


I am not sure "tribal" is the explanation.  I think it goes more to the individual peculiarities of individual human beings and that tribalism is just a means for us to get what we all seem to covet in varying degrees and in some ways.

Nor do I subscribe to the last conclusion in the last paragraph of this essay even though it includes a quote from John Stuart Mill who if I am not mistaken he had one of the highest estimated IQ's in history.

In any case:

****Evolution Explains Why Politics Is So Tribal
Evolution helps to explain why parties are so tribal and politics so divisive

By Michael Shermer  | June 13, 2012 |

Read More »
Which of these two narratives most closely matches your political perspective?

Once upon a time people lived in societies that were unequal and oppressive, where the rich got richer and the poor got exploited. Chattel slavery, child labor, economic inequality, racism, sexism and discriminations of all types abounded until the liberal tradition of fairness, justice, care and equality brought about a free and fair society. And now conservatives want to turn back the clock in the name of greed and God.

Once upon a time people lived in societies that embraced values and tradition, where people took personal responsibility, worked hard, enjoyed the fruits of their labor and through charity helped those in need. Marriage, family, faith, honor, loyalty, sanctity, and respect for authority and the rule of law brought about a free and fair society. But then liberals came along and destroyed everything in the name of “progress” and utopian social engineering.

Although we may quibble over the details, political science research shows that the great majority of people fall on a left-right spectrum with these two grand narratives as bookends. And the story we tell about ourselves reflects the ancient tradition of “once upon a time things were bad, and now they’re good thanks to our party” or “once upon a time things were good, but now they’re bad thanks to the other party.” So consistent are we in our beliefs that if you hew to the first narrative, I predict you read the New York Times, listen to progressive talk radio, watch CNN, are pro-choice and anti-gun, adhere to separation of church and state, are in favor of universal health care, and vote for measures to redistribute wealth and tax the rich. If you lean toward the second narrative, I predict you read the Wall Street Journal, listen to conservative talk radio, watch Fox News, are pro-life and anti–gun control, believe America is a Christian nation that should not ban religious expressions in the public sphere, are against universal health care, and vote against measures to redistribute wealth and tax the rich.

Why are we so predictable and tribal in our politics? In his remarkably enlightening book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (Pantheon, 2012), University of Virginia psychologist Jonathan Haidt argues that to both liberals and conservatives, members of the other party are not just wrong; they are righteously wrong—morally suspect and even dangerous. “Our righteous minds made it possible for human beings,” Haidt argues, “to produce large cooperative groups, tribes, and nations without the glue of kinship. But at the same time, our righteous minds guarantee that our cooperative groups will always be cursed by moralistic strife.” Thus, he shows, morality binds us together into cohesive groups but blinds us to the ideas and motives of those in other groups.

The evolutionary Rubicon that our species crossed hundreds of thousands of years ago that led to the moral hive mind was a result of “shared intentionality,” which is “the ability to share mental representations of tasks that two or more of [our ancestors] were pursuing together. For example, while foraging, one person pulls down a branch while the other plucks the fruit, and they both share the meal.” Chimps tend not to display this behavior, Haidt says, but “when early humans began to share intentions, their ability to hunt, gather, raise children, and raid their neighbors increased exponentially. Everyone on the team now had a mental representation of the task, knew that his or her partners shared the same representation, knew when a partner had acted in a way that impeded success or that hogged the spoils, and reacted negatively to such violations.” Examples of modern political violations include Democrat John Kerry being accused of being a “flip-flopper” for changing his mind and Republican Mitt Romney declaring himself “severely conservative” when it was suggested he was wishy-washy in his party affiliation.

Our dual moral nature leads Haidt to conclude that we need both liberals and conservatives in competition to reach a livable middle ground. As philosopher John Stuart Mill noted a century and a half ago: “A party of order or stability, and a party of progress or reform, are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life.”****

4000  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / GREAT POST on: May 21, 2012, 01:17:13 PM
One would think we were in a country whose media was controlled like say a communist/nazi nation.

Yet we have a "free" press. 

What does one make of this paradox?

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