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3951  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / MSM for Bamster on: August 28, 2013, 09:02:09 AM
Only a graduate from Columbia's school of journalism (propaganda) could come up with this contrast as a defense of her One.  Of course she now works for the very 'objective' out fit Time:

****6 Ways Syria 2013 Isn’t Iraq 2003

A ‘Coalition of the Willing’ to deal with WMDs may sound familiar, but these two plots are vastly different

By Jay Newton-Small @JNSmallAug. 28, 201319 Comments   

      Presidential Reunion: Scenes from the Opening of the Bush Library
Brooks Kraft / Corbis for TIME
President Barack Obama applauds former president George W. Bush at the dedication of the George W. Bush presidential library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Follow @TIMEPolitics
An American president says a Middle Eastern country has weapons of mass destruction. He builds a “coalition of the willing” for a military strike against said country.

Sound familiar?

It could be President Barack Obama in 2013 or President George W. Bush in 2003, or so fear liberal Democrats leery of getting involved in yet another war in the Middle East.

“While the use of chemical weapons is deeply troubling and unacceptable, I believe there is no military solution to the complex Syrian crisis,” Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat who famously was the only member to vote against authorizing the war in Afghanistan, said Tuesday in a statement on her Facebook page. “Congress needs to have a full debate before the United States commits to any military force in Syria — or elsewhere.”

But Obama, who ran on a platform in 2008 of ending Bush’s wars in the Middle East, isn’t Bush, and there are important distinctions between the two scenarios. Here are six ways Syria 2013 isn’t Iraq 2003:

Regime change

Bush made no secret that his plan was to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. This time around, the Obama administration is taking pains to say that ousting Syrian strongman Bashar Assad is the last thing they want as it would only create a power vacuum the disorganized Syrian opposition isn’t ready to fill. “I want to make clear that the options that we are considering are not about regime change,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday. “They are about responding to a clear violation of an international standard that prohibits the use of chemical weapons.”

A limited engagement

U.S. officials are looking at a two-day, limited strike on Syria, which would not involve any American boots on the ground — compared to the 130,000 U.S. troops Bush had already mustered on Iraq’s borders by the time he declared his intentions to the public. The purpose in Syria is to punish Assad so that he knows he cannot use chemical weapons against his own people with impunity. Striking the weapons themselves could potentially create too much collateral damage, so Syrian military sites are being selected. Whereas Bush envisioned five months in Iraq — which turned into 10 years — Obama hopes his engagement will be counted in days, not weeks.

Arab support

Most of the Arab world opposed Bush’s invasion of Iraq. The entire Arab League except Kuwait condemned the war. And Turkey denied the U.S. use of its military bases. This time around, most of the Arab world, with the exceptions of Iraq and Lebanon, supports strikes against Assad, and Saudi Arabia and Turkey are in talks to potentially participate in the military operation.

European support

Remember Freedom Fries? France and much of Europe weren’t wild about going to war in Iraq. France is now spearheading the effort to oust Assad, although Germany and southern Europe remain skeptical of military involvement. Britain, of course, was as much on board with Iraq in 2003 as it is with Syria in 2013.


This time, there’s next to no doubt they actually exist. The pretense for the war in Iraq was disproven: Hussein’s alleged WMD stockpiles were never found. In this case, the international community has, with the exception of Russia and Iran, accepted and condemned the use of chemical gas in Syria last week that killed as many as 1,300 people.


Bush asked for and received overwhelming permission and support from Congress to invade Iraq. When asked, Carney  on Tuesday said Syria poses a “significant challenge to or threat to the United States’ national security interests.” The language is important, as the president must seek permission from Congress to go to war unless the U.S. is imminently threatened. So, Carney’s careful categorization would seem to indicate that no matter what Lee wants — she sent a letter with 20 of her colleagues asking Obama seek permission from Congress to engage in Syria— he likely will go this alone as he did Libya.

Maybe Obama should allow the debate in Congress. It’d be a headache, for sure, and the posturing could last longer than the intervention itself, but it might also reassure nervous members like Lee who worry Obama is getting the U.S. into another decade-long war in the Middle East. And given U.S. polls showing huge opposition to engagement in Syria, it might help assuage the American public as well.

Read more:*****
3952  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: August 27, 2013, 10:02:21 PM
Obviously Wesbury is in the top 5%.
3953  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: August 25, 2013, 08:02:40 PM
BD wrote:

"Congress is not institutionally able to check the executive well in this policy space"

How so Big dog?  Doesn't Congress have people who are knowledgeable do the research them and prep them?

Lack of experience or insight in a specific policy area such as health care did not stop Democrats and Obama from passing a 2,000 page bill that none of them read or probably even really understand what was in it.

The bill was almost written surely by Ivy leagues elites over 20 years.

As for term limits I am not sure I am for them I was only siting Marc Levin's proposal.  I am not even sure he is committed to his proposals but has 'thrown' the ideas into the public domain for 'discussion'.  The concept of term limits has popped up multiple times over the last 40 years according to Wikipedia which has a decent (it seems to me) historical perspective on those who serve in American government from GW's two term Presidential precedent that seems to have set a standard for 140 yrs.  Apparently initially at least till the time of Andrew Jackson House members also limited themselves to two terms. 
3954  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Term limits are best option to limit power of ruling elite. on: August 24, 2013, 12:09:59 PM
I checked Levin's website.  There is no email contact info.  to ask him your supposition.  I would think he might answer that the longer one is in Congress the more they serve themselves and learn not to serve Americans from their districts better.

Is it not telling that your point suggests that we need career politicians to spend a lifetime learning how to navigate a political system?   

I would submit to you that the reason we need term limits is because there is so much money involved.  So much lobbying
 that has a corrupting influence not only on serving House members but the family members, their business colleagues, their friends who some how get sucked into the picture.  The fact that in order to run one needs lots of money and going against influential politicians who have decades to set up self serving organizations of staffers, contacts, etc. along with decades of name recognition explains why so few incumbents lose their seats.  What is it? 95% of incumbents win re-election.   How is this possible with an approval rating hovering around, what, 10 or 20%?

I don't think Levin necessarily wants to take away the power of the voters to decide who gets re elected or not.  But I think he realizes that with incombuncy comes a real danger of abuse of power, and corruption.

Don't you think corruption is rampant?  Revolving doors in and out of the private and public sector.  How else can we put some limit on this without term limits?  I think this is what Levin is proposing.  Term limits are better than allowing a small group of people to control 320 million without which there is almost no limit to their power.
3955  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Marc Levin's Suggestions for Constitutional Amerndments via Bozell on: August 23, 2013, 10:02:06 PM
****Levin to the Rescue

Published: 8/13/2013 10:08 PM ET

Subscribe to L. Brent Bozell III

By L. Brent Bozell III

Only those happily trampling on the last vestiges of freedom will deny that our federal government as a constitutional republic has ceased to function. The president can no longer control (nor does this one want to control) the enormous and ever-expanding bureaucracy functioning as a government by fiat. The legislative branch, so corrupted, so drunk by the allure of power, so disdainful of its constituents, is unable to  stop its bankrupting ways. The judiciary is perhaps the worst. The Supreme Court is openly rejecting the authority of the Constitution itself.

 If the federal government refuses to adhere to the enumerated powers of the Constitution, what can the citizenry do about it? The events of the past five years (more, actually) prove this. It has become virtually impossible to stop the agenda of a radical Chief Executive who brazenly uses the federal government as his personal political machine. It is almost impossible to defeat an incumbent member of Congress with all the advantages it has awarded itself. For all intents it is impossible to replace a member of the Supreme Court.

The left is content with this terrible turn of events. By “transformation” they meant the transfer of power to the state. Conservatives are loath to declare American exceptionalism dead, yet are powerless to stop the statist steamroller. With every cycle the situation worsens. At some point the unthinkable -- tyranny -- is upon us. We are running out of time. Only radical surgery will save the patient now.

Enter Mark Levin, M.D., with his new book, "The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic." Levin is a Constitutional scholar -- and he shines. He argues passionately that the federal government can be brought under control only if new limitations are thrust upon it by its citizenry. He proposes a Constitutional convention, not one called by Congress but one impaneled by two-thirds of state legislatures, and which would require a three-fourths margin to pass any new amendments. It is the lesser known of the two options provided by Article V of the Constitution.

 What should a Constitutional convention tackle? Levin offers eleven amendments for consideration, with appropriate subdivisions, each carefully researched and each designed to reduce the power of the state.

 Term limits for  Congress is the first liberty amendment Levin offers. It is my view also the most important.  Only when there are limits (12 years of service) will Congress be populated by men and women driven only by the call to service, not the siren song of power. The millions delivered by special interests for the re-election of incumbents who, in turn, reward said interests with billions in grants, contracts, tax shelters and the like -- will cease.

 Levin calls for other limitations on Congress. He proposes an amendment to limit federal spending and another to limit taxation, the combination which will restore fiscal sanity while devolving power from the state. He offers an amendment to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment, returning to the Article 1 mandate that Senators be chosen by their state legislators.

 What about the Supreme Court? “hould five individuals be making  political and public policy decisions and imposing them on every corner of the they pursue even newer and more novel paths around the Constitution in exercising judicial review?” Levin points to the obvious: Sometimes mistakes are made (Roberts, anyone?) and America shouldn’t be punished for the rest of that jurist’s life. He proposes 12-year term limits for them as well.

 What can be done to control, even reduce the size and scope of the bureaucracy?  All federal departments and agencies must be re-authorized by Congress every three years or be terminated -- that’s what.

There’s a liberty amendment to protect and promote free enterprise, now under vicious assault. One to protect private property given the ability of the federal government suddenly to steal it. Amendments to increase the power of the States, and finally, an amendment to protect the voting process.

 Who would have thought any such amendments would ever be needed? And that’s the point. Such is the nature of the crisis.

 Levin quotes Tocqueville reflecting on the Constitutional Convention of 1776: “t is new in history of society to see a great people turn a calm and scrutinizing eye upon itself when apprised by the legislature that the wheels of its government are stopped...”

It is time for our legislatures once more to issue the clarion call.
 Levin hopes “The Liberty Amendments” will launch a national discussion, and it will. Levin is a consequential man, and this is a consequential book. Some critics will dismiss the concept out of hand. It is they who should be dismissed -- unless they have bold new alternatives to propose. Nothing else is working, and nothing else will do. We have reached the tipping point.****
3956  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / automobile on: August 22, 2013, 10:12:35 AM
How can auto dealers keep out a company that wants to sell direct to consumer?   I don't get it.  I don't own Tesla stock although it has skyrocketed.  When someone comes out with an *inexpensive* hybrid then I am ready to invest.  That said dealers have the power to prevent Musk from selling direct to consumer in Texas?  Sounds like a form of union protectionism/favoritism to me.

****Why Texas Bans the Sale of Tesla Cars

When you’re about to compete in your first electric car race, brace yourself for the sound … of silence. But don’t let those quiet engines fool you because these days, quiet means fast.

With every major car company looking for a share of the booming electric car market, the competition to go faster and further for cheaper has become an all-out war. Detroit, Japan and Germany are all represented, but right now, an unlikely newcomer is getting top honors: the Tesla Model S.

It’s being hailed as a game changer. It’s the first electric car to win Motor Trend’s Car of the Year; an unprecedented 99 out of 100 rating from Consumer Reports; and now, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it’s also the safest car ever.

But if the Model S really is the car of the future, then why has Texas banned its sales in the state and why are lawmakers in several other states trying to do the same?

To answer that, first you need to meet Tesla CEO Elon Musk. He plans on opening 50 new Tesla stores in the next year. And taking a page from the Apple playbook, Musk is selling his product directly to consumers. No hard sell. No commission for employees. And uniform prices at every store.

“We actually train people to educate,” explained Musk. “We always wanted to be a really low-key kind of friendly environment, where we're not constantly trying to close deals.”

That’s a dig at the traditional middlemen in the car-buying experience: the car dealers. Musk wants to cut them out completely. He thinks customers don’t like them and that dealers are prejudiced against electric cars.

“It takes them at least twice as much effort to sell someone an electric car and to educate them as to why an electric car is good,” said Musk. “And so if we were to go through the traditional dealer path, the result would be a disaster.”

So Musk is declaring war on car dealers, but car dealers are also declaring war on Musk. They have already successfully booted him out of Texas and there is anti-Tesla legislation pending in North Carolina, Colorado and Virginia.

“This happens all the time,” said Bill Wolters, the president of the Texas Automobile Dealers Association. “Someone wants an exception to the franchise laws. If we made an exception for everybody that showed up in the legislature, before long the integrity of the entire franchise system is in peril.”

The outcome of the battle remains to be seen, but it’s just one of many standing in Musk’s way of the Model S becoming a mainstream success. For all the hype, only 20,000 have been sold.****
3957  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / It's about *time* from a leftist rag on: August 22, 2013, 09:43:17 AM
Coming from a Times writer.  Finally stating the obvious. shocked smiley


Don’t Ignore Race in Christopher Lane’s Murder

The association of young black men with violence doesn't come out of thin air

By John McWhorter Aug. 22, 2013124 Comments   

Follow @TIMEIdeas
Australian Christopher Lane was killed on Monday in Oklahoma by three teens, one of whom has said they were just “bored.” The right is complaining that the media is making nothing of the fact that two of the teens were black whereas Lane was white, as opposed to the massive alarm sounded in cases such as white (or white-ish) George Zimmerman killing black Trayvon Martin. And again the cry was heard that there is more “black-on-black” or “black-on-white” crime than “white-on-black,” and that young black men are in fact more of a problem than people like Zimmerman.

The numbers don’t lie: young black men do commit about 50% of the murders in the U.S. We don’t yet know whether the attack on Lane was racially motivated, nor can we know whether the three black boys who attacked a white boy on a Florida school bus recently would not have done the same to a black kid. (Critics took Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to task for not condemning the violence.) But hardly uncommon are cases such as the two black guys who doused a white 13-year-old with gasoline and lit him on fire, saying “You get what you deserve, white boy” (Kansas City, Mo.) or 20 black kids who beat up white Matthew Owens on his porch “for Trayvon” (Mobile, Ala.).

So, it’s just fake to pretend that the association of young black men with violence comes out of thin air. Young black men murder 14 times more than young white men. If the kinds of things I just mentioned were regularly done by whites, it’d be trumpeted as justification for being scared to death ofIt’s not that black communities are in complete denial about these statistics — Stop the Violence events are a staple of high-crime areas. But let’s face it: black America isn’t nearly as indignant about black boys killing one another or whites as about the occasional white cop killing one black boy, even though the former wreaks much more havoc in black communities. There is no coordinated nationwide movement equivalent to the one Martin galvanized. There are no thoughtful films “exploring” black-on-black crime the way Fruitvale Station treats the death of Oscar Grant, a young black man who was killed by transit police in Oakland, Calif.

And recent example illustrates how many blacks feel about who is murdering whom. Two weeks ago, an NYPD cop killed 14-year-old Shaaliver Douse. Douse was in the process of shooting other people, and had been charged with shooting someone else in May — and yet his aunt compared him to Martin. In her mind, the main sin was the white cop’s.

Granted, it seems a lot easier to do something about the Zimmermans than the black thugs. Protest profiling and police departments institute new programs. But black thugs aren’t moved by protests, so it can seem like we’re just stuck with them.

But who’s to say what would happen if black America exerted even half of the emotional fervor and brainpower it does over cases like Martin’s to thinking about how to keep black boys from going wrong? Annette John-Hall had some wise words on this last year. What kind of self-image do we have to assume we can only change others, but not ourselves?

For the time being, though, it’s time for the media to stop proudly emblazoning the race of white cops who kill black boys while cagily describing black teens as, say, “from the grittier part of town,” as has been the case regarding Lane’s killers. The media needs to be as honest with black people as we need to be with ourselves. No group gets ahead by turning away from its real problems.

3958  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: August 21, 2013, 11:31:38 AM
I tried to post this under future of republican party but instead of reply all I see is "notify"

Someone said it best on radio the other day.  I can't remember but I think it was Hannity.  The Bush wing of the Republican party is all about "managing" the decline of conservative as opposed to the real right which is about standing for something.  If we don't stand now we will ultimately watch the liberal agenda win.

*****And they're on their way to losing the next presidential election, too
A new Gallup poll finds the summer has once again not been kind to President Obama, with his approval rate dipping yet again. In fact, August has historically been the worst month for his approval rating throughout his presidency.

But there's a big difference this year: Republicans have had a worse summer.

Halfway through the August recess, congressional Republicans are still fighting with each other over the direction of their party. While they're united in hating ObamaCare, they have no coherent strategy for confronting Democrats and the president. Some want to shut down the government in an attempt to defund ObamaCare, some want to use the debt ceiling as leverage, and some think both ideas are nuts.

Newt Gingrich even slammed Republicans for having "zero answer" when it comes to an alternative health care plan.

The battle highlights a huge divide in the Republican Party, which impacts nearly every issue before Congress. Ten months after a brutal loss in the 2012 election, the battle for the heart and soul of the party rages.

GOP strategist Mike Murphy elegantly summed up the problem: "The party is acting as if the entire world is a GOP primary. That is a very dangerous way to operate. We have massive image problems with the greater electorate, and the silly antics of the purist wing are making our dire problems even worse."*****
3959  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / three anectodes on: August 21, 2013, 11:11:52 AM
I spoke to three Egyptian doctor colleagues who are also I would call friends of mine.  One came here from Egypt with nothing became an excellent specialist from hard work, putting his head down and through sheer determination accomplished a very good reputation.  He is now disgusted at the piecemeal dismantling of his profession.  He also resents the immigrants who come here illegally and demand their rights.  He says, "no one gave me anything".  "I came here and worked for everything I have and asked for nothing" except that opportunity.  

Another is a Coptic.   He said what has Islam done for the world unlike Christianity?

A third is Muslim.  He was against Mubarak but also does not like the Muslim Brotherhood.  Everything is based on "hate" he says.

I like them all refer patients to them and would go to them myself for care if I needed it.

What a shame about what is going on in Egypt one of the world's most ancient places.  
3960  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Mosquitos are more abundant this year on: August 21, 2013, 10:43:11 AM
in "part of the US".  I am sure everyone who reads this board knows why I post in this thread.  I would have been completely totally shocked if I got through this article and there was no mention of "climate change".  Sure enough far down is the implication this is due to climate change.  And we are all being brainwashed to assume of course the change is due to man destroying his/her/gay/transgenders/gender neutral's environment.  (I am not sure which pronoun is correct so as not to offend I include a variety).

I recall my whole life that whenever we have more rain the mosquitoes have a field day.   So what's new?  NOTHING.  Just more propaganda.  The good part of this is now I remember how to spell mosquito.
Is it "mosquito"?  Is it "m*i*squito*e*" or "mosquitoe"?:

****Mosquitoes are worse this summer in parts of US

This undated handout photo provided by the Agriculture Department shows a female yellowfever mosquito probes a piece of Limburger cheese, one of few known mosquito attractants. Despite our size and technological advantages, we still can't seem to win our ancient blood battle with the pesky and lethal mosquito. In much of the nation this summer you can tell just by looking at the itchy bumps on our arms. A large section of the United States seems like it is getting eaten alive worse than usual this summer because of quirks in recent weather. It may be the worst in the Southeast, where after two years of drought when mosquito eggs laid dormant, there have been incredibly heavy rains much of the spring and summer. Rainfall in parts of North Carolina is more than two feet above normal this year. The rains have revived the dormant eggs, so the region is essentially getting three years' worth of mosquitoes in one summer. (AP Photo/Peggy Greb, USDA)

Associated Press
SETH BORENSTEIN 21 hours ago  Florida
WASHINGTON (AP) — The tiny mosquito all too often has man on the run. And this summer, it seems even worse than usual.

"You can't get from the car to inside our house without getting attacked, it's that bad," high school teacher Ryan Miller said from his home in Arlington, Va. Minutes earlier, he saw a mosquito circling his 4-month-old daughter — indoors.

Experts say it's been a buggier-than-normal summer in many places around the U.S. because of a combination of drought, heavy rain and heat.

It may be worst in the Southeast, which is getting hit with three years' worth of bugs in one summer, said Jonathan Day, who studies insects at the University of Florida.

Two years of drought were followed by incredibly heavy rain this year. During dry spells, mosquito eggs often didn't get wet enough to hatch. This year's rain revived those, along with the normal 2013 batch.

In parts of Connecticut this summer, mosquito traps had double the usual number of bugs. Minnesota traps in July had about triple the 10-year average. And in central California, traps had five times as many of one key species as the recent average.

Humans have been battling the blood-drinking bugs for thousands of years, and despite man's huge advantages in technology and size, people are not getting the upper hand. Just lots of bites on the hand.

"We have to keep fighting just to hold our own," said Tom Wilmot, past president of the Mosquito Control Association and a Michigan mosquito control district chief. And in some places, he said, the mosquitoes are winning.

In southwestern Florida around Fort Myers, Lee County mosquito control was getting more than 300 calls per day from residents at times this summer, a much higher count than usual. But the more impressive tally was the number of bugs landing on inspectors' unprotected legs: more than 100 a minute in some hotspots, said deputy director Shelly Radovan.

Across Florida near Vero Beach, Roxanne Connelly said there have been some days this month when she just wouldn't go in the backyard. It's been too bad even for her — and she's a mosquito researcher at the University of Florida and head of the mosquito association.

Many communities fight back by spraying pesticides, but mosquitoes are starting to win that battle, too, developing resistance to these chemicals. Soon many places could be out of effective weapons, Connelly and other mosquito-fighters said.

Miller, who teaches environmental sciences, said he normally would oppose spraying but has been lobbying for the county to break out the pesticides this year. The county told him there was no money in the budget and recommended he hire a private pest control business, he said.

The type that buzzed his daughter — the Asian tiger mosquito, named for its striped body — hit the U.S. a quarter-century ago in a batch of imported scrap tires in Houston and eventually spread to the Northeast, the Midwest and, in 2011, the Los Angeles area.

Climate change is also likely to worsen mosquito problems in general because the insects tend to do better in the hotter weather that experts forecast, said Chet Moore, a professor of medical entomology at Colorado State University.

Mosquitoes, of course, can be more than a nuisance: They can spread diseases. In the U.S., the biggest mosquito-borne threat is West Nile virus. Last year, there were a record 286 West Nile deaths, but this year appears to be milder.

Worldwide outside the United States, mosquito-borne diseases kill far more people than sharks, snakes and bears combined, with more than 600,000 deaths from malaria each year in poorer countries.

People should wear light-colored clothing — dark colors attract mosquitoes — long pants and long sleeves; get rid of standing water, where mosquitoes breed; and use repellents with the chemical DEET, experts said.

But even those substances may not work for long. Mosquitoes could be developing resistance to repellents as well as insecticides, said mosquito researcher James Logan at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

"It's an arms race," he said. "I always think they are one step ahead of us."****

3961  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: August 21, 2013, 10:30:28 AM
Good responses from       CD and DM.

I agree with their thoughts not Mort (except about OBama's ability to stab people in the back.)

To a large extent barak the terrible's main focus is ramming through the liberal agenda and not helping the economy.   
3962  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mort Zuckerman on Obama's rudeness to Bernanke on: August 20, 2013, 09:28:54 PM
The Brilliant Fed Chair and the Clueless President

Obama's cavalier treatment of Ben Bernanke is yet another indication of an administration clueless about how serious the country's economic condition is

By  Mortimer B. Zuckerman
August 9, 2013
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on , Wednesday, July 17, 2013, in Washington.

How good is your memory? Not many people today have personal memories of the Great Depression some 80 years ago, when thousands of banks closed. It would be natural, you'd think, to have a burning memory of what happened just five years ago when the U.S. banking system was on the brink of a similar collapse. The housing bubble burst. Lehman Brothers went bankrupt. Banks pulled back on lending, investors avoided new bonds and everyone seemed to be stockpiling cash. The economy started to contract by 5 percent to 6 percent annually. Trillions of dollars were knocked off the value of U.S. companies. The public and financial authorities had reason to believe nothing much could be done to avert a rerun of the Great Depression.

George Santayana (and before him the 18th century British philosopher and politician Edmund Burke) had history in mind when he observed that those who can't remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Five years hardly qualifies as "history," so it is unnerving that even supposedly well-informed people have forgotten how we got out of the mess. Last year, for example, the House of Representatives followed the lead of former Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul (now taken up by his son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul) in passing a motion for an audit of the Federal Reserve, as if the Fed had been a cause of our problems.

On the contrary, the Federal Reserve was quite simply our last hope. It was the chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke who came to the rescue. Bernanke, a former Princeton professor, was a scholar of the Great Depression, a background that proved critical. Right from his start in 2006, he demonstrated a tough independence. Unconvinced of inflation predictions in 2007, he refused to continue ratcheting up interest rates – and he was proved right. When the crisis hit in 2008, he went way beyond the standard response of a central banker, which would have been to lower interest rates and hope that cheaper credit would somehow work its way to more borrowing, more activity, more jobs.

It hadn't worked that way in the Great Depression. Nobody wanted to borrow because there was no demand for their products and services. Bernanke understood that the full faith and credit of the U.S. government was required for a bailout, so he devised a whole menu of unique liquidity facilities to restore credit and confidence. More than a trillion dollars in lending programs helped troubled financial firms, especially the banks. Debt from industrial corporations was bought up, and distressed mortgage assets were put onto the Fed's books. The Fed's policy sustained money market funds, commercial paper, consumer loans and more. His intervention was decisive in easing the panic.

Bernanke's boldness no doubt stemmed from his intricate understanding of the Great Depression. He literally transformed the Fed into a daring, financial first-responder and an active market participant, rather than limiting it to its traditional role of controlling the money supply. Simultaneously he joined Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson on a visit to Capitol Hill to persuade terrified politicians to embrace the famously massive fiscal injection of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. That was a close call, for at that fragile moment financial experts worried that the banks might not open the next morning.

Bernanke rallied both the Treasury Department and other central bankers around the world. He pushed other central banks to pursue expansion. Miraculously, the clogged arteries of the global financial system opened up. He leveraged whatever assets the Congress authorized him to deploy, and almost single-handedly steered the global economy back from the brink. In so doing he was able to secure enough time for the U.S. to stabilize the financial system and begin to heal its economy.

His greatest strength came from the authority endowed by his insight and understanding of the magnitude of the crisis at a time when Washington was in turmoil and the Obama presidency did not enjoy congressional confidence. Not so with Bernanke. He got behind a series of imaginative but untested emergency funding procedures for the banks. He used the Fed's balance sheet both uniquely and aggressively to buy not only short-term Treasury bills but also long-term bonds and mortgages as a way of manipulating prices and forcing policy interest rates down to virtually zero for an unprecedented period. This lowered both short- and long-term interest rates. He also didn't hesitate to suggest that the Fed would do even more if these measures didn't work.

Through it all, Bernanke retained a unique candor. He spelled out the costs and risks of these unconventional policies. He made it clear that the more the Fed had to persist, the more difficult it would be to get the world back into a state of normal balance.

To this day, the Fed has not yet been able to wind down his innovative policies – for good reason. The U.S. economy in the four years since the recession ended has been growing at less than half the rate of any other recession since World War II. We are still living with a real unemployment rate of at least 14 percent, punishing millions of a new "lost generation." Some 37 percent of the unemployed have been out of work for over six months. And we have failed to attain "escape velocity" to return to steady growth.

That is the justification – the imperative in Bernanke's view – for continuing to purchase Treasury and mortgage-backed bonds at the level of $85 billion a month, or a trillion dollars a year. He has managed this "quantitative easing" through three different phases and remains committed to continuing it to keep short-term interest rates at record-low levels at least until the unemployment rate falls to 6.5 percent.

And what did he receive for this from the president of the United States? A back-of-the-hand comment in a recent PBS television interview with Charlie Rose that the Federal Reserve chairman had stayed longer than he wanted or was supposed to. This made it clear that Bernanke's days as Fed chairman were numbered despite his unpredicted triumph. This was all done with just seven months left in his appointed term, thus depriving the chairman of the dignity of making his own announcement and even precluding the decision that he might not want to re-up for another tour of duty after eight exhausting years of the worst economic and financial crisis since the 1930's.

The market naturally reacted to President Obama's statement. The equity market lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the next two days. It was not the send-off that Bernanke deserved. The best the president could muster by way of complimenting this brilliant and courageous man was to describe him as an "outstanding partner" with the White House. Partner? The White House was the critical player here only in the sense that its economic policies had drained the confidence of the business community. (By the way, since the Federal Reserve is an independent agency overseen by Congress, no Fed chairman reacts well to the description of "partner," for it undermines the integrity and independence of the Federal Reserve and its leader.) And the stab in the back was carried out while Bernanke was conducting an important Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

It could be argued that Bernanke has made mistakes. He was perhaps a little loose in implying that the Fed might soon cut back its stimulus efforts. But his remarks were intended to minimize speculative activity that relied on the Fed's buying of these bonds, and calm was soon restored.

History will marvel at the role that he played in his seven tumultuous years, intervening so bravely and boldly in Wall Street in ways never before contemplated. As the only operator in Washington who was capable of juicing up the economy in the short term, there is now a fear that when Bernanke quits there will be nobody in Washington capable of leading us out of the unemployment and underemployment that is devastating millions of Americans.

But he leaves a legacy: Buying bonds without limits to their quantity or duration is now an acceptable policy. The financial markets have also adjusted to having the Fed as a key participant, which is a dramatically different role than that of monetary policymaking.

Bernanke's Fed was quite simply our last hope, preventing an economy from sliding into a financial abyss. Our economy still has a way to go before it regains full strength, but the president's mean-spirited dismissal of perhaps the greatest central banker in our history is yet another indication of an administration that has no clue of how serious the country's current economic condition is. What a shame to have so cavalierly treated the very architect of the policies that saved America from another Great Depression.

3963  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Canadian and American on: August 19, 2013, 08:48:17 AM

Egads!  Born in Calgary 1970.  How can we argue this is ok after just arguing that Obama birthplace was an issue?   Both have (had) mother's who were American citizens.

At least he shows us his birth certificate unlike his highness.

I guess this means he is running in 2016.  It remains to be seen if he can win over enough voters to his strict conservative views.  Lets hope so.

3964  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Victor Davis Hanson on: August 18, 2013, 10:02:19 PM
A conservative we know, but a Democrat? huh
3965  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) and the 4th & 9th Amendments on: August 18, 2013, 08:29:38 PM
"The 17 pages of this thread are dedicated to those of us who do get it and provoking awareness of just how serious this is.  That we have 50,000+ reads for this thread says some of us do get it."

Who are the 50,000 plus readers and how come so few post?   Are you sure it isn't the NSA, Google, organized crime, Chinese, Russians, Nigerians or Iranians just sparking hits while they troll the net?

I understand that some do get it yet we don't see general public outrage.   Is it because there is outrage or concern that is just not being heard?  Or because it still is so few of us who get it?

I listen to Savage and Levin who both view Snowden more positively than other Republicans such as McCain or the Bush crowd.  I agree with them too and view him more as a whistleblower than a traitor.    While they both express outrage over government surveillance of its own citizens neither to my knowledge says a peep about big corporations, doing the same thing.   

I don't get a sense at all that our law enforcement is interested in this either.   Unless one is a famous celebrity whose ipad is hacked.  All we here about is crime is down.   Well violent crime maybe.  But white collar is skyrocketing.   And it is bed with our politicians.
3966  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Water on: August 18, 2013, 01:02:46 PM
I've some are looking into using CO2 as a vehicle to pump into the ground to wedge open the rocks to release hydrocarbons.   Capture the CO2 emission of nat gas or coal then pump this into the ground to avoid release into the atmosphere and at the same time save water and get our fuel.
3967  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The left's war on plants on: August 18, 2013, 12:59:15 PM
Quote from Doug's post:

"...enhanced carbon dioxide has a drastic effect on plants because it is the main food source for the plants... So if you change the carbon dioxide drastically by a factor of two, the whole behavior of the plant is different. Anyway, that’s so typical of the things they ignore. They are totally missing the biological side, which is probably more than half of the real system."

Yes liberal environmentalists almost ignore the benefit to plants of rising CO2.
The Greens are *waging war* on plants by trying to choke them to death by reducing CO2.   If only plants could vote......

The first time I read anything about plants doing better is this article that picks on a single plant only to further their agenda:

****Poison Ivy is Growing Out of Control, Thanks to Climate Change

Sean Breslin Published: Jul 24, 2013, 2:55 PM EDT

Poison ivy. (Flickr/Diego3336)

A rising carbon dioxide level is bad for many things on our planet, but there's one plant that eats it up like candy: poison ivy.

Higher levels of carbon dioxide benefit the growth of all plants, yet poison ivy seems to be enjoying it more than most, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Poison ivy's growth and potency has doubled since the 1960s, the newspaper reports. With CO2 rates expected to rise from 400 parts per million to 560 ppm in the next 30 to 50 years, it could double again.

If carbon dioxide levels reach 800 ppm by the end of the century, as the report suggests they could, poison ivy would become even more prevalent.

"Poison ivy and vines in general really, really benefit from higher atmospheric CO2," Jacqueline Mohan, assistant professor of biology at the University of Georgia, told the Post-Gazette.

According to Sustainable Business, poison ivy leaves have grown as big as pie pans in some parts of the country. Bears, deer and other animals that eat the plants won't experience a food shortage in the coming years.

The creatures' voracious appetite for the plant should lessen the chance of humans experiencing serious reactions to the ivy's oil, known as urushiol.

The enhanced poison ivy won't just threaten humans with its rash-creating oil, it could also kill trees at a faster pace. Sustainable Business also mentions that the plant can quickly crawl up trees and starve them, and when combined with the possibility that climate change could cause more intense wildfires, there could be more fuel for blazes if more dead trees are in the path.

A Grist article notes poison ivy is one of few plants thriving in the forests along the South Carolina coast. Then, to demonstrate the enhanced nature of a 21st-century attack, the piece concludes by documenting the trials of climate and energy blogger David Roberts, affected by a recent bout with poison ivy.

The frustration and likelihood of a brush with urushiol will only grow, affecting more people, until poison ivy's carbon dioxide food supply is slowed and eventually choked off.****
3968  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / "It took me about an hour" on: August 18, 2013, 10:00:51 AM
To paint one of his works of art all sold out:
3969  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: August 17, 2013, 07:08:11 PM

Walmart Earnings Disaster Exposes a Collapsing Economy: Davidowitz

.By Jeff Macke | Breakout – Thu, Aug 15, 2013 10:24 AM EDT..

Walmart (WMT) reported earnings of $1.24 a share this morning on revenues of $116.2 billion. Analysts had been expecting $1.25 on $118.5 billion. Sales in stores open more than a year declined 0.3%. Walmart also guided lower for the full year citing a "challenging sales and operating environment." The stock is off sharply and at risk of going negative for the last 52 weeks.

Those are the numbers, but not the whole story. Walmart is the thermometer of the American economy. Disregard the government data. Jobs and GDP and all the rest are at best inaccurate measures of the economy and at worst flat out corrupt. Walmart is capitalism writ large. The entire organization is focused on nothing but selling goods and services to Americans. It may be an empire in decline, but Walmart sells more than $1 billion worth of merchandise per day in a bad quarter. When Walmart misses estimates, it can only mean one of two things: either Walmart or the American economy is weaker than anyone thought.

Related: 3 Signs Walmart's Best Days Are Behind It

"Walmart is a terrific operator... They didn't suddenly become stupid," says says Howard Davidowitz, one of the top retail minds in the country. "The economy is in collapse. That's what's going on."

Davidowitz points out that Walmart isn't just a store for the downtrodden. They have 150 million customers which collectively spent less in Walmart stores than in the same period last year. Davidowitz says another 50 million customers shop at Target (TGT), which he also expects to have negative comp stores sales when it reports next week.

Don't forget that Macy's (M) also missed expectations yesterday. Three makes a trend. The GDP data is positive and the employment data says things are improving gradually. Either the best merchants in America forgot how to sell, Americans stopped consuming beyond their means, or the economy is turning south, not getting better.

Related: Macy's Miss Another Sign Retail Isn't the Place to Be: Hoenig

"I don't think we're in a recession right now, but I think there's a 50 percent chance we'll be in one next year," Davidowitz shouts, and there's nothing the government is going to be able to do about it. "We've spent all the money, we've borrowed all the money, and we're in the tank."
3970  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jewish autonomy region on: August 17, 2013, 10:18:51 AM
3971  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science and Military Issues on: August 17, 2013, 03:52:12 AM
"“Perhaps it is time to take a hard look at what really makes a competent combat soldier and not rely on traditional notions of masculine brawn that celebrate strength over other qualities,” Col. Haring says in the current issue of Armed Forces Journal."

True.   It is not like the days when weapons were swords, shields, pickaxes, long bows, or bayonets.   How strong does one have to be to pull a trigger, or right click on a toggle switch that sends in a drone?  I guess one could have a dispenser for tampons inside the tank alongside the gov. paid for BCP.
3972  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: August 17, 2013, 03:46:27 AM
If we could be sure the vast majority of the people who renounce US citizenship for tax reasons were to vote Democrat Obama would be pushing to grant them all amnesty.

Isn't that what the amnesty for illegals is all about?

If one is living in India and investing in Britain then why should they have the privilege of being a US citizen without paying taxes?

What happens to someone from the US who goes to Costa Rica and retires.   Does that person still pay income tax to the US?   I would think so if they are still a US citizen.
3973  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) and the 4th & 9th Amendments on: August 17, 2013, 03:33:32 AM
" The inevitable end of surveillance is self-censorship."

It already is this way with political "incorrect" speech.

"Privacy is connected to personhood. It has to do with intimate things—the innards of your head and heart, the workings of your mind—and the boundary between those things and the world outside."

"We talk about this now because of Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency revelations, and new fears that we are operating, all of us, within what has become or is becoming a massive surveillance state."

Where is the beginning and end of privacy when a person uses electronic devices.  All devices are now wireless and can be intruded upon.  They are all made with ways to get into them.  By the companies that make the devices, the software, or intercepting wireless transmissions.  What about big data the private tech companies are hoarding about us?

One can't even "opt out".   Why no outrage over this?  Why is it Google's, or Microsoft's, or Apple's, or Amazon's business what I say, where I go, what I buy, or what I write?

Are people saying we must trust them yet not trust the government.   The invasion of privacy and our thoughts is coming from the private as well as the government sector.

Snowden called those who would not agree naïve.   I agree.   I  am living it so I understand.   Most people do not and appear cannot understand.   As I have said they will some day.  Maybe now people are waking up to it?
Some on the right (and left) are using the surveillance issues for political purposes..   I agree with this from either political point of view.   I also submit that we should all be very concerned about what private legal and illegal entities are also doing with  the power they wield with all the information they are gathering with and without our consent.

3974  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Clinton Foundation - looks like a lot of people getting rich behind this on: August 16, 2013, 07:34:30 PM
New York Times
Soon after the 10th anniversary of the foundation bearing his name, Bill Clinton met with a small group of aides and two lawyers from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Two weeks of interviews with Clinton Foundation executives and former employees had led the lawyers to some unsettling conclusions.

The review echoed criticism of Mr. Clinton’s early years in the White House: For all of its successes, the Clinton Foundation had become a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and threatened by conflicts of interest. It ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, despite vast amounts of money flowing in.

And concern was rising inside and outside the organization about Douglas J. Band, a onetime personal assistant to Mr. Clinton who had started a lucrative corporate consulting firm — which Mr. Clinton joined as a paid adviser — while overseeing the Clinton Global Initiative, the foundation’s glitzy annual gathering of chief executives, heads of state, and celebrities.

The review set off more than a year of internal debate, and spurred an evolution in the organization that included Mr. Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, taking on a dominant new role as the family grappled with the question of whether the foundation — and its globe-spanning efforts to combat AIDS, obesity and poverty — would survive its founder.

Now those efforts are taking on new urgency. In the coming weeks, the foundation, long Mr. Clinton’s domain since its formation in 2001, will become the nerve center of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s increasingly busy public life.

This fall, Mrs. Clinton and her staff will move into offices at the foundation’s new headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, occupying two floors of the Time-Life Building. Amid speculation about her 2016 plans, Mrs. Clinton is adding major new initiatives on women, children and jobs to what has been renamed the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

Worried that the foundation’s operating revenues depend too heavily on Mr. Clinton’s nonstop fund-raising, the three Clintons are embarking on a drive to raise an endowment of as much as $250 million, with events already scheduled in the Hamptons and London. And after years of relying on Bruce R. Lindsey, the former White House counsel whose friendship with Mr. Clinton stretches back decades, to run the organization while living part-time in Arkansas, the family has hired a New York-based chief executive with a background in management consulting.

“We’re trying to institutionalize the foundation so that it will be here long after the lives of any of us,” Mr. Lindsey said. “That’s our challenge and that is what we are trying to address.”

But the changing of the guard has aggravated long-simmering tensions within the former first family’s inner circle as the foundation tries to juggle the political and philanthropic ambitions of a former president, a potential future president, and their increasingly visible daughter.

And efforts to insulate the foundation from potential conflicts have highlighted just how difficult it can be to disentangle the Clintons’ charity work from Mr. Clinton’s moneymaking ventures and Mrs. Clinton’s political future, according to interviews with more than two dozen former and current foundation employees, donors and advisers to the family. Nearly all of them declined to speak for attribution, citing their unwillingness to alienate the Clinton family.

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Last Thursday, Mr. Clinton arrived two hours late to an exuberant welcome at a health clinic about 60 miles north of Johannesburg. Children in zebra-striped loincloths sang as Mr. Clinton and Ms. Clinton made their entrance, and the former president enthusiastically explained how his foundation had helped the South African government negotiate large reductions in the price of drugs that halt the progress of HIV. Aaron Motsoaledi, South Africa’s minister of health, heaped praise on the effort. “Because of your help we are able to treat three and a half times more people than we used to,” he told the crowd.

The project is typical of the model pioneered by the Clinton Foundation, built around dozens of partnerships with private companies, governments, or other nonprofit groups. Instead of handing out grants, the foundation recruits donors and advises them on how best to deploy their money or resources, from helping Procter & Gamble donate advanced water-purification packets to developing countries to working with credit card companies to expand the volume of low-cost loans offered to poor inner city residents.

The foundation, which has 350 employees in 180 countries, remains largely powered by Mr. Clinton’s global celebrity and his ability to connect corporate executives, A-listers and government officials. On this month’s Africa trip, Mr. Clinton was accompanied by the actors Dakota Fanning and Jesse Eisenberg and the son of the New York City mayoral candidate John A. Catsimatidis, a longtime donor.

For most of the foundation’s existence, its leadership has been dominated by loyal veterans of the Clintons’ political lives. Ira C. Magaziner, who was a Rhodes scholar with Mr. Clinton and ran Mrs. Clinton’s failed attempt at a health care overhaul in the 1990s, is widely credited as the driving force behind the foundation’s largest project, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, which, among other efforts, negotiates bulk purchasing agreements and price discounts on lifesaving medicines.

Mr. Band, who arrived at the White House in 1995 and worked his way up to become Mr. Clinton’s closest personal aide, standing behind the president on golf courses and the global stage, helped build the foundation’s fund-raising structure. He conceived of and for many years helped run the Clinton Global Initiative, the annual conference that draws hundreds of business leaders and heads of state to New York City where attendees are pushed to make specific philanthropic commitments.

Today, big-name companies vie to buy sponsorships at prices of $250,000 and up, money that has helped subsidize the foundation’s annual operating costs. Last year, the foundation and two subsidiaries had revenues of more than $214 million.

Yet the foundation’s expansion has also been accompanied by financial problems. In 2007 and 2008, the foundation also found itself competing against Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign for donors amid a recession. Millions of dollars in contributions intended to seed an endowment were diverted to other programs, creating tension between Mr. Magaziner and Mr. Band. The foundation piled up a $40 million deficit during those two years, according to tax returns. Last year, it ran more than $8 million in the red.

Amid those shortfalls, the foundation has sometimes catered to donors and celebrities who gave money in ways that raised eyebrows in the low-key nonprofit world. In 2009, during a Clinton Global Initiative gathering at the University of Texas at Austin, the foundation purchased a first-class ticket for the actress Natalie Portman, a special guest, who brought her beloved Yorkie, according to two former foundation employees.

In interviews, foundation officials partly blamed the 2008 recession and difficulties in getting donors to provide operating support rather than restricted grants for specific programs for the deficits.

But others criticized Mr. Magaziner, who is widely seen within the foundation as impulsive and lacking organizational skills. On one occasion, Mr. Magaziner dispatched a team of employees to fly around the world for months gathering ideas for a climate change proposal that never got off the ground. Another time, he ignored a report — which was commissioned at significant expense from the consulting firm McKinsey & Company — on how the foundation could get involved in forestry initiatives.

Mr. Magaziner’s management style and difficulty keeping projects within budget were also raised in discussions that surrounded the 2011 Simpson Thacher review. (One person who attended a meeting with Mr. Magaziner recalled his lying on a conference room table in the middle of the meeting because of terrible back spasms, snapping at a staff member.)

Mr. Band repeatedly urged Mr. Clinton to fire Mr. Magaziner, according to people briefed on the matter. Mr. Clinton refused, confiding in aides that despite Mr. Magaziner’s managerial weaknesses, he was a visionary with good intentions. The former president, according to one person who knows them both, “thinks Ira is brilliant — and brilliant people get away with a lot in Clinton world.”

Indeed, by then, Mr. Magaziner had persuaded Mr. Clinton and the foundation to spin the health initiative off into a separate organization, with Mr. Magaziner as its chief executive and the Clinton Foundation appointing a majority of its board members. The financial problems continued. In 2010 and 2011, the first two years when the health initiative operated as a stand-alone organization, it ran annual shortfalls of more than $4 million. A new chief financial officer, hired in 2010, left eight months later.

A foundation official said the health initiative had only three chief financial officers in 10 years and that its financial problem was a common one in the nonprofit world: For all the grant money coming in — more than $160 million in 2011 — Mr. Magaziner had also had difficulty raising money for operating costs. But by the end of 2011, the health initiative had expanded its board, adding two seats. Chelsea Clinton took one.

Growing Ventures

As the foundation grew, so did the outside business ventures pursued by Mr. Clinton and several of his aides.

None have drawn more scrutiny in Clinton circles than Teneo, a firm co-founded in 2009 by Mr. Band, described by some as a kind of surrogate son to Mr. Clinton. Aspiring to merge corporate consulting, public relations and merchant banking in a single business, Mr. Band poached executives from Wall Street, recruited other Clinton aides to join as employees or advisers and set up shop in a Midtown office formerly belonging to one of the country’s top hedge funds.

By 2011, the firm had added a third partner, Declan Kelly, a former State Department envoy for Mrs. Clinton. And Mr. Clinton had signed up as a paid adviser to the firm.

Teneo worked on retainer, charging monthly fees as high as $250,000, according to current and former clients. The firm recruited clients who were also Clinton Foundation donors, while Mr. Band and Mr. Kelly encouraged others to become new foundation donors. Its marketing materials highlighted Mr. Band’s relationship with Mr. Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative, where Mr. Band sat on the board of directors through 2011 and remains an adviser. Some Clinton aides and foundation employees began to wonder where the foundation ended and Teneo began.

Those worries intensified after the collapse of MF Global, the international brokerage firm led by Jon S. Corzine, a former governor of New Jersey, in the fall of 2011. The firm had been among Teneo’s earliest clients, and its collapse over bad European investments — while paying $125,000 a month for the firm’s public relations and financial advice — drew Teneo and the Clintons unwanted publicity.

Mr. Clinton ended his advisory role with Teneo in March 2012, after an article appeared in The New York Post suggesting that Mrs. Clinton was angry over the MF Global controversy. A spokesman for Mr. Clinton denied the report. But in a statement released afterward, Mr. Clinton announced that he would no longer be paid by Teneo.

He also praised Mr. Band effusively, crediting him with keeping the foundation afloat and expressing hopes that Mr. Band would continue to advise the Global Initiative.

“I couldn’t have accomplished half of what I have in my post-presidency without Doug Band,” Mr. Clinton said in the statement.

Even that news release was a source of controversy within the foundation, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. Mr. Band helped edit the statement, which other people around the Clintons felt gave him too much credit for the foundation’s accomplishments. (The quotation now appears as part of Mr. Band’s biography on the Teneo Web site.)

Mr. Band left his paid position with the foundation in late 2010, but has remained involved with C.G.I., as have a number of Teneo clients, like Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical and UBS Americas. Standard Chartered, a British financial services company that paid a $340 million fine to New York regulators last year to settle charges that it had laundered money from Iran, is a Teneo client and a sponsor of the 2012 global initiative.

Last year, Coca-Cola’s chief executive, Muhtar Kent, won a coveted spot on the dais with Mr. Clinton, discussing the company’s partnership with another nonprofit to use its distributors to deliver medical goods to patients in Africa. (A Coca-Cola spokesman said that the company’s sponsorship of foundation initiatives long predated Teneo and that the firm plays no role in Coca-Cola’s foundation work.)

In March 2012, David Crane, the chief executive of NRG, an energy company, led a widely publicized trip with Mr. Clinton to Haiti, where they toured green energy and solar power projects that NRG finances through a $1 million commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative.

Officials said the foundation has established clear guidelines for the Clinton Global Initiative to help prevent any favoritism or special treatment of particular donors or sponsors.

Teneo was not the only worry: other events thrust the foundation into internal turmoil. In 2011, a wave of midlevel program staff members departed, reflecting the frustration of much of the foundation’s policy personnel with the old political hands running the organization. Around the time of the Simpson Thacher review, Mr. Lindsey suffered a stroke, underscoring concerns about the foundation’s line of succession. John D. Podesta, a chief of staff in Mr. Clinton’s White House, stepped in for several months as temporary chief executive.

While much attention has focused on Mrs. Clinton’s emerging role within the foundation, advisers to the family say her daughter’s growing involvement could prove more critical in the years ahead. After years of pursuing other career paths, including working at McKinsey & Company and a hedge fund, Ms. Clinton, 33, has begun to assert herself as a force within the foundation. Her perspective is shaped far more than her parents’ by her time in the world of business, and she is poised to play a significant role in shaping the foundation’s future, particularly if Mrs. Clinton chooses to run for president.

She formally joined the foundation’s board in 2011, marking her growing role there — and the start of intensifying tensions between her and Mr. Band. Several people close to the Clintons said that she became increasingly concerned with the negative impact Mr. Band’s outside business might have on her father’s work and that she cited concerns raised during the internal review about potential conflicts of interest involving Teneo.

It was Ms. Clinton who suggested that the newly installed chief executive, Eric Braverman, be considered for the job during a nearly two-year search. A friend and a former colleague from McKinsey, Mr. Braverman, 38, had helped the Clintons with philanthropic projects in Haiti after the earthquake there. And his hiring coincided with Ms. Clinton’s appointment as the vice chairwoman of the foundation board, where she will bear significant responsibility for steering her family’s philanthropy, both in the causes it tackles and in the potential political and financial conflicts it must avoid.

Ms. Clinton has also grown worried that the foundation she stood to inherit would collapse without her father, who turns 67 next week. Mr. Clinton, who had quadruple-bypass surgery in 2004 and no longer eats meat or dairy products, talks frequently about his own mortality.

Mr. Catsimatidis said Ms. Clinton “has to learn how to deal with the whole world because she wants to follow in the footsteps of her father and her mother.”

Shifting the Emphasis

Over the years, the foundation has dived into virtually any cause that sparked Mr. Clinton’s interest: childhood obesity in the United States, sustainable farming in South America, mentoring entrepreneurs, saving elephants from poaching, and more. That list will shift soon as Mrs. Clinton and Chelsea build their staffs to focus on issues including economically empowering women and combating infant mortality.

In the coming months, as Mrs. Clinton mulls a 2016 presidential bid, the foundation could also serve as a base for her to home in on issues and to build up a stable of trusted staff members who could form the core of a political campaign.

Mrs. Clinton’s staff at the foundation’s headquarters includes Maura Pally, a veteran aide who advised her 2008 presidential campaign and worked at the State Department, and Madhuri Kommareddi, a former policy aide to President Obama.

Dennis Cheng, Mrs. Clinton’s deputy chief of protocol at the State Department and a finance director of her presidential campaign, will oversee the endowment drive, which some of the Clintons’ donors already describe as a dry run for 2016.

And Mrs. Clinton’s personal staff of roughly seven people — including Huma Abedin, wife of the New York mayoral candidate Anthony D. Weiner — will soon relocate from a cramped Washington office to the foundation’s headquarters. They will work on organizing Mrs. Clinton’s packed schedule of paid speeches to trade groups and awards ceremonies and assist in the research and writing of Mrs. Clinton’s memoir about her time at the State Department, to be published by Simon & Schuster next summer.
Lydia Polgreen contributed reporting, and Kitty Bennett contributed research.

A version of this article appeared in print on August 14, 2013, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Unease at Clinton Foundation Over Finances and Ambitions.
3975  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: August 15, 2013, 08:38:51 AM
How is it one day Drudge has report on the NYT article at corruption within the Clinton Foundation and the next day the NYT website crashes and one can barely find any other reports about it?

Amazing what money and power can do.
3976  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / This is a big deal screening CT approved by USPTF on: July 30, 2013, 07:54:37 AM
The article does not specify details but I can see the report in the journal.  Other organizations have already recommended this.  The pulmonary doctors and those who own CT scans are dancing in the streets now.   I don't necessarily agree with ding these but this endorsement will definitely give the green light to screening tests:
3977  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: July 29, 2013, 09:07:11 PM
"Huma for mayor"   rolleyes

Must be the same crowd that keeps telling us how beautiful she is.  cheesy
3978  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: July 29, 2013, 08:59:58 AM
"and can be quite hot";  That is what I mean.  Does anyone think Hillary can be quite hot?  And as I thought.   Except for some exceptions the crat machine was silent about Weiner until comparisons with the Clintons began.  Now the Clinton "machine" will dispose of them.   Including Alexrod who is going to protect Hillary.   And as the article below points out, who is Huma.  She is nobody next to the former first lady and sec of state and senator.  There is simply nothing to compare the two with:

******Bill and Hillary Clinton are 'livid' at comparisons to Weiner’s sexcapades and Huma’s forgiveness
Last Updated: 8:19 AM, July 29, 2013
Posted:  1:40 AM, July 29, 2013

Fredric U. Dicker

 Bill and Hillary Clinton are angry with efforts by mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner and his campaign to compare his Internet sexcapades — and his wife Huma Abedin’s incredible forgiveness — to the Clintons’ notorious White House saga, The Post has learned.

“The Clintons are upset with the comparisons that the Weiners seem to be encouraging — that Huma is ‘standing by her man’ the way Hillary did with Bill, which is not what she in fact did,’’ said a top state Democrat.

Huma Abedin with Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State at a House Appropriations Committee hearing in 2011.Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton in 2008.Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner on their wedding day. Bill Clinton officiated the nups in the gardens of the Long Island castle.

Huma Abedin with Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State at a House Appropriations Committee hearing in 2011.

 Weiner and his campaign aides have explicitly referred to the Clintons as they privately seek to convince skeptical Democrats that voters can back Weiner despite his online sexual antics — just as they supported then-President Bill Clinton in the face of repeated allegations of marital betrayals.

“The Clintons are pissed off that Weiner’s campaign is saying that Huma is just like Hillary,’’ said the source. “How dare they compare Huma with Hillary? Hillary was the first lady. Hillary was a senator. She was secretary of state.”

A longtime Hillary aide and Clinton friend, Abedin’s surprisingly unequivocal support of her husband after his bombshell admission Tuesday that he engaged in salacious online sexting well after he resigned in disgrace from Congress in 2011 left the Clintons stunned, continued the source.

“Hillary didn’t know Huma would do this whole stand-by-your-man routine, and that’s one of the reasons the Clintons are distancing themselves from all this nonsense,’’ the source said.

Huma Abedin with Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State at a House Appropriations Committee hearing in 2011.Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton in 2008.Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner on their wedding day. Bill Clinton officiated the nups in the gardens of the Long Island castle.

In the view of many Democrats, the Weiners have also alluded more subtly to the Clintons.

For instance, Abedin, with her husband at her side, declared last week, “Our marriage, like many others, has had its ups and its downs.’’

“Who didn’t think Huma was referring to the Clintons when she said that?’’ asked another prominent Democrat.

Worried about the potential impact on Hillary’s likely run for president in 2016, the political power couple has begun aggressively distancing itself from the crippled mayoral contender, according to sources.

Meanwhile, at least one prominent Hillary Rodham Clinton political operative was described as close to “going public’’ with a sharp criticism of Weiner — in order to send the message that the Clintons, fearing longtime damage to Hillary, want him out of the mayor’s race. (That would be someone other than former Clinton White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers, who said yesterday that she was sure the Clintons wanted Weiner out of the race.)

With all the explosive ammunition Republicans have to fire at Weiner and a handful of other disgraced Democrats, GOP activists expected Senate co-leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb to unload at least a few critical comments.

Instead, there’s been total silence from the state’s two top elected Republicans — in yet another example of the collapse of the state’s two-party system.

Skelos “couldn’t care less about what’s going on with the Democrats. He’s just focused on . . . sending out meaningless tweets,’’ said a Republican strategist.*****

3979  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: July 28, 2013, 10:19:41 PM
The kiss of death for Weiner was having Huma stand by him.  Dems are fleeing in droves.  Can't have this guy drag their 2016 investment into the picture by way of Huma.  Besides it is for NYC mayor only.  And they got their Alternative.   So for the first time I can recall feminists are finally abandoning a Democrat:
3980  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / heart surgery in India for less than 2000. on: July 28, 2013, 08:41:57 PM
Heart Surgery in India for $1,583 Costs $106,385 in U.S.
By Ketaki Gokhale - Jul 28, 2013 2:30 PM ET Facebook Share Tweet LinkedIn Google +1 66 Comments
Devi Shetty is obsessed with making heart surgery affordable for millions of Indians. On his office desk are photographs of two of his heroes: Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi.

Shetty is not a public health official motivated by charity. He’s a heart surgeon turned businessman who has started a chain of 21 medical centers around India. By trimming costs with such measures as buying cheaper scrubs and spurning air-conditioning, he has cut the price of artery-clearing coronary bypass surgery to 95,000 rupees ($1,583), half of what it was 20 years ago, and wants to get the price down to $800 within a decade. The same procedure costs $106,385 at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

“It shows that costs can be substantially contained,” said Srinath Reddy, president of the Geneva-based World Heart Federation, of Shetty’s approach. “It’s possible to deliver very high quality cardiac care at a relatively low cost.”

Medical experts like Reddy are watching closely, eager to see if Shetty’s driven cost-cutting can point the way for hospitals to boost revenue on a wider scale by making life-saving heart operations more accessible to potentially millions of people in India and other developing countries.

“The current price of everything that you see in health care is predominantly opportunistic pricing and the outcome of inefficiency,” Shetty, 60, said in an interview in his office in Bangalore.

Cutting costs is especially vital in India, where more than two-thirds of the population lives on less than $2 a day and 86 percent of health care is paid out of pocket by individuals. A recent study by the Public Health Foundation of India and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found that in India non-communicable ailments such as heart disease are now more common among the poor than the rich.

One in four people there die of a heart attack and per-capita health spending is less than $60 a year. Yet the country performs only 100,000 to 120,000 heart surgeries each year, well short of the 2 million Shetty estimates are needed. The mortality rate from coronary artery disease among South Asians is two to three times higher than that of Caucasians, according to a study published in 2008 in the journal Vascular Health and Risk Management.

Dietary Patterns
“There has been fast urbanization in India that’s brought with it a change in dietary patterns and lifestyle,” said Usha Shrivastava, head of public health at the National Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation. “It’s leading to this huge jump in cardiovascular disease.”

The average age for a first heart attack in India, Pakistan and other South Asian nations was 53 years, compared with 58.8 years in countries outside the region, according to a study published in 2007 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The biggest impediment for heart surgery in India is accessibility. Shetty aims to bridge that by building hospitals outside India’s main cities. He said he plans to add 30,000 beds over the next decade to the 6,000 the hospital chain has currently, and has identified 100 towns with populations of 500,000 to 1 million that have no heart hospital.

A 300-bed, pre-fabricated, single-story hospital in the city of Mysore cost $6 million and took six months for construction company Larsen & Toubro Ltd. to build, Shetty said. Only the hospital’s operating theaters and intensive-care units are air-conditioned, to reduce energy costs.

Changing Procedures
One of the ways in which Shetty is able to keep his prices low is by cutting out unnecessary pre-op testing, he said.

Urine samples that were once routine before surgery were eliminated when it was found that only a handful of cases tested positive for harmful bacteria. The chain uses web-based computer software to run logistics, rather than licensing or building expensive new systems for each hospital.

That might cover the cost of linens here:

****When Shetty couldn’t convince a European manufacturer to bring down the price of its disposable surgical gowns and drapes to a level affordable for his hospitals, he convinced a group of young entrepreneurs in Bangalore to make them so he could buy them 60 percent cheaper.

In the future, Shetty sees costs coming down further as more Asian electronics companies enter the market for CT scanners, MRIs and catheterization labs -- bringing down prices. As India trains more diploma holders in specialties such as anesthesiology, gynecology, ophthalmology and radiology, Narayana will be able to hire from a larger, less expensive talent pool.

One positive unforeseen outcome may be that many of the cost-saving approaches could be duplicated in developed economies, especially in the U.S. under health reform.

“Global health-care costs are rising rapidly and as countries move toward universal health coverage, they will have to face the challenge of providing health care at a fairly affordable cost,” said the World Heart Federation’s Reddy, a New Delhi-based cardiologist who is also president of the Public Health Foundation of India. ****

3981  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2nd post in duo on: July 28, 2013, 08:13:51 PM;_ylt=A0oG7kkEwfVR1xkAi8FXNyoA;_ylc=X1MDMjc2NjY3OQRfcgMyBGJjawM0dTllN2E5OHZiZWpoJTI2YiUzRDQlMjZkJTNEMkhKdmdibHBZRUt5YlFGMk1pRlExZVNsVDZUdFEycjJseWtuUkEtLSUyNnMlM0RsOCUyNmklM0RJMlJMalBTTDFhZTlxc1NoOFRITwRjc3JjcHZpZANOVW1QOWtnZXVyQlBKY2RTVWZXNmNSSDFHT1MxbzFIMXdRUUFDdVRPBGZyA2ZwLXR0cy0xMjAEZnIyA3NiLXRvcARncHJpZANWbjJMd1FXRVRpLkVrVUZOLkVSajFBBG5fcnNsdAMxMARuX3N1Z2cDMTAEb3JpZ2luA3NlYXJjaC55YWhvby5jb20EcG9zAzAEcHFzdHIDBHBxc3RybAMEcXN0cmwDMTAEcXVlcnkDZGlhbmUgbGFuZQR0X3N0bXADMTM3NTA2MDM5NDk4MgR2dGVzdGlkA0FDQlkwNQ--?p=diane+lane&fr2=sb-top&fr=fp-tts-120
3982  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: July 28, 2013, 08:13:04 PM
No question she must have gotten an A in her body language class.   Shoulders back, chin up, straight erect spine, one hand at side while other gestures with authority.  But Diane Lane, I hardly think so.
3983  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Interesting post on: July 27, 2013, 12:03:01 PM

Very interesting.   I recall reading theories of why baseballs seemed to travel farther than in the past.  If I recall the focus was on the baseball construction. Not the bat.   I remember seeing  surge in what appeared like balls rocketing off bats into the bleachers and thinking how the heck was that a homerun.  Even announcers were questioning how balls seemed to travel farther with what appeared to be less bat contact than in the past.

Some estimated a change in ball composition led to an extra 20 feet to the distance of balls hit.

Maybe bats are also part of the equation.   As well as steroids.  As well as better training methods.  It seems like everyone swings like Mickey Mantle these days.  The one hand finish to the swing is ubiquitous.  Studies must have shown that letting go with the one hand at the end of the swing is superior.   

I wish they would have done more for pitchers.  I miss the perennial 20 game winners.  Going to be tough for any  more 300 game winners anymore.
3984  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Organized & Disorganized Religion and anti-religion on: July 27, 2013, 11:55:20 AM
The progressives are replacing religion with big government. 

There is not God.  Don't look to God.  Look to government.

Government, not religion, determines right and wrong. 

More mind control.

3985  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: July 27, 2013, 11:23:48 AM

Robert Scheer
Robert Scheer July 17, 2013  PoliticsFederal Reserve SystemBarack ObamaBen BernankeLawrence SummersPresidency of Barack ObamaWall Street

Tell me it's a sick joke: Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, the guy who tops the list of those responsible for sabotaging the world's economy, is lobbying to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. But no, it makes perfect sense, since Summers has long succeeded spectacularly by failing.

Why should his miserable record in the Clinton and Obama administrations hold him back from future disastrous adventures at our expense? With Ben Bernanke set to step down in January, and Obama still in deep denial over the pain and damage his former top economic adviser Summers brought to tens of millions of Americans, this darling of Wall Street has yet another shot to savage the economy.

Summers was one of the key players during the Clinton years in creating the mortgage derivative bubble that ended up costing tens of millions of Americans their homes and life savings. This is the genius who, as Clinton's Treasury secretary, supported the banking lobby's successful effort to make the sale of unregulated bundles of mortgage securities and the phony insurance swaps that backed them perfectly legal and totally unmonitored. Those are the toxic bundles that the Federal Reserve is still unloading from the banks at a cost of trillions of dollars.

But back on July 30, 1998, when he was deputy Treasury secretary, Summers assured the Senate agriculture committee that the "thriving" derivatives market was the driving force of American prosperity and would be fatally hurt by any government regulation of the sort proposed by Brooksley Born, the stunningly prescient chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Summers opined that "the parties to these kinds of contracts are largely sophisticated financial institutions that would appear to be eminently capable of protecting themselves from fraud and counterparty insolvencies. ... "

Consider the astounding stupidity of that statement and the utter ignorance upon which it was based. One financial CEO after another has testified to not knowing how the derivatives were created and why their worth evaporated. Think of AIG and the other marketers of these products that were saved from disaster only by the injection of government funds not available to foreclosed homeowners whose mortgages were wrapped into those toxic securities.

Most of those dubious financial gimmicks were marketed by the too-big-to-fail banks made legal by another piece of legislation supported by Summers and passed a year later when Clinton tapped him to be Treasury secretary. Summers was an ardent proponent of repealing the Glass-Steagall Act that prevented the merger of highflying investment houses with traditional commercial banks entrusted with the government insured deposits of ordinary folks.

The first result of destroying that sensible barrier to too-big-to-fail banks was the creation of Citigroup as the biggest bank in the world. Threatened by its wild derivative trading, it had to be saved from bankruptcy with an infusion by taxpayers of $45 billion in U.S. government aid and a guarantee for $300 billion of its toxic assets.

Summers had condemned Glass-Steagall as an example of "archaic financial restrictions" and called instead for "allowing common ownership of banking, securities and insurance firms." A decade later, while in the Obama administration, Summers worked to prevent a return to the Glass-Steagall prohibition in the Dodd-Frank legislation.

The need to restore that reasonable banking regulation implemented by President Franklin Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression was acknowledged by bipartisan legislation introduced last week in the Senate by Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and John McCain, R-Ariz. "It will take a lot of tools to get rid of too-big-to-fail, but one of them ought to be that if you want to do high-stakes gambling, good on you, but you do not get access to people's checking accounts and savings accounts," Warren told Bloomberg News on Friday in urging the return of Glass-Steagall.

As opposed to Summers, who continued to insist on the wisdom of ending essential financial regulation, McCain, who had voted for the repeal, has seen the error of that decision. "Since core provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act were repealed in 1999, shattering the wall dividing commercial banks and investment banks, a culture of dangerous greed and excessive risk-taking has taken root in the banking world," the senator said in a press release Thursday announcing the legislation.

Even Sanford Weill, who headed Citigroup after pushing for the reversal of Glass-Steagall, had the good sense to acknowledge his mistake, saying in a statement a year ago: "What we should probably do is go and split up investment banking from banking. Have banks do something that's not going to risk the taxpayer dollars, that's not going to be too big to fail." Richard Parsons and John Reed, two other former high-ranking officers of Citigroup, also have called for the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall.

The question then is why Summers, the man who got it all wrong, would imagine that he could be in the running to head the Federal Reserve? Why would he ever fantasize that President Obama might turn to someone who always gets it wrong to right a still struggling economy?

Maybe because he knows Obama better than we do. After all, it was a massive infusion of Wall Street money that helped Obama get elected both times. And Wall Street, which showered Summers with almost $8 million in speaking fees and hedge fund profits during the 2008 campaign while he advised Obama, clearly would approve of this greed enabler as the next Fed chairman.

Robert Scheer is editor of, where this column originally appeared. Email him To find out more about Robert Scheer and to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Webpage at

3986  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: July 27, 2013, 10:53:03 AM
We know Noam Chomsky isn't going to go out and vote for Palin if she should ever run.  Surely he thinks Obama is not enough of a radical liberal not the other way around from Palin's perspective.

We are forever reading about the split in the Republican party but we never hear about any in the Democratic side.   The left seems very good at coming together and voting like a large machine/block.

Like a steamroller.
3987  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: July 26, 2013, 10:47:00 PM

Are Republicans fooling themselves about Obamacare?

By BYRON YORK | JULY 22, 2013 AT 7:40 PM

165Comments   Share on print Share on email 



Topics: Analysis Columnists

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When Washington conservatives gather to talk among themselves, and the discussion turns to Obamacare -- it happens pretty frequently -- it's not unusual to hear predictions that the president's health care law will "collapse of its own weight." It's a "train wreck," many say, quoting Democratic Sen. Max Baucus. It's unworkable. It's going to be a big, smoking ruin.

Some predict chaos beginning Oct. 1, when the law requires Obamacare exchanges, the online marketplaces in which people will be able to shop for insurance, to be up and running. And maybe that will happen; the day is a little more than two months off, and the administration seems far behind schedule in the work that needs to be done.

On the other hand, a lot of thoughtful conservatives are looking beyond Oct. 1 to Jan. 1, the day the law (except for the parts the president has unilaterally postponed) is scheduled to go fully into effect. On that day the government will begin subsidizing health insurance for millions of Americans. (A family of four with income as high as $88,000 will be eligible for subsidies.) When people begin receiving that entitlement, the dynamics of the Obamacare debate will change.

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At that point, the Republican mantra of total repeal will become obsolete. The administration will mount a huge public relations campaign to highlight individuals who have received government assistance to help them afford, say, chemotherapy, or dialysis, or some other life-saving treatment. Will Republicans advocate cutting off the funds that help pay for such care?

The answer is no. Facing that reality, the GOP is likely to change its approach, arguing that those people should be helped while the rest of Obamacare is somehow dismantled.

The administration is fully aware of its advantage. Last week officials invited several prominent liberal bloggers to a special White House Obamacare briefing. From the reporting that resulted -- one headline included the declaration "Implementing the Affordable Care Act is going to be a huge success" -- administration officials are quite confident that, whatever problems arise, Obamacare will be solidly in place after the money starts flowing on Jan. 1.

"Neither Democrats nor Republicans liked to emphasize how much the Affordable Care Act debate was about redistribution rather than health care as such, but there's a lot of money here," wrote Slate's Matthew Yglesias, who attended the briefing. "The law is structured to be financially beneficial to a large majority of people, and the infrastructure is in place to make that clear to a critical mass of them."

Truth be told, many Republicans did note that redistribution is at the heart of Obamacare. But the fact is, the redistributing will begin Jan. 1. And whatever else goes wrong with Obamacare, look for the White House to apply whatever fixes it must to make sure the money keeps flowing.

"The last few months have shown us that the administration will do whatever it needs to do -- whether it is in the law or not, within its formal powers or beyond them -- to prop up collapsing elements and avoid political disasters in the near term," said Yuval Levin, a former Bush administration staffer and one of Obamacare's most perceptive critics, in an email exchange. "That often means pure ad hoc governing where they just do whatever they have to in order to avoid allowing the system's worst problems and failings to become apparent in the near term."

None of this is to say Obamacare won't face huge problems. The most obvious is that it will make things worse for more people than it helps. If that disparity is huge -- that is, if on one side there are many millions of people paying more for coverage than they did previously, losing coverage they were satisfied with, and suffering through great uncertainty, while on the other side there are far fewer people receiving direct government subsidies -- if that happens, then the political fight over Obamacare will intensify rather than fade. But even then, the subsidies are unlikely to go away.

Obamacare could face even bigger problems. The most serious is the so-called "death spiral," which could occur if too few young, healthy people sign up for coverage, dramatically raising the cost of covering everyone else.

But collapse of its own weight? The administration's insurance against that is the billions of dollars that will start flowing out of Washington Jan. 1. Once that happens, Republicans will likely stop talking about Obamacare's collapse and will instead start searching for ways to limit the harm done to millions of Americans.

Byron York, the Washington Examiner's chief political correspondent, can be contacted at His column appears on Tuesday and Friday on
3988  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Democrat pols body language. on: July 26, 2013, 08:28:45 AM
Ah there it is again.  The lip biting pose.

I notice more and more Democratic pols using the *lip bite" façade when they are trying to emote.   This was made popular when Clinton was pretending he was going through some sort of religious transformation during Lewinsky and his other sex scandals.   I recently notice Bamster using this during his I could have been Travon speech.

I guess they fool some of the people all of the time with this stage manipulation of facial expressions.
3989  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: July 26, 2013, 08:10:18 AM
GM,  I am not sure the FDA is "partisan" but I would agree there likely is corruption there from a money point of view.

There was an article about corrupt research and the FDA in Scientific American a couple of months back.  If I can find it I will try to post.

I notice that in between my favorite talk radio shows, mostly on weekends are these endless so called experts (expert con artists if you ask me) hawking there latest natural treatments for all sorts of ubiquitous ills.

Almost all of it is nonsense.   Even the "science" they base their claims are is junk and often corrupt.   
3990  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, & "discrimination" on: July 25, 2013, 09:23:24 AM
Liberal media love new Jesus book 'Zealot', fail to mention author is Muslim

By John S. Dickerson
Published July 24, 2013


Reza Aslan, author of the new book, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” has been interviewed on a host of media outlets in the last week. Riding a publicity wave, the book has surged to #2 on Amazon's list.

Media reports have introduced Aslan as a “religion scholar” but have failed to mention that he is a devout Muslim.

His book is not a historian’s report on Jesus. It is an educated Muslim’s opinion about Jesus -- yet the book is being peddled as objective history on national TV and radio.

“Zealot” is a fast-paced demolition of the core beliefs that Christianity has taught about Jesus for 2,000 years.

Aslan is not a trained historian. Like tens of thousands of us he has been formally educated in theology and New Testament Greek.

He is a bright man with every right to hold his own opinion about Jesus—and to proselytize his opinion.

As a sincere man, Aslan’s Muslim beliefs affect his entire life, including his conclusions about Jesus. But this is not being disclosed. “Zealot” is being presented as objective and scholarly history, not as it actually is—an educated Muslim’s opinions about Jesus and the ancient Near East.

“Zealot” is a fast-paced demolition of the core beliefs that Christianity has taught about Jesus for 2,000 years. Its conclusions are long-held Islamic claims—namely, that Jesus was a zealous prophet type who didn’t claim to be God, that Christians have misunderstood him, and that the Christian Gospels are not the actual words or life of Jesus but “myth.”

These claims are not new or unique. They are hundreds of years old among Muslims. Sadly, readers who have listened to interviews on NPR, "The Daily Show," Huffington Post or MSNBC may pick up the book expecting an unbiased and historic report on Jesus and first century Jewish culture. (I will let my Jewish friends address Aslan’s statement on MSNBC that, “there were certainly a lot of Jewish terrorists in first century Palestine.”)

As a journalist and author who is Christian I cannot imagine penning a so-called objective biography of Muhammad and then concealing my conflict of interest in national media interviews.

In world history there are no religions more violently and anciently opposed than the crusading, fighting, at times blood-shedding rivals of historic Islam and historic Christianity. Even non-violent Muslims and Christians, like Aslan and myself, understand that we hold aggressively oppositional views—particularly about Jesus. National news coverage of “Zealot” has ignored this conflict of interest.

“Zealot” is written with the self-assumed authority of groundbreaking revelation from a historian. In reality, it is a religious person’s opinion about Jesus—from an adherent to the religion that has been in violent opposition to Christ for 1,400 years.

Aslan informs us that we cannot trust the Gospel of Mark--because it was written 40 years after Jesus’ death. He then chides us to trust his new book, written almost 2,000 years later.

I believe in Aslan’s right to hold and propagate any opinion. It’s a right that, ironically, Christians do not have in many Muslim countries.

My concern is that national media coverage be smart and forthright about this conflict of interest, just as it would be if I—a Christian author and pastor—wrote a book about Muhammad.

Pouring praise onto “Zealot” as new information about Jesus, without explaining its author’s devotion to a combatting religion, is blatant bias. This same bias would be unthinkable if the Christian and Muslim roles were reversed.

With its riveting demolition of Jesus, “Zealot” will continue to attract interviews—some from reporters who want to see Jesus deconstructed. Many more interviews will come from reporters who simply don’t understand that Reza Aslan has a horse in this race. He is not an objective observer, but, to use his own word, a zealot, with religious motivation to destroy what Western culture has believed about its central figure for hundreds of years. In many ways, this conflict is larger than Christianity and Islam. It is a conflict of Western and Middle Eastern foundations. These are great and important debates that we should welcome, but let’s be honest about our motivations, positions and conflicts of interest as we dialogue.

Let’s hope reporters in future interviews will, being informed, mention the glaring conflict of interest in this Islamic opinion of Jesus. It is no more objective than my educated views about Muhammad, as a Christian.

“Zealot” is not new work from a historian. It is a sophisticated presentation of views that Muslims have held about Jesus for more than 1,000 years.

John S. Dickerson  is author of the book “The Great Evangelical Recession: 6 Factors that Will Crash the American Church…and How to Prepare”  and senior pastor of Cornerstone  in Prescott, Arizona. Follow him on Facebook  or Twitter @JohnSDickerson.

Read more:
3991  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / It's about time on: July 24, 2013, 09:22:11 AM
I've posted before how I think it wrong that there are countless sales pitches for so called natural products that "might" cure or treat every illness known to man with almost no legal or regulatory challenge.
3992  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / take a guess gay pride parade or UFC? on: July 19, 2013, 08:56:31 AM
trust me.  I wouldn't say it to their faces:
3993  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi and related matters on: July 19, 2013, 08:28:22 AM
survivors forced to sign non disclosure

Obstruction of justice at the highest level.  This sounds like a Hillary trick.

Of course it is in the interests of "national" security.   Not just her political career security.

No outrage.  No response.  Not even a blip in the media's noise meter for the day. 

And people trust the government to control and monitor and manipulate the world's internet?

3994  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security, Border Protection, and American Freedom on: July 17, 2013, 04:24:16 PM
From Crafty's post above.

"places a chill over every citizen in not only America but the world. It should also chill all news reporters, pundits, filmmakers, writers, thinkers, philosophers, patent and copyright holders, strategists and communicators in every branch of the arts and sciences."

One can forget about intellectual property being protected except by the very rich and powerful.

Finally, at least a few people are recognizing this.   Way too late for me.   Probably too late for all of us.

I know I am a minority on this board.  But I still think Snowden is a hero.

3995  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Law Enforcement on: July 16, 2013, 09:11:40 PM
End only of one chapter.   There is no legal punishment that fits the crimes of this monster:
3996  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / potential avenue for obesity research and maybe investment on: July 14, 2013, 09:15:01 PM
interesting research angle into the obesity and diabetes conditions.  diabetes @ tends to reverse within a few days after bariatric surgery even before the major weight loss has occurred suggesting the anatomical changes in the proximal gut alter the chemistry via gastrointestinal hormones in a way the change metabolism.  This same chemical alterations may lead to drugs that can induce the same changes without the surgery.  NGM biopharmaceuticals is private but has entered into agreement with Medimmune:

NovoNordiscs victoza used for Type 2 diabetes treatment is known to induce several percent weight loss.  At this time it is FDA approved only for diabetes.  A dose of 3 mg (vs the 0.6 to 1.8 for diabetes) is being researched for FDA approval for use in obesity.  It may cause and ?maintain up to 8% weigh loss.  I am not sure if all its mechanisms are known.  It delays stomach emptying this making feel full faster and less hungry and is also thought to work directly through the brain as well.   I wonder if adding that to the VVUs drug  would add additional benefits.  Some combinations I have read do not add much if any benefit however.

*Of course for us male and female studs on this board we do not need such help.  I am speaking of the millions of couch potatoes who sit at desks all day and commute for hours.*
3997  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, & "discrimination" on: July 14, 2013, 08:40:21 PM
Another twist was a female lawyer on cable today suggesting those who criticize the verdict are really discriminating against women because the jury and judge were all female.


There seems no end to this by who those intent on turning this small town trial into spearheads for any variety of  national political agendas or money making campaigns from marketers, medias, attorneys, race baiters, politicians, book writers, and possibly book deals, or fifteen minutes of fame from jurors.

Everyone has their own opinion and mine is manslaughter would have been the closet to fit the circumstance.  It does bother me a 17 child walks to the store for soda and candy and gets killed on the way home while taking a shortcut.   Zimmerman did start the whole think.   

That said turning this into a the civil rights issue of the century is just beyond my logic.

It remains to be seen how harassed will Zimmerman be and for how long.  On one hand he will suffer pushback forever.  On the other hand this might be a money making opportunity for him.
3998  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism: on: July 13, 2013, 09:11:25 PM
 Doug writes,

"Yes, and they won't see the hypocrisy that the year of the woman needs to follow the year we ended all gender distinctions, eliminating terms like wife, bride and motherhood."

Excellent point.  I hadn't thought of that.   As for Hillary fatigue I sure hope you are right.   No sooner did I post my comments above when I get this weeks Economist with this article in it. 

*****The Economist
World politics

Sexual politics

More than half the electorate

Will the “war on women” rhetoric help Democrats?
 Jul 13th 2013  | WASHINGTON, DC  |From the print edition

The battleground

IT HAS been a busy few weeks for Republican foes of abortion. The House of Representatives has passed a bill banning it after 20 weeks of pregnancy; a similar one is expected to be introduced in the Senate soon. A bill imposing a 20-week limit on the District of Columbia is pending in the Senate, backed by 34 Republicans.

There is action in the states, too. Republican-led legislatures in Texas and North Carolina are considering various restrictions; the one in Wisconsin recently approved some, only to have them suspended by a court. All told, the first half of the

Democrats like to describe these measures as part of a Republican “war on women”. As further evidence, they point to foot-dragging from Republicans in Congress over measures aimed at promoting equal pay for women and preventing domestic violence, along with the outlandish comments about sex made by Republican politicians every now and again. Trent Franks, the congressman who sponsored the 20-week limit in the House, argued against an exemption for victims of rape, claiming that the number of rapes that led to pregnancy was “very low”. A colleague, Michael Burgess, suggested that fetuses are already masturbating by 20 weeks—although only male ones.

Similar comments probably cost Republicans two Senate seats in last year’s election, and seem to have lost the party votes more broadly, argues Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report. Although Barack Obama’s support among men dropped by four percentage points compared with 2008, to 45%, it fell by only one point among women. His lead there, of 11 points, was much bigger than his deficit among men, of seven points. In fact, the “gender gap” favoured the Democrats even more, since women cast 53% of votes. Democratic charges of Republican sexism seem to have boosted turnout among young, single women (a strongly left-leaning group). They have also given married suburban women with misgivings about Mr Obama’s economic stewardship reason to hesitate before voting Republican.

Yet Republicans are unfazed, continuing to push abortion curbs that have little or no chance of becoming law. The Senate, for example, is sure to squelch the House’s 20-week limit on abortions. Even if it did not, Mr Obama would veto it. Legislatures in North Dakota and Arkansas have approved laws banning abortions from six and 12 weeks respectively. The Supreme Court is unlikely to let either law stand.

Jonathan Collegio of American Crossroads, a conservative campaign outfit, argues that this persistence simply reflects the priorities of the party’s supporters: “Christian voters are still a major part of the Republican coalition, often the most intense and likely to vote, and it’s foolish to pretend they don’t exist.”

Republicans scoff at the idea that they are waging war on women. They favour equal pay, they say, but not rules that make it too easy to sue employers. The Democrats’ rhetoric will backfire, they add, if they use it to oppose policies many women support, including certain curbs on abortion. Polls show that most favour keeping abortion legal, but support drops off dramatically the later in a pregnancy it occurs. A narrow majority seems to support a 20-week limit; a large one opposes late-term abortions. Similarly, argues Stu Rothenberg, an election analyst, laws that impose stricter medical standards on abortion clinics mark an attempt by Republicans to placate their base without offending the majority of voters.

Relatively few voters, however, base their votes on abortion or other “social issues”. Just 4% of respondents to the latest Economist/YouGov poll rated abortion as “the most important issue”; 31% chose the economy. Linda DiVall, a Republican pollster, argues that Democrats keep banging on about the war on women purely as a distraction from the disappointing state of the economy. If Republicans were to find a more compelling way to talk about that, she believes, it would render the Democratic attacks moot.*****
3999  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The coming women's infatada on: July 13, 2013, 07:45:35 AM
With Hillary as their point woman we will be barraged with the feminism infatada, like the gay one we have been subjected to over the next couple of yrs.

CNN, and the rest of the liberal media will be waging propaganda campaigns like we have never seen.   It will be NOW style feminism on steroids.  It will use the gay infatada mass media tactics as a template.   "shame", "bullying", "disgrace", "sexist", "civil rights", will all be part of it.  Every single thing a woman does will be celebrated.  Like the woman UFC fighter.   Like the woman nascar racers.  They are the first this the first that.   All to coincide with the sudden need for the first woman president;  guess who.   There was never a peep when Sarah was a VP candidate.   Why?  Because it could not be a Republican.  It has to be a liberal staunch believer in the Democrat party and the socialist elite taking over the world.   For all our own good, of course.
4000  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: July 12, 2013, 07:58:32 AM
In the final paragraph the impression is being made that this is a "global warming" problem.   From what I read the glaciers on the West of Antarctica are shrinking but are getting larger on the East Side.   It is admitted the phenomenon of large ice breaks from glaciers is poorly understood.   
Yet the global warming crowd will seize on this and use it as armament for their cause of the day.
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