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4001  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris' poll on Wisconsin on: February 24, 2011, 07:31:38 PM
MSNBC announcers with great glee yesterday citing polls that people of Wisconsin are "breaking" with Governor Walker.  I am a bit surprised (and disappointed) that most people appear to think collective bargaining for government employees is OK.  I don't get it.  They like paying for the largess.  Without limiting this won't taxpayers always have to be at risk of being held up for more money?

****« REVOLT!: STATES LEAD THE WAYTHE DICK MORRIS POLL ON WISCONSIN
By Dick Morris02.24.2011
ANNOUNCING THE LAUNCH OF THE DICK MORRIS POLL and FIRST STATEWIDE POLL RESULTS OF WISCONSIN VOTERS

February 24, 2011

Dick Morris, a veteran pollster with thirty years of experience in national and international polling, is announcing the launch of The Dick Morris Poll, which will focus on timely political issues and candidates. Drawing on his polling expertise, Dick will provide the results and an analysis of each poll.

Dick Morris was President Clinton’s pollster for 20 years, and has done polling for 30 Senators and Governors and 14 presidents or prime ministers in foreign countries.

The Dick Morris Poll, to be published at least once a month, will use the traditional polling method of telephone calls to registered voters. On occasion, internet polls will be done of a carefully drawn random sample of likely voters – in order to avoid the bias of relying only on those participants with a political predisposition.

The initial poll is the first published poll of voters conducted within the state of Wisconsin and was completed on Monday, February 21, 2011 and Tuesday, February 22, 2011.

WISCONSIN POLL RESULTS

The Dick Morris Poll conducted a telephone survey among 409 likely Wisconsin voters. The survey has a margin of error of +- 4%.

Findings: Wisconsin voters break almost evenly on Governor Walker’s proposed reforms, supporting them by a margin of 51-47.

They support many aspects of the proposal by significant numbers:

VOTERS SUPPORT CHANGING THE BENEFITS TO STATE WORKERS, PAY, AND AUTOMATIC DEDUCTION OF UNION DUES

• By 74-18, they back making state employees pay more for their health insurance.
• By 79-16, they support asking state workers contribute more toward their pensions.
• By 54-34, Wisconsin voters support ending the automatic deduction of union dues from state paychecks and support making unions collect dues from each member.
• By 66-30, they back limiting state workers’ pay increases to the rate of inflation unless voters approve a higher raise by a public referendum.

VOTERS OPPOSE CHANGING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS

On the issue of limiting collective bargaining to wage and benefit issues, however, they break with the Governor, opposing the proposal by 41-54.

If the issues to be taken off the bargaining table are related to giving schools flexibility to modify tenure, pay teachers based on merit, discharge bad teachers and promote good ones, however, they support such limits on collective bargaining by 58-38.

ANALYSIS: Voters back the principal of collective bargaining. But they are also willing to limit these negotiations so that they would not impede education reforms.

For Governor Walker to prevail, he must focus on his goal of achieving reform in schools. He will not prevail as long as his proposal is essentially negative in nature (i.e. limiting collective bargaining). But if he emphasizes the positive intent that lies behind the proposal (i.e. giving schools the flexibility and freedom to implement education reforms), he will find a solid public majority behind him.

(c) COPYRIGHT 2011, DICK MORRIS AND EILEEN MCGANN. REPRINTS WITH WRITTEN PERMISSION ONLY.****
4002  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / King vs. Piers on: February 24, 2011, 07:21:49 PM
I thought Piers is pretty good but I guess his ratings have fallen.  I am surprised Larry King criticized him.  It is interesting that one of King's complaint is Piers "is not dangerous enough".   I kind of thought King was always rather wishy washy himself:

Piers Morgan, Larry King spar over CNN veteran's jibe
 – British journalist Piers Morgan (pictured) sparred verbally with his CNN predecessor Larry King, after … – Thu Feb 24, 3:22 am ET
LOS ANGELES (AFP) – British journalist Piers Morgan sparred verbally with his CNN predecessor Larry King, after the US veteran criticized Morgan's talk show technique.

Morgan, who took over in January after King bowed out following 25 years as host of "Larry King Live," light-heartedly suggested he would have to punch the 77-year-old following his jibes in a BBC interview.

"I have spent the last few months saying following you is like following Sinatra. I couldn't have paid you higher praise. And you go in my back yard and say I'm... oversold, undangerous," said Morgan.

King told BBC radio last week he thought Morgan had been "oversold" when he started at CNN, saying: "He's good, but not that dangerous. I think they might have been better off starting quietly."

Damning with faint praise, King added: "He's certainly not bad. He's certainly an acceptable host. He asks good questions, maybe he interrupts a little too much at times."

Defending himself on Morgan's show, King insisted he didn't think the British host was dangerous.

Morgan replied: "We couldn't come in and undersell me. I'm following a legend. You can't follow Sinatra in Vegas and say 'By the way, I'm not very good, and this is going to be useless.'"

King, deadpanning: "Why can't you just say: 'Piers Morgan. I'm coming. Watch me.' What's wrong with that?"

After briefly squaring up for a pretend across-the-table punch -- King said he had heard that Morgan had suggested he would punch him for the BBC jibe -- the British host agreed to change the subject.

But they came back to it at the end of the interview, when Morgan presented King with a pair of suspenders -- the CNN veteran's onscreen trademark -- with a Union Jack flag pattern.

The pair then got into another pretend verbal tussle over the fact that "suspenders" in British English are an item of women's underwear, the British word being "braces."

"So I've been wearing ladies' underwear all these years?" asked King.

"That's what the Brits think," replied Morgan.

"You're dangerous," joked King.


4003  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / radical community organizer meets with companies that control flow on internet on: February 24, 2011, 02:57:59 PM
Supposedly the meeting is for job creation.  That said, Obama meeting with Google owners, CEOs etc should raise eyebrows and questions.  This is all the more reason net neutrality may very well be a good idea.  Do we really want the most radical guy in the WH we have ever had meeting with those who can control the flow of information, and commerce and all communication on the internet without some sort of controls or regulation?  Very thought provoking.

*****Hosted by      Back to Google NewsObama meets with heads of Facebook, Apple, Google to discuss job creation
By Darlene Superville (CP) – 6 days ago

WOODSIDE, Calif. — President Barack Obama assembled some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley to confer on jobs and innovation, trying to get leaders from companies like Google and Apple behind his push to keep spending on high-tech initiatives even as Republicans are out to slash the budget.

Wunderkind Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, and Steve Jobs, the Apple founder and CEO who announced last month that he was taking his third medical leave, were among a dozen business leaders who met with Obama in California Thursday evening. Also attending were the heads of Twitter, Yahoo!, NetFlix and Oracle, and the president of Stanford University.

The dinner at the home of John and Ann Doerr in the San Francisco Bay area was closed to the media. Doerr, a partner at the venture capital firm of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, attended the meeting.

Obama wants to spend billions on clean energy, education, high-speed Internet and other programs even as his new budget proposal calls for a five-year freeze on domestic spending in certain other areas. The approach is getting a frosty reception from newly empowered Republicans on Capitol Hill, who are pushing steep cuts to a wide range of programs and balking at new spending.

The president argues that targeted spending, including education initiatives aimed at producing a more sophisticated workforce, is crucial for job creation and future U.S. competitiveness with other nations. A stamp of approval from the Silicon Valley's leading innovators and job creators could help.

At the same time, the president's meeting Thursday extends outreach to the business community that he's embarked upon since Democrats suffered steep losses in the November midterm elections. With unemployment stuck at 9 per cent, Obama has been pleading with corporate America to hire.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday that the high-tech sector has been "a model, really, for that kind of economic activity that we want to see in other cutting-edge industries in the U.S. where jobs can be created in America and kept in America, and that's what he wants to talk about."

After his stop in California, Obama was planning to tour Intel Corp.'s semiconductor manufacturing facility in Hillsboro, Ore., on Friday with CEO Paul Otellini. Otellini, who was among a group of CEOs who met privately with Obama in December, has criticized Obama's policies as creating uncertainty for business.

Obama has left Washington weekly since his Jan. 25 State of the Union to highlight his plans to boost education, innovation and infrastructure. Education is this week's theme.

Obama last visited California and Oregon, both states he won easily in 2008, during a four-state swing in October.

___

AP White House Correspondent Ben Feller and Associated Press writers Julie Pace and Erica Werner contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2011 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.
4004  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: February 24, 2011, 02:16:11 PM
"The
teachers bargained in good faith; they have a contract and the
State signed and agreed."

Well, a little more accurately, the Democratic party machine signed and agreed.
Taxpayers had no clue.
4005  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: February 23, 2011, 12:51:37 PM
Isn't Brian Wesbury a bull 100% of the time.  I don't recall him every saying anything negative.

Then again I don't follow him much anymore.
4006  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: February 23, 2011, 10:36:27 AM
Wow, Fareed Zakaria let this through (editor of Time)!

It is really an outrage how the Dems are out in force demogagueing this.  We should be grateful to them for weekends, the 8 hour day. rolleyes
Collective bargaining is a *right* akin to voters rights, the right to liberty, the right to property etc etc. rolleyes

This turns back 50, 60, 80 years of "progress". rolleyes

The average Joe has the right to tell their prosepctive employer what their salary should be and not told what their pay should be. rolleyes

All people who own property or pay state income/sales or other taxes should be the ones outraged.   angry
4007  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Net neutrality. Good,Bad,Ugly on: February 22, 2011, 12:01:16 PM
After reading this article and now understand the reasoning for "net neutrality".

From Scientific American:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=keep-the-internet-fair

Keep the Internet Fair
The government's net neutrality compromise fell flat. Here's a simple fix

By The Editors  | March 3, 2011 | 6
 
The island of Key Biscayne, Fla., sits in the Atlantic Ocean 10 miles southeast of Miami. Its 10,000 residents depend on the Rickenbacker Causeway, a four-mile-long toll bridge connecting the island to the mainland, for all their supplies. Right now all vehicles passing through must pay a set toll—$1.50 for cars, $9.00 for three-axle cargo trucks, and so on. But what would happen if a bridge owner decided to charge a toll based not on the size of a vehicle but on the cargo it was carrying? He could let his brother’s lumber-supply company through for free and make its chief competitor pay through the nose. He could force the Winn-Dixie grocery store to double its prices, pushing area residents to local restaurants. In short, the bridge owner would have the power to control everything that the residents of Key Biscayne have access to.

This is the essence of the widely discussed but little understood concept of “net neutrality.” The bridge, in this case, represents the lines that carry the Internet to your home computer or smart phone. So far Internet service providers have for the most part treated all content equally. The worry is that, sensing a business opportunity, they might strike deals with certain content providers to deliver faster access for a fee or to block some information entirely. The worry isn’t completely theoretical; Comcast recently told the company that delivers Netflix streaming videos that it needed to pay up if it wanted to access Comcast’s customers. (Lost on no one was the fact that Netflix directly competes with Comcast’s own video-on-demand service.)

To make matters worse, most Americans have only one choice of high-speed broadband provider; the most fortunate have two. Unhappy subscribers cannot just leave and get their Internet elsewhere. This effective monopoly leaves consumers with little protection from a provider that has the means to filter everything that they can buy, watch and read.

Internet service providers contend that they must retain the flexibility to manage their networks in the way they see fit—slowing or blocking some high-bandwidth applications to ensure reliable service for all. Network management is a serious concern, but it must not become a cover for policies that censor any content displeasing to the corporate gatekeeper. The Federal Communications Commission approved a rule last December that was intended to ensure equal treatment of content providers. Yet while the FCC rule prohibits “unreasonable” discrimination of network traffic, it fails to spell out what unreasonable behavior entails. The ruling is vague in ways that only a Washington, D.C., lawyer could love; the only certainty it gives is of the tens of thousands of billable hours to be spent arguing over the meaning of “unreasonable” in federal court.

The fix, however, is simple. As the FCC goes about enforcing this ban on so-called unreasonable policies, it should clarify that the only kind of unreasonable discrimination is discrimination against particular applications.

What would this mean in practice? Instead of the “all you can eat” data plans of today, Internet service providers could sell customers access by the gigabyte. They could limit performance at peak times of the day to help balance network load or offer superfast plans at higher prices.

Internet service providers would not, however, be able to determine which applications go fast and which go slow. They would not be able to reach a deal with Facebook to speed up that site’s page loads while slowing down LinkedIn. They could not put Skype calls through a bottleneck or throttle back all video-streaming sites, because these are all judgments based on application. This clarification gives Internet service providers the leeway they need to maintain healthy networks, as well as plenty of incentive to invest in advanced network infrastructure for those customers willing to pay for ultrahigh-speed service. But it takes away the power of Internet service providers to choose winners and losers. We can accept that a bridge owner can charge vehicles based on their size—$1.50 for cars, $9.00 for three-axle cargo trucks—but a democratic society can’t abide discrimination based on content.

4008  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: February 22, 2011, 10:09:18 AM
JDN,
I thought you are a TR man, you know, speak softly and carry a big stick.
Unlike Obama who is speaks softly and carries a little stick.

TR strentghened us overseas not weakened us.  I doubt very much he apologized for us either.

As for TR, well;
TR was the guy who on San Juan Hill after shooting a guy in the belly while running up the hill cackled with glee and excitement at the experience OF SHOOTING ANOTHER HUMAN BEING!.  War is/was war no doubt.  However, his own record of how great he thought shooting someone else was, is something I never could forget about him.  Could anyone imagine the same of say Grant, or Eisenhower?

Ans , you know the same guy whose pleasure was to go around the world and kill animals for sport.
4009  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: February 22, 2011, 09:20:58 AM
Kostas,
Great post and thank you for your thoughts.

"Obama is perceived as not quite so ready to resort to military action, as was his predecessor and those around him (Cheney, et al)."

And to add to Crafty's comment,
Our enemies certainly love Obama for the this reason IMHO.



4010  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: February 21, 2011, 02:13:16 PM
Kostas,
Thanks for the inside scoop.

One question on this statement you made,

 "In fact, I have also heard many Greeks declaring that they dislike Americans (or more specifically American Foreign Policy)"

Here the main stream media would have us believe that Obama has done alot to improve our image overseas.
Do you think this is true from you vantage point?
4011  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / GWill: A Mitch Daniels fan on: February 21, 2011, 02:08:09 PM
Mitch Daniels' case for a less strident conservatism

By George Will 2/17/11
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | At first, the banquet audience at the 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference paid Mitch Daniels, Indiana's Republican governor, the conventional compliment of frequently, almost reflexively, interrupting his address with applause. But as they realized they were hearing something unconventional - that they were being paid the rare compliment of being addressed as reflective adults - they reciprocated his respect with quiet attention to his elegant presentation of conservatism for grown-ups.

America, he said, faces "a survival-level threat," a new "Red Menace" consisting of ink. No enterprise, public or private, "can remain self-governing, let alone successful, so deeply in hock to others as we are about to be." Some people accept or "even welcome" a "ballooning of the state" that consigns America to "a gray parity" with other profligate nations. Such people believe history is controlled by a "leftward ratchet," always - never mind "the Reagan Interruption" - moving toward a more powerful state.

For such people, the task now is merely defensive: The Obama administration's spending commitments - e.g., the health-care law is designed to "engulf private markets and produce a single-payer system or its equivalent" - will produce a leviathan state and reduce the American world preeminence some people deplore.

Focusing on earmarks (a "pernicious practice" but a "trifle") and "waste, fraud and abuse," says Daniels, trivializes the task of administering "bariatric surgery" to a "morbidly obese" government. He favors restoring to presidents the power to impound appropriated funds ("you'd be amazed how much government you'll never miss"). But the big twofold task is to reform entitlements and produce economic growth - "a long boom of almost unprecedented duration."

Americans must say "an affectionate thank-you" to the last century's major social welfare programs - then sunset them, after those Americans "currently or soon to be enrolled" in them have passed from the scene. Social Security and Medicare should be updated to conform to Americans' "increasing longevity and good health." Medicare 2.0 should respect Americans' dignity and competence by empowering them to make "their own decisions" by delivering its dollars directly to individuals and expecting them to "pay for more of their routine care like the discerning, autonomous customers we know them to be."

To spur economic growth, we must "untie Gulliver": "The regulatory rainforest through which our enterprises must hack their way is blighting the future of millions of Americans." Barack Obama's recent executive order to prune the forest was, Daniels said, akin to the world's leading rap music producer suddenly expressing alarm about obscenity. And Daniels thinks conservatives' "first thought" should be about "those still on that first rung of life's ladder":

"Upward mobility from the bottom is the crux of the American promise, and the stagnation of the middle class is in fact becoming a problem, on any fair reading of the facts. Our main task is not to see that people of great wealth add to it but that those without much money have a greater chance to earn some."

Author of the most succinct characterization of the Obama agenda ("shock-and-awe statism"), Daniels has practiced the lean government he preaches. Under him, Indiana has its fewest state employees since 1978, the nation's lowest state-government employment per capita, the lowest effective property taxes and the third-lowest per capita spending. So he has the credentials to counsel conservatives about the need to compromise in the interest of broadening the constituency for difficult reforms.

"Change of the dimension we need," says Daniels, "requires a coalition of a dimension no one has recently assembled," including people who "surf past C-SPAN to get to SportsCenter." Which may mean ideological dilution: "Purity in martyrdom is for suicide bombers" and "King Pyrrhus is remembered, but his nation disappeared." Daniels has "no interest in standing in the wreckage of our Republic saying, 'I told you so' or 'You should've done it my way.' "

He reminded his listeners that when he was serving Ronald Reagan, the president admonished him and others that "we have no enemies, only opponents." The case for less strident conservative rhetoric is practical: "As we ask Americans to join us on such a boldly different course, it would help if they liked us, just a bit."

Do not, Jefferson warned, undertake great departures on "slender majorities." Conservatives criticized Democrats for doing just that regarding health care. Big changes, Daniels knows, will require a broad majority, perhaps one assembled after 2012 by someone with his blend of accomplishments, aversion to pandering and low-key charisma of competence.

4012  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Yahoooo! on: February 21, 2011, 12:38:44 PM
Check out Vermont - the only red in the whole NorthEast.  Perhaps I should move to Wyoming abuild a fort.  Yes Frank Rich.  Americans are behing the unions in Wisconsin!  Dream on you demagogue.  The One's faint to the right is NOT working.  grin smiley cool cheesy

http://www.gallup.com/poll/146234/Number-Solidly-Democratic-States-Cut-Half.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=plaintextlink&utm_term=Politics
4013  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Yeehah!!! on: February 21, 2011, 09:57:57 AM
So Frank Rich is deluding himself into thinking this is because the ONE is to right.  He is not left enough.  So far so good.  Obama is not pulling a Bill Clinton.  Or at least he is not succeeding.  I think Bmasters collusion with the fabulously rich founders of Google, Facebook, GE, MSFT would make a nice picture of replacing Mousilini.  I think this does fall into the category of Facism.:

 « Monday, February 21, 2011
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 23% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -18 (see trends).

Yesterday and today mark the president’s lowest ratings since mid-December. It remains to be seen whether this is merely the result of statistical noise or a change in perceptions of President Obama. For most of 2010, more than 40% of voters voiced Strong Disapproval of the president. However, following his December agreement with Senate Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts, the level of Strong Disapproval had declined.

It’s President’s Day, and 93% have a favorable opinion about Abraham Lincoln. Ninety-one percent (91%) say the same about George Washington.

Most voters continue to favor repeal of the health care law.

The Presidential Approval Index is calculated by subtracting the number who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve. It is updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily e-mail update). Updates are also available on Twitter and Facebook.

Overall, 44% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president's performance. Fifty-five percent (55%) disapprove.

Thirty-seven percent (37%) of voters now think a group of people selected at random from the phone book could do a better job than the current Congress. Only 41% disagree.
4014  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: February 21, 2011, 09:40:42 AM
I pray you are right.
4015  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: February 21, 2011, 09:39:55 AM
"Obama’s outspokenness about the labor battle in Wisconsin offers a glimmer of hope that he might lead the fight for what many Americans, not just Democrats, care about — from job creation to an energy plan to an attack on the deficit that brackets the high-end Bush-era tax cuts with serious Medicare/Medicaid reform and further strengthening of the health care law."

Frank Rich is nuts.  "many Americans" are for the labor battle in Wisconsin???  Oh really?  So he thinks most Americans are for bailing out government unions benefits, pensions and fully covered health care with their hard earned money?

On job creation Obama gets an F.

On energy plan, Obama is doing everything to weaken the US.  50Bill for a couple of train tracks?

Strengthening health care?  Nice try putting it that way - sound pretty damn phoney to me.

Serious MeidcareMedicaid reform.  First the Dems say that can't be touched and that is obviously why Obama and MSM jornolists are hoping the Repubs will make bold moves - so the ONE can demagogue them to death till his election.

Rich is a typical liberal.  Still dreaming that most Americans are for progressivism.  This country is still right of center - not way to the left.
4016  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: February 19, 2011, 02:04:36 PM
Israel's good friends in the UN Security Council all of whom except the US voted that the settlements were "illegal".  The US simply had Hill girl state that the settlements were "illegitimate" but not illegal; essentially a technicality.  If Israel were an oil powerhouse it would be different.  But for a couple of millions of Jews - who cares? cry

Permanent members
People's Republic of China which replaced the Republic of China in 1971
France
Russian Federation which replaced the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1991
United Kingdom
United States
Non-permanent members
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brazil
Colombia
Gabon
Germany
India
Lebanon
Nigeria
Portugal
South Africa
4017  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Taxpayer union on: February 19, 2011, 01:53:39 PM
Or perhaps,
taxpayers should form our own union!
4018  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Retirement a privilege not a right on: February 19, 2011, 01:34:47 PM
There was an article in one of the medical journals some years back that addressed the plight of the elderly in history.  Many elderly worked till they died.  Others, lived with family.  Others wound up at flop houses or begged.  Compare that to today's expectations.  (unfortunatley I cannot find the article now but it was extraordinarily illuminating from someone born in the 50s to see how hard it really was for many people who were lucky enough to live to old age.  After reading that I found it hard to feel sorry for the elderly of today.  No one wants to get old but.....

http://retirementblog.ncpa.org/the-right-to-retirement/

****Early Retirement, retirement

After last week's post, I started thinking about what our societal expectations are about retirement.  So I brushed the dust off of my pocket-sized copy of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.  After perusing them, I was reminded that these beloved documents spell out many God-given rights that government is obligated to protect while allowing humankind to pursue life, liberty and happiness.  (Note to the courts:  Constitutional law still exists).  But what is expectantly absent from the Bill of Rights is the right to an easy, stress-free life.

What does this have to do with retirement, one might ask?  There are no Constitutional rights to retirement, much less an easy retirement.  Retirement is made possible by the structure of entitlement programs, the effort of workers and savers, and the generosity (hopefully) of the next generation to care for their aging parents.  But the Constitution says nothing about retirement.  Specifically:

1)  There is no Constitutional right to early retirement.  The full retirement age when people receive their full Social Security benefits for most of today's workers is now 67.  While retiring at age 55 may be the plan for many, there are no guarantees.  So if your 401(k) account derailed your plans to retire early last year, this matter does not justify a goverment bailout.

2)  There is no Constitutional right to home equity for retirement income.  While the Constitution protects your property from unreasonable search and seizure, there is no right to property earning a 200 percent rate of return that will enable you to downsize and retire comfortably from the sale of your existing home.  The current mortgage mess has affirmed that this right does not exist.

3)  There is no Constitutional right to entitlement programs.  Sadly, the government has mislead people into thinking that Social Security alone can and will solve any retirement financial problems, and that there will always be money to fund entitlement programs.  But the $102 trillion future deficit held by Medicare and Social Security as it stands today means that the program will exist in its current form – only as far as the government is willing to borrow and people are willing to fork over payroll taxes.

4)  Finally, there is no Constitutional right to a "wealthy" standard of living at retirement.  I am reminded of the elite elderly couple Thurston and Lovey Howell from the 1960s TV show "Gilligan's Island."  While they were shipwrecked on an uninhabited island, we learn little about how these millionaires made their money, but it was obvious by their dress and demeanor that they had no financial worries in their later years.  Such is usually not the case for real-life retirees.  Some baby boomers may approach retirement with the resources to purchase a yacht or a month-long cruise, while many others may have to settle for a three-hour tour.

In other words, there are no guarantees in life, or in retirement outcomes, for that matter.   But careful thought and planning can minimize the risk of plans going awry.

Have a good weekend!***

4019  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: February 19, 2011, 01:13:55 PM
""predominantly white"

Except for Jesse Jackson who took time off from his work for Obama.
4020  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: February 19, 2011, 11:15:23 AM
Hi JDN,

Yes, I am proud of my fellow Jews accomplishments!

However,

"Jews are "progressive"?
I didn't know that was bad!"

Yes this IS bad and annoying and actually infuriating to me as well as to many other Jews who consider themselves (if not) strict conservatives at least Republican.

Such Jews like Jackie Mason, Aaron Klein, David Horowitz, Marc Levin,  Bernine Goldberg, Jonah Goldberg, Eric Cantor, etc.

Indeed it is very bad.  Bad for the United States and a big phoney fraud in my opinion.  Actully quite hypocritical.   Think Soros.  I despise what he is doing.

I respect him only as a holocaust survivor but not otherwise as a person.  He is full of BS and a selfish, hypocrite IMO.
4021  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: February 18, 2011, 03:37:54 PM
Interesting two post above about Paul.

I didn't have any clue of that.  David Horowitz is a strong conservative.

"international banker conspiracy"

I don't think there is a Jewish conspiracy in that regard but there may be a disproportionate number of Jews who are bankers, like doctors, and lawyers.

There is without a doubt a disproportionate number of Jews who are progressive.

From the alleged jornolist posted on this board a fully 40% of the names were consistent with Jewish names.  Jews make up what? 1 or 2% of the US population.

My guess is Jews are not running around trying to get non Jews but happen to just be active in this area and since there is a disprotionate number of them in the forefront it may give the appearance of a "conspiracy".

As for a "conspiracy" for supporting Israel - I would prefer to look at it as Jews working hard to preserve and protect fellow Jews who are threatened with annhilation every day. 
4022  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Maddow:Wiscon is "existential threat" to Dem Party on: February 18, 2011, 10:40:11 AM
Last night Madcow was actually in obvious *panic* mode over what is happening here.  She was ranting raving (more than the following video) as fast and nervous as possible that what is going on in Wisconsin is an "existential" threat to the survival of the Democratic party!

I disagree with this premise to start with but the larger more important point to the overwhelming Americans who are NOT government employees is to have it laid bare for all of us to see how the unions have outright corrupted our political process.  Raise (occasionally steal- no choice) money from your members, siphon plenty off for their own personal benefit and than send payoffs to Democrats running for office, then if they get elected they always return the favor by making back-room deals with the unions.  Always at taxpayer expense.

Thank God we are having this fight.  It is about time.

Madcow says this is politics!  Yup it certianly is.  This is not about educating children, this is not about law enforcement, firefighting.  This is about corruption of one of the two large parties in the US while other voters taxpayers are oblivious to what is going on.  Well no more.  That said she is wrong or lying about that this is an existential threat to the Dem party.  Perhaps she is just panicking.  Perhaps she is just trying to get all Dems riled up and on board with backing the unions.  I am not sure which.

http://shoqvalue.com/rachel-maddow-wisconsin-is-about-the-survival-of-the-democratic-party#
4023  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: February 17, 2011, 04:46:13 PM
As a taxpayer I feel like my rights are being infringed.

No one ever asked me to the government-union-employee  bargaining table to decide where my tax dollars go.

Their unions buy and pay for their Democratic candidates.  Then they turn around and make deals behind the rest of our backs.  Now the states are broke, they are annoyed?

I don't want to hurt these people but the money isn't there.  And no, I am not for raising taxes on the "rich", the middle class, businesses or anyone else.
4024  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: February 17, 2011, 04:08:04 PM
It used to be one thing seeing unions picket outside private companies.  But to see the state unions picketing outside state capitols and refusing to go to work.

Even FDR knew that it was wrong to let government employees hold taxpayers/voters hostage.

None of these picketers get one ioda of sympathy from me.

Here I NJ we pay the highest property tax in the country - enough. 

Those who disagree are welcome to take shots at me.

I say non government union people should start picketing across the street.
4025  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 17, 2011, 01:58:18 PM
GM,

As a matter of fact, Ed the dead, and Lawrence OF o'donnell and Chris hard on Matthews have been going wild making every link of Clarence with the Coke-Cola "brothers".
They claim he should have recused himself from a case since he apparently met with them and may have received gratuities.  It (at lest they claim)  the appearance of a conflict of interests.  They are also going hog wild trying to get him on his wife's policital activities.

However,

The Left, of course, has always been outraged by a  Black conservative on the Court.  Now more than ever they are trying to destroy him.  Naturally so their front man, the One, could replace him and tip the balance in the Progressive's favor.

I usually watch for short periods of time.  Naturally after at most 10 minutes I get disgusted and switch to another station.

One could simply say that this is the left version of Beck going after (exposing in my view) links between Soros and every single progressive movement in the World.  Which by the way seems to be true.  Soros' fingerprints are showing up on everything.  What with seventy* (*Wikipedia) - count them - progressive front (whoops, I mean "philanthropic"), and investment vehicles, tax write off, etc. organizations.
4026  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 17, 2011, 01:35:55 PM
Crafty posted before some concerns about Haley Barbour and possible past links to racism.

Last night Chris Matthews appeared to be aroused by the accusation that Haley Barbour "refused" to denounce an attempt to have the state in Mississippi sponser a Nathan Bedford Forrest license plate.  Remember this guy was not only a Confederate army officer, but the first Grand Wizzard of the KKK.

Barber did come out and say the law will never pass but would not criticize the Sons of the Confederates who sponsored it.

Personally, I think it very reasonable Blacks would be outraged.  I would be too.  It remains to be seen if Barbour comes out and denounces this but if he doesn't that is it for me.  I would never vote for this guy if he can't/won't acknoweldge how wrong this proposal is.  Perhaps I am missing something taken out of context.  Perhaps I am just a damn Yankee but I am sick and tired of Southerners making the Confederacy about State's rights.  It was about Slavery.  Let's leave it in the past.  Remember it for what it was and what it means now and stop playing sentimental crap with Gone With The Wind.  Its over -thank God.

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2011/02/12/in-haley-barbours-mississippi-civil-war-looms-over-license-pla/
4027  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Greece, woops I mean Wisconsin on: February 17, 2011, 01:21:09 PM
I think this is a "union" thread post, not "education".

From Michele Malkin:

"The Badger State (like New Jersey before it, California and New York now close behind) is doing what needs to be done to challenge the unions’ grip without having to declare bankruptcy, as some GOP strategists, celebs, and 2012 aspirants including Newt Gingrich and Jeb Bush have recommended."

Is that true?  Newt and Jeb have recommended these states just declare bankuptcy?  Wouldn't bankruptcy be worse for the government empolyees?  Couldn't they in such a scenerio lose more?

Full article below:

*****Michelle Malkin  Lead StoryWatch Wisconsin, Part III: A state government employee speaks; Madison schools, plus 7 other districts shut down a second day; Michael Moore says Wisconsin is the “new Cairo;” Dems boycott legis. debate
By Michelle Malkin  •  February 17, 2011 01:23 AM Scroll down for breaking updates…



Public employee unions who force state workers to join and force them to fork over dues have a lot of chutzpah posing as freedom-fighters, don’t they?

The letter of the day reprinted below comes from one of those dissenting state workers in Wisconsin, where the SEIU Purple Army and assorted Big Labor enforcers are trying to bring the state to its knees over the brave and necessary fiscal discipline that GOP Gov. Scott Walker has introduced.

The AFL-CIO is digging in its heels. The rent-a-mobs are fully activated and marching on Gov. Walker’s home. Mission: Persuasion of power.

As I said yesterday: As Wisconsin goes, so go the rest of the nation’s bankrupt and near-bankrupt states.

One compelling aspect that must be noted as we continue our Watch Wisconsin series (Part I here and Part II here):

The Badger State (like New Jersey before it, California and New York now close behind) is doing what needs to be done to challenge the unions’ grip without having to declare bankruptcy, as some GOP strategists, celebs, and 2012 aspirants including Newt Gingrich and Jeb Bush have recommended. As E.J. McMahon pointed out in the WSJ last month: Politicians already have the power to tame public unions without roiling municipal bond markets. They merely have to use it.

Indeed, they are walking the walk in Wisconsin. No top-down federal intervention from Newt or another Bush or anyone else in Washington.

Start spreading the news. Big Labor’s heaving today…

***

From reader “Proud 5th Column Member in Wisconsin:”

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Michelle, there are a significant number of conservative full time state employees in Wisconsin that support Scott Walker, but our voices are not heard and certainly not covered in the press. Many of us are afraid to get too public for fear of personal attacks at work and at home. Besides, it would not be reported or covered by the insanely liberal press in Madison, WI anyway. The only voice we have in Madison is Vicki McKenna on the AM radio, a conservative talk show host of some fame in the Madison area. We are jokingly calling ourselves The 5th Column like the counter insurgents on the “V” TV show. The unions are scared to death they will lose their gravy train, you are forced to join the union upon state employment as a condition of employment, what is more tyrannical than that? So, now, the workers would be able to CHOOSE to join the union or not, and many will leave it. The rest will have to cut an actual check to the union each month, instead of having it garnished from their check, and the union knows people will get tired of that. THAT is what this is really about.

Our benefit package in WI is almost 2nd to none in the US for state workers, this is a minor sacrifice when all is said and done. Under our former Democratic Governor, we had to take a 3% paycut the last two years in the form of mandatory furloughs. Walker intends to stop that, so we could regain that money, couple that with union dues we get back for quitting the union and it’s nearly a wash on the slight increase in pension and health care costs. That proves this is not about those changes, but about a political agenda by the left and the unions being threatened.

God speed Michelle. Long live the 5th Column!!”

***

And now, illegally striking teachers have succeeded in shutting down schools in Madison and seven other districts for a second consecutive day.

Madison public schools are closed again Thursday because too many teachers are taking the day off to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to limit union bargaining.

Several other school districts in the area have also canceled classes Thursday.

It’s the second consecutive day the Madison Metropolitan School District has canceled classes “due to substantial concerns about staff absences.”

The district said it has received reports Wednesday evening that there will again be significant staff absences in the district on Thursday in protest of the governor’s proposed changes in labor law.

…Superintendent Dan Nerad said teachers who are taking a sick day will be asked to show proof of a medical reason.

Many teachers in the Madison Metropolitan School District spent Wednesday at rallies at the Capitol in opposition to Walker’s collective bargaining proposal.

Other area school districts that have also canceled classes Thursday include the Oregon School District, the DeForest Area School District, Edgerton Schools, Monona Grove Schools, Middleton-Cross Plains Schools, Verona Schools and Waunakee Schools.
FOR THE CHILLLLLDRREN!!!****

4028  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Newt-a start on: February 16, 2011, 11:35:28 AM
"I proposed an aggressive, all-American energy strategy that would dramatically boost all sources of energy production in our country. " grin  Great

"I also proposed replacing the Environmental Protection Agency with a new Environmental Solutions Agency"  huh  I don't like this. 

"All this was possible because we understood that President Clinton would eventually yield to the demands of the American people. That's why after twice vetoing another one of our principal goals, welfare reform, Clinton eventually signed it in 1996, before he ran for reelection. He knew he wouldn't be able to stand the heat from the American people if he didn't"  True except with the government stalemate that toppled Newt.

"His [Obama] signature achievements were passed despite the will of the American people, not because of their support."  Not only that.  They were passed despite Obama not because of him (the ONE)

"We will need a new Contract with America in 2012."  Good idea.  Perhaps it is better to wait to not let the Bamster try to co-op them.  At least with phoney rhetoric.


4029  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 16, 2011, 09:18:29 AM
"A tough, determined Republican budget offensive, embracing all these elements and fought in this guerilla style, will frustrate both and lead to his defeat."

With walking the fine line not to appear like they are "shutting down" government and avoiding the cruetly label,
"you are throwing people onto bread lines"
"you are depriving children of an education"
"you are denying health care to the poor"

Notice the libs are just drooling at the chops trying to get the Republicans to say they need to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and SS!

They can't wait, the pols and the MSM to get Boehner saying this.  They clearly have the jornolist onslaught just ready to hit every media outlet with a back lash and every senior, poor person, student teacher, mnority, Latino and every one else waiting to give their sob story  on SoloDADs and ODonnels, and Mr. Ed's shows.
4030  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 15, 2011, 11:00:18 AM
JDN,

Thanks for the detailed answer.

"To destroy this invisible Government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day."

TR tried to address problems that did and still do exist.  Seems reasonable attempts at fixing true corruption and an unfair world.

There is no question the rich and wealthy businesses have very unfair advantages.  In 1980 the top 1% had 10 % of the country's wealth.  Now the estimate is 18%.

This is a problem without any answer from the Crats or the Cans.  Free markets make this worse.  Yet redistribution doesn't work either.  The more we have social programs the lazier and more dependent people become.


We are still being robbed by Wall Street.  Big businesses squash smaller ones.  Katherine and I are destroyed by the music/entertainment industry while pigs like Gaga tell us how they write stolen lyrics while smoking dope.  And we have the President of the USA inviting JLo to the WH for the super bowl even though she claims she wrote or co wrote some lyrics that were stolen from us.  So you don't have to convince me about corruption.

I feel the issue is not more regulation per se.  I think it just means enforce the laws that already exist with updates for electronic crimes etc.  Then again all humans including police, lawyers, government officials, elected officials are all corruptable.  It just is this way.  Always has been and always will be.  Nothing will ever stop this.

***I just come down on the side of more freedom vs more and more and more government that will stifle us till we turn into total wards of the state.***

Neither approach is perfect or great. 



4031  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / military-industrial complex?G.Will on: February 14, 2011, 03:55:32 PM
The GOP's defense budget mystery

By George Will

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Tall, affable Buck McKeon sits, gavel in hand, at the turbulent intersection of two conflicting Republican tendencies. The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee embodies the party's support for a "strong" defense, which is sometimes measured simply by the size of the Pentagon's budget. But the 35 Republicans on his 62-member committee include 13 first-term legislators, some of whom embody the Tea Party's zeal for cutting government spending.

The United States spends almost as much on military capabilities as the rest of the world spends, and at least six times more than the second-biggest spending nation (China). But McKeon says, "A defense budget in decline portends an America in decline." And: "I've been around a long time, and I've seen us cut defense investments over the years after wars. . . . But I've never before seen us make cuts during a war. Cuts to defense investment in the midst of two wars is unacceptable." Asked, however, about the immediate future of the defense budget, he says, after a long pause: "It's probably going to be smaller."

One war, in Iraq, will, the president promises, end this year with the withdrawal of U.S. forces. The other, in Afghanistan, probably will not become more expensive because the number of troops there probably will not be increased. Furthermore, since fiscal 2001, what is called the military's "baseline budget" has increased 80 percent, to $534 billion. That number is, however, much less than what is actually being spent, and not just because it doesn't include much of the spending on the two wars.

The Obama administration wants to cut $78 billion over five years, in addition to cuts already planned. McKeon and others are resisting, starting with Defense Secretary Robert Gates' decision to halt work on a $14.4 billion Marine program for a new Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, a 39-ton landing craft and tank that can deliver 17 Marines in an amphibious assault.

Although the Marines' last opposed landing was in 1950 in Korea at Inchon, some legislators think ending the EFV program strikes at the Marines' core mission. McKeon wonders: What if the next "denied space" the Marines must enter is along the Strait of Hormuz? The Inchon landing craft, which traveled only 6 mph, had to leave from ships close to shore - too close for today's shores perhaps bristling with anti-ship missiles. The EFV travels 20 knots from 25 miles offshore - and sprints 45 mph on shore.


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The average age of America's amphibious assault vehicles is 38 years, more than that of strategic bombers (34 years) but less than that of tanker aircraft (46 years). Gates favors finding a more affordable ship-to-shore vehicle. Lt. Gen. George Flynn, the Marines' deputy commandant for combat development and integration, says the EFV program "was unaffordable." Was. Past tense.

Such statements are in the subjunctive mood until Congress speaks. But some congressional voices are impatiently insisting that no one can say how much is being spent on defense, or how.

After listening to recent Defense Department testimony, Randy Forbes, a six-term Virginia Republican on McKeon's committee, was exasperated. He said that for four years the department, whose $708 billion budget - his number - is the size of the world's 22nd-largest economy (the Netherlands), has not complied with the law requiring auditable financial statements. And he charged that "none" of the budget is "even in a position to be audited." He said that the department is not "qualified" to talk about efficiencies if it "does not know where our defense dollars are going" and that it cannot comply with the law if it "does not even have mechanisms in place to perform the audits."

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), writing to Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, said that "the Pentagon is one of the few agencies in the federal government that cannot produce auditable financial statements in accordance with the law." So "I will continue to push for a budget freeze of all base budget non-military personnel accounts at the Defense Department until it complies with the law regarding auditable financial statements."

To govern is to choose, always on the basis of imperfect information. If, however, the strong language of Forbes and Coburn is apposite, Congress cannot make adequately informed choices about the uniquely important matters that come to McKeon's committee. This fact will fuel the fires of controversy that will rage within the ranks of Republicans as they come to terms with the fact that current defense spending cannot be defended until it is understood.


4032  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 14, 2011, 02:39:44 PM
"As a person, I don't think he is a bad person, just misguided."

We disagree on that point.  I think any President who persistantly deceives the American people on his true intentions, is by definition a bad person.
At least Jimmy Carter was honest.  I disagreed with him completely yet I respected him as a person.  Remember there was a time when he was the most respected ex-president (though no more).  I feel we knew where Presidents stood until Bill Clinton turned it into a fashion statement that lying, deceiving, twisting the truth etc is cool.

You think Omama's intentions are good?  A guy who sits and says he is not into distirbuting wealth when anyone can see he is (only for openers)?  When did the country lose the concept that honesty is part of a person's character?  I guess with Clinton.  The left seemed to get more and more excited over his bs.  They were gitty with glee at lines like, "what is is"?

BTW, what is a TR progressive?

I cannot figure out your position. 

4033  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 14, 2011, 12:12:10 PM
"Allen West is President Obama's worst nightmare."

Yes, and that is why MSLSD goes after him every way they can dream up.
The libs can't tolerate a conservative black anymore than a conservative woman now can we?

He seems ready and capable to handle the pending onslaught into his life.

4034  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 12, 2011, 01:56:13 PM
"I must admit, I am becoming disillusioned with Obama"

Disillusioned with Obama or his policies?

He has done what he set out to do though not as much as he would like.  He has not been able to tax near as much as he could.  He hasn't gotten the energy bill passed, he hasn't gotten citizenship pathway for for the hordes of potential Democrat voters (yet).

But he has pretty much been, by far, the most progressive Presdient we have every had though he tries to hide it and deny it.

So what is disappointing to you about him?

Could it be that you are coming to realize he is selling America down the drain by giving away our sovereignty around the world and spending us into oblivion and trying to answer every single humanity discomfort with more government programs?
4035  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 12, 2011, 11:51:18 AM
"And so far, I agree, Obama isn't close to being Reagan."

And "so far"?

Why, he never has been or could he be.

And in that case don't you find it odd he is trying to pretend he is like Reagan?

You don't find it an insult to your intelligence?

JDN you seem like a good guy but you are incredibally naive.
Obama and his managers are trying to manipulate his image.

All the while he is a radical progressive.
He jammed down our throats his agenda and only now that he doens't own Congress he is playing the same con that kept Clinton in the game.
It is a proven winning strategy and you falling for it shows how easy it is to manipulate people.  I posted multiple times my biggest fear was Obama would pretend he is moving to the center and fool the swing voters and his ratings would go up - just like Clinton did.

The jornolist people are helping him get this total nonsensical transformation of his image out there.

 
4036  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 12, 2011, 11:05:50 AM
***"I don't think any disrespect was meant to President Reagan."

True, it was just the opposite.***

IT is meant to appear like he is admiring of Reagan.  Truth be - he absolutely is not!

It is again the scam - pretend you are one of them and then you can change them!

Some years back I posted Jeffrey Sachs politically charged commencement speech at my nephews graduation wherein he reiterated Carter was/is a hero and was ahead of his time.  He pointed out the countries and sovereingty is "medeval" and outdated.  He stated that after Carter came Reagan and he set us on the wrong path to continued sovereingty, oil, big business, world poverty, and the rest.  And now here we are 30 years later and we are seeing global warming, continued war, over population, population shifts, continued world poverty and relative affuence in other parts of the world.  It is all the same theme of the progressives who want one world government, socialism, and windmills.  Obama has historically surrounded himself with these people and has always been of this nature.

He does not admire Reagan.  Progressives like him *despise* Reagan.  JDN - wake up.  This is all a ruse.  Like I said - you can fool some of the people all of the time.

4037  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 11, 2011, 04:24:45 PM
I don't know.  Am I too sensitive or what?  Am I the only one who finds Obama's trying to copy or compare himself to Reagan as quite offensive?  He is the exact opposite in Reagan in personality and in beliefs and in policy.  I find his own comparisons to the real "gipper" as quite insulting:

***Obama Refers To Himself As "The Gipper" In Farewell To Gibbs
 
President Obama recounts an anecdote about the 2004 Democratic National Convention at White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' final press briefing:

"The most challenging problem was what tie to wear. And this went up to the very last minute. I mean, 10 minutes before we were about to go on stage we were still having an argument about ties. I had bought five, six ties. And Michelle didn't like any of them, Axelrod didn't like a couple of them -- him being one of the best dressed men in the world. So we really valued his opinion.

"And then somebody -- I don't remember who it was -- turned and said, 'You know what? What about Gibbs' tie? What about Gibbs' tie? That might look good.' And, frankly, Robert didn't want to give it up because he thought he looked really good in the tie. But eventually he was willing to take one for the gipper, and so he took off his tie, and I put it on. And that's the tie that I wore at the national***
4038  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 11, 2011, 03:23:10 PM
And sits in front of millions of Americans and says things he knows to be lies with a totally straight face,
like he is absolutely *not* for redistributing wealth.
4039  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Towards the ultimate goal of one world government on: February 11, 2011, 11:15:11 AM
More prorgressism towards the ultimate goal of one world government with you guessed it, the ONE in charge:

Susan Rice kicks off U.N. series
“Because of the U.N., the world doesn’t look to America to solve every problem alone. … We’re far better off working to strengthen the U.N. than trying to starve it — and then having to choose between filling the void ourselves, or leaving real threats untended.”“The U.N. provides a real return on our tax dollars by bringing 192 countries together to share the cost of providing stability, vital aid and hope in the world’s most broken places,” Rice said in prepared remarks.
4040  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 11, 2011, 10:27:37 AM
"American officials said Mr. Panetta was basing his statement not on secret intelligence but on media broadcasts"

I don't know who the "American officials" are.

I don't know that I believe the above statement.

Take nothing the media tells us as "truth".  Take it all with a "grain of salt".

We don't know and will likely never know the truth here.

Either way Panetta looks bad.  But the above way makes him the fall guy - the other way Obama looks bad too.

4041  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: February 09, 2011, 02:14:20 PM
a) FWIW IMHO the problems in which we find ourselves are not due not enough compromise by Republicans-- quite the contrary.

b) Given the results of his support for amnesty for illegal aliens (which I supported at the time) if he were still with us, I suspect were he with us today regarding current efforts I suspect he would be saying something like "Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me."

Asw for 'A', I have come around to agreeing with you.  The problem with comprosing with liberals is in the end there is no compromise.  WE find ourselves every election cycle compromising and little by little they take more and more.  When they are in power they are as Jonas Goldberg stated Huns at the gates taxing and then raping and piliging the treasury spending like drunken fools.

Then when they don't have the cart blanch power (like now) suddenly the Republicans are held to task (by the Dems and their media cohorts) that if they do not "compromise" or act in an honorable "bipartisan" manner carrying on the task of "good" governance they are NO good. 

As for 'B', I would think Reagan would not have been happy about how illegals have abused our system.  He was being quite generous with his pardon of them. To think that his precedent can arguably have led to the situation being many several times worse now would not have changed his mind seems incredulous.

I had a Latino patient who translates for his wife who speaks not word of English.  He laughed when I tried a few Spanish words and said with a big grin that I could never run for any political office.  I need to learn Spanish now!

Yes CNN can pick and show adorable "nice" illegals who do back breaking work.  Yet they come here for whatever they can get.  And they mock us and take advantage of us and make fools of us.  And I don't mean just Latinos.  I mean any illegal.  Israelis included.

I tend to agree with Bob Grant.  It is probably already too late.  At least in places like California.
4042  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Some thoughts on mental illness and guns on: February 09, 2011, 01:56:49 PM
One psychiatrist agreed with me on two things:
1)  It is very difficult to predict someone's future behavior with regards to violence.  Like one forensic psychiatrist told me years ago most of the "criminally" insane could be released without them ever being a danger.  Yet determining who is the one that will go on a rampage and hurt someone and the majority who don't is very hard.
2)  People with personality disorders who lack conscious are in general much more dangerous than those who are schizophrenic or delusional.
The latter are usually unable to have the organzied thinking capacity to plan a murder ahead of time - though not impossible.  The former are quite capable of planning to kill someone and appear totally "normal".

****Giffords Shooting Raises Questions About Guns and Mental IllnessJan 11, 2011 – 7:39 PM
Andrea Stone
 Senior Washington Correspondent
WASHINGTON -- It takes a lot to be considered too crazy to own a gun in Arizona.

As authorities investigate the mass shooting that killed six people and left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords critically wounded, it appears clear that a growing list of troubling warning signs would not have prohibited suspect Jared Loughner from buying the Glock 19 semiautomatic pistol he is accused of using in the attack.

Gun-control advocates say the 22-year-old Loughner was technically within his rights to buy the weapon. And that's why they say stricter background checks and a new strategy for keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill is needed.

 
Karen Bleier, AFP / Getty Images
Gun-control advocates say the country needs a better way to ensure that mentally disturbed people and drug users cannot buy firearms."He was dangerous enough to get kicked out of algebra class, but that's not enough to get him disqualified from buying a gun," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "Something is wrong with that system."

Despite ample warning signs that Loughner may have been mentally ill -- including behavior unsettling enough to get him kicked out of Pima Community College -- the suspect was eligible to buy and possess a gun.

Under the federal Gun Control Act of 1968, it is illegal for people to possess a firearm if they have "been adjudicated as a mental defective" or "been committed to a mental institution."

Neither applied to Loughner.

The federal law also bars drug users from owning a gun.

Yet a 2007 charge for possession of drug paraphernalia was expunged from court records after Loughner completed a diversion program. When he later tried to enlist in the Army he was turned down, according to Time magazine, for admitting that he used marijuana frequently.

Those facts did not show up in the federal database that cleared Loughner to buy the handgun at a Tucson, Ariz., store on Nov. 30, authorities say.

Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association, would not answer AOL News' questions about whether existing gun laws provide enough safeguards to prevent mentally ill people from purchasing firearms.

"At this time, anything other than prayers for the victims and their families would be inappropriate," he said in an e-mail.

But gun-control advocates say it is past time to speak out.

"Just enforcing the laws on the books isn't enough," Helmke said. "We need a stronger definition that covers somebody like this guy."

What that definition might be is complicated.

"This is a tough problem. It requires balancing of so many competing interests and imperatives," writes Jill Lawrence of Politics Daily. Among them: "gun and privacy rights versus a system that prevents weapons sales to unstable people."

For now, that latter priority is taking center stage. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who heads Mayors Against Illegal Guns, called today for "commonsense fixes to some of our broken gun laws." Among them: tougher background checks to prevent drug abusers from getting around the system.

Other elected officials from New York, home to some of the nation's toughest gun-control laws, also are proposing measures. Republican Rep. Peter King plans to introduce a bill to make it illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a government official. Democrat Rep. Carolyn McCarthy wants to restrict the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips like those used in Saturday's deadly shooting.

Yet as the newly revived debate over gun control heats up, advocates say a top priority is to keep weapons out of the hands of the dangerously unbalanced.

"Everyone and his mother knew this kid was severely deranged," said Ladd Everitt of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, citing Loughner's run-ins with police and school officials.

He noted that a Google search would have been more effective than looking in the federal government's database because it would have turned up Loughner's now-removed MySpace post last month in which he wrote, "I don't feel good: I'm ready to kill a police officer!"

Arizona law allows anyone to petition the court for a psychiatric evaluation of a person who is acting strangely and is suspected of being a danger to himself or others. Despite concerns about Loughner, no one went to court.

The state's weak gun laws require only the most perfunctory background check and no permit. Had Loughner tried to buy a gun in New York, for instance, he would have had to undergo a licensing check by law enforcement officials. That might have uncovered online clues to his mental state as well as his problems at the Army recruiting office and school.

Helmke urged Congress to hold hearings to explore how federal background checks can pick up potentially dangerous people who don't fall within the narrow range of prohibited gun owners. He noted that states improved their reporting systems after the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech by a man adjudicated as mentally ill whose record didn't show up in the federal database.

Since 2008, the names of nearly 1.1 million people disqualified from possessing firearms because of mental illness have been added to the federal system. Another 2 million names are still awaiting entry into the database.

At the time of the Virginia Tech shooting, Arizona had not submitted any mental health records to the federal government, according to government records. It has since listed 4,465 Arizonans and estimates there are nearly 122,000 others who still are not in the system.

Sponsored LinksYet even with better record-keeping since Virginia Tech, there have been several cases of accused killers with a history of mental illness who bought their weapons legally.

"Maybe crazy people will do crazy things," Virginia Tech survivor and gun-control activist Colin Goddard writes in a column for AOL News. "But why, I ask my country, my president, my representatives in Congress, why do we make it so damned easy?"

The answers aren't easy, said Michael Stone, a Columbia University forensic psychiatrist unrelated to this writer. Short of "preventive detention" for those who act strangely but don't break any laws, only the "extremely delusional and bizarre" can be stopped from obtaining firearms.

"It's very difficult to prevent a paranoid person from buying a gun who is able to present himself in a rational and coherent manner, as many are able to do," he said.****
4043  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: February 09, 2011, 12:43:03 PM
I never saw that before.  GM, do you know when that commercial was done?

I notice we are going to spend 50 Bill on trains.

We can't just drill offshore, Alaska, and the Canadian tar sands?

I really don't want to spend 5 bucks for a gallon of gas.  With Obama our best days are behind us.  Commercials like this do not make me think Newt will change this perception.

4044  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: February 09, 2011, 10:18:33 AM
Crafty,
My feelings about Newt are the same.

My biggest concern about him in general is he is not 'touchy feely".  He can't reach out to the "little guy" or minorities.  He might have a shot at Reagan Dems though only the white ones.

Then again he is the only one so far among the the "top tier" candidates (to borrow from Doug) who is a real natural born thinker.

I am not optimistic about '12 on the Presidential side.  Obama has been persauded and coached to play the middle from a PR and campaign mode though he is obviously still a radical liberal at heart and as much as he can get away with from a policy point of view.  Therefore without a candidate who can cleary highlight the differences between the progressive agenda and a conservative one (like Newt), AND call out Obama for what he is and not allow him to deceive the swing voters, there is near zero chance a Republican can win IMHO.

If Obama keeps up the charm attack, like Clinton did, it is almost check mate.

History has proven this and Obama's poll numbers are already back up to prove my point.

Obama just need follow the script.  It is already a proven winner.  You can fool some of the people ALL of the time.

Does anyone hear think Palin, Huckleberry, or Romney can get swing voters?
4045  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Both Left and Right are inconsistent on: February 07, 2011, 11:37:27 AM
Both sides jockying for political gain to the detriment of any consistency. 

To be fair,
one could also ask,
"what's the Right's position?"

The right is now chastizing Obama for losing Egypt and the rise of the "muslim bortherhood".

The left is now conveniently chastizing W for starting this whole thing.

I think the roots of W's spreading democracy around the middle east stems as a natural progression of globalizism his father promoted and Clinton picked up and ran away with at full speed, more than just a bunch of neo cons (who Buchanan likes to point out are all a bunch of Jews defending the interests of Israel).
4046  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Egypt: due to the Bushes on: February 07, 2011, 10:48:20 AM
GM, Very interesting letter,
"Extremely distressed by the crew in Washington, and in most European capitals. Media is so corrupted by left-leaning thinking that there is not much of an analysis to be expected in the media that is now competing with facebook, twitters, etc. The dumbing down of thinking is itself a huge problem the West"

I would like to take this cue as an opportunity to open up this:

On cable one of the Middle Eastern pundits who is mostly someone who gives a good analysis shocked me when he declared that W. Bush who is normally a modest man should be taking all the credit for what is happening in Egypt.  He emphasized that what is happening in Egypt is directly related and and a result of what the US did in Iraq.  It would not have happened if Hussain (Saddam - not Obama) was not toppled.  It is the spread of Democracy as was the promoted strategy of the "neo-cons".

To me this is quite a twist.  So what do conservatives do?  Who do we criticize?  It is not Obama's weakness that is leading to Mubaraks's ouster.  It is a Republican's policy that is leading to it!!!

Indeed I think one can actually trace this back to Bush 1.  He who led the charge for globilization, who led the charge for Un backed international coalitions.  I remember a George Will column years back that was very critical of HErbert Bush's handling of the Kuwait situation.  He pointed that he then set a precedent that establishes that the US cannot act unilaterally without the persmission and approval of the UN and the "international" community.

He was right.  George Bush the elder unilaterally set the stage for our weakness.  Or so it can be argued.

So should W be taking the credit, or the blame for this.  Republicans will try to blame Obama.  Liberals including Chris Matthews is trying to have it both ways, crediting Obama and blaming George Bush.

I am not sure.  It gets awful confusing.  I do think this can and should be traced back to Bush the Elder and in my opinion his abdication of AMerican power in 1990 to the world stage and globalization.  Indeed the far left and liberals, and major socialist progressives like Soros should be holding Bush the elder up as some sort of icon.
4047  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Savage:theoryObama conspired for uprising in Egypt on: February 05, 2011, 09:24:22 AM
Savage's essay connects many dots.  I am not convinced by the whole argument or the connections are necessarily significant but there is a valid pattern that emerges.
I heard Brezinski being interviewed on Schieffer last night.  There is no question he (along with Soros) are totally for the revolution in Egypt and have been thinking along these lnes for some time. We know Jimmy Carter is against the "Jewish lobby".  Brezinski certainly is.  Soros has set up his own group to lobby opposed to the traditional Jewish lobby group having decided he knows what is in everyone's best interests.

I cannot conclude why Soros would admit he felt no guilt having helped send Jews to their deaths when 14 years old.  I do not blame him for saving himself.  What 14 yer old would have done different.  He may have also at the time thought they were just bing deported not murdered.  Is he just in massive denial?  Or is he some sort of personalty disorder, narcissistic, pschopathic, or other who has no conscious?  I don't know.  One cannot even say with any degree of confidence his 70 or so "philanthropic" human rights organizations are even really as much for humanitarian gain as for financial gain.  Not withstading the huge tax write offs, one can only guess how much inside information he gleans from these connections spreading his money throughout the world how much he capitalizes by exponentially increasing his net worth - which he clearly has.

What say you Rachel?  Or have you just been insulted and disappeared off the board?

http://www.michaelsavage.wnd.com/files/filesSavage/Savage-ObamaGivingMiddleEastToIslamistRadicals-Rev03.pdf
4048  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris: Repubs.odds on for Senate in '12 on: February 05, 2011, 09:07:28 AM
REPUBLICANS POISED TO WIN SENATE
By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann02.4.2011
 
I know we predicted Republican Senate control in 2010. Republicans did gain seven seats and came within four of winning control. Razor thin defeats in Colorado and Washington and unexpected thrashings in Nevada and West Virginia proved us wrong.

But this time – honest – we are going to win!

The battlegrounds in 2012 are a lot more red and less blue than in 2010. If we switch seats in North Dakota, Florida, Nebraska, Virginia, and Montana – red states all – we get control by 52-48.

And the way 2012 is shaping up, Republican control is more and more likely.

Start with retirements. Kent Conrad, the North Dakota liberal twin of retired Byron Dorgan, has announced that he won’t run again. That seat is a sure GOP pickup.

Jim Webb (D-Va) has raised very little money, speaks with ambivalence about Obama’s programs, and has not yet decided whether to run. George Allen’s announced challenge to his re-election should cool him off even further and he’ll probably drop out. Not a sure pickup but, if the Republican Party nominates Allen — and not some later day Christine O’Donnell – we should be all right.

Herbert Kohl, the Wisconsin Democratic octogenarian, may also not run. He hasn’t raised money but did lend his campaign $1 million to fill up his bank account. But loans can be repaid. Kohl may well retire. Defeated Democratic Senator Russ Feingold may challenge him in a primary, hastening his exit. Not a sure pickup, but in a state which went so heavily Republican in 2010 (the GOP captured the governorship, both houses of the legislature, a Senate seat, and more House members) it’s a likely Republican gain.

The Nelsons (Bill of Florida and Ben of Nebraska) both face tough challenges from strong candidates in red states. Who knows if they will really run? Ben Nelson has to have the model of Arkansas’ Blanche Lincoln firmly in his mind. He needs to quit before he gets thrown out.

Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), a former client, may not run again especially since his state lurched sharply to the right in 2010.

And, in Montana, Democrat John Tester, who won by less than one point in 2006, is an easy target in a very red state.

So rate North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia, Montana as very likely Republican victories.

But we won’t stop there. Wisconsin – against either Kohl or Feingold – is a good pickup prospect. Bob Casey (D-Pa) can be beaten as can Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). Bill Nelson (D-Fla) probably won’t win again and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) will likely lose to former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman. And Republicans have a good shot against Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich).

Joe Manchin (D-WV) faces mounting scandals and his failure to make good on his promise to vote like a Republican may cost him his seat. And Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the single sleaziest member of the Senate, may face a challenge in a state whose GOP is animated by its Republican governor Chris Christie.

It should be a happy election season!
4049  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Miranda Lambert on: February 04, 2011, 02:04:04 PM
It is not that your friends have been unable to steal more lyrics from Katherine, it is she is too happy to write.  It is truly amazing how these people lie all day long.
Another excuse when songs are not successfully stolen is the female stars have babies, the amle stars make up all kinds of excuses.   Gretchen wants time with her family.  Country singing was secondary.  Fat Toby Keith is too busy with his label and promoting others, and the rest of them are too busy doing beneifts and charity work (another way to promote themselves in the meantime)

***Miranda Lambert
By Mike Krumboltz, Yahoo!
Thu, Feb 03, 2011, 4:10 pm PST
This is one of those "good problems." In Ladies Home Journal, the country star says she is too happy to write country songs, which are all about "leaving and sadness." Lambert has good reason to be happy with a new fiancé and Grammy nominations888

The truth is she can't wirte and if her friends cannot "get" her the material she is clueless.  So she comes up with this line.

And the public soaks it up like the dupes they are.
4050  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: February 04, 2011, 11:45:03 AM
They want freedom from repressive government.  So do I here in the US.  I don't want more "good"government by whatever definition Soros whose fingerprints are on world wide progressism.  I want to be left alone.
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