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51  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / multiverse theory on: October 01, 2014, 06:26:05 PM

Big Bang Discovery Opens Doors to the "Multiverse"

Gravitational waves detected in the aftermath of the Big Bang suggest one universe just might not be enough.
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An illustration of multiple universes.   

This illustration depicts a main membrane out of which individual universes arise; they then expand in size through time.

ART BY MOONRUNNER DESIGN
  .

By
Dan Vergano

National Geographic

Published March 18, 2014

 
Bored with your old dimensions—up and down, right and left, and back and forth? So tiresome. Take heart, folks. The latest news from Big Bang cosmologists offers us some relief from our humdrum four-dimensional universe.



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Gravitational waves rippling through the aftermath of the cosmic fireball, physicists suggest, point to us inhabiting a multiverse, a universe filled with many universes. (See: "Big Bang's 'Smoking Gun' Confirms Early Universe's Exponential Growth.")

That's because those gravitational wave results point to a particularly prolific and potent kind of "inflation" of the early universe, an exponential expansion of the dimensions of space to many times the size of our own cosmos in the first fraction of a second of the Big Bang, some 13.82 billion years ago.

"In most models, if you have inflation, then you have a multiverse," said Stanford physicist Andrei Linde. Linde, one of cosmological inflation's inventors, spoke on Monday at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics event where the BICEP2 astrophysics team unveiled the gravitational wave results.

Essentially, in the models favored by the BICEP2 team's observations, the process that inflates a universe looks just too potent to happen only once; rather, once a Big Bang starts, the process would happen repeatedly and in multiple ways. (Learn more about how universes form in "Cosmic Dawn" on the National Geographic website.)

"A multiverse offers one good possible explanation for a lot of the unique observations we have made about our universe," says MIT physicist Alan Guth, who first wrote about inflation theory in 1980. "Life being here, for example."

Lunchtime

The Big Bang and inflation make the universe look like the ultimate free lunch, Guth has suggested, where we have received something for nothing.

But Linde takes this even further, suggesting the universe is a smorgasbord stuffed with every possible free lunch imaginable.

That means every kind of cosmos is out there in the aftermath of the Big Bang, from our familiar universe chock full of stars and planets to extravaganzas that encompass many more dimensions, but are devoid of such mundane things as atoms or photons of light.

In this multiverse spawned by "chaotic" inflation, the Big Bang is just a starting point, giving rise to multiple universes (including ours) separated by unimaginable gulfs of distance. How far does the multiverse stretch? Perhaps to infinity, suggests MIT physicist Max Tegmark, writing for Scientific American.

That means that spread across space at distances far larger than the roughly 92 billion light-year width of the universe that we can observe, other universes reside, some with many more dimensions and different physical properties and trajectories. (While the light from the most distant stuff we can see started out around 14 billion light-years away, the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, stretching the boundaries of the observable universe since then.)

Comic Mismatches

"I'm a fan of the multiverse, but I wouldn't claim it is true," says Guth. Nevertheless, he adds, a multiverse explains a lot of things that now confuse cosmologists about our universe.

For example, there is the 1998 discovery that galaxies in our universe seem to be spreading apart at an accelerating rate, when their mutual gravitational attraction should be slowing them down. This discovery, which garnered the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics, is generally thought to imply the existence of a "dark energy" that counteracts gravity on cosmic scales. Its nature is a profound mystery. About the only thing we understand about dark energy, physicists such as Michael Turner of the University of Chicago have long said, is its name.

"There is a tremendous mismatch between what we calculate [dark energy] ought to be and what we observe," Guth says. According to quantum theory, subatomic particles are constantly popping into existence and vanishing again in the vacuum of space, which should endow it with energy—but that vacuum energy, according to theoretical calculations, would be 120 orders of magnitude (a 1 followed by 120 zeroes) too large to explain the galaxy observations. The discrepancy has been a great source of embarrassment to physicists.

A multiverse could wipe the cosmic egg off their faces. On the bell curve of all possible universes spawned by inflation, our universe might just happen to be one of the few universes in which the dark energy is relatively lame. In others, the antigravity force might conform to physicists' expectations and be strong enough to rip all matter apart.

A multiverse might also explain away another embarrassment: the number of dimensions predicted by modern "superstring" theory. String theory describes subatomic particles as being composed of tiny strings of energy, but it requires there to be 11 dimensions instead of the four we actually observe. Maybe it's just describing all possible universes instead of our own. (It suggests there could be a staggeringly large number of possibilities—a 1 with 500 zeroes after it.)

Join the "multiverse club," Linde wrote in a March 9 review of inflationary cosmology, and what looks like a series of mathematical embarrassments disappears in a cloud of explanation. In a multiverse, there can be more things dreamt of in physicists' philosophy than happen to be found in our sad little heaven and earth.

Life, the Universe, and Everything

The multiverse may even help explain one of the more vexing paradoxes about our world, sometimes called the "anthropic" principle: the fact that we are here to observe it.

To cosmologists, our universe looks disturbingly fine-tuned for life. Without its Goldilocks-perfect alignment of the physical constants—everything from the strength of the force attaching electrons to atoms to the relative weakness of gravity—planets and suns, biochemistry, and life itself would be impossible. Atoms wouldn't stick together in a universe with more than four dimensions, Guth notes.

If ours was the only cosmos spawned by a Big Bang, these life-friendly properties would seem impossibly unlikely. But in a multiverse containing zillions of universes, a small number of life-friendly ones would arise by chance—and we could just happen to reside in one of them.

"Life may have formed in the small number of vacua where it was possible, in a multiverse," says Guth. "That's why we are seeing what we are seeing. Not because we are special, but because we
52  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: October 01, 2014, 06:21:10 PM
"This pessimism contributes to a zero-sum politics that on the right becomes a hostility to immigrants, and on the left a disparaging of the successful. Both impulses lead to policies—income redistribution, rejection of human talent—that compound economic decline."

Typical of the WSJ.

The rest is ok.
53  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Gorillas on: October 01, 2014, 06:13:30 PM
Recently I somewhere read there are only 900 mountain gorillas left on the planet.

 cry
54  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / altruism on: September 28, 2014, 07:09:41 PM
Extreme altruism
Right on!
Self-sacrifice, it seems, is the biological opposite of psychopathy
Sep 20th 2014 | From the print edition

FLYERS at petrol stations do not normally ask for someone to donate a kidney to an unrelated stranger. That such a poster, in a garage in Indiana, actually did persuade a donor to come forward might seem extraordinary. But extraordinary people such as the respondent to this appeal (those who volunteer to deliver aid by truck in Syria at the moment might also qualify) are sufficiently common to be worth investigating. And in a paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Abigail Marsh of Georgetown University and her colleagues do just that. Their conclusion is that extreme altruists are at one end of a “caring continuum” which exists in human populations—a continuum that has psychopaths at the other end.

Biology has long struggled with the concept of altruism. There is now reasonable agreement that its purpose is partly to be nice to relatives (with whom one shares genes) and partly to permit the exchanging of favours. But how the brain goes about being altruistic is unknown. Dr Marsh therefore wondered if the brains of extreme altruists might have observable differences from other brains—and, in particular, whether such differences might be the obverse of those seen in psychopaths.

She and her team used two brain-scanning techniques, structural and functional magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI), to study the amygdalas of 39 volunteers, 19 of whom were altruistic kidney donors. (The amygdalas, of which brains have two, one in each hemisphere, are areas of tissue central to the processing of emotion and empathy.) Structural MRI showed that the right amygdalas of altruists were 8.1% larger, on average, than those of people in the control group, though everyone’s left amygdalas were about the same size. That is, indeed, the obverse of what pertains in psychopaths, whose right amygdalas, previous studies have shown, are smaller than those of controls.

Functional MRI yielded similar results. Participants, while lying in a scanner, were shown pictures of men and women wearing fearful, angry or neutral expressions on their faces. Each volunteer went through four consecutive runs of 80 such images, and the fearful images (but not the other sorts) produced much more activity in the right amygdalas of the altruists than they did in those of the control groups, while the left amygdalas showed no such response. That, again, is the obverse of what previous work has shown is true of psychopaths, though in neither case is it clear why only the right amygdala is affected.

Dr Marsh’s result is interesting as much for what it says about psychopathy as for what it says about extreme altruism. Some biologists regard psychopathy as adaptive. They argue that if a psychopath can bully non-psychopaths into giving him what he wants, he will be at a reproductive advantage as long as most of the population is not psychopathic. The genes underpinning psychopathy will thus persist, though they can never become ubiquitous because psychopathy works only when there are non-psychopaths to prey on.

In contrast, Dr Marsh’s work suggests that what is going on is more like the way human height varies. Being tall is not a specific adaptation (though lots of research suggests tall people do better, in many ways, than short people do). Rather, tall people (and also short people) are outliers caused by unusual combinations of the many genes that govern height. If Dr Marsh is correct, psychopaths and extreme altruists may be the result of similar, rare combinations of genes underpinning the more normal human propensity to be moderately altruistic.

From the print edition: Science and technology
55  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) and the 4th & 9th Amendments on: September 25, 2014, 08:57:57 PM
I know someone who is being surveillance by organized crime.  At least one local cop is part of the equation.  Nice to know they have broad power to surveillance.

 I am very glad apple and hopefully the rest of the "masters of the universe" are/will come out with devices to keep government officals out.

Everything is not always in the name of terrorism.

Problem who is watching the "master's of the universe"  including Apple.  (using Sen Session's name).


56  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: American History on: September 25, 2014, 09:42:33 AM
Fascinating theory.

I would like to read this book.

57  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word on: September 25, 2014, 09:31:57 AM
Brilliant and timeless wisdom.   
Happy New Year to you too Rachel.
I've never met you could walk by you on the street, yet feel connected to you through your posts.

ccp
58  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / M2M magazine on: September 21, 2014, 11:21:09 AM
http://www.m2mnow.biz/wp-content/video/emails/magazine_announcement/Aug-Sep-2014/M2M_Now_Magazine_August_September_2014.pdf
59  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama a narcissist; Not at all. on: September 20, 2014, 10:44:53 AM
And anyone who calls him that is racist.  Never ends does it?

*****POLITICS  09.18.14
Why the Right Thinks Obama’s a Narcissist—and Why They’re Wrong
Now some on the right think Obama says ‘I’ too much. In fact, he doesn’t. But what does it mean that they can’t stand to hear him say it?
Charles Krauthammer has told Fox News that President Obama is a narcissist. And he should know, because once he was a psychologist.

His evidence? Obama apparently says “I” too much. He’s all into himself instead of the country he’s supposed to be running. “Count the number of times he uses ‘I’ in any speech, and compare that to any other president,” limns Doctor Krauthammer. “Remember when he announced the killing of Bin Laden? That speech I believe had 29 references to ‘I’—on my command, I ordered, as Commander-in-Chief I was then told, I this.”

But as linguist Mark Liberman notes at Language Log, the president used the word “I” exactly 10 times in that speech. Meanwhile, when Ronald Reagan made a speech in an analogous situation about Lebanon and Grenada, he used “I” exactly, um, 29 times. Yet to Krauthammer, who coined the term “Reagan Doctrine,” the Gipper was what a president is supposed to be. Why can’t Obama refer to himself as much as Reagan?

Kruathammer isn’t alone in bridling at our president’s referring to himself in public addresses. George Will has complained about this too, and yet the whole notion is complete BS. A useful example: Conservative writer Howard Portnoy claimed Obama was “I”-ing up the place ungraciously during his debates with Mitt Romney. In fact, in the first debate, Romney said “I” 227 times to Obama’s 122; in the second, 260 to Obama’s 176; and in the third, 198 times to Obama’s 108.


Clearly, it isn’t that Obama refers to himself to any notable degree. It’s that these pundits rankle inwardly when they hear the man saying “I”—because they deeply dislike him. Their innards seethe to see him expressing confidence, or otherwise reminding them that he, and not Mitt Romney, is the leader of the country. They want him down. They wish he’d go away. It’s ugly.

But no. I’m not going to go where one would expect at this point.

You know: I am to intone that these pundits think of Obama as an “uppity Negro.” And there’d be a gut-level appeal in taking that tack, especially since here and there someone like me has felt subject to that same evaluation. But self-gratification is not analysis. To give in to it too easily here would be sloppy.

After all, I’m usually the one saying people cry racism too easily, and I mean it. I have often written that people who glibly call opposition to Obama race-based forget how bitterly opposed much of the same crowd was to Bill Clinton. They also need to think about whether there really wouldn’t be a Tea Party if John Edwards—showy, a little brittle, and populist—was president. What’s the slam-dunk argument that Republicans wouldn’t deeply despise a President Edwards?

So, to check myself, I will propose that maybe these same pundits would be equally irritated to hear a President Edwards coolly making frequent references to his big bad self in speeches. Maybe Edwards’ politics and policies would make them bristle at his confidence as well.

I’m open to the possibility that their bias against Obama isn’t racial. I’m even open to the possibility that race isn’t even meaningfully “a part of it,” especially since what most people really mean by “it plays a part” is that it is the main part and the only one worth discussing. That’s smug and hasty. I will refrain from going there—although, I must say, I am fighting a powerful gut feeling.

One thing I know is that these pundits’ revulsion at the president’s confidence is, itself, revolting. It is not a sign of a healthy political discourse when smart, influential people feel vomitous to see someone with different views on policy than theirs expressing themselves with confidence and honesty.

Put it this way: the data are in and have been for years now, courtesy especially of my pals at Language Log. Scientific analysis demonstrates not a whit of linguistic narcissism in Barack Obama. Anybody who listens to our president and thinks he’s saying “I” too much is, quite simply, deeply biased against the man.

I’ll leave it to others to parse out the degree to which you-know-what “plays a part” in that bias (those put off by my not understanding that it “must” be racial please review my points about Clinton and Edwards).

A basic fact will remain: The bias, whatever its components, is nauseating.
60  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Holy Cow on: September 19, 2014, 10:47:49 PM
Now everyone has a "right" to "free" child care and paid leave!!   Did anyone catch John Kerry advising Code Pink that one of the reasons they should support BamBam's going after ISIS is because they don't offer their members free health care?   

********
 
Joe Biden: 'The NFL Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet'Speaking at a conference Friday, the vice president was equal measures somber and feisty.
BY EMMA ROLLER

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz introduces Vice President Joe Biden at the DNC's Women's Leadership Forum on Sept. 19, 2014 in Washington.(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
September 19, 2014 In the bowels of the Marriott Marquis in downtown Washington, Joe Biden was yelling.

The vice president was there to speak at the Democratic National Committee's annual Women's Leadership Conference, and he was fired up. Hillary Clinton and President Obama will address the crowd Friday afternoon.

In the run-up to its leadership conference, the DNC has faced somewhat of a leadership crisis of its own. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has faced flack from members of her party over the past two weeks for two recent PR blunders. On Friday she took the stage to introduce Biden, who has made a couple gaffes of his own recently.


In an otherwise warmly received speech, Biden did make one apparent slip, when he oddly praised a former Republican senator, Bob Packwood, who was accused of sexual harassment and ultimately resigned. Biden called Packwood "the type of Republican I miss," then continued his speech against sexual assault.



There was no apparent love lost for Biden and Wasserman Schultz—at least in the crowd. Wasserman Schultz called Biden a "national treasure" for his work on domestic violence, including his sponsorship of the Violence Against Women Act, which President Clinton signed into law 20 years ago. She also admitted to sporting a "Biden for President" button on her backpack when she was in college.

Biden in turn called Wasserman Schultz his "little sister," and praised her for her work as chairwoman. "I've never seen anybody work as hard and as tirelessly as Debbie has," he told the crowd.

Both addressed domestic violence in the scope of Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice, whom the National Football League suspended indefinitely after TMZ uncovered footage of Rice assaulting his then-fiancée in an elevator.

Biden name-dropped Cynthia Hogan, one of his former aides on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who was recently hired as the NFL's senior vice president for public policy and government affairs.

"The NFL ain't seen nothin' yet," Biden said. "They have no idea what they just bought onto." Also on Friday morning, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reportedly asked his staff to look into the military's relationship with the NFL.

BIDEN: 'THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY JUST BOUGHT ONTO"

DON'T MISS TODAY'S TOP STORIES
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Biden touted the success of the Violence Against Women Act, saying there has been a 64 percent drop in domestic violence between 1993 and 2010.

"Success will come when the societal attitude changes and not a single woman in America asks herself the question, 'What did I do?' " he said. Then, in a theatrical staccato: "Never. Never. Never is it the woman's fault!"

Biden also used the speech to introduce a new PR campaign by the White House to encourage young men to speak out against sexual assault on college campuses. The new campaign, called It's On Us, will try to shift the burden of combating rape culture from women to men. The Justice Department will also award $6 million in grants to 18 colleges "to develop comprehensive campus sexual-assault prevention and response programs."

"We have to reach out and engage young men, because the vast majority are decent," Biden said.

Then—after finishing a speech about domestic violence to a predominantly female audience—Biden derided the idea of "women's issues." The state of America's middle class, Biden said, is the most important women's issue. His speech echoed similar comments Hillary Clinton made Thursday, in which she pushed for paid leave and universal child care, along with passing the Paycheck Fairness Act.

"You can't have a conversation about economic growth if women aren't fully participating in the economy," Biden said. "It's not just about equity, it's about economic growth for everyone."

But no speech would be complete without a bit of campaign puffery, especially now that lawmakers in Congress have mutually decided to skip out on work to campaign for the next two months. Biden ended his speech by mentioning female senators facing tough reelection bids—Jeanne Shaheen, Mary Landrieu, and Kay Hagan—and reassuring the crowd, "They're gonna win, by the way."

He also praised two female gubernatorial candidates who face uphill battles against Republicans—Wisconsin's Mary Burke, and Texas's Wendy Davis, who is polling around 12 points behind her Republican opponent, Greg Abbott.

"If you have an extra dollar, give it to Wendy Davis," Biden said. "She's going to win that race."

The audience's applause drowned out the scoffs coming from the press gallery.


61  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rubio on defense on: September 19, 2014, 07:43:05 PM
Rubio makes argument for robust military
3249
  18
By Jesse Byrnes - 09/17/14 05:49 PM EDT
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called Wednesday for the United States to return to a Reagan-era U.S. military by greatly increasing its spending at the Pentagon.

Rubio said that the U.S. spends more than double on Social Security and Medicare benefits than it does on defense, and called for lawmakers to address those spending issues so that more money can be funneled to the nation’s defense.

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The possible 2016 White House contender sharply criticized President Obama’s defense and foreign affairs policies, noting that defense spending has fallen 21 percent since 2010 when adjusted for inflation, and 12 percent if the troop drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan are considered.
Drawing from recommendations by the National Defense Panel, Rubio called for the U.S. to up the Navy’s current 289 ships to 323, support the Air Force's F-35 program, reverse the plan reducing the Army and Marine Corps to pre-9/11 levels, rebuild intelligence capabilities and tackle veteran health care, personnel recruitment and military pension reform.

“The world needs American strength just as much as our people and our economy do,” Rubio said in a Washington address. “No other nation can deter global conflict by its presence alone.

“We must be prepared for threats wherever they arise, because our nation is never isolated from the world,” added Rubio, who in a Washington Post op-ed last week argued the “isolationism” of Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, another possible 2016 contender, put American lives at risk.

“Waiting for our adversaries to unclench their fists so we can shake their hands has not proven a responsible or effective strategy,” said Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence panels.

The event was hosted by the John Hay Initiative along with Concerned Veterans for America and the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute's Project for the Common Defense.

The increased focus on danger posed by fighters with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, as well as the dynamics of the upcoming 2016 presidential elections, offer good political timing for Rubio's speech, said former Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.), a member of the defense project.

Aside from maybe Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) who has talked about foreign policy for a long time, Rubio, if he decided to run, leads the pack of 2016 Republican contenders in terms of foreign policy, Talent told The Hill.

 

 
62  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: September 19, 2014, 11:36:40 AM
Doug,

I couldn't agree with you more. 

We will have to listen to 2 more years of the Hillary propaganda.  Hopefully not 10.

OTOH there are always more ready to pick up where she leaves off.
63  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Single motherhood on: September 19, 2014, 07:07:21 AM
It takes a village - the state, the employer and everyone other than the mother and father to raise a child.   What single mother is going to hear this and think of course she should get paid time off to pick up her child in minus 30 degree weather?

**********Hillary Clinton Blames Republicans for 'Egregious' Policies Toward Women
ABC News By Liz Kreutz

During a panel at the Center for American Progress today, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's message was clear: Equal pay for women, access to affordable, quality childcare, paid sick leave, and the full participation by women in the U.S. labor force will lead to a stronger economy (even a 10% increase in the GDP, she argued).

But Clinton also made clear she believes politicians on "the other side of the aisle" are preventing any such policy changes from passing through.

"Congress increasingly, despite the best efforts of my friends and others, is living in an evidence-free zone where what the reality is in the lives of Americans is so far from the minds of too many who don't place the highest priority on … family-centered economics," Clinton said.

"We could all tell stories of people we know who had really egregiously been impacted by the failure of our political leadership on the other side of the aisle to recognize the importance of making sure that people who work hard, play by the rules, have a chance to get into the middle class and certainly a chance to stay in the middle class," she added.

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Today's panel in Washington, D.C., which also included Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., focused on women's economic security and finding solutions to what Gillibrand dubbed as "Mad Men" era policies that she believes still exists in the United States today.

One featured guest, a student and single mother from Chicago, described how she was laid off from her job at Whole Foods after she took a day off to pick up her son after his school cancelled classes in -30 degree weather.

Gillibrand said that lack of paid leave makes her "the angriest," arguing that even Pakistan and Afghanistan have more paid leave than the United States. She said stories like this Chicago mother's were "outrageous."

The overall message among all the panelists was the notion that "the number one" thing the U.S. could do to make its economy stronger would be to tap into the full potential of women in the workplace. Without this support, Gillibrand argued, "we are providing an artificial drag on the economy."

Clinton, however, was the most vocal of the women to slam Republicans for their resistance to change.

"I think the other side will hang on for all they're worth - Nancy [Pelosi] knows that better than anybody. But I think if voters, if citizens speak up for themselves, for their families and their futures, we will see the kind of changes we're all advocating for," Clinton said to audience applause.

While the panelists engaged in an amiable conversation about an issue they are all passionate about, the end took a bit of a competitive turn.

Pelosi teasingly called out Clinton (former Senator of New York) for "bragging" that New York had the first women's rights conventions at Seneca Falls in 1848. Pelosi reminded everyone that her state - California - had just celebrated its 10 th anniversary with paid leave.

DeLauro then chimed in to defend her state too. "I just don't want to pre-empt New York or California, but quite frankly Connecticut was the first state to have paid sick leave and to increase its minimum wage," she quipped.

Clinton simmered down the group: "Competition is good on this one!" Clinton yelled out, with a smile.
64  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: September 18, 2014, 06:35:58 PM
Doug,
Thank you for the very detailed and articulated response. 
Our side needs to be immediately ready with rapid fire answers like yours.  And be able to hit the airwaves with responses just like the Clinton mob did in the 90's.  For any slight or criticism they would flood every took show immediately with hours with coordinated talking points.

We have nothing like it.
65  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Not sure what response is to this: on: September 17, 2014, 05:54:14 PM
http://theweek.com/article/index/268182/this-is-what-happens-when-republicans-actually-enact-their-radical-agenda
66  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Something not kosher on: September 17, 2014, 04:14:01 PM
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/joan-rivers-biopsy-doctor-id-nyc-physician-report-article-1.1943127
67  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jindal's energy plan summarized on: September 17, 2014, 01:41:10 PM
http://blogs.wsj.com/briefly/2014/09/16/5-things-about-bobby-jindals-energy-plan/
68  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jindal is a genius on: September 17, 2014, 01:36:56 PM
He is several thoughts ahead of everyone else in the room.   Clift of course means this to disparage him but instead it gets her attention. 

Eleanor Clift on Bobby J:

Eleanor Clift

POLITICS  09.16.14
Bobby Jindal vs. ‘Science Denier’ Obama
The likely 2016 Republican White House hopeful says it’s liberals who get science wrong. But will anyone buy it?
Among the GOP’s presidential hopefuls for 2016, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal scores near the bottom, with just 3 percent support from New Hampshire voters in a CNN poll. But his poor showing is not for lack of trying, and the red meat he now tosses to the base is at least of a novel variety. On Tuesday, for example, he accused the Obama administration of being “science deniers,” a charge more commonly leveled at, rather than by, conservatives like Jindal.

As vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Jindal’s been traveling to key states, including Iowa and New Hampshire. He’s also been systematically unveiling policy proposals, like the shiny 47-page pamphlet on “Making America an Energy Superpower,” which graced every seat at a Tuesday breakfast in Washington where Jindal took questions from reporters.

A boy genius who graduated from Brown University at age 20 and turned down offers from Harvard Medical School and Yale Law School to pursue political science at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, the 43-year-old Jindal still has plenty of time to peak in his storied career. He says he’ll decide after November whether to run for president, and with that in mind, his facile mind and his agility with words were tested at the breakfast organized by The Christian Monitor.

Jindal called the Obama administration “science deniers” in his opening remarks. “Let the scientists debate and figure that out,” Jindal said when challenged to say where he stands on climate change, preferring to turn the question back on the administration for, in his view, denying science by refusing to green-light the Keystone Pipeline.

Asked if he personally believes the climate is changing, and Earth is warming, and human activity is at least partially responsible, Jindal resorted to the verbal gymnastics that characterized his responses to most questions. “The climate is always changing, it’s not controversial to say that,” he said. But he again wanted to “let the scientists decide” what’s causing those changes, adding that he hopes human activity is “not contributing” an increase in temperatures. In any event, he’s for “leaving it to the scientists.”

On the other hand, he agrees with conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer that “one doesn’t have to be a believer or a denier to say we should control emissions.” But he opposes the U.S. taking unilateral action and would withdraw from the United Nations Kyoto Protocol governing climate change. He points out that the U.S. exports 10 percent of the country’s coal production, which means that coal is getting burned somewhere.

“Simply exporting coal to other countries doesn’t do anything,” he said, concluding with his new favorite mantra: “Let the scientists debate and figure that out.”

The scientists are going to be plenty busy if there’s a Jindal administration.
The scientists are going to be plenty busy if there’s a Jindal administration. In the meantime, asked if he personally believes the theory of evolution explains the presence of life, he ducked, saying local schools should make the decision about what’s taught in their classrooms.

“As a father, I want my kids to be taught about evolution,” he said, while insisting that local schools should decide what kind of science or biology should be taught. In an exchange immediately after the breakfast, Jindal told The Daily Beast that his opposition to Common Core education standards is based on the same kind of thinking, that the federal government should not be imposing standards from Washington. Once an avid promoter of the Common Core, he has said it’s been “hijacked” by the Obama administration.

Whether Jindal is sincerely searching for alternative policies, or he’s engaging in the double talk common in politics, is hard to say. Maybe he’s doing both. As one of the GOP’s younger activists, he pioneered an idea that is gaining currency on the campaign trail among Republicans: advocating for the sale of over-the-counter birth control. “I do see this as becoming more common,” he said, noting that Republican candidates in tight races for the senate in Colorado and North Carolina have embraced the position. “The fact that the left reacted so loudly” told him it was working, Jindal said.

With control of the Senate up for grabs in November, this newfound support among Republicans for contraceptive access could blunt Democratic allegations that the GOP is in a “war on women.” Democrats counter that if contraceptives are sold over the counter, insurance companies would no longer have to cover the cost, which for some amounts to $600 a year for birth control pills. Jindal said all he’s doing is following the recommendations of doctors and medical associations, which say this is a safe product that can be offered over the counter without a prescription.

“It doesn’t stop a woman from getting a prescription from the doctor and insurance covering it,” he said. “This is giving an additional option, not taking it away.” He predicted that insurance companies would respond to market forces and the pressure from consumers to continue their coverage. He said it would be “cheaper” for insurance companies to cover contraceptives bought over the counter than having to pay for doctor visits and births.

A convert from Hinduism to Christianity, Jindal is making the issue of religious freedom a centerpiece of his appeal to the Republican primary electorate. He lauded the Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court and said he and other social conservatives were “shocked” at the recent National Prayer Breakfast “to hear [Obama] talk about what’s happening overseas while ignoring what’s happening here at home.”

Jindal will have to elbow others aside in the crowded GOP space for those who argue religion has been sidelined, a belief that’s become almost a given in the current GOP. A better use of his political talents might be in the verbal gymnastics he’s so good at, and in squaring the circle of a Republican Party seeking a future when it is so divided on how it sees the present.
69  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: September 17, 2014, 01:36:39 PM
Doug,

Great start.  More specifics in the future hopefully.  Too vague but a more thorough message is more difficult.  I think the Republicans should address these divergent groups.  They should target on a national bully pulpit agenda.

Not just hire a few from each group, a gay, a black, a latin, a women and call them chairman of the gay, black, latin, women Republican "outreach" or committee of some other vague platform that no one ever sees.   They should seriously look at reaching out to these groups on the national stage and in a big way.  Explain to them whey their lives are not and will likely not get better under Crats. 

As for the perception the rich are getting richer and everyone else not the evidence suggests that is truer today than since the Gilded Age.  Hillary will have arguments for all these things.  The Cans have historically not addressed them.

"If we can't make an economic or freedom argument after 8 years of Obama, ..."

On a national level, apparently not.



70  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR on: September 17, 2014, 12:03:42 PM
I am not sure I am glad I did it but I looked up beheadings and there is a graphic link to many beheadings including one that is live.

I agree with the link that one cannot separate Islam from this form of terror.  The concept of beheadings is right in the Koran.  This attracts the power hungry the sadists, the criminals just like Hitler's and Stalin's regimes.

The cruelty of this world just knows no ends.



71  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Corruption on: September 17, 2014, 11:48:29 AM
Doug writes,

"There shouldn't be any tolerance for even the appearance of helping one company or industry over another and yet they do it all the time."

"His successor is Clinton crony, Terry McAulliffe.  It's funny what is legal and what is not, and who gets off scot-free and who gets convicted of multiple felonies.

Excellent at pointing out the irony Doug.  I didn't think of it.   McDonnell gets caught but McAulliffe gets away with his crookedness and gets McDonnell's governorship.



72  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: September 17, 2014, 11:41:14 AM
"Eking out a win without bringing voters over to a positive agenda going forward is a tremendous and historic loss."

"positive agenda"

We can be sure the Clinton mob is furiously working to come up positive agendas for their voting blocks.

And they will have ones for the middle class which is key.   That is the ones who want to work.

For the benefits crowd there is little hope it seems they will ever vote ideology over cash handouts.

How do Republicans win over single mothers?   

How do they win over American workers?

How do they win over blue collars?

How do they win over other ethnic groups?

Blacks?

(Forget liberal Jews - no hope)

Spanish Speaking groups?

73  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / What is response to this? on: September 17, 2014, 09:38:10 AM
http://theweek.com/article/index/268182/this-is-what-happens-when-republicans-actually-enact-their-radical-agenda 

74  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: September 17, 2014, 09:33:04 AM
So Biden hates Jews as much as Obama.

He needn't worry.  Zuckerberg and Soros won't sweat this.  The money will keep flowing in from the wealthy Jewish liberals.

Most American Liberal Jews are not Jews first.  They are liberals first.  So they will just ignore this because it doesn't fit their liberal agenda.

But GM's point is valid.  Imagine if a Republican made this remark.    Then they would be going after the politician with wild fury.  But just understand that it would not be because they made an anti-semitic remark.  It would just be an good excuse to demoniize a Republican.
75  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: September 17, 2014, 09:24:09 AM
"it seems like a waste of their money to be bribing people to do what they are already highly motivated to do"

Yes that was my thought too. 

76  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Just a poll but... on: September 17, 2014, 09:18:39 AM
If this happens how does Republicans rid themselves of Rove?

*****By Chris Cillizza September 16 at 12:23 PM 
 
Democrats are now (very slightly) favored to hold the Senate majority on Nov. 4, according to Election Lab, The Post's statistical model of the 2014 midterm elections.

Election Lab puts Democrats' chances of retaining their majority at 51 percent — a huge change from even a few months ago, when the model predicted that Republicans had a better than 80 percent chance of winning the six seats they need to take control. (Worth noting: When the model showed Republicans as overwhelming favorites, our model builders — led by George Washington University's John Sides — warned that the model could and would change as more actual polling — as opposed to historical projections — played a larger and larger role in the calculations. And, in Republicans' defense, no one I talked to ever thought they had an 80 percent chance of winning the majority.)

So, what exactly has changed to move the Election Lab projection? Three big things:

* Colorado: On Aug. 27 — the last time I wrote a big piece on the model — Election Lab said Sen. Mark Udall (D) had a 64 percent chance of winning. Today he has a 94 percent chance.

* Iowa: Two weeks ago, the model gave state Sen. Joni Ernst (R) a 72 percent chance of winning. Today she has a 59 percent chance.

* Kansas: Republican Sen. Pat Roberts's reelection race wasn't even on the radar on Aug. 27. Today, Election Lab predicts that he has just a 68 percent chance of winning.

In addition to that trio of moves in Democrats' direction, Louisiana has moved slightly in Democrats' favor (from a 57 percent chance of losing to a 53 percent chance), as has North Carolina (a 97 percent chance of winning now as opposed to a 92 percent chance on Aug. 27).


By contrast, Alaska has moved in Republicans' direction (Democratic Sen. Mark Begich's chances of winning are down from 66 percent to 53 percent), and Georgia has become more of a sure-thing hold (a 91 percent GOP win vs. an 84 percent hold).

The movement toward Democrats in the Election Lab model isn't unique. LEO, the New York Times' Upshot model, gives Republicans a 51 percent chance of winning the Senate — but that is down significantly over the past few weeks.

 
Image courtesy of The Upshot
Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight model now has Republican chances of winning the Senate at 55 percent, down from 64 percent 12 days ago. "The two states with the largest shifts have been Colorado and North Carolina — in both cases, the movement has been in Democrats’ direction," Silver writes. "That accounts for most of the difference in the forecast."

It's important to note that these models change daily as new polling is released and factored in.  So, tomorrow it's possible that Election Lab will show Republicans with a very narrow edge in the battle for the Senate. What you should take away from the models then is a) all three have moved toward Democrats of late and b) all three show the battle for the Senate majority to be the truest of tossups at the moment.

What's interesting about the election models is that they are moving in the opposite direction of political handicappers. In recent days, Stu Rothenberg and Charlie Cook, the two best-known, nonpartisan prognosticators in Washington, have each written that the possibility of large-scale Republicans gains is increasing, not decreasing. Wrote Stu last week:

After looking at recent national, state and congressional survey data and comparing this election cycle to previous ones, I am currently expecting a sizable Republican Senate wave. The combination of an unpopular president and a midterm election (indeed, a second midterm) can produce disastrous results for the president’s party. President Barack Obama’s numbers could rally, of course, and that would change my expectations in the blink of an eye. But as long as his approval sits in the 40-percent range (the August NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll), the signs are ominous for Democrats.

These two sets of predictions are not mutually exclusive. Charlie and Stu are trying to look ahead seven weeks to predict the outcome; the election models are measuring the chances as of today. Still, it's a fascinating split — and one to watch over the final seven weeks of the 2014 election.


Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.
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77  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cuban spies influence policy decisions? on: September 16, 2014, 10:40:12 PM
FBI: Cuban Intelligence Aggressively Recruiting Leftist American Academics as Spies, Influence Agents

BY: Bill Gertz     
September 5, 2014 5:00 am

Cuba’s communist-led intelligence services are aggressively recruiting leftist American academics and university professors as spies and influence agents, according to an internal FBI report published this week.

Cuban intelligence services “have perfected the work of placing agents, that includes aggressively targeting U.S. universities under the assumption that a percentage of students will eventually move on to positions within the U.S. government that can provide access to information of use to the [Cuban intelligence service],” the five-page unclassified FBI report says. It notes that the Cubans “devote a significant amount of resources to targeting and exploiting U.S. academia.”

“Academia has been and remains a key target of foreign intelligence services, including the [Cuban intelligence service],” the report concludes.

One recruitment method used by the Cubans is to appeal to American leftists’ ideology. “For instance, someone who is allied with communist or leftist ideology may assist the [Cuban intelligence service] because of his/her personal beliefs,” the FBI report, dated Sept. 2, said.

Others are offered lucrative business deals in Cuba in a future post-U.S. embargo environment, and are treated to extravagant, all-expense paid visits to the island.

Coercive tactics used by the Cubans include exploiting personal weaknesses and sexual entrapment, usually during visits to Cuba.

The Cubans “will actively exploit visitors to the island” and U.S. academics are targeted by a special department of the spy agency.

“This department is supported by all of the counterintelligence resources the government of Cuba can marshal on the island,” the report said. “Intelligence officers will come into contact with the academic travelers. They will stay in the same accommodations and participate in the activities arranged for the travelers. This clearly provides an opportunity to identify targets.”

In addition to collecting information and secrets, Cuban spies employ “influence operations,” the FBI said.

“The objective of these activities can range from portraying a specific image, usually positive, to attempting to sway policymakers into particular courses of action,” the report said.

Additionally, Cuban intelligence seeks to plant disinformation or propaganda through its influence agents, and can task recruits to actively disseminate the data. Once recruited, many of the agents are directed to entering fields that will provide greater information access in the future, mainly within the U.S. government and intelligence community.

The Cubans do not limit recruitments to “clandestine agents,” the report said. Other people who do not have access to secrets are co-opted as spies because of their political position or political views that can be exploited for supporting Cuban goals, either as open supporters or unwitting dupes.

“Some of these individuals may not be told openly that they are working for the [Cuban intelligence service], even though it may not be too hard for them to figure out,” the report said. “The relationship may openly appear to be a benign, mutually beneficial friendship.”

Chris Simmons, a retired spycatcher for the Defense Intelligence Agency, said Cuban intelligence has long targeted U.S. academics. For example, Havana assigned six intelligence officers to assist Council on Foreign Relations Latin Affairs specialist Julia E. Sweig in writing a 2002 book on the Cuban revolution, he said.

“College campuses are seen as fertile grounds for the recruitment of the ‘next generation’ of spies,” Simmons said. “Cuba heavily targets the schools that train the best candidates for U.S. government jobs, like Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, and George Washington University.”

One goal of the Cubans is to recruit students prior to federal employment, a method that allows Havana to direct a recruited agent into targeted key spy targets, like Congress or the FBI, Simmons said.

“A preferred target are ‘study abroad’ programs in Cuba, as participating students are assessed as inherently sympathetic to the Cuban revolution,” Simmons said.

Cuban intelligence has recruited numerous spies in the past that became long-term penetration agents inside the U.S. government. According to the CI Centre, a think tank, there have been 25 Cuban spies uncovered in the United States since the 1960s, including former CIA officer Philip Agee to who defected and worked closely with both Cuban intelligence and the Soviet KGB starting in 1973.

One of the most notorious Cuban spy cases involved Ana Montes, a senior analyst who worked in the highest levels of the U.S. intelligence and policymaking communities.

Montes, a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, pleaded guilty in 2002 to spying for Cuba for 17 years. She is serving a 25-year prison term.

Montes was recruited by Cuban intelligence in 1984 while a student at the Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where she was a graduate student and had voiced her hatred of the then-Reagan administration policy of backing anti-communist rebels fighting the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua.

She was recruited at SAIS by another Cuban spy, Marta Rita Velazquez, who worked for U.S. Agency for International Development and fled the country after Montes was arrested in 2001.

Two other notable Cuban spies were Walter Kendall Myers, a State Department Foreign Service contractor who worked for Cuban intelligence from 1979 to 2007, and his wife Gwen Myers. They were recruited after visiting Cuba. Walter Myers was a leftist who criticized “American imperialism” in a diary entry after visiting Cuba. He held a top-secret security clearance and in 2010 was sentenced to life in prison after a conviction for spying.

Cuba’s spy agencies “actively target academia to recruit agents and to support Cuban influence operations.”

“Unfortunately, part of what makes academic environments ideal for enhancing and sharing knowledge also can assist the efforts of foreign intelligence services to accomplish their objectives,” the report concludes. “This situation is unlikely to change, but awareness of the methods used to target academia can greatly assist in neutralizing the efforts of these foreign intelligence services.”

The FBI report was based largely on testimony from José Cohen, a former officer of the Cuban Intelligence Directorate, known by its Spanish acronym as DGI, who defected in 1994.

The targeting of American spies takes place at schools, colleges, universities, and research institutes. “Cuban intelligence services are known to actively target the U.S. academic world for the purposes of recruiting agents, in order to both obtain useful information and conduct influence activities,” the FBI said.

The academic world, because of its openness and need for networking, “offers a rich array of targets attractive to foreign intelligence services,” the report said, noting that U.S. government institutions draw on academia for personnel, both for entry level staffing and for consultation from established experts.

Cuban intelligence seeks leftists and others sympathetic to Cuba’s communist regime because it lacks funds needed to pay recruited agents, the report said.

The process includes targeting American and Cuban-American academics, recruiting them if possible and eventually converting them into Cuban intelligence agents.

Cuban front groups also are used to recruit spies in the United States, including a network of collaborators and agents in Cuba that make contact with counterparts in the United States.

Specific universities in Washington and New York that were not specified by the FBI are targets because they are close to Cuban intelligence posts in those cities.

An example of the recruitment effort was provided to the FBI by a “self-admitted Cuban intelligence” officer outlining how a spy is recruited at a U.S. university.

“The Cuban intelligence officers located at the Cuban Mission to the United Nations in New York, New York, or the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C., obtain a published work by a specific professor or student … from a university the [Cubans] are monitoring,” the report said.

A Cuban control agent in Havana studies the work and works together with a co-opted Cuban academic and together the pair analyzes published material and forms a plan of action that may include a personal letter to the targeted individual in the United States.

“The letter will suggest a ‘genuine’ interest in starting a friendship or contact regarding the topic of the article,” the report said. “The personal letter becomes a pretext for the Cuban intelligence officer stationed in the United States to use for initial contact with the targeted individual.”

A Cuba spy posing as a diplomat develops a relationship with the academic that can last months or years of assessing motivations, weaknesses, and current future and access to information.

In some cases, the Cubans use compromising video or audio and sexual entrapment to develop U.S. spies.

“Ultimately, when the time is right, the plan will be executed and the targeted individual will be approached and formally asked to help the government of Cuba,” the report said.

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78  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Wow. This is sick. Dr. took picture of himself with Rivers..... on: September 16, 2014, 08:47:57 PM
Joan Rivers’ Doctor Snapped Selfie During Throat Procedure (Report)

Joan Rivers‘ personal ear, nose, and throat doctor allegedly snapped a selfie with the comedienne while she was under general anesthesia for her throat procedure.

Also read: Joan Rivers’ Endoscopy Clinic Denies Performing Dangerous Throat Biopsy

According to CNN, a Yorkville Endoscopy staff member told investigators the photograph was taken while Rivers was in the procedure room.

The 81-year-old entertainer went to the clinic to undergo a scheduled endoscopy by gastroenterologist and the clinic's medical director Dr. Lawrence Cohen, according to reports. After that procedure, CNN reports Rivers also underwent an unauthorized vocal cord biopsy performed by a physician, who hasn't been identified.

While she was under!

On Friday Yorkville Endoscopy announced Dr. Cohen was no longer medical director of the clinic, located in Manhattan. Reports are conflicting as to whether he voluntarily stepped down or was fired.

“Dr. Cohen is not currently performing procedures at Yorkville Endoscopy, nor is he currently serving as medical director,” a spokesperson from the clinic said in a statement obtained by TheWrap.

Also read: Joan Rivers Funeral: Howard Stern Delivers Eulogy at Star-Studded Service

On Sept. 5 the New York Medical Examiner's Office told TheWrap that the autopsy on Rivers’ body did not yield a firm cause or manner of death, and that further studies would be conducted to determine exactly how she died following the Aug. 28 procedure.

Rivers was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital, but did not recover. She was placed in a medically-induced coma and had been on life support when she died on Sept. 4.
79  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: September 16, 2014, 11:23:23 AM
"Can not a similar argument be made in the tech sector?  That having some cheap hi-tech labor here, companies who otherwise might feel compelled to go offshore (and they face tremendous tax code driven reasons to do so as well!) stay?"

No.  The second assumption about tax codes does not make it ok to incessantly undermine the middle class by bringing in those from around the world who will work for less.   What needs to be done is to make the tax code less rigorous.
80  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why are independents always really full blown liberals in disguise on: September 16, 2014, 11:17:52 AM
Meet Greg Orman, the man who could decide the Senate majority

By Sean Sullivan September 4 
 
Independent Senate candidate Greg Orman speaks with reporters Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014. (AP Photo, Topeka Capital-Journal/Thad Allton)
The question of which political party will control the Senate could come down to a man who says parties are "part of the problem."

That man is Greg Orman, the independent candidate for Senate in Kansas who finds himself at the center of the political universe today. Democratic nominee Chad Taylor abruptly ended his campaign on Wednesday, clearing the way for Orman to have a clean shot at Sen. Pat Roberts (R) -- who, polls suggest, could be unexpectedly vulnerable this fall.

Orman, 45, is a political enigma. Over the years, he's donated money to both liberal Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and the National Republican Congressional Committee. He says he voted for President Obama in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. And he won't reveal which side he would choose in the Senate.

But national Democrats have been mum about Taylor's sudden departure, fueling speculation the party believes there is a very good chance Orman would side with them. Running in a deeply conservative state, Orman is carefully avoiding any move that would link him too closely with Democrats. At the same time, he's casting himself as a much more moderate alternative to Roberts, who he says has adopted "Ted Cruz's voting patterns."

In a telephone interview with The Washington Post last week, Orman decried the partisan gridlock that has seized Congress. He said that he would likely side with whichever party is in the majority and talk to both sides if he ends up the deciding vote. With a competitive battle for the majority underway, that's a possibility.

"I hold both sides equally accountable," he said.

Orman presented himself as a moderate in the mold of Bob Dole, the former Senate majority leader from Kansas. He took aim at Roberts for voting against the farm bill, and lambasted him for not voting on the VA reform bill.


On immigration, he emphasized the importance of securing the border -- but also said supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and that he would have supported the comprehensive reform bill that passed the Senate last year.

"I think if you're undocumented and you are here, you should have to register with [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement], you should have to pay a small fine or perform community service as an acknowledgement that you've broken the law," he explained. "Then you should have to hold down a job, pay taxes, obey our laws. And if you do all those things, I think you should be able to continue to live here and work here."

Orman was one of five children of a nurse and a furniture store owner in Stanley, Kan. He graduated from Princeton University, where he was a member of the College Republicans, in 1991 with an degree in economics. Not long after, he founded a company that installed energy efficient lighting systems. In 2004, he co-founded Denali Partners, LLC, an investment firm.

Disillusioned by the George W. Bush administration, according to lengthy explanation of his political history posted on his campaign Web site, Orman decided to become a Democrat. His first foray into elected office was in 2007, when he briefly explored a run against Roberts as a Democrat before pulling the plug on that idea.

He's parked himself firmly in the middle in the years since that short-lived bid. Orman founded the centrist the Common Sense Coalition in 2010. He told The Post -- after initially balking -- that he voted for Obama in 2008 and Romney in 2012. Obama's "very, very partisan approach to health-care," Orman said, led him to opposing a second term.


Campaign finance records reveal that Orman has given to both Democrats and Republicans over the years. About two years after giving money to Obama, have wrote a check to a political action committee founded by Republican Scott Brown.

Orman, for his part, is not taking money from political action committees in his campaign. Through mid-July he had more than $362,000 in his campaign account -- a fairly impressive sum for an inexpensive state like Kansas. And he's left the door open to dipping into his own pockets for more.

Roberts, who is still recovering from a bruising primary campaign in which he was sharply criticized for staying with supporters when he is in Kansas instead of his own home, has signaled that he will try to portray Orman as far too liberal for Kansas.

"We are confident that Kansas voters will quickly see through this charade foisted on Kansas by Orman and his Democrat allies," said Leroy Towns, Roberts's campaign manager, in a statement.

Amid his political shifts over the years, did Orman ever vote for Roberts in a primary or general election?

"Not that I recall," he said. "But I don't remember everybody I voted for over the last 25 years."

81  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary will win and here is why on: September 16, 2014, 10:59:38 AM
 cry

Doug, 

That Hillary Clinton is a serial liar and outright criminal is clear.

Sadly, many people just don't care or will look the other way. 

We can minimize her with negative stuff like this (and we should continue to press on about it) but this will not defeat her. 

75% of people in this country are reportedly living from pay check to pay check.  Until Republicans can come up with policies and messages that can resonate to some of these 75% Republicans will always struggle in MHO.
Once again the Clintons show they "get it":.   How to reach the masses and to re-ignite the American Dream without demonizing the rich. 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2756751/Hillary-spent-summer-Hamptons-crafting-presidential-message-based-job-creation-friends-say.html

Republicans need to do the same thing but without more government, more regulations, more taxes, and more welfare.  I am not sure if they will or even can.   They just don't seem to be as clever.  And some are clearly corrupt.   

See how the Clintons can continue to stay in the game no matter how vile they are?  They know how to message and sometimes come up with the policies that resonates with many people.

The Republicans can't (or won't). angry cry
82  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: September 16, 2014, 09:39:58 AM
Objectivist,

I agree with you.  I see in health care what you see in IT.  Not only from a state where half of doctors are born in another country but my many patients in IT most of whom are also born somewhere else.
Only when one gets squeezed by the competition does one wonder what is going on.

  I don' think many on this board will agree with us.

The Cans are foolish if they don't see the great political opportunity this opens up in reaching out to new groups of voters.  Jeff Sessions might.  Even Marc Levin who is a promoter of capatilism sees this.

But the rest of the Republicans seem to be too timid or in bed with the likes of Andressen and are more concerned about promoting their business fortunes with cheap labor than the offering jobs to Americans.

I am not a union guy but this is about undercutting Americans - not about unions.
83  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Isn't it obvious to all of us? on: September 16, 2014, 09:27:23 AM
Well Charles doesn't go far enough.  Of course Obama is a narcissist.  But he also has a *narcissistic personality disorder*.    "Megalomania"  is descriptive of this guy.

*****Charles Krauthammer: Barack Obama ‘narcissist’

By LUCY MCCALMONT | 9/15/14 5:38 PM EDT
Conservative columnist — and former psychiatrist — Charles Krauthammer took time Monday for presidential couch analysis, saying the President Barack Obama is not manic, but rather a narcissist, who “talks like the emperor, Napoleon.”

“So I decided when I left psychiatry never to use my authority. But let me just say as a layman, without invoking any expertise, Obama is clearly a narcissist in the non-scientific use of the word. He is so self-involved, you see it from his rise,” Krauthammer said Monday on the Hugh Hewitt Show, according to a transcript.


Pointing to what Krauthammer called the “theater” of Obama’s 2008 campaign, he continued to slam and assess the president’s personality.

“I think he’s extremely self-involved. He sees himself in very world historical terms, which means A) because he’s an amateur, he doesn’t know very much, and B) because he’s a narcissist, he doesn’t listen,” Krauthammer said.

The conservative emphasized that he doesn’t like to use is authority on psychiatric analyses, “because you really can’t do it at a distance,” but nevertheless offered up a take on Obama.

“My specialty when I was a psychiatrist was bipolar disease. And I wrote some papers on manic disease. He’s not manic, and I don’t think he’s depressed,” Krauthammer said.

He also noted that Obama’s speeches often refer to himself, which Krauthammer suggested Obama has done more than his White House predecessors.

(Full 2014 election results)

“This is a guy, you look at every one of his speeches, even the way he introduces high officials – I’d like to introduce my secretary of state. He once referred to ‘my intelligence community’. And in one speech, I no longer remember it, ‘my military’. For God’s sake, he talks like the emperor, Napoleon,” Krauthammer said.

He continued, “He does have this sense of this all being a drama about him, and everybody else is just sort of part of the stage.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/09/charles-krauthammer-barack-obama-narcissist-110975.html#ixzz3DULc9g4s
84  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: September 11, 2014, 10:14:26 AM
Yes more vocal critics on the Left as well as the Right of his foreign policy (now the damage is done), but I wouldn't rest till the case is won that his domestic policy is even MORE of a disaster, knowing full well the benefits crowd will never leave him or their beloved paymasters  -  The Democrat Party.

And by '16 we will have 20 million new voters the vast majority who are Democrats to deal with.   Texas is next on their hit list.

Did you see that 1 out of 3 public school students in California are either illegal or cannot speak English.  For God's sake there are 40 million people there.  I remember when the population of the entire US was only around 150 million.   This is nuts.  How are all these people helping the economy?  Explain that to me Fuckerberg?

All wealthy "liberals* should be taxed at a rate of 90%.
85  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: September 11, 2014, 10:06:08 AM
I think he could have been a tad more tactful though. 
86  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / morning psychobabble on: September 11, 2014, 10:04:38 AM
Well, some also "worship" satan.  Some Idolize Hitler and other mass murderers.   So this is not too surprising.   Probably isolated kid who feels like outcast so as to feel like part of something bigger she does this stuff.  There is something romantic about being a "revolutionary" as well.   Fosters romance amongst the young.  Reminds me of the Stalin biography and how so many women were attracted to him even before he was powerful.   It was the young romance thing.   Like "Oh we are saving the world together".   Wasn't being an anti war protester in the 60s a way for kids to connect.  To get girls or guys.   

It sure doesn't help to have a liberal MSM and educational system that has made America into the world's evil villain responsible for all its problems.   The poor oppressed Muslims and the Indians and the Blacks, and Women, and the rest of it.  All evil Western  Christian white men.

Perhaps they should have let her go to Syria.  She wants to be there in that environment and that culture.   Good riddance.   Eventually she would come crawling back begging to be American again.  If not killed raped or enslaved by then:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/colorado-teen-shannon-conleys-support-of-isis-raises-alarm-about-american-jihadists/
87  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Correct election map for Senate 2014!!! on: September 11, 2014, 09:48:48 AM
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2014/senate/2014_elections_senate_map.html
88  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A Jew who escaped the holocaust played Nazis on: September 11, 2014, 09:42:11 AM
Interesting read on Sgt Schulz of Hogan's Heroes fame.  I was not a big fan of the show really but I certainly remember it and him well.

He left Austria when Hitler annexed it and came to America and quickly learned English (just like today:(( )
Many of his relatives left behind like most of the others all died.   He for some reason (accent?) was type cast into playing Nazi roles:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Banner
89  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Nothing wrong with his stance on: September 11, 2014, 09:18:35 AM
but he is sure "rough around the edges":

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/09/10/Ted-Cruz--Opposition-to-Israel-Led-to-Me-Leaving-Event
90  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: September 11, 2014, 09:04:22 AM
Doug writes:

"Inevitable that she will run, win the nomination, and win the general election?  I don't think so.   )"

I hope your right.   But they have such a mafia like mob behind them and so many careers, opportunities, money at stake for so many who have influence, money and power and want more of the same that t she is a formidable force even though flawed when she tries to think and speak unprepared as well as everything else we know about here.


91  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NYT starting to turn on BamBam in prep for the next liar in chief Hillary on: September 11, 2014, 08:54:14 AM
This is really a Clinton story.   The Clintonites are turning the screws to BamBam to clear the stage for their new exalted chosen one:  Hillary.
********NYT Baghdad Bureau Chief: Obama 'Ignored' Iraq, Is 'Ignorant of Reality'
 
by Jordan Schachtel  10 Sep 2014 430  post a comment 


Tim Arango, Baghdad Bureau Chief of the New York Times, lit up President Obama’s Middle East policies in a recent “Ask Me Anything” Q & A session with users of the online forum Reddit.

One user asked, “How do you rate the Obama administration’s actions in Iraq? What did they do right? What did they get wrong?

The Baghdad Bureau Chief responded by bluntly stating that the Obama administration since 2011 has “basically ignored the country [Iraq].”

He continued, “when [US] officials spoke about what was happening there they were often ignorant of the reality.”

The NYT correspondent said that Obama officials stubbornly refused to see the realities on the ground, “because it conflicted with their narrative.”

He then took a jab at Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken, known as one of the President’s trusted advisers on foreign policy.

“In 2012, as violence was escalating I wrote a story, citing UN statistics, that showed how civilian deaths from attacks were rising,” Arango added. “Tony Blinken, who was then Biden’s national security guy and a top Iraq official, pushed back, even wrote a letter to the editor, saying that violence was near historic lows. That was not true.”

Blinken is now Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama. After obtaining his JD Columbia Law School, he went straight into Democratic politics -- fundraising for the presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis. Blinken then joined the Clinton administration under the assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian affairs. In 2008, he worked on Joe Biden’s failed campaign for President but was then appointed by President Obama to be his Deputy National Security Advisor in January of 2013.

VP Biden has previously referred to Blinken as his “go-to-guy” on Iraq -- known for helping to facilitate the US withdrawal from Baghdad -- a plan marred by the administration's failure to secure a status-of-forces agreement.

Even when the Islamic State was marching across Iraq unchecked, Obama officials ignored the jihadi group’s rise because it wasn’t politically expedient to tackle such issues, according to the NYT journalist.

Arango concluded: “Even after falluja fell to ISIS at the end of last year, the administration would push back on stories about Maliki’s sectarian tendencies saying they didn’t see it that way. So there was a concerted effort by the administration not to acknowledge the obvious until it became apparent -- with the fall of Mosul -- that Iraq was collapsing.”

92  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / cheerful way to start our mornings on: September 11, 2014, 08:22:46 AM
Notice the horse drawn carts:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOb5Yq-mQsw
93  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Go to next post on this thread on: September 11, 2014, 08:13:12 AM
Better link
94  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: September 06, 2014, 07:44:41 PM
Back on August 10th I posted this in response to the rumors he would grant amnesty very soon:

******
"« Reply #788 on: August 10, 2014, 01:20:33 PM »
Reply with quote Modify message Remove message 

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

I guess I am wrong.  I thought he would wait till after the election.  He probably figures why bother. "

*******

Now just to prove me right all along he decides he will indeed wait till safely after the election than screw the rest of us over afterwards.
95  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Governor debate on: September 06, 2014, 07:37:27 PM
Is this GOP challenger this good?   Any chance or am I California dreamin':

http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/gop-challenger-hammers-brown-california-governors-debate
96  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: September 01, 2014, 11:10:45 AM
What I really don't understand is why does Obama think he is the only who can and does lie?

Bottom line.  He knows this.  He just doesn't care.  He plays "American" just enough to prevent a liberal slaughter at the next election.
97  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / This is one time on Obama's side on: September 01, 2014, 11:07:56 AM
AND Ws too and Clintons(Huh).  Could anyone imagine this happening during WW2?   Freedom of the Press or freedom to a reporter to make money for himself?  What say u

Why The Obama Administration Wants This Journalist In Jail

Business Insider
By Brett LoGiurato 4 hours ago
 
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Barack Obama came into office in 2009 promising a new era of unprecedented transparency in his administration. But when he leaves office, reporters may remember him for an effort that has largely turned out to be the opposite — and for being what one affected reporter has called the "greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation."

At a time when journalists' roles in covering different, critical conflict zones have been under the microscope, renewed attention has come to the case involving James Risen. He is the New York Times journalist who has been fighting efforts by two different Departments of Justice — under Presidents Obama and George W. Bush — to compel him to identify sources from a  2006 book that reveals a secret CIA plan to sabotage Iran's budding nuclear program.

For the past five years, he has battled the Obama administration's Justice Department, which in 2009 took a rather unprecedented step of renewing a subpoena scheduled to expire that year. From his case and others the Obama administration has pursued, Risen told The Times' Maureen Dowd recently that Obama represented a fundamental obstacle for press freedom.

"It’s hypocritical," Risen said. "A lot of people still think this is some kind of game or signal or spin. They don’t want to believe that Obama wants to crack down on the press and whistleblowers. But he does. He’s the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation."

Risen's Case

There's a perception, many observers of Risen's case say, that Obama is viewed by the public as different and as overtly friendly with the press. They think that perception is wrong.

They point to the Obama administration's use of the Espionage Act to prosecute government employees more than any other administration in history, saying it is borne out of a necessity to viciously control the flow of information. In 2009, when Risen's subpoena first expired, the Obama administration took the unusual step of renewing it and continuing to pursue the case.

"He promised to be a different kind of president," said Jerry Kammer, a former Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who now works at the Center for Immigration Studies. "But he has only suppressed efforts to disclose the government's misdeeds. His administration has been untransparent at so many levels."

Kammer was one of 14 Pulitzer Prize winners, spanning 1982 to 2014, who issued statements earlier this month in support of Risen. The group that put together the statements, Roots Action, also delivered a petition with more than 100,000 signatures to the Justice Department's Washington headquarters.

Earlier this summer, Risen failed in an attempt to have the Supreme Court review an order compelling him to testify about the sources in a book he published in 2006. He has vowed to fight on, but he has exhausted all legal options to halt the Justice Department's pursuit of him. He has vowed he is ready to go to jail, even telling his paper he has the books he will take with him already picked out. He could be the first reporter since The Times' Judith Miller in 2005 to go to jail for refusing to reveal the name of a source.

"The government likes to keep its house in order and likes to go after every possible leaker it can find," said Gregg Leslie, the legal defense director at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.  "They really just don't believe in whistleblowers or leakers."



In 2006, Risen published "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration." One chapter in the book detailed a secret CIA plan — started under the administration of then-President Bill Clinton and supported by the Bush administration — to sabotage Iran's then-budding nuclear program. (You can read an excerpt of the chapter here at The Guardian.)

It was an embarrassment for the CIA and for the government. The CIA chose a Russian defector to give deliberately flawed nuclear blueprints to Iranian officials. The flaws, however, were easily detectable, and the Russian defector tipped off the Iranians to maintain his credibility and not draw suspicion as a source, according to the book. In the end, "Operation Merlin," as it was codenamed, may have aided Iran in its plans to develop a nuclear weapon.

" This espionage disaster, of course, was not reported. It left the CIA virtually blind in Iran, unable to provide any significant intelligence on one of the most critical issues facing the US — whether Tehran was about to go nuclear," Risen wrote.

In late 2010, the federal government indicted Jeffrey A. Sterling, a former CIA operative,  with leaking the classified information to Risen. The government wants to compel Risen to reveal his source independently.

Observers of the case view it as pure retaliation. There is a compelling interest to know when the government screws up, Leslie said. And if Risen is compelled to reveal his sources, it could have a "chilling effect" on other government whistleblowers who would be willing to share that information with journalists.

"This is what the American people need to know," Leslie said.

"If we're talking constantly about how evil the Iranian government is and how dangerous it is that they're getting weapons-grade nuclear materials — and we had a role in getting that to them. Whether accidentally or stupidly or however, the American people need to know that."

The Justice Department declined to comment about an ongoing case.

 'Here In The United States Of America'

Some reporters and observers of the Risen case say it is especially important in light of recent world events. In Ferguson, Missouri, where racially charged protests raged for more than a week after the killing of an unarmed black teenager, multiple journalists were arrested.

In one high-profile incident emerging from the Ferguson protests, reporters from The Washington Post and The Huffington Post were arrested in a local McDonald's. The outrage that ensued prompted a personal response from the president.

" Here, in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground," Obama said in a statement from Martha's Vineyard the next day.

Police treatment of journalists and civilians in Ferguson, Missouri, has drawn scrutiny.


But that is exactly what many people think he's doing in the case of prosecuting Risen and others. Under Obama, the Justice Department has broadly increased leak investigations.

"There's far more ramifications for journalists from this case," Kammer said, "than anything that happened in a McDonald's restaurant in Ferguson."

In the investigation stemming from a 2009 leak of classified information involving North Korea, for example, investigators probed security-badge access records to monitor the comings and goings of Fox News reporter James Rosen with the State Department.

An FBI agent also wrote in an affidavit that by soliciting classified information from Stephen J. Kim, a former State Department official, Rosen was an "aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator" in leaking the information and could be charged as a "co-conspirator" in the case.


Weeks after the case involving Risen was reported last year, the Associated Press revealed that federal investigators obtained nearly two years of phone records from its reporters in another leak case.

One former Justice Department official told Business Insider the Obama administration's increased pursuance of leak cases was mostly a product of having so many new tools available at its disposal to track down the leakers.

It is also a product, the official said, of a more sensitive world post-Sept. 11, 2001. The official said it was likely to only escalate with future presidencies, as the U.S. continues to grapple with a copious number of global threats.

Leslie,  the legal defense director at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, also noted the government's capabilities to find out where leaks originate.

"The point I always make is that I'm not sure it's the Obama administration alone, but rather the institutional government that's going to be here no matter which party is in control of the White House," he said.

"They've got new, invasive, and incredibly advanced tools for discovering information. And they're going to exploit those as much as they can. I don't see much animus on the part of the administration or from Obama himself. It's more that the post-9/11 reality seems that they are going to relentlessly pursue every leaks case."

He added: "I say that not to give Obama an excuse but to say that, no matter who's elected next, it's going to continue — unless something is done about it."

That would take a groundswell of public outcry — or perhaps a legislative fix. At this point, neither seems likely.

For example, pollsters found it difficult to poll Americans on their opinions of the Justice Department's  subpoenaing of the Associated Press reporters' phone records, in part because public attention was not at all focused on the story. According to a Pew Research Center poll, Americans said they disapproved of the Justice Department's actions by only an 8-point margin.

Meanwhile, a federal version of a shield law, which does not exist, has languished in Congress, and no action is likely this year. The best chance for a law this year is an amendment to the Justice Department's appropriations act offered by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Florida), which passed in late May. But it is unclear if that amendment will survive the reconciliation process.

The Risen case, Leslie said, provides a clear picture for why a federal shield law is needed to complement similar laws in 49 states. The Supreme Court's dismissal of his petition, Leslie said, is more evidence of what he called a "disturbing" trend — federal courts have been less and less willing to side with reporters' arguments.

Said Leslie: "If courts can not give you that relief, then you need legislative relief. It has to happen."
98  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Dred Scott revisited on: August 31, 2014, 11:50:38 AM
Dred Scott.   The man himself seems elusive.   He was clearly illiterate.    Married twice and at around 41 married a second time to a 19 year old.   Has descendants.   Died only 16 months after finally being granted freedom and an eleven year battle in the Courts.   He is quoted as saying he wouldn't have brought the case forward if he had known how long it would take.   He was reportedly considering touring his story around for profit but his wife said the could make a living "on their own".   Only one photo of him on record and we are lucky to even have that one.  His only know "signature" or anything that survives from "his own hand" is an "X" he signed on the dotted line.   His case was really an open and shut case.   The laws in those days apparently allowed for a slave to be freed if he lived for a time in free state territories.   Yet he lost initially because evidence was suppressed by the judge.   And of course the Roger Taney Supreme Court decision (7 of 9 judges affirmed the decision) that ruled he was not a citizen and not entitled to freedom.  

This seems like a pretty realistic investigation into the man as well as the story and tries to impart reality from myth and legend and early biased white accounts and later black rewriting of history accounts:

http://www.common-place.org/vol-08/no-03/arenson/
99  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: August 31, 2014, 10:53:11 AM
BBG
Good post.  Sorry you no longer find the board interesting enough.   I for one would like your opinions or posts again.

---------

A different topic about Jews AND their party affiliation:

Jews will not become Republicans as noted here many times as per this author, but he needs to write the part 2 to this - which are the reasons why so many Jews are Democrat liberals which I have posted on the board my multiple theories:


******Will Jews turn on Obama, Dems in 2014 and turn out for GOP?

By  Zev Chafets
·Published August 29, 2014·
FoxNews.com

This year, as in every election year since Barack Obama has been in the White House, we are hearing the cry of the hopeful Republican: This is the year that Jewish voters and donors and activists are going to turn on the president and his party and turn out for the GOP.

 The hope stems from a few observable truths. President Obama is not a great friend of Israel and he visibly doesn’t get along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The American Jewish community – white, assimilated and prosperous – is out-of-place in a Democratic Party determined to build a coalition around an appeal to racial gender minorities, unmarried women, the LGBT community, immigrants and the dependent poor. And while the Jewish community is shrinking because of low birthrates and intermarriage, its Orthodox wing – strongly pro-Israel and socially conservative – is gaining in numbers and self-confidence.

The great majority of American Jewish Democrats see their party and its agenda as their secular religion.

All this, according to some conservative pundits, has created a tipping point. In November, they say, Jews could turn out in key congressional elections, especially in Senate contests, and vote for Republicans who have made support for Israel a signature issue. And in 2016, fed up with Obama’s chilly attitude toward the Jewish state and his weakness in the face of Islamic aggression, Jews could abandon their traditional affiliation with the Democrats and give their energy, their contributions and their votes to the Republicans.

 I hate to rain on anybody’s inaugural parade, but this is sheer fantasy.

Jews are not simply supporters of the Democratic Party; they are at the heart of everything from union leadership to campaign funding, think-tank policymaking to grass roots organizing.

Three of the four liberal justices on the Supreme Court are Jews. There are 10 Jewish U.S. senators and more than 20 Jewish members of the House.

In contrast, after the departure of Majority Leader Eric Cantor, there isn't a single Jewish Republican in Congress (or in any statehouse). And 2014 isn't going to reverse that.

There are only three congressional races – two in New York, one in Connecticut – where Jewish candidates are considered competitive, and all three are long shots. The GOP has no Jewish senatorial candidates at all.

 The Republican side of the aisle in both houses of Congress has, and will have, about as many Jewish members as the Icelandic parliament.

There aren't even any great Hebrew hopes out there, just a few obscure local politicians who might, someday, run for higher office. The best known (and most influential) Republican Jew in America is Sheldon Adelson, the octogenarian casino mogul and mega-donor. Whatever Adelson’s virtues, he isn't anybody’s idea of an electoral poster boy.

 Of course you don’t have to be Jewish to get Jewish votes. Al Smith, a New York Catholic, won almost 75 percent in his loss to Herbert Hoover in 1928. Franklin Roosevelt got between 85-90 percent in four straight elections. John F. Kennedy, the son of a notorious anti-Semite, topped 80 percent in 1960. Four years later, Lyndon Johnson got 90 percent running against Barry Goldwater, the grandson of frontier Jews. Obama got 69 percent of Jewish voters in 2012.

In the last 20 presidential elections, only Jimmy Carter, a transparently unfriendly figure, got less than two-thirds of the Jewish presidential vote – and even he out-polled the strongly pro-Israel Ronald Reagan.

The fact is, the great majority of American Jewish Democrats see their party and its agenda as their secular religion. Reform Judaism, America’s largest Jewish denomination, is sometimes jokingly called “the Democratic Party with holidays.” A lot of Jews would sooner convert to Shia Islam than leave the party of their forefathers.

Republicans sometimes wonder at this loyalty. After all, polls show that they and their voters are more pro-Israel than Democrats. Republicans are attracted to the Jewish state because of its pioneer ethos, its “peace through strength” posture in the face of anti-Western jihad, its reflexive pro-Americanism and, for Christian evangelicals, its biblical roots.

None of this means much to most American Jews, however (except to the Orthodox, still a relatively small minority). There isn't much data, but conventional political thinking is that secular Jews, to the extent they are voting as Jews, are more concerned about a woman’s right to choose, gay rights or comprehensive immigration reform than they are about specific Israel-related policy.

 Jews of all sorts tend to be pro-Israel. For many it is personal. But that doesn't mean supporting specific policies. The Democrats will retain their loyalty as long as the party maintains an acceptable level of support for Israel – to be, as Barack Obama once said about Hillary Clinton in a different context, “likable enough.”

President Obama clears that bar. Clinton, if she runs in 2016, will do even better. Bibi Netanyahu would prefer a Republican president, but he won’t be on the ballot, and any candidate he supports will lose big time to Hillary Clinton. Or Chelsea, for that matter.

Zev Chafets is a Fox News contributor.
100  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / United Kingdom Independence Party on: August 30, 2014, 10:32:34 PM
Similarities to the Tea Party:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK_Independence_Party
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