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 on: February 13, 2016, 12:04:19 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
ccp: 96 % 91 % [selling for the pipeline].

Well what about the few hold outs?  They alone could mess up the whole thing.
[The pipeline has become accepted public use. ]

Just like Atlantic City.  Everyone sold except this one old lady.
[If the offer is so high it is something that can't be passed up, and holding out means nothing, a rational person sells - or a rational developer DEVELOPS SOMEWHERE ELSE.  Without government intervention, these things have a way of working themselves out better than with it!]

I am not for kicking people off their land.  [Stay with that point.]

ccp,  There is a fine line between the calling the Texas Rangers a public use and a casino.  If we were to argue that out further, the only other outcome I see is to not let these sports teams pretend they are a public asset or public use either.

If you want a casino or other private business on my land, buy my land or build somewhere else.  There is something very symbolic about the privacy and sanctity of of buying, owning and occupying our own home, and the Founders thought to include it many of the top ten rights in the bill of rights.  The casino use seems important compared to one homeowner, but not if we all realize that is all of us and our rights at stake too, when they attack one of us.

Would we have a better economy and a better society if we just let the central planners have a little more power to centrally plan and control us.  NO!

In the cases of Suzette Kelo and Vera Coking, it turns out that Pfizer never built and Atlantic City casinos went bankrupt.  So did the Soviet Union and every other example, but that is not the point.  The point is that no amount of cronyism makes Donald Trump's use better than Vera Coking's.  The free market allows assets and resources to flow to their best use. 

Trump's confusion of putting roads, bridges, hospitals, airports, rail lines and pipelines in the same category with private commercial use is dishonest and misguided.  Yes, eminent domain power is a necessary evil.  It is a power to be limited, not expanded.  In these cases, New London, Atlantic City, Minneapolis, there is no limit if you allow a presumption of general economic gain to be a valid reason for the government to take private property for a preferred private use.

Yes, plenty of precautions should be taken in the case of a Keystone XL pipeline and plenty of homeowners are harmed by it.  A 38" inch pipe though mostly does not likely cause the displacement of people off their property against their will, as the above cases do.  Despite some denial, oil is considered public use, like transporting wheat or coal over rail, and would otherwise be transported over existing public right of ways at a far higher risk.  The public should own these right of way and the selection of the private company operating it should be made only to through an open public process.  Enabling a pipeline, IF it is considered a valid public use, does not have anything to do with letting government pick all winners and losers.

[My own experience with government private taking:  I owned and operated two small apartment buildings in the Phillips neighborhood.of Minneapolis.  Like nearly all our so-called great cities, there are pockets, a short distance from the skyscrapers, where the incomes and values are low.  One reason a person buys and endures the hell of managing low income property is the hope, upside risk and belief that someday, when we want to sell, this all will all be valuable.  And then when that time finally comes, some big time, well connected operators, instead of buying, entice the local government to perform the takings, pay the owners much later through a wrongful process of courts looking at value through the rear view mirror.  But the value of the taking is the new use, not the old use.  In my case, I sold one property voluntarily, made many times my investment and the private group still got a good deal.  On the second building, they gave a very low take it or leave it offer knowing the City would take it for them.  Challenging the decision of the City of Minneapolis as a private landowner is like challenging Saddam Hussein or Leonid Brezhnev in their time and place of rule.  A complete waste of time is the best outcome possible, and seeing them target you personally and all your properties is a more likely one.  The title changed ownership to the City and them to the sham group performing the redevelopment.  The court dates and hearings were held and an undersized check for 'value' was eventually received years later, including nothing for the loss of income during that elapsed time. (How can you have lost income on a property where you already lost title, they ask?)  Words can't describe how powerless we were against the machine of big government acting locally but empowered by Supreme Court appointees of which Trump approves and would duplicate. ]

Even if I am wrong on this (?), Trump is WAY out of step with conservatism and the will and intent of the Founding Fathers, siding instead with big government and the cronyists.  This on an issue where conservatism is IN STEP with the general public.  Cruz gets that.  Bush gets that.  Even Bernie Sanders gets that.  Saying that roads and bridges do it too, even a ballpark, doesn't make it right!

 on: February 13, 2016, 12:02:11 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ccp
Summary - me - no?

Yet I post just to point out it was brought up on cable a day or two ago that the ONLY candidate who even was talking about this stuff was Rand Paul .

Christie did speak about Soc Sec solvency but that was is as far as  I know.

The implication is that :

Everyone thinks we can through capitalism grow our way out of this or/and the truth is political suicide.

Bill Gates who is annoying with his politics aka Buffett stated capitalism will not get us out of this mess (so what does?)

Amazing how no one is discussing this in debates town halls or campaign trail.  The questions are not even being asked of the candidates!

 on: February 13, 2016, 11:56:04 AM 
Started by ccp - Last post by ccp

Obviously Davide Alexrod is not my favorite guy, yet  sometimes he does make some good points that I can relate to and are not simply partisan:

OTOH Obama could be the most "I" and "me" president that ever lived so his theory there falls apart.

Trump is an interesting example when looking at it from this perspective.  Surely he is about him but his message "make America great again" is about us.  And quite inclusive.
Kind of a paradox. 

 on: February 13, 2016, 11:45:24 AM 
Started by ccp - Last post by ccp
Doug all good points and I agree with you on everything.

One reason we think that Rubio (or Cruz) may be good is their Latino heritage.

One would think that is the case but then I see this:    shocked

 on: February 13, 2016, 10:45:42 AM 
Started by ccp - Last post by DougMacG
Debate tonight.  I am still pulling for Rubio.  More important than how he does seems to be what the story line coming out of this is.  His 'gaffe' is  lasting and fatal if he is not able to instantly prove that characterization is wrong.  The question of whether there is time to recove is intertwined with how strong the appeal of his competitors really is, and what kind of message do voters want to send.

Trump won NH big and leads in SC by double digits.  Yet 2/3rds of Republicans in both states aren't supporting him even though he has been leading for going on a year.  He still has the highest negatives, lousy general election appeal, and a ceiling much lower than his supporters can see. 

Cruz is (also) still competing to win a plurality, not a majority.  Everything I hear him say is aimed to prove he is the Senate's most conservative member, which he is, and the race's most conservative candidate, which he is.  Obama was the Senate's most liberal member (but didn't run on ideology).  Does that logic work in reverse for a conservative in a liberal media world?  I don't think so.  Cruz makes precious little effort to reach out and tell others why conservatism is better.   We are to assume he has the ability without seeing evidence of it.  The idea that the furthest right can win against the furthest left leaves out the wildcard possibility that a centrist choice might be added to the mix.  If we win just because the opponent is a crook or a socialist, the win won't translate into any change much less lasting change.

Kasich has a strong background, emphasizes moderation and competence, but has limited appeal.  His candidacy is reminiscent of other centrists who let us down.  He might make a fine President if this was a time for electing experience and competence.  But Trump and Sanders have read these times better; it is a time for a major directional shift, like the shift to the right we should have had after G.W. Bush.  (Instead we went left.)

Jeb is making an all out push in SC, for the 5th or 6th attempt at restarting.  Maybe SC voters can give him a clarifying message back. 

Christy is out.  What a jerk.  Yes he caught Rubio repeating himself, while they all do, intentionally, right while he was also telling us for the 19th time that he was once a federal prosecutor and therefore knows everything there is to know about fighting terrorism, after they are arrested.  Like the mistake of attacking Trump, those who have attacked Rubio have not benefited much from it.

It would have been nice to see Carson, Fiorina, Jindal, Walker, Nikki Haley and others all join forces in one camp if they want the nominee to be someone other than Trump or Cruz. It seems like the deadline for that is quickly approaching, if not past.  Maybe Bush can show that kind of leadership in his SC concession speech. 

Rubio got where he is by challenging the establishment.  In his first two years he was rated the Senate's third most conservative Senator, behind Jim Demint and Mike Lee, before Ted Cruz and Gang of 8.  His conservatism comes across to the middle with a softer edge than Cruz and others.  His message discipline was a strength, now a weakness to overcome.  His consistent lead in general election matchups will come back if his setback can be overcome - in the debates, in the media appearances and in the primary results.  If not, he is toast and I don't see a good outcome for this race.

P.S.  I wish Pat was here; he might know who benefits most from Gilmore leaving the race.  )

 on: February 13, 2016, 10:33:56 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Except in a big general way, we have not really been focused on the deficit and the national debt for a while.  We all knew that the reduced deficits of recent years due to the Sequester also decimated our military.  I suspect most of us favor substantial increases in military spending.  We also all knew that the reduced deficits were temporary and that CBO and other projections had them starting to go up dramatically after Obama left office, especially as the illegally deferred lies of Obamacare finally come home to roost, spiced with a topping of the last Boener budget.

What brings these thoughts on is it would appear that we are now entering the era of increasing deficits in a big way.

Does someone have a good summary of where we are with all of this?

 on: February 13, 2016, 10:19:40 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog


Editor's Note: This analysis explores the ongoing tensions between Washington and Seoul over a U.S. proposal to deploy an anti-ballistic missile system. Tomorrow, Stratfor will consider the broader picture, namely, the competing U.S. and Chinese strategies that underscore the controversy.

Planned April discussions over the deployment of a U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-ballistic missile system on the Korean Peninsula have strained the U.S.-South Korea defense relationship. The Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense missile system, known as THAAD, is a mobile and air-transportable anti-missile platform and a key component of U.S. layered air defense. The United States argues this layered system is necessary to protect South Korea as well as U.S. forces deployed there.

In recent weeks, however, China has voiced strong opposition to any THAAD deployment in South Korea. Russia and North Korea have followed suit. Beijing has not so subtly reminded Seoul that China, not the United States, is South Korea's major trading partner and that any deployment could have significant political and economic costs. In reply, Seoul has said that it will make a decision on THAAD based on its own national interests. Beijing's public commentary, however, is making it likely that Seoul will decide to accept the deployment, rather than continue with its policy of strategic ambiguity. Regardless, South Korea's public hesitation in accepting the THAAD systems highlights the country's subtle desire for greater independence in its defense, challenges to the U.S. regional strategy, and China's rising concern.

South Korea has not yet taken a concrete stance on whether it will accept THAAD deployments. There are several reasons for this posture. First, according to South Korean officials, the United States has not yet issued a formal request to deploy the system, meaning that there have been no consultations. This is technically true but South Korea and others have known for years that the United States considers Korea a prime location for THAAD deployment. Reports in South Korean media said that the U.S. military had already assessed potential sites in South Korea — a fact Seoul is aware of.

Seoul's second reason for remaining noncommittal stems from concern about maintaining its balance between the United States and China. While the United States is South Korea's most significant defense partner, China is South Korea's largest trading partner. Seoul has also worked for years to use its political ties with Beijing to help manage the North Korean threat. As North Korea's largest trading partner as well as its main economic and security patron, China is in a singular position to assist South Korea in its relationship with North Korea.
Risks of Deployment

THAAD deployment — as seen vividly in Beijing's public objections — carries immediate political risks for South Korea. The question is whether the benefits of deployment outweigh those risks. Authorizing the deployment of THAAD would increase the robustness of South Korea's layered missile defense system. THAAD would protect against tactical and theater ballistic missiles, at ranges up to 200 kilometers (125 miles) and altitudes up to 150 kilometers (93 miles). A THAAD battery, typically composed of nine transporter or launcher vehicles with eight missiles each, two mobile tactical operations centers and a ground-based X-band radar, also uses a "kinetic kill" system. The system does not employ explosive warheads and can intercept hostile ballistic missiles inside or outside the earth's atmosphere.
Interactive Graphic: Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)

North Korea's missile systems, too, are layered, using artillery and KN-02 ballistic missiles for short-range attack, Scuds for further reach, Nodong missiles for medium-range and Taepodong missiles for long-range. South Korea is most concerned about North Korea's artillery rockets and ability to launch saturation attacks with short-range missiles. Fears of North Korea's more advanced Nodong missiles — which THAAD would counter — are less pressing.

But South Korea's defense system also includes Patriot PAC-3 systems for point defense and Aegis-equipped destroyers as the initial source of interceptors to knock out ballistic missiles during their mid-course flight. The PAC-3 system has proven itself capable of intercepting less advanced Scud missiles. Practically, the systems in place may be enough to protect South Korea — in a time of war many of North Korea's longer-range missiles would likely target U.S. bases in Japan. This is not to minimize the ballistic missile threat from North Korea. For Seoul, however, there are reasons to consider different air defense architecture. This architecture would deal with the full range of the threat from North Korea while giving South Korea a degree of operational independence and a freer hand in designing its own defenses.

Over the past decade, South Korea has sought to create a defense architecture that is more independent of the United States. Seoul is not necessarily looking to expel U.S. forces from the country but it cannot be sure that U.S. interests will always align with those of South Korea. Seoul also finds it politically fraught to be entirely dependent upon the United States for its defense. Washington has pressured Seoul to tighten defense ties with Japan — a move that many South Koreans oppose for historical reasons.

The United States has also been pushing for changes in the defense alliance architecture that would allow U.S. forces in South Korea to deploy elsewhere in times of crisis. Seoul fears that granting the United States this option would ultimately lead to South Korea being tied politically to any overseas U.S. war. Finally, South Korea is concerned that the United States is overly cautious about Chinese concerns to the detriment of South Korean interests. Seoul was frustrated by the long delay in a U.S. show of naval force off South Korea's coast following the March 2010 sinking of the ROKS Cheonan, allegedly by North Korean torpedoes.
Seeking More Independence

In addition to these strategic concerns, Seoul would like to boost its own domestic defense industry for economic reasons and technological development. It would also wean South Korea off of its dependence on the United States for supplies and defense. Seoul already invested money toward its own air defense network called the Korea Air Missile Defense, a series of systems that would include U.S. elements but not be completely tied into the U.S.-Japanese anti-ballistic missile architecture. The system would free up Seoul to pursue missile and anti-missile development projects with Israel or even Russia.

Washington has long hesitated to more fully share missile development technology with South Korea — a stance that has been a bone of contention between the two allies. The United States argues that reliance on U.S. systems preserves the balance of power because it reduces South Korea's ability to unilaterally begin a war with North Korea. While THAAD would bolster South Korea's immediate defense — or at least the defense of U.S. bases in South Korea — it would do little to improve South Korea's ability to develop its own systems or expand its own defense industry.

The South Korean debate over THAAD deployment has become highly public — something that Seoul never intended to happen. Managing the U.S. defense relationship has been a controversial topic in domestic politics with South Korean political parties expressing competing views. Though the government in Seoul — whether conservative or liberal — largely agrees that South Korea must maintain a robust defense alliance with the United States, the exact balance and level of self-determination are both hotly contested. Even before the introduction of the question of political risk to Chinese relations, the THAAD decision was subject to competition within Seoul.

However, China's decision to so actively and publicly decry a deployment that has yet to be officially requested has forced Seoul to openly and immediately address the issue. It has also pushed Seoul toward approving at least a limited THAAD deployment on the Korean Peninsula — if only to underscore the independence of its decision-making.

Editor's Note: This is the first of two analyses on THAAD deployment in South Korea, read the second part here. 

 on: February 13, 2016, 10:16:27 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ccp
Wow.  His conversation with the corn farmer is "off the charts"

 on: February 13, 2016, 08:39:04 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
"Cuba does not allow Cuban citizens convicted of crimes in the U.S. to be repatriated"

I am guessing the Castro regime is not a reliable source of background information on dissidents and expatriates.

I don't know about the merits of the arguments he makes but interesting that proposal to deal with criminals from Cuba comes out of AZ not FL.

 on: February 13, 2016, 02:29:59 AM 
Started by DougMacG - Last post by Crafty_Dog
REENVILLE, S.C.—Sen. Marco Rubio is scrambling here in South Carolina to recover the momentum his once-highflying campaign lost in New Hampshire last weekend, changing his style and message in the run-up to a critical Republican presidential debate Saturday night.

Mr. Rubio, who fell to a disappointing fifth-place finish in the Granite State, is trying to erase an unflattering narrative that he is canned and inaccessible. He schmoozed with reporters during breakfast at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Okatie, S.C., on Thursday, and shared a story about how he had recently cracked a tooth by biting into a frozen Twix candy bar between campaign events.

The Florida senator also is trying to draw sharper contrasts with his rivals for the nomination, after suggesting that he pulled his punches last week. He criticized Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for backing a budget blueprint that sought to slash military spending and businessman Donald Trump for recently employing a lewd slur.

But for a campaign buffeted by deep doubts for the first time, another high-stakes stumble could doom the prospects of his presidential bid.

“We’re past the point of meeting expectations, and at the point where campaigns need to start embracing and beating expectations,” said Kevin Madden, a senior strategist for Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential bids in 2008 and 2012 who isn’t backing anyone this year.

Mr. Trump, the New Hampshire winner, and Mr. Cruz, the Iowa victor, are certain to move on to primaries in a string of Southern states on March 1, even if poor showings here were to hobble them.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who finished second in New Hampshire, hasn’t made a serious effort to win here. Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who will also participate in the debate, has vowed to stay in the race, though his campaign has been fading for weeks.

Those dynamics have largely turned the primary here into a fight for survival between Mr. Rubio and his onetime mentor, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has drawn on his family’s deep ties to the state’s Republican establishment and popularity with the rank-and-file to begin drawing crowds at his events. The last poll in the state was taken in January, well before the recent turn of events.

Just a week ago, Mr. Rubio seemed to be the one rising. He came in a surprising third in Iowa and was running second in public polls in New Hampshire before the final debate in Manchester, N.H.

After Mr. Rubio offered a critique of President Barack Obama’s leadership, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie interrupted and accused the senator of being too reliant on lines from his stump speech. Mr. Rubio inadvertently added resonance to the attack by repeating, word-for-word, the same Obama attack line that had prompted the confrontation with Mr. Christie.

On primary night, Mr. Rubio came in fifth behind Mr. Bush, Mr. Cruz, Mr. Kasich and Mr. Trump. Mr. Christie came in sixth and dropped out of the presidential campaign the next day.

In a phone call with donors the next day, Mr. Rubio’s campaign manager, Terry Sullivan, tried to reassure them by noting that South Carolina offered friendly terrain for a recovery.

Two of the most prominent members of the state’s congressional delegation have backed Mr. Rubio—Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Trey Gowdy, who is leading the probe into the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya. Mr. Sullivan also has deep ties in the state, as do the top advisers to outside groups backing Mr. Rubio, and they have spent months building a voter turnout operation.

Mr. Rubio is also trying to sharpen his message. “I am not here to attack another Republican,” he said at a Myrtle Beach rally Thursday, “but you deserve to know that there’s another candidate for president, Ted Cruz, who, the only budget he ever voted for was a budget by Rand Paul that cut defense spending even more than we’re reducing it now.”

Much of Mr. Rubio’s critical rhetoric also was trained on Mr. Trump. “There are certain words you don’t say,” the senator said in Okatie, referring to an incident in which Mr. Trump repeated an audience member’s shout-out that Mr. Cruz was “a pussy.”

“You turn on the TV,“ Mr. Rubio said, ”and you’ve got a leading presidential candidate saying profanity from a stage."

South Carolina party officials say that perspective is likely to resonate in the state.

“Trump has a populism kind of appeal,” said Dan Hamilton, a second-generation state representative from Greenville. “I understand the mentality. But I’m still of the opinion that you want your children to respect their president. That is not a possibility with Trump.”

But it is unclear how far that could carry Mr. Rubio, who has to push past the rest of the field before he can tackle Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump has dismissed the criticism for using a vulgar term on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, telling NBC: “It’s one of the reasons I won.” Mr. Cruz has pointed out that he also backed a measure offered by Mr. Rubio to significantly increase military spending.

In addition, Rubio supporters said they had been optimistic that Gov. Nikki Haley would endorse him the day before the New Hampshire primary and in time to hit the stump on his behalf in South Carolina.

Ms. Haley, in a Wall Street Journal interview, had said she was looking for someone with a positive message who could widen the GOP tent, and Mr. Rubio’s allies were certain she would side with him. But that was before the New Hampshire debate.

Even if Mr. Rubio does well in the Palmetto State, he would likely need a drawn-out nominating contest to have a chance of collecting more delegates than Messrs. Cruz and Trump.

On Wednesday, Mr. Sullivan told the campaign’s top donors to brace themselves for a long slog to the nomination that puts a premium on the arcane process of collecting delegates, according to people on the call.

In order to remain viable, Mr. Rubio will need money and an early accumulation of delegates. A strong South Carolina finish would provide a much-needed boost on both fronts.

When the candidates take the stage in Greenville on Saturday night, Mr. Rubio will meet attacks head on and seek to turn them against any candidates who go after him, something he did against Mr. Bush during a debate last year in Colorado, according to an adviser.

“I think you can point to differences in a respectful way, and that’s what we intend to do,” Mr. Rubio said while dining with reporters.

—Valerie Bauerlein contributed to this article.

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