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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1550 on: May 04, 2012, 04:56:57 PM »



http://www.dickmorris.com/rebuttal-to-obamas-gm-ad/

He misses utterly the point that bankruptcy laws would have meant reorganization, not disappearance!
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1551 on: May 04, 2012, 11:24:57 PM »

Yes.  In bankruptcy the last thing they do is close the cash register.  The immediate change is that the bankruptcy judge becomes the de facto CEO and CFO deciding what bills get paid in what amounts. They reorganize, not close the town.  They don't come in and put boots on all the tires or shut down all operations.

They might let people go at the top and at the bottom, but jobs are mostly secure at the level where the work gets done.  Products or plants that have no hope of ever paying their own way get dropped, but under what alternative would that not be so.

GM was mainly a healthcare company that also made and sold some cars. http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2008/11/crippling-burden-of-legacy-costs-gm-is.html

Obama took charge, injected taxpayer money selectively into the industry, meaning unequal treatment under the law, bypassed bankruptcy code and procedure, installed his own management and rearranged the ownership and debt hierarchy according to political expedience instead.

The authority to make such a move is contained in Article ___ of the constitution.

Now they call it the model for what they can do for the rest of the economy in a second term.
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JDN
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« Reply #1552 on: May 05, 2012, 12:10:50 AM »

While I don't necessarily agree with how GM's bankruptcy was handled, heavy handed yes.  Legal?  Also Yes.  Constitutional.  Yep; the Courts said so.  In spite of objections to the contrary.

Actually, in most cases a Trustee is appointed by the Court; the Judge is not the day to day CEO/CFO albeit the Judge does have quite a bit of power.

In most cases, GM excepted smiley Secured Creditors get paid first.  However, keeping the business going is not a priority nor is keeping employees on the payroll.  There would have been massive layoffs, and realistically GM probably would have their closed their doors; some parts/divisions being sold to pay off Creditors.  Probably sold to foreign corporations.

A few suffered in exchange for the greater good.  Hundreds of thousands of jobs were saved especially if you look downstream at suppliers, etc.

As for the Medical Benefits, those too are contractually guaranteed, albeit unsecured just like most account payables.  I'm not sure why we pick on the worker's retirement plan.  It was bargained in good faith.  For example, I offer to pay you $50K per year.  Or I offer to pay you $40K per year, but I will will pay the difference to you when you retire in pension and medical benefits.  Actuarially, let's say they are the same.  Why penalize, why criticize the employee who went for option two in good faith?  Doesn't he deserve the same respect as the employee in option number one?  Should you ask more money back paid to employees years ago?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1553 on: May 05, 2012, 12:27:44 AM »

I can see that this can take us rather far afield here, for I question and/or contest a number of points there so l lets see if we can keep this to just a few posts:

"Legal?  Also Yes.  Constitutional.  Yep; the Courts said so."

Any citations on this? 

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JDN
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« Reply #1554 on: May 05, 2012, 09:37:03 AM »

I can see that this can take us rather far afield here, for I question and/or contest a number of points there so l lets see if we can keep this to just a few posts:

"Legal?  Also Yes.  Constitutional.  Yep; the Courts said so."

Any citations on this? 

I unfortunately have to work today and am running out the door, but the fact that if it wasn't challenged (the sophisticated well backed secure bond holders had every reason to vociferously challenge) although I'm sure it was challenged in the Courts, the secure creditors never won, an ipso facto indication that it was legal.  If it was truly "illegal" or could be proven to be illegal, the bond holders simply would have continued to fight; a LOT of money was at stake.

I'm not the attorney in the group.  However, I do remember lots of people complaining, but the Courts permitting Obama's plan.  Ergo......
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1555 on: May 05, 2012, 11:34:13 AM »

So then, your assertion that "the Courts said so" is not true?

Very bad form JDN.  

As for your newly proferred rationale, while not devoid of logic, my understanding is that the secured bondholders faced non-legal repercussions from the executive branch, or was it that Congress passed come quasi-bill of attainder?  Anyone have anything on this?  BD?
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JDN
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« Reply #1556 on: May 05, 2012, 02:50:59 PM »

While I will of course defer to BD, it seems the Courts did rule on this matter.  The fact is that the bondholders did object to Chrysler and GM; a stay was issued, but the next day denied by the Supreme Court.

Unsurprisingly, when evaluating whether to grant GM’s motion to sell substantially all of its assets through § 363(b), in a sale virtually identical to Chrysler’s, the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York cited to the Second Circuit in Chrysler. The court in the GM case stated that stare decisis required it to follow the law articulated by the bankruptcy court and upheld by the Second Circuit in Chrysler. Likewise, in August, the same court followed the Second Circuit’s Chrysler opinion in approving a § 363 sale of substantially all of the assets of an auto parts maker. These two cases both dealt with debtors who were part of the faltering U.S. auto industry.

Therefore, IMHO, I don't think my opinion is "bad form." My logic follows; if the bondholders could of in any legal way obtained a ruling in their favor, they would have done so.  Too much money was at stake.  But they were not able to obtain a favorable ruling from the Court.  Ergo, it was "legal"; the bondholders lost out.

"More than a million jobs were saved; probably the state of Michigan was saved"; something had to be done.

I will however defer to BD of course.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/06/business/06auto.html

http://www.law.emory.edu/fileadmin/journals/bdj/27/27.1/David.pdf

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/24/opinion/delusions-about-the-detroit-bailout.html

http://www.4-traders.com/SUPREME-RES-LTD-COM-NPV-231205/news/SUPREME-RES-LTD-COM-NPV-Supreme-Court-clears-path-for-Chrysler-sale-13194169/

 
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 02:59:03 PM by JDN » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1557 on: May 06, 2012, 10:11:11 AM »

"fact that if it wasn't challenged" 

I missed the "if" in this due to haste, and the effects of jet lag and the final stages of a nasty flu on my focus.  My bad, and I withdraw the "bad form" comment.

I will say though, without knowing more, that a denial of a stay is a question quite separate from a ruling on the merits, so without more your assertion that the courts have ruled on the merits remains unsubstantiated here.
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JDN
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« Reply #1558 on: May 06, 2012, 01:40:36 PM »

Thank you.

The court did rule; however the Supreme Court on appeal chose not to hear the case.

I defer to BD and you on legal matters, but as a layman it is my understanding that when the Supreme Court declines to hear a particular case,
indirectly they are validating the lower court's (Second Circuit) ruling.  Perhaps that is a simplification, but...
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1559 on: May 06, 2012, 02:55:56 PM »

I was say yes it is a simplification.   Without knowledge of the question presented and its procedural posture IMO it is incorrect to make the asssertion that you seek to make.
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JDN
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« Reply #1560 on: May 06, 2012, 03:39:59 PM »

I was say yes it is a simplification.   Without knowledge of the question presented and its procedural posture IMO it is incorrect to make the asssertion that you seek to make.

OK; thank you.  If you or BD have time one day, I would appreciate a brief education on the subject or a reference to a good summary.
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bigdog
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« Reply #1561 on: May 06, 2012, 10:12:53 PM »

I was say yes it is a simplification.   Without knowledge of the question presented and its procedural posture IMO it is incorrect to make the asssertion that you seek to make.

OK; thank you.  If you or BD have time one day, I would appreciate a brief education on the subject or a reference to a good summary.

This will need to be short because of time constraints.  Crafty is right.  There are many reasons that the SCOTUS may (not) hear a case, and it should not be assumed that not hearing a case is implicit approval.

First, the Court has rules about the types of cases it hears.  The paperwork required is very exact, with some exceptions, most notably in forma pauperis appeals.  If the paperwork fails to meet requirements of font, staple placement, etc. then the appeal won't be heard.

Second, Rule Ten designates that conflict between circuits should be afforded a higher likelihood of review.  (See http://www.supremecourt.gov/ctrules/2010RulesoftheCourt.pdf for details related to points 1 and 2.)

Third, there are many reasons why the Court may not feel that it has the necessary jurisdiction.  These include: lack of standing of the petitioners; mootness; the case may not be "ripe"; it could be considered a political question; and a few others.  The court may not feel that there is a case or controversy, which, of course, is required to hear the case according to Article III.

Fourth, the Court may be waiting for the "right" case.  There is evidence that the USSC waited for Loving v. VA for example, in an effort to minimize a negative reaction to its decision. 

Fifth, the Court employs the "Rule of Four," meaning that four justices must want to hear the case.  There is some evidence that the decision, by an individual justice, of whether or not to hear a case may have some strategy in the vote. 

Sixth, remember that 9000-10000 cases are appealled annually and that about 70 are heard.  The USSC is pretty picky.


Does this help? 
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JDN
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« Reply #1562 on: May 06, 2012, 10:49:16 PM »

Does this help? 

YES; sincerely; thank you for your time and effort, frankly, given your time constraints, your thorough answer.

The primary reason I like this forum is that I learn a lot; often thanks to you.  Another example is GM who doesn't always agree with me  smiley but I have
and hope to learn a lot from him especially about the middle east.  We don't have have to agree, but it's always good to learn.

Again, my sincere thank you!

ps  I didn't doubt Crafty was right, I just wanted to hear the logic.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #1563 on: May 07, 2012, 08:41:49 AM »

Ditto, thanks Bigdog. I was thinking of the numbers constraint, hearing 70 cases out of 10,000, but also that this might not be the 'right' case in the sense of emergency actions versus how long a case would take in the Court.
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Marco Rubio interviewed by Chris Wallace, always worth a listen IMO.  Put him on the ticket and you would have a 16 year plan for prosperity.  It struck me that a son of Cuban immigrants will be a quick study on the oppressors in China. 

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/05/06/rubio_obama_a_typical_washington_politician_that_is_very_sad_to_watch.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1564 on: May 07, 2012, 04:02:43 PM »

A superb interview by Rubio on several levels-- amongst them how to talk about Baraq in a way that people who voted for him can change their minds without having to admit they were wrong.   Great ability to state the case in pithy bullet points that communicate will with regular people.  Very deft on the children of illegals.  Much more.  Romney should be taking notes.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1565 on: May 08, 2012, 01:38:17 PM »

They let him on Meet the Press and he calls Romney 'President Romney' http://www.theblaze.com/stories/gaffe-prone-biden-strikes-again-calls-mitt-president-romney-and-obama-president-clinton/, Obama 'President Clinton' and opens the door on gay marriage to a media circus ahead of any announced policy change.  Meanwhile, they leave him out of the highest campaign planning meetings. 
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/05/us/politics/at-sunday-meetings-team-obama-prepares-for-a-tough-fight.html?_r=2&ref=politics

This one was an innocent slip up (or two or three), but I especially like the way he slows down and repeats for emphasis his false facts as he did several times in his debate against Sarah Palin.

In January of this year he told the San Francisco 49er fans: “the Giants are on their way to the Super Bowl.”
http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2012/01/biden-botches-49ers-rally-cry

Anybody remember FDR reassuring us on television in 1929 after the stock market crash...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hrQABAlo8g

At a 'stump' speech in 2008 Biden told wheelchair bound State Senator to stand up and be honored. 
"Stand up Chuck, We wanna see ya."  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2mzbuRgnI4

Dunkin Donuts? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sM19YOqs7hU&feature=related

"The first mainstream African American who is articulate, bright and clean... that's a storybook, man."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgIFV7jXBFQ 
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1566 on: May 09, 2012, 01:14:22 PM »

"WE were the problem" in Iran.

The elevator in Joe Biden's brain does not go to all the floors.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/05/08/biden_on_iran_we_were_the_problem.html
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bigdog
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« Reply #1567 on: May 10, 2012, 06:40:54 AM »

They let him on Meet the Press and he calls Romney 'President Romney' http://www.theblaze.com/stories/gaffe-prone-biden-strikes-again-calls-mitt-president-romney-and-obama-president-clinton/, Obama 'President Clinton' and opens the door on gay marriage to a media circus ahead of any announced policy change.  Meanwhile, they leave him out of the highest campaign planning meetings. 
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/05/us/politics/at-sunday-meetings-team-obama-prepares-for-a-tough-fight.html?_r=2&ref=politics

This one was an innocent slip up (or two or three), but I especially like the way he slows down and repeats for emphasis his false facts as he did several times in his debate against Sarah Palin.

"Biden isn't the vital player. That's still Obama. But Biden happily plays the "fool" while consistently outmaneuvering those who think the bigger story can be found in his malaprops and exasperating candor."

http://nationaljournal.com/whitehouse/biden-with-the-assist-veep-again-dumb-like-a-fox-20120510
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1568 on: May 10, 2012, 09:17:43 AM »

I will grant that some of his slips are intentional and on some he jumps the gun to make himself relevant, like getting out front on gay marriage.  Experts say the VP makes about a 1% difference, if that.  Biden with Obama is perhaps a 0% factor for the reason posted, Obama is the vital player.  But Biden will be out there with cameras on him everyday of this campaign with all the risks that poses.

'Dumb like a fox' is generous.  Take this answer: 'Part of what a leader does...is demonstrate he or she knows what their talkin' about...when the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on television...'  FDR wasn't President until 3 years later, there wasn't any television and the lessons of the Great Depression are crucially relevant today.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBl7jrD1GzU So Katie Couric, famous for bringing down Sarah Palin, let this pass without comment. (I wonder what she reads?) His soft treatment by the main press might end suddenly and it might not.  A person that high up willing to talk on camera about what they don't know is a risk you would think this campaign machine would fear more than anything, even a jobs report.

Yes he plays key roles behind the scenes (scary), but as I see it, Joe Biden as VP was front and center the first indicator that the new administration would not be governing from above the clouds.

The braintrust of the campaign keeps Biden out of the planning meetings, but keeping Joe out of the loop has its own risks.  They send him handlers I'm sure but he doesn't let himself be held to a script.  He is especially open and loose when things feel like they are going well.

For Republicans, there is an unfairness to it all that with the knowledge that their own next gaffe (Sarah Palin afraid to say she mostly reads hunting magazines?) will bring down their whole public existence, while this guy knows less, puts his foot all the way in and people laugh and say that's just old Joe.

He is a heartbeat away and he was this President's first 'Presidential' decision.  Biden is not the problem; he is a symptom of the problem.   This administration hires, tolerates and governs with incompetence. (JMHO, it is only what independent voters think that counts.) The second term offered up will be the same players(?) doing the same things, getting different results.

Under the Biden-isn't-vital theory they also leave themselves with no new leader groomed to follow Pres. Obama, win or lose in 2012.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1569 on: May 10, 2012, 10:14:26 AM »

http://www.dickmorris.com/a-romney-landslide/

A Romney Landslide
By Dick Morris on May 9, 2012
Published on TheHill.com on May 8, 2012

If the election were held today, Mitt Romney would win by a landslide.

The published polls reflect a close race for two reasons:


1. They poll only registered voters, not likely voters. Rasmussen is the only pollster who tests likely voters, and his latest tracking poll has Romney ahead by 48-43.

2. As discussed in previous columns, a study of the undecided voters in the past eight elections in which incumbents sought a second term as president reveals that only Bush-43 gained any of the undecided vote. Johnson in ’64, Nixon in ’72, Ford in ’76, Carter in ’80, Reagan in ’84, Bush in ’92 and Clinton in ’96 all failed to pick up a single undecided vote.

So when polls show President Obama at 45 percent of the vote, they are really reflecting a likely 55-45 Romney victory, at the very least.

Gallup has amassed over 150,000 interviews over all of 2011 and compared them with a like number in 2010. It finds that Obama has a better than 50 percent job approval in only 10 states and the District of Columbia. And his approval has dropped in almost every single state. Even in California, it has fallen from 55 percent in 2010 to 
50.5 percent in 2011.

Over the period of May 4-6, I completed a poll of 400 likely voters in Michigan and found Romney leading by 45-43! And Michigan is one of the most pro-Democrat of the swing states.

I also found that Obama’s personal favorability, which has usually run about 10 to 20 points higher than his job approval, is now equal to his job rating. In Michigan, his personal favorability among likely voters is 47-47, while his job rating is 50-48. Romney’s favorability is 49-42.

Obama’s crashing personal favorability reflects the backlash from his recent speeches. In substance, their focus on class warfare and their bombastic, demagogic style are not playing well with the voters. They do not seem in the least presidential.

Nor does his message of attacking Big Oil seem constructive. Voters all distrust Big Oil and would rather see them get punished, but they do not see in repealing their tax breaks a way of lowering prices at the pump or of increasing the supply of oil.

Obama’s trip to Afghanistan looks like grandstanding, and his insinuation that Romney would never have launched the strike looks like a low partisan blow.

Obama cannot summon the commitment he got in 2008 by negatives or partisanship. It was precisely to change the “toxic” atmosphere in Washington that he was elected. To fan it now is not the way to regain the affection of those who have turned on him.

If the election were held today, Obama would lose by at least 10 points and would carry only about a dozen states with fewer than 150 electoral votes.

And the Republicans would keep their Senate seats in Arizona, Texas and Nevada while picking up seats in Virginia, Florida, Indiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri and Montana. The GOP will also have good shots at victory in the Senate races in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and — if Chris Shays wins the primary — Connecticut. Only in Maine are their fortunes likely to dim.

The journalists in the mainstream media, who are not politicians and have never run campaigns, do not realize what is happening. The Democrats, as delusional in 2012 as they were in 2010, are too much into their own euphoria to realize it. But America is sharply and totally rejecting Obama and all he stands for and embracing Romney as a good alternative. While few are saying these words, they are the truth.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1570 on: May 10, 2012, 10:44:14 AM »

second post:

Concerning Biden, remember when he was selected an important piece of the logic was that with his background on the Foreign Relations Committee, he would provide some back up substance to Obama's incredibly thin resume.  It is in this context that one of his most flagrantly-ignored-by-the-pravdas gaffes occurred during the debate with Palin.  I forget the exact details but concerning Lebanon he gave credit to the French for going in and accomplishing something and NONE OF IT EVER HAPPENED.   rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1571 on: May 10, 2012, 12:35:47 PM »

A great catch by Crafty: 
..."one of his most flagrantly-ignored-by-the-pravdas gaffes occurred during the debate with Palin"...
----------
http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/president/debates/transcripts/vice-presidential-debate.html

"When we kicked -- along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, "Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don't know -- if you don't, Hezbollah will control it."

  - Yes, and it seems it was mostly right wing sites pointing out the 'mother of all gaffes' out of this  foreign policy expert.  Factcheck.org skipped it entirely (shocked).
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/10/03/mother-of-all-gaffes/  Details below some other issues from that debate

All eyes were looking for Palin to display ignorance in that debate.  She survived but came across mostly as repetitive with her handler scripted talking points.  Joe had a near endless supply of false facts as I saw it, mostly regarding economic matters. My observation was that every time that Biden slowed down and repeated himself for emphasis, which happened several times, he was wrong on his facts.
------------

From other sites that covered the debate:

Biden said five times that McCain’s tax plan would give oil companies a "$4 billion tax cut."  - He was referring to McCain’s plan to cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent — for ALL corporations, not just oil companies.  (Extremely misleading!  And a corp tax rate cut would have helped the recovery.  Still not done.)

Biden said: McCain voted on the same way on the budget resolution as Obama did.

Biden said: Under Obama people will not pay more taxes than they did under Reagan.

Biden said: It would take at least ten years to get any oil from new production.

Biden said: The “Use of Force” resolution was NOT a war resolution / authorization for war.

Biden said: McCain voted the same way Obama did with funding the troops.

Biden said: The United States spends more in three weeks in Iraq as we have in the past seven years in Afghanistan.

Biden said: That Article I of the Constitution refers to the Executive branch.

Biden said there is a windfall profits tax in Alaska.

Biden said: McCain opposed President Clinton on Bosnia.

“We don’t call it redistribution we call that ‘fairness’.” – Joe Biden  (True, that's what you call redistribution.)
-------------------------

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/10/03/mother-of-all-gaffes/
http://rightwingnuthouse.com/archives/2008/10/03/and-now-for-something-completely-insane-the-mother-of-all-biden-gaffes/

    Of course, no one “threw Hezb’allah out of Lebanon.” They have been there all along as the expert above notes. The Lebanese people threw the Syrians out of Lebanon, with no help from liberal Democrats like Biden and Obama, but with a great big behind the scenes lift from France and the US. It was we who put the bug in King Abdullah’s ear to lobby the Syrians to get while the going was good as the French worked directly on Baby Assad. The combination worked wonderfully and the Syrians left in a hurry – after a couple of million Lebanese took to the streets in a breathtaking show of defiance to tyranny and love of freedom.

    Joe Biden – or any rational human being on this planet anyway – never recommended that NATO be dispatched to “fill the vacuum.” It is a lie. If it had been proposed. Colin Powell would have been laughed out of the room – something we should do to Biden at this point because he compounded his gaffe by evidently believing that not having NATO as a buffer between Israel and Hezb’allah – an absolute impossibility mind you – led to the ascension of Hezb’allah in Lebanon as a political power.

    Where has Biden been for the last 20 years – at least since the Taif Accords were signed in 1989 which gave Hezb’allah a free hand in the southern part of the country and then pressuring the Lebanese government to formally designate them as “the resistance” to Israel? Hezb’allah’s rise is directly related to Iran’s funding of their proxy to the tune of around $250 million a year.

I cannot recall anyone seriously suggesting that NATO occupy the sub-Litani region of Lebanon.  NATO already found itself stretched to meet its commitments in Afghanistan, although Germany and Italy did find troops to contribute to the beefed-up presence in UNIFIL, the same multinational force that had sat idle while Hezbollah armed itself after the Israeli withdrawal from the region a few years ago — and then turned around and did the same thing after the Israeli withdrawal in 2006.

Some people assumed that Biden meant that the US and France kicked Syria out of Lebanon, but Michael Totten — who has spent considerable time in Lebanon — doesn’t buy that explanation, either:

    And did Biden and Senator Barack Obama really say NATO troops should be sent into Lebanon? When did they say that? Why would they say that? They certainly didn’t say it because NATO needed to prevent Hezbollah from returning–since Hezbollah never went anywhere.

    I tried to chalk this one up as just the latest of Biden’s colorful gaffes. Did he mean to say “we kicked Syria out of Lebanon?” But that wouldn’t make any more sense. First of all, the Lebanese kicked Syria out of Lebanon. Not the United States, and not France. But he clearly meant to say Hezbollah, not Syria, because he correctly notes just a few sentences later that Hezbollah is part of Lebanon’s government. He wasn’t talking about Syria. He was talking about Hezbollah all the way through, at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of his outlandish assertion.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1572 on: May 10, 2012, 01:03:58 PM »

Doug:  Good teamwork providing the actual details-- thank you.
=========
This from the WSJ makes sense to me:

"The Obama endorsement also guarantees that the media will not allow Mr. Romney to go anywhere without being interrogated on this subject. The Republican could do worse than to say he supports the Defense of Marriage Act that President Bill Clinton signed less than two months before the 1996 Presidential election, adding that he believes the issue ought to be resolved democratically by the states. That has left New York and five other states plus the District of Columbia to sanction gay marriage, while North Carolina on Tuesday went in the opposite direction.

"This has the advantage of not turning gay rights into another abortion debate, whose pre-emption by the Supreme Court in 1973 has produced little but cultural discord for four decades. This time, let's put a divisive social issue with sincerely held personal beliefs where such matters can be settled by consensus over time—in the state legislatures."

« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 01:18:31 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1573 on: May 10, 2012, 05:02:36 PM »

http://www.dickmorris.com/rebuttal-to-obamas-big-oil-smear-on-romney/?utm_source=dmreports&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=signup
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1574 on: May 11, 2012, 12:15:50 AM »

Going back to the Dick Morris post of yesterday:

"If the election were held today, Obama would lose by at least 10 points and would carry only about a dozen states with fewer than 150 electoral votes."

He is partly on to something and partly overplaying the hand IMO. 

Most of the other analysts starts with the perfect storm electoral map of 2008.  When every factor was perfectly in his favor (in 2008) he won by only 7 points.  This will be nothing like 2008; the issues and circumstances today and likely in November are more like 2010 when Republicans won by the same margin of about 7 points.  That was a mid-term and this is a Presidential election,so  my best guess is that Romney can win by half that margin, 3-4 points nationwide, assuming conditions like today, which would sweep enough swing states for the electoral margin to be quite convincing and bring the house and a narrow win in the senate as well.

This will be a national election on  the candidates, the issues and the record.  President Obama at some point is going to run out of shiny objects like gay marriage and Romney's wild teenage years to spotlight and it will all come back to the record and that age-old question:

Are you better off now than you were six trillion dollars ago?

If Romney wins by 1-2%, he takes the electoral college with maybe no states to spare and perhaps a 50-50 senate.  If the margin is less than a point for either one of them, then the electoral count is a crapshoot with our future hanging in the balance. 

If Obama wins  a squeaker which I think is his only possibility, then the tiebreaker for a 50-50 senate goes to the Dem VP.  Every issue in that scenario will go just as smoothly as last summer's debt ceiling negotiations.   (
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bigdog
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« Reply #1575 on: May 11, 2012, 07:04:44 AM »

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/226823-biden-apologized-to-obama-after-gay-marriage-comments

"Vice President Biden offered a hearty apology to President Obama on Wednesday, hours before the president was forced to announce his belief that same-sex marriages should be legal.

Sources familiar with the apology confirm to The Hill that Biden apologized a few hours before Obama appeared in a hastily scheduled interview on ABC to announce his shift on the controversial issue."
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bigdog
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« Reply #1576 on: May 11, 2012, 07:06:11 AM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/gop-treads-lightly-on-gay-marriage-issue/2012/05/10/gIQAk4LtGU_story.html

"Some of Romney’s biggest financial backers — including Lewis M. Eisenberg, a former Republican National Committee finance chairman, and hedge fund managers Paul Singer and Daniel S. Loeb — have become public advocates for gay marriage, as have other Romney supporters, including former vice president Dick Cheney and former ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.

Behind the scenes, influential donors and top strategists are counseling Republican candidates to avoid hot rhetoric or stigmatizing gay people, fearing a potential backlash from voters, who, polling suggests, are fast growing more open to gay marriage."
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1577 on: May 11, 2012, 10:15:35 AM »

Republicans including Romney on the gay question need to articulate how life, liberty and pursuit of happiness is a guarantee fully open to all.  That to me does not lead to where women sue women over paternity in a gender-free society.  http://abcnews.go.com/US/colorado-lesbian-mom-wendy-alfredsen-granted-paternity-custody/story?id=16280117#.T60r_dmIhdg
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« Reply #1578 on: May 11, 2012, 11:22:07 AM »

Although I oppose gay marriage, from a handicapping point of view I must say that it looks like over time the trend seems to be for it. 

It might have been a safe out for MR to say leave it to the states (as BO has done by the way?) but whoops, he has called for a Constitutional amendment.

Given the ongoing societal separation of marriage and reproduction and that gay adoption and test tube babies seem to be already established,  is blocking gay marriage really addressing lesbian paternity suits?
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« Reply #1579 on: May 11, 2012, 11:32:11 AM »

While I too have difficulty accepting gay marriage, what's wrong with a Civil Union?  Some, even of this site, have proposed civil unions, on a state by state basis, as a reasonable compromise. Yet Romney even opposes that.

I have a hard time figuring out what Romney's position truly is on the issues.  I wish he would quit pandering to the right.

"Mr. Romney’s feelings about gay rights have evolved, but in the opposite direction: During his campaign for the Senate in 1994, Mr. Romney vowed to seek “full equality” for gays and lesbians, in a letter to the Log Cabin Republicans of Massachusetts.

In that letter he argued that he was more supportive of gay rights than his Democratic opponent at the time, Senator Edward M. Kennedy."

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/us/politics/romney-reaffirms-opposition-to-marriage-or-similar-for-gay-couples.html
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« Reply #1580 on: May 11, 2012, 11:44:07 AM »

My point about BO's position of leaving it to the States is correctly undercut by this piece noting that failure of the BO DOJ to defend DOMA:

===============

The Foundation
"Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics." --John Adams
Government & Politics
A 'Gutsy Call' on Same-Sex Marriage
 
No surprise, but Obama backs same-sex marriage

"I think same-sex couples should be able to get married," Barack Obama told ABC News Wednesday. Media lemmings and Democrats -- but we repeat ourselves -- fawned over this "evolution" in Obama's thought on the subject, calling his statement brave, principled and, as The New York Times put it, "strong national leadership." That this was a "gutsy call" could not be further from the truth.

The only thing one could construe as "brave" about Obama's predictable cave is that he came out of the closet the day after North Carolina voters approved, 61-39, a constitutional amendment affirming marriage as being between one man and one woman. Now 30 states have similar amendments. Coincidentally, Democrats will hold their national convention in North Carolina, a state Obama hopes to carry once again. Obviously, he thinks his base needed this cause to rally around him for re-election, which is, after all, the point of everything he does. He certainly didn't waste any time fundraising off his flip-flop.

Forward!

The president's hand was forced when Joe Biden opened his trap Sunday, saying he is "absolutely comfortable" with same-sex marriage. Still, Obama swears he "had already made a decision that we were going to take this position before the election and before the convention." He said Biden "probably got out a little bit over his skis," but insisted, "all's well that ends well."

Obama's true position on the subject has always been known, despite his effort to eat his wedding cake and have it too. "I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages," Obama said ... in 1996 when he was running for Illinois state senate. When he ran for U.S. Senate in 2004 and president in 2008, his view was that "marriage is between a man and a woman." Then in 2010, he belatedly declared that his views were "evolving." In other words, his position always has been a political charade. As evidence, we submit his latest campaign ad, which slams Romney as "backwards on equality" -- a place Obama found himself just 24 hours earlier.

Obama would be correct with his newfound federalism to call marriage an issue for states to decide -- if indeed the government has anyrole -- but that too is a charade. After all, his Justice Department has refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which leaves the matter to the states. (That bill passed both houses of Congress with large majorities before being signed into law in 1996 by Bill Clinton.) And if the Supreme Court discovers same-sex marriage to be a constitutional right under some obscure penumbra, no one doubts that Obama will celebrate.

For presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, this is the latest in a string of Obama's orchestrated distractions, but who can blame the president for not wanting to talk about the dismal economy? He would much rather talk about a phony "war on women," dogs on car roofs and same-sex marriage than 324,000 women leaving the labor force in the last two months alone, or the fact that one in three young Americans is underemployed. To be sure, Obama admitted, "Sometimes I forget" the magnitude of the recession. Small wonder.

Romney took on the marriage issue anyway, saying, "My view is that marriage itself is a relationship between a man and a woman," and insisted, "I have the same view I've had since, well, since running for office." Yet he also expressed frustration with reporters who aren't asking about "issues of significance."

We won't go so far as to call the issue a distraction, though it's of far lesser import in this election than the economy or the size of the federal government. Marriage is the building block of family and society, and to redefine it so drastically is to undermine its integrity. All people have inherent dignity and worth -- no one here is engaging in what the Left derides as "gay bashing" -- but words and institutions have meanings, and it's important that we maintain them. It's a shame that some would use the issue as nothing more than a campaign fundraiser.

Just how brave was Obama? And who should decide the issue?

This Week's 'Alpha Jackass' Award

On how same-sex marriage squares with the Obamas as "practicing Christians," he said, "
  • bviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others, but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it's also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated." Never mind the rest of the Bible.

On the military, Obama opined that his rationale came from "when I think about those Soldiers or Airmen or Marines or Sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage."

The military fights on his behalf? On the contrary, the military fights for the nation, and they do it far too well to serve as political pawns for Obama's craven attempts to rally his base.
=================================

Who is Keith Judd? He's federal prison inmate Number 11593-051 at the Beaumont Federal Correctional Institution in Beaumont, Texas, where he's serving a 210-month sentence for extortion. Earlier this week, however, he was also a Democrat presidential candidate in the West Virginia primary, and he managed 40 percent of the vote and won 10 counties against the sitting president. In fact, his share of the vote was so large that he's entitled to at least one delegate at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte later this year. Democrats quickly attributed the result to racism, but it could have a lot more to do with Obama's anti-coal policies. In all fairness, though, Obama was at a serious disadvantage. What would you rather defend -- a felony conviction or Obama's record on the economy?

===========================

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/family-of-romneys-alleged-bully-victim-speaks-out-the-portrayal-of-john-is-factually-incorrect/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mitt-romneys-prep-school-classmates-recall-pranks-but-also-troubling-incidents/2012/05/10/gIQA3WOKFU_print.html

« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 12:16:19 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
ccp
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« Reply #1581 on: May 11, 2012, 04:47:46 PM »

On Drudge is the latest Rasmussen poll showing Romney ahead with likely voters 7 points.

Just my hunch but by Monday a left wing poll will be announced by the AP that shows it either a "statistical dead heat" or Obama still ahead.

Russmussen of course could be wrong but I believe they have been the most accurate in the last elections.
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bigdog
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« Reply #1582 on: May 12, 2012, 10:03:00 AM »

What was the confidence interval?  Many are +/- 3.5%, which would make this a statistical dead heat no matter who did the polling.  And, is this national or swing state?  That matters too!

On Drudge is the latest Rasmussen poll showing Romney ahead with likely voters 7 points.

Just my hunch but by Monday a left wing poll will be announced by the AP that shows it either a "statistical dead heat" or Obama still ahead.

Russmussen of course could be wrong but I believe they have been the most accurate in the last elections.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1583 on: May 13, 2012, 11:48:02 AM »

A comment on polling, polls list what they call their 'margin of error' which is the statistical error of projecting the results of a limited random sample onto the entire population.  IMO, that is only one of the categories of errors contained in the various polls.  For example, gay marriage consistently polls better than it votes.  People tell a pollster what they think sounds better or more tolerant and then vote on a harder line.  That same phenomenon may or may not be true for whether they say they still support or approve our very likable first President of color versus how harshly they will judge him in the privacy of the polling booth.

Another areas of potential error is whether or not it is completely random as to who the pollsters can't reach or who, like me, refuse to talk to them.

It only takes 1 or 2 out of a hundred difference (or less) to swing a national election.
--------------------

A swing state, conservative columnist answers to the cradle to grave 'Julia' campaign piece symbolizing the government centric philosophy of the Obama administration.  He references Iowahawk facetious parady on Julia (http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2012/05/julias-circle-of-life.html) but makes serious points to follow:

"Up to now we’ve put a high value on self-sufficiency, while acknowledging the need for a safety net for support in old age or temporarily, when life deals a bad hand. Julia, by contrast, is supported at virtually every step with subsidies of various sorts...[Obama’s] larger goal [is] to fundamentally change the relationship between Americans and their government."

http://www.kansascity.com/2012/05/12/3606608/the-life-of-julia-or-life-without.html

The ‘Life of Julia,’ or life without aspiration
By E. THOMAS McCLANAHAN
The Kansas City Star
 
The right-wing blogosphere has been having a fine time with the “The Life of Julia,” the Obama campaign’s attempt to show, through a series of USA Today-style illustrations, how the policies of President Obama come to the aid of women at every important moment in their lives.

At 3, we see little Julia enrolled in a Head Start program. At 17, she’s in a Race to the Top high school. Later she has surgery and receives free birth control, thanks to Obamacare.

The story goes on: She has a career as a web designer, gets a Small Business Administration loan, then “decides” to have a child and names him Zachary. Zachary is apparently begotten by immaculate conception, since Julia never marries and no one else appears in the story.

“The Life of Julia” details the cradle-to-grave attention this supposed Everywoman receives from the caring people in the government. Thanks to Obama, she enjoys a comfortable retirement. Because of that, she can volunteer at a community garden.

The illustrations also show how Republican Mitt Romney would blight this story of placid contentment. Forget Head Start. Under Romney, that program would be cratered by budget cuts. Race to the Top? Ditto. And on and on, until the nation’s crops are burned by Republicans, the fields sown with salt and all the small furry animals are eaten by free-market fanatics.

I couldn’t resist. “The Life of Julia” has spawned parodies everywhere, but the topper is the sendoff at Iowahawk.typepad.com. A sample: At age 3 under President Obama, “Julia is enrolled in a Great Leap program where she will learn critical community organizing and obedience skills....”

Under Mitt Romney, poor little Julia “will be marched to a Mormon polygamy camp in Utah where Paul Ryan will torture her with boring Republican math mumbo jumbo.” And so on.

Parody aside, I’m at a loss to understand how this drab story could galvanize support for Obama’s re-election. Who could identify with Julia? She never finds love. Until Zachary arrives, she’s alone in the world. She claims no real accomplishments. Throughout, she remains passive. She stays within the channel laid down for her by the government. I wondered if they left out the story of her lobotomy.

“The Life of Julia” reveals much about its originators and the man on whose behalf it was created. Here we see the sterile vision of a certain kind of hard-left liberal, who apparently views the American citizen as a submissive, isolated entity — docile and disconnected from extended family or the web of groups and associations that make up a healthy civil society.

Omitted is any mention of the cost of Julia’s benefits, how they will be financed or, more to the point, how this vision, translated into policy, will change our notion of who we are as Americans.

Up to now we’ve put a high value on self-sufficiency, while acknowledging the need for a safety net for support in old age or temporarily, when life deals a bad hand. Julia, by contrast, is supported at virtually every step with subsidies of various sorts.

In Obama’s first address to Congress, he outlined a radically ambitious legislative program that made it clear his larger goal was to fundamentally change the relationship between Americans and their government.

One of the major underlying issues in this year’s election is to what extent we will, as Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute put it, continue to value “earned success,” or slide into “learned helplessness.”
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1584 on: May 13, 2012, 02:25:09 PM »

"“earned success,” or slide into “learned helplessness.”"

Methinks that a catchy and pithy phrase worth remembering , , ,
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1585 on: May 14, 2012, 10:17:35 AM »

http://www.dickmorris.com/obamas-terrible-week-dick-morris-tv-lunch-alert/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1586 on: May 14, 2012, 07:42:36 PM »

"“earned success,” or slide into “learned helplessness.”"

Methinks that a catchy and pithy phrase worth remembering , , ,

Yes.   That pretty much nails it.  We spend a lot of money teaching helplessness, then judge the programs by how many recipients they can attract.

http://www.myfreedompost.com/2012/03/obama-marketing-food-stamps-with-your.html  Watch the ad!
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bigdog
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« Reply #1587 on: May 14, 2012, 08:51:33 PM »

Food stamps is meant to be a temporary helping mechanism.  Nothing the FOX "report" argued otherwise.  The rules were relaxed because of the increased average unemployment and subsequent, hopefully short term, poverty rates.  People bitch about Obama's job creation attempts, and then bitch about people not having jobs.  Complain about healthcare and then complain about a ad designed to get people to recognize that with foodstamps they can make healthy choices in the short term that will keep them out of the ER and doctors' offices in the longterm.  That was NOT a good story.

As a side note, you can't "watch" the ad because it is a radio spot.  The images you see are FOX's visual representation coinciding with the words.   
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1588 on: May 15, 2012, 11:09:32 AM »

Bigdog,  Okay it was a radio ad; I stand corrected on that.  For the rest, I strenuously disagree.  

"Food stamps is meant to be a temporary helping mechanism.  Nothing the FOX "report" argued otherwise."

The food stamp ad argues healthy and fun, not temporary or even for people in need.  For many, it is a way of life. The ad implies that.  "You use it too?"  "Yes I do!"  "Ha ha ha!"  "Hoo Hoo Hoo!"  

"The rules were relaxed because of the increased average unemployment and subsequent, hopefully short term, poverty rates."

This was a man-made crisis.  We didn't get hit by a flood or volcano.  Part of the cause of private sector collapse is the toll that public sector transfer payments spending puts on every aspect of the productive economy.  That burden for me is greater than the family cost of food, shelter, clothing, transportation and healthcare combined - by far.  The burden is so heavy that 47% of the people need some kind of assistance - in the richest country in earth's history.

"People bitch about Obama's job creation attempts, and then bitch about people not having jobs."

Yes, we bitch.  These were not job creation attempts in any way I can recognize.  Shovel ready job is now a laugh out loud line in any circle.  Of every way that I know to increase the rate of private sector job creation, President Obama did none of them and moved us in the opposite direction on most.  If you disagree, then what would you say was the catalyst for the financial collapse with its resulting job losses, and why is the workforce participation rate still falling after all these fiscal and monetary (pretend) stimuli?  The chart is the BLS worforce participation rate from http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000 Workforce falloff coincides almost perfectly with emergency federal dollars spent.

"Complain about healthcare and then complain about a ad designed to get people to recognize that with foodstamps they can make healthy choices in the short term that will keep them out of the ER and doctors' offices in the longterm."

I complain about who pays for healthcare because third party pay screwed up the natural forces of market based cost restraint - for everyone.

"...with foodstamps they can make healthy choices in the short term that will keep them out of the ER and doctors' offices in the longterm?"  - Looking forward to the link on that!

Here's the link for food stamps and health: The largest nutritional problem in the United States causing healthcare issues today is obesity.  Obesity is positively correlated with food stamps. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12840184  

Food for the hungry might be the best social spending program possible, but why is it federal?  Why is it government?  Would not closer to home be a better place to know the people, the needs, the  costs?  My county has a budget of $1649528239/yr. My state has a budget of $33793000000 /biennium.  What do they do that is more important than helping to feed people in the community who have no other source of food?  Charitable giving in the US is $290890000000.  What do they have that is more pressing than feeding the hungry.  If food for needy wasn't already paid at the federal level, charities would receive even more IMO.  If further away is better for funding, why not do the whole world via the UN instead of advertising for recipients who don't even know they need help.

As an inner city landlord, I interviewing families about their income and expenses.  Random observations are also telling, such as yesterday at a CVS store.  The guy in front of me had to ring up his items separately, mini-donuts for 3.25 on the card (food stamps) and 2 mini-cigars for 4.50 cash, no problem. No stigma whatsoever and ready to take on the day!

Is there is no moral hazard or 'learned helplessness' problem with food stamps? (The original point)

Besides obesity and alleviating the urgency to go back to work, the fertility rate is 3 times higher for welfare families than non-welfare families.  www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/p20-558.pdf  Pay more for more mouths to feed and there are more mouths to feed.  Who knew?  No proof of causation, but that is quite a difference.  We may need for a new program and more spending.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 11:15:26 AM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1589 on: May 15, 2012, 11:43:19 AM »

Possible VP candidate Gov. Chris Christie:

http://www.investigativeproject.org/2506/gov-christie-strange-relationship-with-radical
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bigdog
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« Reply #1590 on: May 15, 2012, 01:10:46 PM »

"...with foodstamps they can make healthy choices in the short term that will keep them out of the ER and doctors' offices in the longterm?"  - Looking forward to the link on that!

You don't understand the link between nutrition and health, Doug?!?  Have been giving you too much intellectual respect?  Did you listen to the ad?  Is does NOT say let's buy pie and choclate milk.  The ad explicitly is discussing health and healthy choices. 

The burden is so heavy that 47% of the people need some kind of assistance - in the richest country in earth's history.  So, then, we agree that people need assistance?  I mean, most of the (FOX) panel you posted agreed that much of the public needs help.  So, since we seem to agree, why, exactly is foodstamps the program you disagree with?  Is helping people eat bad?  Do you want children to starve?

These were not job creation attempts in any way I can recognize.  You know that whole "Buy American" push?  You know the car companies that were bailed out?  You don't recognize the connection to building cars in the US and US jobs?

Since we are telling personal stories... I was on Food Stamps for about 6-8 months about 20 years ago.  I literally had no money, no family willing to assist me, and with literally no money no way to move to get a job.  It didn't help that I lived in a rural area where there was no public transportation, and the local economy was seriously terrible (one reason not to have local support as you describe is the potential inability for the local government to provide the goods that are needed due to local bankruptcy, economic conditions such as employment or drought or other issues).  So, yes, I was on the taxpayers dole for a period of time.  Sorry I took all that money out of your pocket.  Now that I make money though, I have visited your fair state, and thrown down several hundred dollars on your local economy.  You don't mind if we call it even, I hope. 

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« Reply #1591 on: May 15, 2012, 04:15:33 PM »

Should you wish to continue, I invite the two of you to carry on on some other thread e.g. Govt. Programs
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ccp
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« Reply #1592 on: May 15, 2012, 04:17:34 PM »

BD,

"I was on Food Stamps for about 6-8 months about 20 years ago.  I literally had no money, no family willing to assist me, and with literally no money no way to move to get a job.  It didn't help that I lived in a rural area where there was no public transportation, and the local economy was seriously terrible (one reason not to have local support as you describe is the potential inability for the local government to provide the goods that are needed due to local bankruptcy, economic conditions such as employment or drought or other issues).  So, yes, I was on the taxpayers dole for a period of time."

Thanks for sharing your story.  You left out a crucial part.  It is not my business but would you share how you managed to get out of your predicament?

You don't sound like one of the ones that Doug is referring to - who gets on public assistance and doesn't really try to get off.
We hear that no one "likes to be on" unemployment, food stamps, disability, etc.

Of course we would all rather be where Zuckerberg is as opposed to the dole.

I am talking about those who seem to get "comfortable" on the dole.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1593 on: May 15, 2012, 07:05:47 PM »

"Should you wish to continue, I invite the two of you to carry on on some other thread e.g. Govt. Programs"

I was wondering if the fight should go to a political thread or over to Martial Arts.   wink
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« Reply #1594 on: May 15, 2012, 07:49:08 PM »

Remember, its not a fight, its a conversation  grin
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« Reply #1595 on: May 16, 2012, 02:22:53 PM »

Schumpeter in the White House
How to talk about creative destruction
GUY SORMAN

The 2012 presidential race will be, in part, a showdown between two different models of economic growth. President Barack Obama and his Democratic administration will defend the once-discredited and now-resurgent theory that government must act as the economy’s “tutor” and use public funds to stimulate it. The Republican nominee, presumably Mitt Romney, will advance the free-market argument that the main source of new growth is the innovative energy of American entrepreneurs and that government needs to get out of the way.
 
An essential part of the free-market argument is “creative destruction,” a theory proposed by the great Austrian economist and Harvard University professor Joseph Schumpeter. If you don’t understand Schumpeter’s insight—expressed most powerfully in his classic 1942 book Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy—you’ll have a hard time understanding why free markets work so well to generate prosperity. Yet creative destruction is a complicated concept, poorly understood by the general public and not always easy to defend. As November nears, the Republican nominee will have to figure out a way to show voters how essential it is to American prosperity.

Schumpeter believed that progress in a capitalist economy requires that the old give way constantly to the new: production technologies in a free economy improve constantly, and new products and services are always on offer. But this creative transformation also has a destructive side, since it makes earlier products and services—and the workers who provided them—obsolete. Today’s consumers have little reason to buy an oil lamp instead of a lightbulb, or a Sony Walkman instead of an iPod—which can be bad news for the people who manufacture the oil lamp and the Walkman.

Looking back at the history of Western capitalism, we can see how the discovery of new energy sources, new communications systems, and new financial instruments regularly demolished old ways of doing things. When this happened, the result was typically short-term pain, as certain workers found themselves displaced, and sometimes even what appeared to be economic crises; but there was also substantial long-term gain, as the economy became more efficient and productive. Economists W. Michael Cox and Richard Alm point to transportation as a striking example of the process. “With the arrival of steam power in the nineteenth century, railroads swept across the United States, enlarging markets, reducing shipping costs, building new industries, and providing millions of new productive jobs,” they write. Automobiles and airplanes had similar effects. Yet “each new mode of transportation took a toll on existing jobs and industries. In 1900, the peak year for the occupation, the country employed 109,000 carriage and harness makers. In 1910, 238,000 Americans worked as blacksmiths. Today, those jobs are largely obsolete.”

Creative destruction can take place not just across sectors of the economy but within particular firms, too. Since the invention of the automobile, many automakers have disappeared, unable to improve their products; those that survived have had to transform themselves radically to stay competitive. Sometimes firms even change their business to stay alive. Think of IBM, which started in 1930 by building calculating machines, shifted to computers in the 1950s, and today is a service company.

Trying to prevent creative destruction brings economic torpor or worse. At the extreme were the twentieth century’s totalitarian Communist regimes. I vividly recall the Soviet economy under Brezhnev and the Chinese economy under Mao Zedong. In these state-controlled societies, competition was illegal and existing factories were never shuttered; every industrial complex contained layers of antiquated technologies to which more recent ones had been added. To close down a factory, after all, would imply that the central planners had made mistakes—an impossibility, since socialism was supposedly scientific.

Innovation is very rare under such state-stifled conditions. In East Germany, factories produced the same car—the only one available—for three decades: the infamous Trabant. Without competitors providing consumers with other choices, there was no incentive to do anything else. Visiting Communist countries during the seventies and eighties, as I frequently did, was to enter a museum of industries past. In the poorly stocked shops, one would come across outmoded devices, like mechanical watches, long gone from advanced capitalist economies. In- deed, most of the innovative products that did surface in the Communist world—usually for the benefit of the military—were stolen or smuggled in from the West.

The same weakness affects, though less dramatically, the watered-down form of state economic planning often practiced in European democracies and renascent in America under the Obama administration, with its Keynesian stimulus spending, massive bailouts of the auto industry, partial takeover of General Motors, and subsidies of alternative energy. The track record of such economic intervention in democratic societies has been stagnation, though it has occasionally proved useful in emerging economies, like Japan’s in the 1950s, when capital is scarce and entrepreneurs are thin on the ground. Even in Japan’s case, though, many of the government-backed industries failed, while sectors of the economy that weren’t nurtured by the state’s “industrial policy”—cars, components, ceramics—flourished.

Central planners can never match the private innovators of a competitive economy. (Friedrich Hayek called this bureaucratic arrogance the “fatal conceit.”) A bureaucrat would need omnipotence to anticipate, let alone invent, the paradigm shifts that capitalist economies, churning with creative destruction, have regularly birthed. Economies open to creative destruction have innovated more, created more employment, and enjoyed higher growth rates than their statist rivals.

No place has been more open to creative destruction than the United States, where whole cities, left behind by technological advance, have crumbled into ruin, with abandoned factories standing forlornly alongside rusted railroad tracks and many workers long since departed to clear new lands, like the pioneers of yesteryear. The willingness of Americans to endure creative destruction has allowed their economy to outperform European economies for decades. But creative destruction always runs the risk of ruining the lives of individuals along the way, which poses a significant political problem for defenders of free markets. Consider an example from overseas. Rail now allows travelers to zoom easily and quickly from London to Paris and back. Who, then, needs the slow-moving ferry that links Dover and Calais? But just try explaining Schumpeter’s virtues to a unionized sailor!

Yes, free-market advocates can point out that when a state steps in to help a dying sector of the economy, it is actually harming economic growth by sinking financial capital—a limited resource—into inefficient activities and diverting funds from more innovative enterprises. A job saved in an obsolete economic sector, they will say correctly, is a job—often many jobs—forgone elsewhere in the economy. But that’s a very hard argument for a politician to make. As the great free-market economist Milton Friedman frequently observed, a business closing gets on the television news, while the new businesses that get created from the reallocated capital go unnoticed because they are so widely dispersed.

Mitt Romney has run smack into this problem during his campaign for the Republican nomination. Bain Capital, the firm he led, was a pure engine of creative destruction: a private investment fund that bought troubled businesses, restructured them (often by firing people), and sold them for a profit. Even some of Romney’s Republican opponents, who know better, couldn’t resist attacking him for his entrepreneurial work; Newt Gingrich went so far as to run ads featuring workers who had lost their jobs because of Bain’s restructuring. Romney contended that Bain had helped create 100,000 new jobs, which may be true, but—underscoring Friedman’s point—no one knows exactly where they are.

It may therefore be necessary for defenders of creative destruction to balance Schumpeter with some form of social support. It is misguided to protect superseded firms and industries, they would maintain, but helpingpeople displaced by economic progress is a moral imperative. They would argue for the implementation of a “compassionate capitalism,” perhaps including unemployment benefits, retraining, and various welfare services. (These should be designed not to become disincentives to work, as they frequently have been in the past.) A compassionate capitalism wouldn’t merely be humane; it would also help preserve capitalism, because in a democracy, creative destruction cannot occur without some type of safety net. Workers who risk losing their jobs and lack any social support will soon vote an end to free markets.

Private Equity, Capitalism’s Secret Weapon

Created in the United States in 1946, private equity funds are collective investment schemes that didn’t become serious economic players until the 1970s in Silicon Valley. Early private equity investors, also known as venture capitalists, would buy shares in promising new industries like high-tech and sell their investments at a considerable profit. Eventually, private equity funds spread beyond Silicon Valley and invested in a wider range of industries. Today, they raise capital from cash-rich investors—pension funds, insurance companies, wealthy individuals—or borrow it from commercial banks and other financial institutions. Then they invest in various companies. The goal of the private equity fund is to sell those investments—often to another private equity fund—and turn a profit.

Smart investors at private equity funds select poorly managed companies whose value can be increased by extending, reducing, or reshuffling their activities. After buying a significant number of shares in such a company, a private equity fund can redirect or replace its management structure. Private equity managers may terminate redundant workers to increase productivity; scale back or eliminate less profitable departments; or use the company’s existing business to extend its brand and reach. For instance, Bain Capital, the private equity fund founded by Mitt Romney, turned Staples from a local brand into a national office supplier.

In the simplest sense, private equity investors reallocate capital where it will be most effective—from less productive uses to more profitable ones. Private equity funds propel capitalism’s creative destruction: by promoting innovation and punishing obsolescence, they fuel economic growth.

At the same time, by speeding up processes that might otherwise take a long time—such as the decline of an old industry and the emergence of a new one—private equity funds make the social costs of creative destruction more visible. Those who defend free markets, creative destruction, and private equity must do a better job of explaining their genuine benefits while supporting effective social policies to help workers make smoother transitions from old industries to new ones.
Schumpeter himself prophesied that the unpopularity of capitalism would eventually kill it. He doubted the capacity and willingness of the bourgeoisie to defend capitalism’s legitimacy, and he doubted the heirs of capitalist entrepreneurs even more. He knew many, both in his native Austria and in the United States, who squandered the capital that their parents and grandparents had accumulated and who were eager for the Left to forgive them for having inherited their wealth.
The ultimate enemies of capitalism, in Schumpeter’s view, were intellectuals, many of whom found it outrageous that businessmen had so much more money than they did. Envy—and the indisputable imperfections of capitalism—made these thinkers and writers, including some of Schumpeter’s Harvard colleagues, yearn for a better economic system. Ironically, the wealth created by capitalism had bankrolled a massive expansion of the educational system, empowering the intellectual class that hated that wealth. “Capitalism inevitably . . . educates and subsidizes a vested interest in social unrest,” Schumpeter noted. The rhetorical talent of the intellectuals, he predicted darkly, would help bring capitalism to its knees.
Schumpeter’s pessimism about capitalists’ heirs may have gone too far: some of them, especially in America, have put their money to good use in philanthropies, museums, and foundations that don’t lobby against capitalism. His characterization of intellectuals, though, remains as accurate today as when he made it decades ago. And while it’s true, of course, that socialism as Schumpeter feared it has all but disappeared, the Obama administration’s enthusiasm for economic intervention shows that American openness to creative destruction is not a given. Perhaps the most virulent opponent of creative destruction is the riotous antiglobalization movement. Perpetually laying siege to G-20 meetings, the antiglobalists refuse to accept—or fail to understand—that competition spurs innovation and that innovation spurs economic growth and human progress. Thanks to trade, market competition has become global, establishing a worldwide division of labor that dramatically reduces the costs of consumer goods, from food to cell phones and beyond. In the antiglobalists’ dreamworld, everything would become local again—a fantasy that, were it ever to become reality, would limit access to many goods to the wealthy alone.

Can a Schumpeterian candidate make it to the White House in 2012? Yes, but in the current climate of economic uncertainty, he will need to be a talented rhetorician. Otherwise, America in a second Obama term will probably continue to move in a European direction, with the government playing an increasingly activist role in the economy, protecting out-of-date ways of doing business. And without the liberating fire of creative destruction, America will follow Europe down the path of slow growth, high unemployment, and decline.

Guy Sorman is the author of Economics Does Not Lie.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1596 on: May 16, 2012, 02:25:35 PM »

second post of day

http://www.dickmorris.com/obamas-poll-numbers-get-worse-and-worse-dick-morris-tv-lunch-alert/
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« Reply #1597 on: May 16, 2012, 04:28:38 PM »

 grin

The first black, hispanic, woman, gay President just ain't working.

He is going to have to add many more subgroups I guess to have a chance.

He may as well come out and say, look anyone not a white hetero male - vote for moi!

As long as Mitt doesn't muck it up which is doubtful - this may turn into a laugher. cheesy

I was with some very liberal, socialist, democrat party relatives for mother's day.  One asked me if I am still a Republican.  At first I responded by saying I don't really want to talk politics - we all know we disagree and I otherwise love my relatives.

I then added with a smile "hell no" - I am not a Republican anymore.  This was followed by a few moments of silence and I presume shock.  Then I gave them all a bigger shock when I said I am now a Tea Partier.!

We all laughed but one of them did say that "is worse".

Liberals will NEVER change, or ever admit they are wrong.  Relatives included.

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« Reply #1598 on: May 17, 2012, 10:45:36 AM »



http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?feature=player_embedded&v=-Czo5Vf8KZs
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1599 on: May 18, 2012, 09:45:48 AM »



Romney To Win Undecideds
By DICK MORRIS
Published on TheHill.com on May 15, 2012

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From May 5-11, 2012, I conducted a survey of 6,000 likely voters. On such a mammoth sample, the margin of error is less than 1 percent. I found that Romney has amassed a sizable lead over Obama of 51-42, far in excess of what published polling and surveys of registered -- as opposed to likely -- voters are indicating.

If Romney were to win 51 percent of the vote, the election would, of course, be very close. But if he could hold Obama to 42 percent, it would be a landslide. So the obvious question is how Romney should go about winning the voters in between.
 
To answer this question, I drilled down in my sample to these undecided voters, none of whom voted for Romney in the survey. I added to their ranks those who voted for Obama but indicated that they only "somewhat" approved of his performance in office. This left me with a sample of 1,500 likely voters who are in play. The data in this column reflects their views. If Romney can win a quarter or a third of their votes, he will win by a landslide margin of 10 points.

On the economy, 46 percent of these swing voters do not believe that there is any recovery. Twenty-three percent say the economy is the same as when Obama took office and an additional 23 percent say it is worse. Thirty-nine percent say the jobs situation has not improved. Twenty-five percent say it is the same and 14 percent say it is worse. And 37 percent agree with the statement that "if we look around, there isn't real evidence that we are actually making progress."

Specifically, swing voters do not believe that the unemployment rate drop Obama heralds is real. Forty-nine percent agree that "the only reason it goes down is that each month more people give up even looking for work."

So Obama's claims that we are climbing out of the recession fall short with almost half of the swing vote. Indeed, 31 percent of swing voters say that "Obama's policies have made the recession worse."

About a third of swing voters squarely blame Obama's borrowing and spending as the culprit for the failure of the economy. Thirty-six percent agree that "the deficit and debt Obama's program caused did more harm that the spending did good. His cure was worse than the disease."

Forty-four percent of swing voters believe that "if we cut government spending and borrowing, we could recover much more quickly."

A third of swing voters -- 31 percent -- reject the president's argument that "if it were not for Obama's policies, things might have been even worse."

Finally, 44 percent of swing voters agree that "if we reelect Obama, he'll just do more of the same."

Romney has the ability to slice off a third of the undecided swing voters by way of a major attack on the economy, thereby lifting him well above the 50 percent threshold. Swing voters:

• Challenge Obama's assertion that we are recovering and that unemployment is dropping.

• Lay the blame for the economic stagnation on his "spending and borrowing" and suggest that with less of each, things would improve much more quickly.

• Believe that "his cure is worse than the disease" in that "the borrowing has done more harm than the spending did good."

• Are convinced that if we reelect Obama, we have only more spending and borrowing to look forward to and that the results will be the same.

Will Romney exploit the vulnerabilities this poll suggests? Only time will tell.
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