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Author Topic: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left  (Read 32970 times)
G M
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« Reply #300 on: April 15, 2012, 11:58:30 AM »

Justice for Trayvon...and Only Trayvon
Paul Jacobson
 



Justice for Trayvon by Charles M. Blow, columnist for the New York Times (where else?). The tears begin with the opening paragraph:
 

A boy's blood had been spilled on a rain-soaked patch of grass behind a row of mustard-colored condominiums by a man who had pursued him against the advice of 911 dispatchers. That man carried a 9-millimeter handgun. The boy carried a bag of candy.
 
The cascade of lacromosity quickly turns into a tsunami:
 

Americans saw the anguish of the boy's father and the tears of his mother. America saw a child who was its own. America saw its concept of basic fairness sinking in to the marsh of miscarried justice.
 
What Blow is really demanding is not justice at all but "social justice" (hereinafter called socialjusticeism), an utterly bogus leftist propaganda term that turns the authentic, historic definition of justice on its head: socialjusticeism is not justice for anybody, accused or accusers; it is injustice for all those whom the left hates. Nor should anybody be decoyed by Blow's brusque, phony feint at genuine justice: "The state will vigorously prosecute, and Zimmerman will be vigorously defended as is his constitutional right."
 
Charles Blow is obviously certain beyond any doubt, reasonable or otherwise, that George Zimmerman brutally gunned down Trayvon Martin out of racist malice. So are the Black Panther goons who have put a million-dollar lynch mob bounty on Zimmerman's head. A trial has not yet been concluded, so I don't know if Zimmerman is guilty or not; therefore, I have nothing to say about his guilt.
 
I do know that none other than Alan Dershowitz -- no friend of the "vast right-wing conspiracy," he -- has unambiguously condemned the affidavit prepared by Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey charging Zimmerman with second-degree murder:
 

Dershowitz called the affidavit justifying Zimmerman's arrest "not only thin, it's irresponsible...Most affidavits of probable cause are very thin. This is so thin that it won't make it past a judge on a second degree murder charge...There's simply nothing in there that would justify second degree murder...I think what you have here is an elected public official who made a campaign speech last night for reelection when she gave her presentation and overcharged. This case will not - if the evidence is no stronger than what appears in the probable cause affidavit - this case will result in an acquittal."
 
Suppose the Black Panther thugs succeed in their plot to brutally assassinate George Zimmerman -- God save us from such an outcome. Millions of real Americans would be angered and outraged beyond words to express. Even more unspeakable consequences could ensue, we know not what.
 
And the moral silence of Charles Blow and his ilk would be deafening...as long as they could suppress their glee at seeing socialjusticeism prevail yet again.


Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/04/justice_for_trayvonand_only_trayvon.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #301 on: April 16, 2012, 08:03:06 PM »

This is not the first racially driven mob in our history to howl for blood.   The solution for mistaken speech is Truth.  Let us do our part so that we can keep this divinely inspired Republic.
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G M
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« Reply #302 on: April 17, 2012, 02:40:16 PM »

http://pjmedia.com/blog/walking-papers-the-incredibly-thin-speculative-zimmerman-affidavit/?singlepage=true

Walking Papers? The Incredibly Thin, Speculative Zimmerman Affidavit

Angela Corey's filing against George Zimmerman bears the hallmarks of a career-ender.





by
Bob Owens

Bio




April 17, 2012 - 10:06 am


Last week, Florida prosecutor Angela Corey stunned many within the legal establishment when she announced her office was filing a second-degree murder charge against George Zimmerman. The four-page affidavit of probable cause filed by Corey’s office shocked legal experts, ranging from liberal Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and liberal law blogger Jeralyn Merritt to conservative former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy and talk show host Mark Levin, among others.
 
The affidavit starts out typically, listing the names and qualifications of the two investigators used by the special prosecutor. It then begins to build a case against George Zimmerman:
 

On Sunday 2/26/12, Trayvon Martin was temporarily living at the Retreat at Twin Lakes, a gated community in Sanford, Seminole County, Florida. That evening Martin walked to a nearby 7-11 Store where he purchased a can of iced tea and some Skittles. Martin then walked back to and entered the gated community and was on his way back to the townhouse where he was living when he was profiled by George Zimmerman. Martin was unarmed and was not committing a crime.


Not one paragraph into the “meat” of the affidavit, Corey’s team already made two unsubstantiated claims.
 
First: there is no publicly known evidence that supports the contention that Zimmerman “profiled” Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman’s 911 call made no reference to skin color or apparel until the the police dispatcher started pressing for a better description. If Corey’s team had evidence that Zimmerman racially profiled Martin, they should have included it here. They did not, which not only undermines the profiling charge in this case, but in any federal civil rights case the U.S. Department of Justice may have been considering.
 
The second unsubstantiated claim: they say Martin was not committing or preparing to commit a crime. Zimmerman became suspicious because he saw a figure who struck him as a person casing houses for burglary potential. Unbeknownst to Zimmerman at the time was the fact that Martin had been suspended from school for the possession of a “burglary tool.” We don’t know what Martin was thinking, but his actions were erratic enough to prompt George Zimmerman to want police to investigate.
 
That represents a lot of unsubstantiated speculation by a prosecutor trying to build an affidavit to support a second-degree murder charge, and that’s just from the first substantive paragraph.
 
The next troublesome claim is the lead sentence of the following paragraph:
 

Zimmerman, who also lived in the gated community and was driving his vehicle, observed Martin and assumed he was a criminal.
 
Perhaps it is hair-splitting, but there is no evidence to support Corey’s claim that Zimmerman assumed Martin was a criminal. In his first comments on the 911 call, Zimmerman claims he saw “a real suspicious guy” acting erratically:  “Like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about.”
 
Zimmerman was merely reporting suspicious behavior, just as our own Department of Homeland Security advocates with its “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign, which has been created and promoted by cabinet officials appointed by the Obama Administration. Zimmerman saw someone acting suspiciously, and did precisely what DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano wants citizens to do in that situation.
 
The prosecutor then made another claim not supported by the recorded evidence:
 

The police dispatcher then informed Zimmerman that an officer was on the way and to wait for the officer.
 
The second half of that claim is a complete and apparently willful misrepresentation of the conversation between George Zimmerman and the police dispatcher. The closest the dispatcher ever gets to telling Zimmerman to “wait for the officer” was when Zimmerman was attempting to follow Martin, and the dispatcher told him, precisely: “Okay, we don’t need you to do that.”
 
In response to the dispatcher’s comment — which isn’t a command, but an ambiguous statement — Zimmerman’s response is “Okay,” and an immediate termination of his attempt to follow Trayvon Martin.
 
Zimmerman spends the next 93 seconds — more than enough time for Trayvon Martin to reach where he is staying, even at a walking pace — in one location talking to the police dispatcher, informing the dispatcher that he is on the way back to his truck, and that he will meet the responding officer by the mailboxes.
 
Angela Corey’s team is misrepresenting the actual events as they occurred in order to fabricate a claim that George Zimmerman disobeyed police orders. Proving her behavior is one matter, but to be found deliberately misrepresenting the evidence is certainly grounds for considering disbarment.
 
The affidavit contained further problematic statements. The next one:
 

During the recorded call Zimmerman made reference to people he felt had committed and gotten away with break-ins in his neighborhood. Later while talking about Martin, Zimmerman stated “these a**holes, they always get away” and also said “these f***ing punks.”
 
John Work, a multi-decade law enforcement veteran, caught something in this prejudicial paragraph that I’d missed on my first reading:
 

Either Zimmerman and the investigators who wrote the affidavit knew there had been burglaries in the neighborhood, or they did not know about any burglaries. It’s not possible to credibly say that anyone, including the defendant, felt that crimes had been committed. If, in fact, there was or was not a series of unsolved burglaries in that neighborhood, the cops should have included that fact in the affidavit. It’s a lie of omission, either way.
 
Corey’s affidavit then made even more unsubstantiated claims:
 

Zimmerman got out of his vehicle and followed Martin. When the police dispatcher realized Zimmerman was pursuing Martin, he instructed Zimmerman not to do that and that the responding officer would meet him. Zimmerman disregarded the police dispatcher and continued to follow Martin who was trying to return to his home.
 
The affidavit’s claim is in direct opposition to the facts as recorded on the 911 call.
 
Zimmerman was not “instructed” of anything. The use of that particular word creates the impression that Zimmerman was affirmatively told — commanded — not to do something. That isn’t what occurred. The dispatcher spoke ambiguously: “We don’t need you to do that.”
 
Then, the affidavit makes the completely unsupported claim that Zimmerman continued to follow Martin, even as the 911 call indicates that he stopped following Martin and was stationary for more than a minute and a half before attempting to return to his truck to meet with the responding officer. This, again, appears to be a misrepresentation by the prosecutor, unsupported (and possibly refuted) by the known evidence.
 
The affidavit also makes the completely unsupported claim at the end of that paragraph that Martin “was trying to return to his home.”
 
There is no evidence of the sort. The timeline strongly suggests that — having evaded Zimmerman initially and with Zimmerman terminating his pursuit and then heading back the way he came — Martin had plenty of time and a direct, unobstructed path home had he chosen to return directly home. We don’t know where Martin was or what he was doing between the time he fled Zimmerman and when the confrontation began. What we do know is that Martin had an opportunity to make it home, and chose not to do so for reasons we may never know.
 
The affidavit continues:
 

Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued. Witnesses heard people arguing and what sounded like a struggle. During this time period witnesses heard numerous calls for help and some of these were recorded in 911 calls to police. Trayvon Martin’s mother has reviewed the 911 and identified the voice crying for help as Trayvon Martin’s voice.
 
“Zimmerman confronted Martin.”
 
This is supposition, apparently based upon the recollection of Martin’s girlfriend. There is no physical evidence or eyewitness supporting this charge.
 
The next part of that crucial sentence has already been ripped apart by legal experts — the passive “and a struggle ensued.”
 
This entire case hinges upon who started the confrontation and then escalated it into a deadly force event that left a young man dead. If the prosecution has evidence that Zimmerman indeed triggered the confrontation and initiated the struggle, then Zimmerman’s self-defense claim becomes much harder to support. If the events occurred as Zimmerman described it — with the confrontation initiated by Martin, the physical assault initiated by Martin, and Martin then escalating the fight to assault with a deadly weapon by attempting to smash Zimmerman’s head on the concrete — and the evidence supports Zimmerman’s claims, then we have a justified use of deadly force in self-defense.
 
Sybrina Fulton’s contention that the voice she heard crying for help on the 911 calls was her son certainly adds emotional pain to the case; her claim is not one I would personally wish to challenge at a trial if she is called as a witness. However, competent attorneys routinely cast doubt on such testimony, perhaps by citing confirmation bias and the trauma of losing a child. No known audio experts have come forth to claim they can confirm with any degree of certainty that the voice calling for help is Martin. I would venture that Fulton’s claim is included in the affidavit only to elicit an emotional response from the public, which would be a grandstanding ploy, and perhaps an especially cynical one by a veteran prosecutor seeking reelection just a few months from now.
 
There are simply no facts in this affidavit to remotely support the charge of second-degree murder according to Florida’s statute, which reads:
 

The unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual, is murder in the second degree …
 
There is nothing in this affidavit nor among the publicly known facts about the case — nor even among the allegations from the victim’s family or their attorneys — that comes even remotely close to reaching the “depraved mind” standard. At most, the prosecutor would face making a difficult manslaughter case, and even then would risk having the lesser charge thrown out for insufficient evidence.
 
I am comfortable with saying that Corey’s multiple references to “Justice for Trayon” during her press conference combined with this breathtaking affidavit strongly suggest a political motivation.
 
I live and work in central North Carolina, just miles away from where an overzealous, politically minded prosecutor named Mike Nifong attempted to railroad athletes from the Duke University lacrosse team in a similarly racially charged environment just a half-decade ago.
 
Nifong was disbarred and found guilty of criminal contempt for his actions. Angela Corey’s affidavit against George Zimmerman looks to be treading dangerously close to that same path.
 

Bob Owens blogs at Bob-Owens.com
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DougMacG
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« Reply #303 on: April 23, 2012, 09:38:03 AM »

"Why not raise taxes on capital gains but lower them on income?"

Yes, except that the proven way of raising taxes collected from capital gains is to LOWER the rate.

15% tax is low enough.  Make it permanent so that investors could try to build and create wealth and know with certainty what the tax rate on that effort, if successful, will be.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-campbell-flaws-in-the-buffett-rule-20120422,0,441132.story

Besides lost revenues, there is no recovery that comes out of punishing investment in America.  Other than that it all makes sense.
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JDN
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« Reply #304 on: April 23, 2012, 10:00:04 AM »

Doug, I already posted that article elsewhere.  But I'm curious, why would you
post it in "The Cognitive Dissonance of the Left" when the article was written by
Tom Campbell who served five terms as a Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives.
   shocked
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DougMacG
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« Reply #305 on: April 23, 2012, 12:45:23 PM »

"Doug, I already posted that article elsewhere."

I wonder if I already criticized it elsewhere... )

Thanks (sincerely) for that clarification, that Campbell is a Republican.  I guess this is a case then of the cognitive dissonance of trying to appease the left.  If you see a RINO thread, I will move the post.  I take back the blame insinuated at the LA Times for publishing this view no matter how flawed.   If he is a 5 term congressman, his view is newsworthy in his local paper.

I should have known no real leftist would lower personal income tax rates under any circumstance.  I noticed that some of the rest of the piece made sense but I got stuck on his false premise. With all his impressive economic training (he studied under Milton Friedman) he does not support his premise.

Answer this back on the tax policy thread then: What is the evidence that raising capital gains tax rates will raise revenues to the Treasury (as opposed to just appeasing liberal California voters for personal reelection).  All evidence of our lifetime indicates the opposite.  See the video posted of Obama being asked about that in a 2008 debate.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #306 on: April 28, 2012, 01:22:41 PM »

The war on women is a uniquely Republican phenomenon...  excerpt for the texting of Dem congressman Anthony's Weiner, the foul mouth of Obama financial supporter Bill Maher, now near-President and VP and Attorney General hopeful, former Dem Sen. John Edwards on trial:

Young also testified about Edwards' reaction to the news that Hunter was pregnant. "He said she was a crazy slut and there was a one-in-three chance it was his child"
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75538.html

Which America is it, Sen Edwards, where you have millions out of bogus lawsuits but can still find a millions of other people's money to quiet a woman with expensive tastes that he didn't even like?

Who knew that such a womanizer and political feminist would speak so disrespectfully when he thinks the throngs can't hear him. 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #307 on: May 01, 2012, 05:24:56 AM »

Maybe she was, maybe she wasn't.  We just don't know.  His calling her a slut in a private conversation is just not something I see as worthy of attention.  Whether the Dem nominee for the VP of the United States of America is guilty as accused or not is.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #308 on: May 11, 2012, 10:52:36 AM »

Too smart but he can't release a grade or test score.  Too smart but wrong on everything economic.  Too smart but no clue on how to solve a crises in Syria, Egypt, the Chinese embassy or anywhere else.  Can't balance a budget - ever.   He is perhaps the only person on earth to have moved from pro gay marriage 1990s to against it in the 2000s back to for it again in 2012.  Too smart or spineless or have gay people 'evolved' that much in such a short time.

This is lousy journalism to me reflecting on the paper that pays for it and publishes it, but it is opinion so into the cognitive dissonance of the left thread it goes.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-daum-obama-love-letters-maraniss-20120510,0,2453306.column

Obama's intellect doesn't have much currency in the political climate of extreme partisanship and pandering to a very low common denominator.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 11:23:10 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #309 on: May 14, 2012, 12:01:28 PM »

The Edwards ordeal seemed irrelevant because it imploded right after his candidacy didn't quite make it.  Besides irrelevant, it seemed personal, sad and stupid.  But in fact, he was VERY close to being the non-Hillary who very well could have been President if Obama had not run such a flawless 2008 campaign. He also could have been VP and wanted to be attorney general.

What I forgot was that he WAS the candidate - chosen for VP in 2004, I was reminded by: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/05/john-edwards-and-the-reality-based-community.php

Amazing what lack of vetting occurred with this unaccomplished one term Senator, now known to be a liar and corrupt (pending more defense and a jury verdict).

Edwards’ own attorney told the trial judge this week: “No one is going to deny that Mr. Edwards lied and lied and lied and lied.” 


http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/john-edwards-endures-two-pronged-trial-testing-his-morals-and-his-actions/2012/05/12/gIQAhNL0KU_story.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #310 on: May 22, 2012, 11:45:25 AM »

This also could have gone in the Liberal Fascism thread:
=============

The green jobs Obama may destroy

By LIZ PEEK

NYPost

Posted: 10:18 PM, May 21, 2012

It turns out some “greens jobs” are more equal than others.

The Obama Commerce Department last week moved to slap 31 percent tariffs on solar panels imported from China. That may prop up failing US panel-makers like Solyndra, which have received hundreds of millions in taxpayer support — but it’s a blow to the industry that’s installing panels in US homes.

The residential solar industry is doubling in size each year and creating tens of thousands of jobs. But apparently it’s not as important in the administration’s eyes as domestic panel-manufacturers.

Oh, the Commerce move also risks triggering a trade war with China.

That’s the feds — picking winners and losers, and making a mess.

Commerce didn’t have to rule as it did on a complaint last October from seven US-based solar-panel suppliers about alleged Chinese dumping. The key was which “surrogate” market to pick for comparison: It chose Thailand, a tiny market with high prices — not India, where huge demand and economies of scale have driven solar-panel costs lower.

Chinese-made panels in the US cost less than panels cost in Thailand — so, voila, Commerce ruled that prices in the United States were artificially low, and held Chinese makers accountable.

Bigar Shah is president of Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy, a residential-solar trade group. He complains both about the “surrogate” decision and Commerce’s failure to negotiate some deal with the Chinese makers.

He also points out that it was actually a German national, SolarWorld CEO Gordon Brinser, who initiated the Commerce investigation, noting: “It’s literally a script out of the X-Men movies — one German trying to create a war between the US and China.”

Shah’s group expects the hefty tariffs to raise solar prices and slow conversions — putting in jeopardy the 100,000 jobs it says the sector has created in just a few years. After all, the industry thrived as the price of solar cells and modules dropped from $3.30 per watt in 2008 to roughly $1 by year-end 2011.

The Commerce decision could also cost the US export business. US suppliers export some $2 billion a year in solar materials to China, but could lose out in a trade war.

Shah thinks Commerce chose Thailand out of sheer ineptitude; others fault election-maneuvering. For months, Mitt Romney has attacked President Obama for not standing up for US workers displaced by aggressive Chinese trade practices; these tariffs might give Obama an answer.

Yet the tariffs aren’t likely to save US panel-makers. Their global market share fell from 27 percent in 2001 to 5 percent in 2010. The Chinese built huge overcapacity in order to dominate the market, and now they are.

Without continued huge subsidies, it’s unlikely that any US panel makers could stay in business. After Germany recently slashed its subsidies, many panel-makers there went bankrupt.

Ironies abound here. Even as the administration tries to boost one solar industry at the expense of another, solar power still costs more than energy from coal or natural gas. Until recently, even a vast alphabet soup of state and federal subsidies wasn’t enough to jump-start US solar conversions.

What turned the tide? China’s aggressive expansion of solar-panel manufacturing, which sent prices plummeting.

Hmm: Instead of encouraging a trade war that will damage solar providers and users — and, inevitably, all taxpayers — perhaps the Obama administration should consider sending Beijing a thank-you note.

Liz Peek is a columnist for The Fiscal Times.com and FoxNews.com.


Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_green_jobs_obama_may_destroy_rHRJFdNjFgCnYWu6h9FgRJ#ixzz1vcHT7wGW
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ccp
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« Reply #311 on: May 24, 2012, 07:24:37 PM »

Mitt:  for freedom
The left:  for free Birth control.

http://nation.foxnews.com/mitt-romney/2012/03/20/romney-schools-heckler-if-you-want-free-stuff-vote-obama
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DougMacG
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« Reply #312 on: May 26, 2012, 11:27:21 AM »

Followup to CCP's post on Politics, DNC attacks, but can't answer it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6j6abQAwZnk
« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 11:33:12 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
ccp
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« Reply #313 on: May 31, 2012, 05:21:09 PM »

Bloomberg's ban on large sugared drinks .

First the continuance of the government's control of our lives to the extent of INDUSTRIAL QUALITY level control is a problem.

Think of it, from the time we get up to the time we go to sleep our lives can be controlled.   We get up go to the bathroom.  Brush our teeth because if we don't don't we get tooth decay and we cost the society more.  We go to the BR and use only an allotted amount of water to wash, flush, drink, brush.   We are told how much electric to use for our coffee maker, our oven, our stove, our electronics, lights, our wash machines, AC, our cars are regulated with endless safety features, kind of fuel, we are punished if we don't  use mass transit, bike or walk to work, we can't eat anything that doens't conform with the proper Harvard decided nutritional values, we must never use elevators, we cannot sit at our desks but must work at stations that are on treadmills, lunch can consist of no more than a salad bar, every single detail of everything we do is chronicalled, catalogued, data warehoused, sold to marketers, or sent off to government agencies, CDC, FDA, HHS, and the political machines, CIA, FBI, and probably over to China as well as professional criminal organizations from the US and overseas, and on and on and on:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/31/nyregion/bloomberg-plans-a-ban-on-large-sugared-drinks.html?_r=1
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ccp
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« Reply #314 on: May 31, 2012, 07:22:22 PM »

I forgot to add as I drifted off down the left's "progression" to total government control of our lives as well as control coming from every other avenue within the digital universe,

*The soda restriction will have absolutely no effect on obesity*.

To think that if we only avoided soda we would all be thin... tongue

If only it were that easy. wink

Medicine is fast becoming increasingly controlled with industrial strength quality controls.  If one thinks it pleasant to have every single step, thought process, time documented for every single action all day long..

I can look forward to the day I come home and the same process exists there too (as well as in the office and the hospital) when my flushes, sink usages, wattage amounts etc or also being measured, taxed, restricted, regulated, requiring more and more forms , permissions, feedbacks loops, and endless measures, changes, commnets, opinions, studies that change what we should do every 6 months,  and more.

I long for the 60's and 70's and 80's.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #315 on: June 07, 2012, 03:05:31 PM »

If the left's analysis of why the left went down in Wisconsin is correct, then the left is doomed.

The answer is money, she says (Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation ), reflecting a very widespread line of analysis. Thanks to the Supreme Court, the right is able to outspend the left ten to one, ensuring that the left can never win.

 - Walter Russel Mead  http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/06/06/the-people-united-go-down-in-flames/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #316 on: June 10, 2012, 06:24:04 PM »

Important piece IMO by Kevin Williamson at National Review.

http://www.nationalreview.com/exchequer/302257/detroit-moral-story#

Detroit: The Moral of the Story
By Kevin D. Williamson
June 8, 2012 3:18 P.M.
Comments
28

The Left’s answer to the deficit: raise taxes to protect spending. The Left’s answer to the weak economy: raise taxes to enable new spending. The Left’s answer to the looming sovereign-debt crisis: raise taxes to pay off old spending. For the Left, every deficit is a revenue-side problem, not a spending-side problem, and the solution to every economic problem is more spending, necessitating more taxes. The problem with that way of looking at things is called Detroit, which looks to be running out of money in about one week. Detroit is what liberalism’s end-game looks like.

And Detroit does in fact have a revenue problem, as I argued in the May 14 National Review (“Let Detroit Fail”): “Revenues declined by more than $100 million between 2007 and 2011. Income-tax revenue dropped by 18 percent, utility-tax revenue by 17 percent, property-tax revenue by 2.3 percent. Seeking a quick fix to its revenue problems, Detroit chartered several casino-gambling operations, only to see taxes from them begin to decline (by 1.5 percent last year) after a period of early growth. Detroit, once the wealthiest city in the United States by per capita income, is today the second-poorest major U.S. city.”

Detroit is evidence for the fact that the economic limitations on tax increases sometimes kick in before the political limitations do. The relationship between tax rates, tax revenue, economic incentives, growth, and investment is complex, to say the least, and deeply dependent on the historical and economic facts of particular places at particular times. We have theories of growth, but no blueprint. But Detroit was not reduced to its present wretched circumstances by historical inevitabilities or the impersonal tides of economics. It did not have to end this way, but it did, and understanding why it did is essential if we are to avoid repeating Detroit’s municipal tragedy on a national scale.

One lesson to learn from Detroit is that investing unions with coercive powers does not ensure future private-sector employment or the preservation of private-sector wages, despite liberal fairy tales to the contrary, nor do protectionist measures strengthen the long-term prospects of domestic firms competing in highly integrated global markets. We cannot legislate away comparative advantage or other facts of life. But the problem of unions’ coercing distortions in the private sector is at this point a relatively small one, given the decline of unionization outside of government. Organized labor being a fundamentally predatory enterprise, its attention has turned to the public sector, where there are fatter and more stable rents to be collected.

The second important lesson to be learned from Detroit is that there are hard limits on real tax increases, a fact that will be of more immediate significance in the national debate as our deficit and debt problems reach crisis stage. Even those of us who are relatively open to tax increases as a component of a long-term debt-reduction strategy must keep in mind that our current spending trend is putting us on an unsustainable course in which our outlays will far outpace our ability to collect taxes to pay for them, no matter where we set our theoretical tax rates. The IMF calculates that to maintain present spending trend the United States will have to nearly double (88 percent increase) all federal taxes to maintain theoretical solvency. Those tax increases are sure to have real-world effects on everything from investing to immigration. At some point, the statutory tax increases will not increase actual revenue.

Even the best tax regimes are cannibalistic: Every tax is an incentive for the taxpayer to relocate to a more friendly jurisdiction. But tax rates are not the only incentive: Google is not going to set up shop in Somalia. Healthy governments create conditions that make it worth paying the taxes — which is to say, governments are a lot like participants in any other competitive market (with some obvious and important exceptions). The benefits of being in Detroit used to be worth the costs, but in recent decades millions of people and thousands of enterprises large and small have decided that is no longer the case. It is not as though one cannot profitably manufacture automobiles in the United States — Toyota does — you just can’t do it very well in Detroit. No one with eyes in his head could honestly think that the services provided by the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan are worth the costs.

The third lesson is moral. Detroit’s institutions have long been marked by corruption, venality, and self-serving. Healthy societies have high levels of trust. Who trusts Detroit? This is not angels-dancing-on-the-head-of-a-pin stuff. People do not invest in firms, industries, cities, or countries they do not trust. Corruption makes people poor.

What is true of Detroit is true of the country. Our national public sector not only is bloated and parasitic, it is less effective, less responsible, and less honest than that of many other developed countries, including New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and Germany. I am not an unreserved admirer of Transparency International’s global corruption-perceptions index, but I believe that it is in broad outline accurate. Liberals are inclined to learn the wrong lessons from the relative success of countries such as Canada or New Zealand, concluding that what we need is a bigger welfare state, government-run health care, etc. (Conservatives, for our part, tend to overemphasize the role of comparatively low taxes and light regulation in the success of countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong. Those are important, but there are other equally important factors.) In reality, there is a great diversity of health-care arrangements and social-spending levels among the countries that have more effective institutions than ours, while many countries with the sorts of institutions liberals admire (take Italy, Spain, Greece, and Portugal for starters) are in crisis, in significant part because of plain corruption. What the more successful countries tend to have in common is a public sector that is less intent on looting the fisc.

Sure, Hong Kong and Singapore have lower levels of government spending (as a share of GDP) than does the United States. So do Switzerland and Australia. At 38.9 percent of GDP, our public-sector spending is indistinguishable from that of Canada (39.7 percent). It is not obvious that we have much to show for it.

The city fathers of Detroit inherited one of the richest and most productive cities in the world, and they ruined it in a generation. The gentlemen in Washington have been entrusted with the richest and most productive nation in the history of the world, and the trendline does not look good. Those of us seeking to radically reduce the footprint of government must remind ourselves from time to time that our case is as much ethical as economic, that the ethical and the economic are indeed closely intertwined.
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ccp
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« Reply #317 on: June 23, 2012, 11:20:28 AM »

Not mentioned in Mark Steyn's piece but along his lines of thinking is Elizabeth Warren's phoney and knowing claim to be part Cheriokee.   Claiming membership into a "victim group" has become rewarding monetariily and career wise in the new "post" racial, post gender America.

*** June 22, 2012 Updated: June 23, 2012 7:58 a.m.
Text:    Next Article » Mark Steyn: Obama the first Invented-American president 
 
By MARK STEYN

Syndicated columnist

letters@ocregister.com
Courtesy of David Maraniss' new book, we now know that yet another key prop of Barack Obama's identity is false: His Kenyan grandfather was not brutally tortured or even non-brutally detained by his British colonial masters. The composite gram'pa joins an ever-swelling cast of characters from Barack's "memoir" who, to put it discreetly, differ somewhat in reality from their bit parts in the grand Obama narrative. The best friend at school portrayed in Obama's autobiography as "a symbol of young blackness" was, in fact, half Japanese, and not a close friend. The white girlfriend he took to an off-Broadway play that prompted an angry post-show exchange about race never saw the play, dated Obama in an entirely different time zone, and had no such world-historically significant conversation with him. His Indonesian step-grandfather, supposedly killed by Dutch soldiers during his people's valiant struggle against colonialism, met his actual demise when he "fell off a chair at his home while trying to hang drapes."
David Maraniss is no right-winger, and can't understand why boorish nonliterary types have seized on his book as evidence that the president of the United States is a Grade A phony. "It is a legitimate question about where the line is in memoir," he told Soledad O'Brien on CNN. My Oxford dictionary defines "memoir" as "an historical account or biography written from personal knowledge." And if Obama doesn't have "personal knowledge" of his tortured grandfather, war-hero step-grandfather and racially obsessed theater-buff girlfriend, who does? But in recent years, the Left has turned the fake memoir into one of the most prestigious literary genres: Oprah's Book Club recommended James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces," hailed by Bret Easton Ellis as a "heartbreaking memoir" of "poetic honesty," but subsequently revealed to be heavy on the "poetic" and rather light on the "honesty." The "heartbreaking memoir" of a drug-addled street punk who got tossed in the slammer after brawling with cops while high on crack with his narco-hooker girlfriend proved to be the work of some suburban Pat Boone type with a couple of parking tickets. (I exaggerate, but not as much as he did.

File: This undated file photo released by Obama for America shows President Barack Obama as a young boy, and his father, also named Barack Obama.
ANONYMOUS, APADVERTISEMENT POLITICAL CARTOONS:
70 cartoons on executive privilege, immigration, leaks and more

Oprah was also smitten by "The Education of Little Tree," the heartwarmingly honest memoir of a Cherokee childhood which turned out to be concocted by a former Klansman whose only previous notable literary work was George Wallace's "Segregation Forever" speech. "Fragments: Memories of a Wartime Childhood" is a heartbreakingly honest, poetically searing, searingly painful, painfully honest, etc., account of Binjamin Wilkomirski's unimaginably horrific boyhood in the Jewish ghetto of Riga and the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. After his memoir won America's respected National Jewish Book Award, Mr. Wilkomirski was inevitably discovered to have been born in Switzerland and spent the war in a prosperous neighborhood of Zurich being raised by a nice middle-class couple. He certainly had a deprived childhood, at least from the point of view of a literary agent pitching a memoir to a major publisher. But the "unimaginable" horror of his book turned out to be all too easily imagined. Fake memoirs have won the Nobel Peace Prize and are taught at Ivy League schools to the scions of middle-class families who take on six-figure debts for the privilege ("I, Rigoberta Menchu"). They're handed out by the Pentagon to senior officers embarking on a tour of Afghanistan (Greg Mortenson's "Three Cups of Tea") on the entirely reasonable grounds that a complete fantasy could hardly be less credible than current NATO strategy.
In such a world, it was surely only a matter of time before a fake memoirist got elected as president of the United States. Indeed, the aforementioned Rigoberta Menchu ran as a candidate in the 2007 and 2011 presidential elections in Guatemala, although she got knocked out in the first round – Guatemalans evidently being disinclined to elect someone to the highest office in the land with no accomplishment whatsoever apart from a lousy fake memoir. Which just goes to show what a bunch of unsophisticated rubes they are.
In an inspired line of argument, Ben Smith of the website BuzzFeed suggests that the controversy over "Dreams From My Father" is the fault of conservatives who have "taken the self-portrait at face value." We are so unlettered and hicky that we think a memoir is about stuff that actually happened rather than a literary jeu d'esprit playing with nuances of notions of assumptions of preconceptions of concoctions of invented baloney. And so we regard the first member of the Invented-American community to make it to the White House as a kinda weird development rather than an encouraging sign of how a new post-racial, post-gender, post-modern America is moving beyond the old straitjackets of black and white, male and female, gay and straight, real and hallucinatory.
The question now is whether the United States itself is merely the latest chapter of Obama's fake memoir. You'll notice that, in the examples listed above, the invention only goes one way. No Cherokee orphan, Holocaust survivor or recovering drug addict pretends to be George Wallace's speechwriter. Instead, the beneficiaries of boring middle-class Western life seek to appropriate the narratives and thereby enjoy the electric frisson of fashionable victim groups. And so it goes with public policy in the West at twilight.
Thus, Obama's executive order on immigration exempting a million people from the laws of the United States, is patently unconstitutional, but that's not how an NPR listener looks at it: To him, Obama's unilateral amnesty enriches stultifying white-bread America with a million plucky little Rigoberta Menchus and their heartbreaking stories. Eric Holder's entire tenure as attorney general is a fake memoir all by itself, and his invocation of "executive privilege" in the Fast & Furious scandal is preposterous, but American liberals can't hear: Insofar as they know anything about Fast & Furious, it's something to do with the government tracking the guns of fellows like those Alabama "Segregation Forever" nuts, rather than a means by which hundreds of innocent Rigoberta Menchus south of the border were gunned down with weapons sold to their killers by liberal policy-makers of the Obama administration. If that's the alternative narrative, they'll take the fake memoir.
Similarly, Obamacare is apparently all about the repressed patriarchal white male waging his "war on women." The women are struggling 30-year-old Georgetown Law coeds whose starting salary after graduation is 140 grand a year, but let's not get hung up on details. Dodd-Frank financial reform, also awaiting Supreme Court judgment, is another unconstitutional power grab, but its designated villains are mustache-twirling top-hatted bankers, so, likewise, who cares?
One can understand why the beneficiaries of the postwar West's expansion of middle-class prosperity would rather pass themselves off as members of way-cooler victim groups: it's a great career move. It may even have potential beyond the page: See Sandra Fluke's dazzling pre-Broadway tryout of "Fake Memoir: The High School Musical," in which a 30-year-old Georgetown Law coed whose starting salary after graduation is 140 grand a year passes herself off as the Little Rigoberta Hussein Wilkomirski of the Rite-Aid pick-up line. But transforming an entire nation into a fake memoir is unlikely to prove half so lucrative. The heartwarming immigrants, the contraceptive-less coeds, the mustache-twirling bankers all provide cover for a far less appealing narrative: an expansion of centralized power hitherto unknown to this republic. In reality, Obama's step-grandfather died falling off the chair while changing the drapes. In the fake-memoir version, Big Government's on the chair, and it's curtains for America.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #318 on: July 09, 2012, 12:22:26 PM »

Who cares if its constitutional, we got healthcare:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/07/03/valerie_jarrett_on_obamacare_being_a_tax_we_will_take_it_any_way_we_can_get_it.html

“We will take it any way we can get it," Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said about the Supreme Court calling the individual mandate a tax in the majority opinion upholding ObamaCare. "I mean we argued both ways, but we thought that it fell within the commerce clause, the Court ruled it was a tax, we really look at it as a penalty."

"But whatever they want to call it, the fact of the matter is it was a historic day for the United States. A country as wealthy as ours is now going to provide health insurance for everyone," Jarrett said to Roland Martin on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #319 on: July 10, 2012, 08:31:30 AM »

Bumper sticker seen on a parked car in a nice, liberal neighborhood yesterday;

"Am I liberal or just well educated?"
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DougMacG
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« Reply #320 on: July 10, 2012, 09:02:51 AM »

Speaking of liberals well educated in something, art history maybe, to compensate for the shortage of liberals posting on the board I offer you the latest from the liberal media echo chamber in the Upper Midwest, today's Minneapolis StarTribune editorial taking the President to task for not turning further and sharper to the left.  What we really need right now, they argue, is more of the exact same policies that didn't work the first three and a half years in failed Barack Obama Presidency:

Editorial: Obama should call for new stimulus\

"June jobs numbers show that economy needs more juice."

They want him to do more on deficit reduction and offer a new fiscal spending stimulus.  Huh?

"Obama shouldn't wait for a full-blown recession to return. He should ask Congress for another dose of stimulus this summer..."

Read it at the link if you need a good dose of leftist confusion.  What they don't seem to get is that these results called fairness, "the June unemployment rate for 20- to 24-year-olds was 13.7 percent, back up to where it was last fall", not economic growth, are exactly what you get from their policies. 

http://www.startribune.com/opinion/editorials/161853845.html
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DougMacG
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« Reply #321 on: July 11, 2012, 05:39:39 PM »

Always fun to see that famous people are picking up on the themes here in the forum.  Sometimes they credit us, sometimes they don't.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303740704577520890454878330.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

The Politics of Cognitive Dissonance
Why closed-mindedness is an imperative for the left.

By JAMES TARANTO  Editor of OpinionJournal.com and member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board

"Don't repeat conservative language or ideas, even when arguing against them."

That bit of advice, No. 1 on a list titled "The 10 Most Important Things Democrats Should Know," comes from the promotional material for "The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic" by George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling. (You may remember them from our June 12 column.) In a PJMedia.com essay, the anonymous blogger whose pen name is Zombie draws out the implications:

    Many politicians, pundits and talking heads have taken Lakoff's recommendation to heart. This is why conservatives and liberals can't seem to have the simplest conversation: liberals intentionally refuse to address or even acknowledge what conservatives say. Since (as Lakoff notes) conservatives invariably frame their own statements within their own conservative "moral frames," every time a conservative speaks, his liberal opponent will seemingly ignore what was said and instead come back with a reply literally [sic] out of left field.

    Thus, he is the progenitor of and primary advocate for the main reason why liberalism fails to win the public debate: Because it never directly confronts, disproves or negates conservative notions--it simply ignores them. . . .

By intentionally refusing to challenge, disprove, understand or even acknowledge the existence of the other side's argument, you allow that argument to grow in strength and win converts.

This is an important insight, not only into the way the left debates and otherwise communicates, but into the way the left thinks--or fails to think. The book's subtitle, after all, promises an instruction in "Thinking and Talking Democratic." Lakoff and Wehling command their readers not only to act as if opposing arguments are without merit, but to close their minds to those arguments. What comes across to conservatives as a maddening arrogance is actually willed ignorance.

Such an attitude is the product of leftist intellectuals, not political professionals--and, as Zombie notes, the latter are foolish to follow it:

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Chair of the Democratic National Committee, is an exemplary Lakoffite, relentlessly hammering home her own framing of each issue, and utterly ignoring the Republican frame, except on rare occasion to mock it. How effective is this? A quick survey of conservative sites shows that she is regarded as the Queen of Buffoons, a figure meriting gleeful derision and eliciting relief that the Democrats have selected the worst possible spokesperson. She certainly hasn't changed a single conservative mind, I can assure you. But has she converted "undecided" voters to the liberal cause?

    I posit that the answer is "No," and I'll explain why. . . . Lakoff has an authoritative "scientist" persona in addition to his partisan "activist" persona, but in order to lend gravitas to his arguments he must conflate the two and pretend to be an impartial scientist while in reality enunciating transparently partisan talking points. Yet people like Debbie Wasserman Schultz don't have that option, so that when she speaks, every single listener already knows that she is a partisan spewing partisan spin. She doesn't have an "authority hat" to put on which might give her statements the veneer of impartial truth.

This is one difference between an intellectual and a politician: When an intellectual haughtily dismisses opposing arguments, he does so in part by resting on his authority as an intellectual. This authority may give him a false sense of his own intellectual strength and that of his arguments.

Recall how lefty law professors thought mockery a sufficient response to the idea that Congress's Commerce Clause authority has limits. Lefty journalists and politicians joined in the mockery, made confident by the authoritative pronouncements of the scholars. The U.S. Supreme Court has now adopted a legal principle that elite law professors refused even to comprehend.

The other difference between an intellectual and a politician is that the latter's profession entails regular reality checks. If the Democrats do badly this fall, Barack Obama and the unwieldily named Wasserman Schultz will be understood to have failed. He will lose his job, and she will likely lose her prominence. Lakoff presumably has tenure, which shields him from reality. Barring a severe financial crisis in the higher education industry, he's set for life.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #322 on: July 17, 2012, 07:38:48 PM »

Yeah, he made a mistake (depends on what the word 'a' means) and it was a DOOZY.  Keep in mind, the Treasury Secretary is the cabinet official responsible for the IRS.  Having Geithner in that position would be like having Eric Holder at DOJ oversee the ATF.  Oh, never mind, I forgot about the double standard.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123187503629378119.html
Geithner's Tax History Muddles Confirmation
Timothy Geithner didn't pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for several years
(Imagine the uproar if they find that on Romney; a leftist wet dream!)
----------------------------------------------

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/18/AR2009011802070.html
Timothy Geithner's Tax Problems
Monday, January 19, 2009
At a time when the nation needs a reliable, respected voice on financial issues at the Treasury Department, is an admitted tax cheat the best we can do [front page, Jan. 14]
----------------------------------------------------
http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/13/treasury-geithner-obama-biz-beltway-cx_bw_0113geithner2.html
Geithner's Tax Troubles Are Serious
Brian Wingfield, 01.13.09, 07:22 PM EST
The issues surrounding Obama's choice for Treasury secretary may be worse than Democrats are letting on.     

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Timothy Geithner has just run into a potentially serious obstacle on the road to his confirmation as Barack Obama's Treasury secretary.

Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee made public concerns about Geithner's tax obligations, which resulted in his recent payment of $42,702 in additional taxes and interest for tax years 2001 to 2004. In addition, the committee's report on the matter says that in 2005 Geithner employed a housekeeper for about three and a half months after her ability to work in the U.S. had lapsed. (Maybe we can let the states handle immigration enforcement.)

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., described Geithner's errors as "serious," but he said they were "honest mistakes" that "do not rise to the level of disqualification." Baucus also said Geithner corrected the problems as soon as he learned of them. The Montana Democrat wants to have a confirmation hearing on Friday because he says it's important to have a Treasury secretary on "day one." Obama's inauguration takes place Jan. 20.

But Geithner's tax troubles are more worrisome for his confirmation than Baucus lets on--and not just because the Internal Revenue Service is part of the Treasury Department.

According to the Senate committee's report, Geithner "recently filed amended tax returns" for each tax year from 2001 through 2006. (3 strikes and you're out??  I guess not.) However, the report doesn't specify when these returns were filed, leaving open the question about how long Geithner knew about the improprieties before he fixed them.

On Dec. 5, Obama's transition team told Finance Committee staff that Geithner hadn't paid social security or self-employment taxes on income received from the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2004, the report says. Three years ago, the IRS audited Geithner for tax years 2003 and 2004, which resulted in him paying back taxes and interest--but no penalties--totaling $16,732.  (I guess he didn't make a mistake.  More like a series of mistakes, all in his favor.)

However, Geithner voluntarily amended his 2001 and 2002 returns only after Obama expressed interest in nominating him to the Treasury post. The total bill this time: $25,970.

Income taxes for U.S. citizens who work for the IMF can be tricky. The IMF doesn't withhold an employee's share of social security taxes, and all of the organization's employees are responsible for meeting their own tax obligations. The IMF gives its employees--Geithner included--direction on how to pay self-employment taxes. And Geithner, a former Treasury official who is now president of the New York Fed, has dealt with complicated tax issues before, the report notes.

Was Geithner previously aware of irregularities on his 2001 and 2002? Did he only correct them when it became evident that a congressional committee would likely scrub his tax records in anticipation of confirmation hearings? The report doesn't say. Officials from Obama's transition team were not immediately available to comment.

But there's another concern, related to three people who have worked for him as household help since 2004. "He did not obtain the required Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, from these persons at the time they were hired to verify their legal work status," the Finance Committee's report says.

Nonetheless, Geithner was apparently aware of their legal status--someone entered into an address book owned by the Geithners, the report says. The Geithners apparently made a record that one employee's legal work status expired in July 2005, though she "did not renew her legal work status and the Geithners did not follow up with the employee to confirm whether she had done so." The person remained on the family's payroll until October 2005.

For now at least, Obama is standing by Geithner...  Obama has pledged to make addressing the economic crisis his top priority. The timing for this couldn't be worse.
Forbes Jan 13, 2009

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JDN
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« Reply #323 on: July 17, 2012, 07:59:22 PM »

He made a "mistake" obviously not very serious since no penalties were assessed.

I've been audited before; after hours upon hours on haggling, I ended up paying a few dollars plus interest as well.  No penalties.  Absolutely no one accused me of "tax evasion". 

Further, as I also pointed out, it couldn't have been too bad in the opinion of those who matter since he was approved by the Senate in a bipartisan vote of 60-34 for Secretary of the Treasury.
Those that matter, on both sides of the aisle agreed, it was clearly a "mistake". 
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DougMacG
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« Reply #324 on: July 17, 2012, 08:13:50 PM »

A mistake? Can you STILL not grasp the errors was not SINGULAR??!??!??!
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JDN
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« Reply #325 on: July 17, 2012, 08:20:52 PM »

Doug, can YOU still not grasp that even the U.S. Senate, in a bipartisan decision decided it was a "mistake" and approved him overwhelmingly.

There's nothing there....  You might want to move on to something of substance.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #326 on: July 17, 2012, 09:52:29 PM »

Writes it singular again, 3 times after having the plural nature of the serial mistakes over an extended period on a multitude of problems pointed out.  I posted 3 sources detailing more than 10 major tax law compliance errors cited.  They didn't fall randomly either; all were on the side of TAX EVASION.  You and I can't get away with that, don't kid yourself.  The context was a historic financial crisis and the opposition looked the other way to give the popular new President a good start.  So they put him in charge of the guy who is in charge of tax law compliance.  In hindsight that was stupid.  He is a buffoon and we should have known.  Doesn't know Treasury, doesn't know tax law and doesn't know or care about the constitution. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-Fz35Ra1spk)
Good luck to you - it's fun having our own internet troll.
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JDN
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« Reply #327 on: July 17, 2012, 10:38:56 PM »

I'm just trying to help.   smiley  Someone has to "troll" and so you can "find the truth".  evil
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #328 on: July 18, 2012, 08:16:19 AM »

Ummm , , , no.  NO ONE has to troll, and it is a bummer and a drag on this forum when someone does.  In this case Doug took the time to find and bring here considerable support/evidence of the point he was making.  Your response just ignores it.  This is tedious and a waste of our time.
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JDN
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« Reply #329 on: July 18, 2012, 09:08:32 AM »

Ummm , , , no.  NO ONE has to troll, and it is a bummer and a drag on this forum when someone does.  In this case Doug took the time to find and bring here considerable support/evidence of the point he was making.  Your response just ignores it.  This is tedious and a waste of our time.

My "troll" comment was tongue in cheek in response to Doug's snide troll comment.  I agree Doug posted an excellent piece although I would not call it "considerable support/evidence.  The FACTS remain that the Senate in a BIPARTISAN manner agreed it was a mistake, a mistake so little that they approved the man to be Secretary of the Treasury.  Further no other enforcement agency thought they were "major tax law compliance errors.  They were all minor; as proof he paid no penalty. 

Geithner called the tax issues "careless", "avoidable" and "unintentional" errors, and he said he wanted to "apologize to the committee for putting you in the position of having to spend so much time on these issues".Geithner testified that he used TurboTax to prepare his 2001 return, but that the tax errors were his own responsibility. The Obama campaign stated that Geithner was advised by his accountant that he did not owe any taxes beyond those assessed by the IRS following the 2006 audit. Geithner said at the hearing that he had always believed he was an employee, not a self-employed contractor, while serving at the IMF

Nearly everyone, except for a few partisan critics said it was a non issue.  Hardly "tax evasion". 

Tedious and a waste of time; why because I don't agree that Secretary Geither is buffoon?  One is not a buffoon merely because they disagree with your economic policies.

Geithner spent most of his childhood in other countries, including present-day Zimbabwe, Zambia, India, and Thailand where he completed high school at the International School Bangkok. He attended Dartmouth College, in the tradition of his father and paternal grandfather, graduating with an A.B. in government and Asian studies in 1983. In the process, he studied Mandarin at Peking University in 1981 and at Beijing Normal University in 1982. He earned an M.A. in international economics and East Asian studies from Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in 1985. He has studied Mandarin and Japanese.

In October 2003, at age 42, he was named president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. His salary in 2007 was $398,200. As President of the New York Fed, he served as Vice Chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee. In 2006, he also became a member of the Washington-based financial advisory body, the Group of Thirty. In May 2007, he worked to reduce the capital required to run a bank. In November he rejected Sanford Weill's offer to take over as Citigroup's chief executive.

During the 2008 Presidential election, as a registered Independent, Geithner was one of three people tipped to be nominated for Treasury Secretary regardless of whether John McCain or Barack Obama won.

Hardly a Buffoon or a tax evader. 




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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #330 on: July 18, 2012, 09:48:39 AM »

The tedious comment was in response to your non-response to content of a substantive post.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #331 on: July 20, 2012, 10:24:50 AM »

This is a theme running through both Presidential and congressional threads.  Thomas Sowell spells it out quite well:  "Personal responsibility, whether for achievement or failure, is a threat to the whole vision of the left, and a threat the left goes all-out to combat, using rhetoric uninhibited by reality."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/07/20/trashing_achievements_114842.html

Trashing Achievements

By Thomas Sowell - July 20, 2012
   
There was a time, within living memory, when the achievements of others were not only admired but were often taken as an inspiration for imitation of the same qualities that had served these achievers well, even if we were not in the same field of endeavor and were not expecting to achieve on the same scale.

The perseverance of Thomas Edison, as he tried scores of materials for the filament of the light bulb he was inventing; the dedication of Abraham Lincoln as he studied law on his own while struggling to make a living -- these were things young people were taught to admire, even if they had no intention of becoming inventors or lawyers, much less President of the United States.

Somewhere along the way, all that changed. Today, the very concept of achievement is de-emphasized and sometimes attacked. Following in the footsteps of Barack Obama, Professor Elizabeth Warren of Harvard has made the downgrading of high achievers the centerpiece of her election campaign against Senator Scott Brown.

To cheering audiences, Professor Warren says, "there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You build a factory out there, good for you, but I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers that the rest of us paid to educate."

Do the people who cheer this kind of talk bother to stop and think through what she is saying? Or is heady rhetoric enough for them?

People who run businesses are benefitting from things paid for by others? Since when are people in business, or high-income earners in general, exempt from paying taxes like everybody else?

At a time when a small fraction of high-income taxpayers pay the vast majority of all the taxes collected, it is sheer chutzpah to depict high-income earners as somehow being subsidized by "the rest of us," whether in paying for the building of roads or the educating of the young.

Since everybody else uses the roads and the schools, why should high achievers be expected to feel like free loaders who owe still more to the government, because schools and roads are among the things that facilitate their work? According to Elizabeth Warren, because it is part of an "underlying social contract."

Conjuring up some mythical agreement that nobody saw, much less signed, is an old ploy on the left -- one that goes back at least a century, when Herbert Croly, the first editor of The New Republic magazine, wrote a book titled "The Promise of American Life."

Whatever policy Herbert Croly happened to favor was magically transformed by rhetoric into a "promise" that American society was supposed to have made -- and, implicitly, that American taxpayers should be forced to pay for. This pious hokum was so successful politically that all sorts of "social contracts" began to appear magically in the rhetoric of the left.

If talking in this mystical way is enough to get you control of billions of dollars of the taxpayers' hard-earned money, why not?

Certainly someone who claimed to be part Indian, as Elizabeth Warren did when applying for academic appointments in an affirmative action environment, is unlikely to be squeamish about using imaginative words during a political election campaign.

Sadly, this kind of cute use of words is not confined to one political candidate or to this election year. The very concept of achievement is a threat to the vision of the left, and has long been attacked by those on the left.

People who succeed -- whether in business or anywhere else -- are often said to be "privileged," even if they started out poor and worked their way up the hard way.

Outcome differences are called "class" differences. Thus when two white women, who came from families in very similar social and economic circumstances, made different decisions and got different results, this was the basis for a front-page story titled "Two Classes, Divided by 'I Do'" in the July 15th issue of the N.Y Times. Personal responsibility, whether for achievement or failure, is a threat to the whole vision of the left, and a threat the left goes all-out to combat, using rhetoric uninhibited by reality.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #332 on: July 20, 2012, 11:19:10 AM »

"Personal responsibility, whether for achievement or failure, is a threat to the whole vision of the left, and a threat the left goes all-out to combat, using rhetoric uninhibited by reality."

DEAD ON!!!
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DougMacG
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« Reply #333 on: July 23, 2012, 05:43:08 PM »

Sensing big trouble over the "You Didn't Build That" statement, the left* has decided the attacks on his statement are out of context and wrong, *Rachel Maddow for example.  Before he said you didn't build that, he was talking about roads around your business.  You didn't build that.  Or did you?

Elizabeth Warren was more clear: roads "THAT THE REST OF US PAID FOR", she shouted angrily and repeatedly.

But the rich DO pay their fair share of the taxes and more and they do pay their fair share of the infrastructure and education systems in their towns that made the businesses that hire people possible.

More important though is that by parsing his words it exposes what Obama was really doing, as he always does in the heat of politics, making the straw argument.

He was putting on his opponents the view that if you favor any kind of limit on the continued growth of an obese and wasteful $4 trillion dollar FEDERAL government that is overlapped on most functions at the state and local levels and is already 1.2 trillion/yr in the red, then you must oppose all spending on all functions of government at all levels of government.

Remember what he said about any reform to our overblown regulatory jungle: "my opponents want dirtier water and dirtier air".

He can't argue honestly a political difference with a political opponent; he can only argue straw with a straw man if needs the win.

Yes, maybe he was talking about local government, local roads and local schools, but for the leader of the FEDERAL government talking about differences in federal laws and taxation, that is bunk.  I don't know about where you live but local businesses here pay huge amounts of property taxes, and I mean scary-high amounts.  Besides that he can't honestly say they didn't pay for that, he is the head of the federal government and not building the roads around your business is not a federal issue. 

Federal roads are paid for with usage taxes that are in fact pilfered for liberal purposes like mass transit.  Maybe he meant the airports but those are paid for in usage fees too.  He did mention the internet, but yesterday's WSJ says that the government invented the internet is urban legend:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444464304577539063008406518.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

Vinton Cerf developed the TCP/IP protocol, the Internet's backbone, and Tim Berners-Lee gets credit for hyperlinks.  But full credit goes to the company where Robert Taylor worked after leaving ARPA: Xerox. It was at the Xerox PARC labs in Silicon Valley in the 1970s that the Ethernet was developed to link different computer networks. Researchers there also developed the first personal computer (the Xerox Alto) and the graphical user interface that still drives computer usage today.

According to a book about Xerox PARC, "Dealers of Lightning" (by Michael Hiltzik), its top researchers realized they couldn't wait for the government to connect different networks, so would have to do it themselves. "We have a more immediate problem than they do," Robert Metcalfe told his colleague John Shoch in 1973. "We have more networks than they do." Mr. Shoch later recalled that ARPA staffers "were working under government funding and university contracts. They had contract administrators . . . and all that slow, lugubrious behavior to contend with."
---------------------

"[We] didn't build that"??  No, Mr. President.  YOU didn't build that.

Whatever the hell "that" is.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #334 on: July 30, 2012, 03:27:24 PM »

Here's Mrs. Clinton's fuller quote, from March 27, 2011, answering CBS's Bob Schieffer on why the U.S. was prepared to intervene against Moammar Gadhafi but not against Assad: "There's a different leader in Syria now," she explained. "Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he is a reformer." - Hillary Clinton, current Secretary of State, advancing that viewpoint to support validate her policy.  Not surprising since she previously had quite a kiss with Mrs Arafat at the conclusion of a hate-Israel speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xddAUHvuSfI

In 2007, Nancy Pelosi enthused that "the road to Damascus is a road to peace."   The lady wants to be Speaker of the House - again.

On March 16, 2011—the day after the first mass demonstration against the regime—John Kerry said Assad was a man of his word who had been "very generous with me." He added that under Assad "Syria will move; Syria will change as it embraces a legitimate relationship with the United States." This is the man who might be our next secretary of state.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444025204577544891777555840.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #335 on: August 29, 2012, 11:41:42 AM »

Short Cuts

"President Obama is angry at Mitt Romney for suggesting that college students should
'borrow money from their parents.' Right. You should do what Obama does -- have them
borrow money from their future children." --Fred Thompson

"Personally, I'm on a quest [at the Republican National Convention] to find all of
these racist Republicans everyone at MSNBC keeps saying dominate the party. I
thought I saw a Klansman, but it turned just to be someone with a totebag on their
head to fight the rain." --columnist Jonah Goldberg

"Yeah, the Democratic National Convention goes second and has a chance of upstaging
the Republicans, but I'm not sure how. Is there anything more tiresome than the
thought of Obama giving another speech? I mean, the one Biden gives might be some
comic relief, but they'll force him to stay on script and it will probably just be
boring. But they have fake-Indian Elizabeth Warren! Won't American respond to yet
another rich person whining about rich people? And then there is the dynamically
unlikable Sandra Fluke taking on our nations greatest problem: how annoying it is to
go to Walgreens and buy your own birth control." --humorist Frank J. Fleming

"President Obama passed up the chance to play golf in Washington Sunday to attend
church at St. John's Episcopal with his family. It was an emotional experience for
him. He felt the pain that all politicians feel when a collection plate goes by and
it's not for them." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"They [were] worried that Tropical Storm Isaac [w]ould hit Florida during ... the
Republican convention. But Florida [was] ready for it. Thanks to President Obama's
economic policies, many businesses down there [were] already boarded up." --comedian
Jay Leno
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #336 on: September 10, 2012, 07:55:59 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07fTsF5BiSM&feature=player_embedded
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #337 on: September 12, 2012, 03:26:02 PM »



http://www.navytimes.com/news/2012/09/navy-russian-warships-displayed-dnc-veterans-tribute-091112/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #338 on: September 15, 2012, 07:41:30 PM »

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2012/09/15/Obama-Contribution-Anti-Islam-Filmmaker
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DougMacG
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« Reply #339 on: October 23, 2012, 07:56:49 PM »

Covering for the lack of liberal posts on the board, I offer these:

Bill Keller's advice for Romney in the final debate.  He actually followed point one, lay off of Benghazi.  Point two is say something nice about the Palestinians, then extend a hand to the Muslim Brotherhood and on it goes.  Keller is former editor of NY TImes, maybe even inspired Crafty's 'Pravda' naming.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/22/opinion/keller-presidential-mitt.html?_r=0
------------------
Next, the geniuses ot NYT thought if I liked that one I would like to read this one too!

Government creates jobs - millions of them:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/22/opinion/the-myth-of-job-creation.html

Mr. Romney interrupted. “Government does not create jobs,” he said. “Government does not create jobs.”

It was a decidedly crabbed response to a seemingly uncontroversial observation, and yet Mr. Obama took the bait. He said his political opponents had long harped on “this notion that I think government creates jobs, that that somehow is the answer. That’s not what I believe.” He went on to praise free enterprise and to say that government’s role is to create the conditions for everyone to have a fair shot at success.

So, they agree. Government does not create jobs.

Except that it does, millions of them — including teachers, police officers, firefighters, soldiers, sailors, astronauts, epidemiologists, antiterrorism agents, park rangers, diplomats, governors (Mr. Romney’s old job) and congressmen (like Paul Ryan).
----
What they don't get it that government jobs ride off the revenues generated by taxpaying enterprise jobs (not the other way around).  Government can't and doesn't create them first or on their own.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #340 on: October 24, 2012, 07:27:51 PM »

Big Bird
Posted by John Stossel | October 24, 2012
 Print Email Share 0 CommentsTweet

Give me a break.

The left screams because Romney says he'll cut PBS.

A Huffington Post writer says that would be "a cultural and spiritual disaster for the nation."

Please. America is going broke! If we can't cut PBS, what can we cut?

Public broadcasting costs taxpayers "only" $420 million per year, but that's real money, and even if it weren't, the price is not the point. Government should not fund any broadcast networks.

As for news programs, government funding means taxpayers pay for lefty propaganda like Bill Moyers and most of NPR. We need separation of News and State. Thomas Jefferson warned that it is wrong to force citizens to pay for "the propagation of opinions which [they] disbelieve." He was right, but now I have to fund NPR.

As far as children's programming, Big Bird doesn't need the money! Sesame Street has assets of $355,858,257! Sesame Workshop makes $46M in licensing fees. The company is such a gold mine, it paid its recent president $929,629. Big Bird will do fine without taxpayer subsidies.

PBS once asked, "If not PBS, then who?" Cato's David Boaz points out that now the answer is: HBO, Bravo, Discovery, History, Science, C-SPAN, The Learning Channel ... and so on. I'm told that kids' programs like Noggin (Nick Jr.) are like pre-school on TV.

Yes, you have to pay for cable, but 63.7% of people below the poverty line have cable or satellite TV.

Those who don't have cable still get education programs on free TV. NBC alone has The Wiggles, Noodle and Doodle, and LazyTown (get up & go, eat healthy).

Funding public broadcasting is welfare for rich people. PBS viewers are richer than average Americans.

NPR even bragged about its listeners' wealth to potential advertisers: "152% more likely to have a home valued at half a million or more ... 194% more likely to travel to France."

It's fine that they appeal to rich people. But you shouldn't have to fund it.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/stossel/blog/2012/10/24/big-bird
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #341 on: November 29, 2012, 07:20:23 PM »



http://www.glennbeck.com/content/blog/glenn/wow-53-of-dems-actually-like-this/
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G M
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« Reply #342 on: November 29, 2012, 07:24:33 PM »


Only 53% ?

Seems pretty low.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #343 on: November 30, 2012, 11:53:54 AM »

http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/un-treaties/270293-liberal-group-launches-petition-blasting-susan-rices-outrageous-keystone-investments

Liberals blast Susan Rice's 'outrageous' investments in Canadian pipeline firm
By Julian Pecquet - 11/30/12 10:48 AM ET

A liberal group launched an online petition Friday demanding that potential secretary of State nominee Susan Rice divest herself of “every dollar of stock” in the Canadian company seeking approval for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline to the Gulf Coast.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations owns between $300,000 and $600,000 in TransCanada Corp. stock, according to her financial disclosure forms. The pipeline needs approval from the State Department before it can go forward.
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ccp
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« Reply #344 on: November 30, 2012, 06:48:30 PM »

It was just reported this evening on CNN she and her husband are worth 20 to 25 million dollars. 

I continue to call for all Democrats liberals and Hollywood types who are in the one percent (including you you jerk Buffet) should get a special tax of 90%.   Esp. he who spent his entire life avoiding taxes and instead of donating his 50 bill fortune to the government to help pay down debt donates it to the Gates foundation.

Hey if our gov. is so good with money that we should continue to pay more in taxes really put YOUR money where your mouth is.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #345 on: December 02, 2012, 11:46:19 AM »

In the interest of political economic diversity on the forum I continue to post things that make no sense to me from writers like Krugman and Reich...

http://www.salon.com/2012/11/30/wal_mart_and_mcdonalds_whats_wrong_with_u_s_employment/

Wal-Mart and McDonald’s: What’s wrong with U.S. employment
The walkouts were no coincidence. Low wages are strangling the economy, and Washington needs to pay attention
By Robert Reich
-------

No.  Washington and other meddling governments are the cause.  Low wages are market wages when there is a dearth of successful new startups or existing companies flourishing to compete for the services of these workers.

'Entry level' jobs are intended for entry level workers, or people who earn only a portion of the money in a multi- income household. 

"These workers are not teenagers. Most have to support their families."

Flipping fast food burgers and working the drive up window does not raise a family, allow your wife to stay home with the children or put the kids through college.  That doesn't mean there is something wrong with having a first job, a first rung on the economic ladder, making the second, third and fourth rungs each an easier step.  What is wrong is that someone removed the ladder - by implementing the big government, private strangulation policies of Robert Reich, Paul Krugman, Barack Obama et al.

"More than 46 million Americans now live below the poverty line."

MILLIONS more than that are underemployed, unemployed or spome other form of just not working.  We are pursuing 'fairness' at the expense of lost national prosperity and lost economic opportunity.  That said, "poverty" as measured by the Census Bureau is a false measure and does not count most of their transfer payment income.

Startups in America are occurring at the lowest rate in 40 years.  I don't suppose 47,000 new regulations in the last 47 months and new taxes impending on everyone and everything has anything to do with that.

"Organizing makes economic sense."

Force someone to pay you more than you are worth to the enterprise, or put them out of business, is the answer of the left.  Not for these people to rise up freely and contribute to the economy with more valuable and productive work.

"wage gains are likely to come out of profits...That wouldn’t be such a bad thing."

To the Professor of Public Policy at Berkeley:  It will result in even fewer jobs, you birdbrain.  Non-performing restaurants CLOSE!  Potential new businesses projected to never provide a healthy return on investment simply don't open.  Take a look around.
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G M
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« Reply #346 on: December 04, 2012, 12:39:45 PM »

George Zimmerman Photograph
on 03 December 2012.

This is a photo of George Zimmerman taken by a police officer on the night of February 26, 2012. A black and white photocopy of this image was provided by the State in the first Discovery. This high-resolution digital file was finally provided to the defense on October 29, 2012. This image was disclosed in the State's 9th Supplemental Discovery.  In accordance with the updates to our media policy that we published on November 13, we will be making all public documents related to the case available on our website, including the rest of the State's 9th Supplemental Discovery as soon as we are sure it has been properly redacted according to the Court's stipulations on protecting information regarding specific witnesses.


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DougMacG
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« Reply #347 on: December 13, 2012, 05:08:55 PM »

Is this all they've got in leftist logic? (oxymoron)  Washington Post/mainstream media but really this is just a typical leftist straw argument to avoid the real one.  No attempt is made at real journalism or trying to understand the the other side of an argument.

Fed’s big decision is victory for liberal economics
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2012/12/12/feds-big-decision-is-victory-for-liberal-economics/

"...it’s a sign that the current Fed board is increasingly taking the “dual” part of its dual mandate — to seek stable prices and full employment — a lot more seriously than it seemed to earlier in Barack Obama’s presidency... it’s a consequence of the November 2008 election,  members of the Fed Board of Governors; [Pres. Obama] has now appointed six of seven [members of the Fed Board of Governors], all of whom voted for today’s policy."

"Republicans... rejecting entirely the Fed’s responsibility for improving the economy in favor of having it worry only about inflation. In fact, just last week, Marco Rubio implied that he may adopt that as a key position in his possible presidential campaign. Yes, that’s right: ...many Republicans believe that (at least when it comes to monetary policy) the United States has been paying too much attention to jobs and not enough to fighting inflation."

FYI to the leftist wingnut published in the mainstream media:  Tight monetary policy at zero percent interest and shortage of quantitative expansion currently close to a trillion a year is NOT what is wrong with investment and employment in this country.  Who could possibly think that is what's wrong?  Let's say your car engine is seized up but the gas tank is full to the top and spilling over.  With their logic, they would keep adding gas and criticize everyone who opposed them as not caring as we watch it spill over into the street - and keep doing it expecting that eventually it will cause the car to start running again.  It won't.  Adding more gas doesn't address what is wrong, so don't do it.  At zero percent interest rates with our money flooding all over the world at a rate of close to a trillion a year, year after year, and diluting the value of all our existing money, we don't have a problem with interest rates being too high or money unavailable.  The problem is that no one wants to start, run or expand a business in this current business climate.

People are leaving the workforce by the millions, existing businesses are refusing to expand in this country and startups are occurring at the lowest rate in history because of a combination of taxes, regulations and uncertainty laid on them by our government at all levels on a scale unprecedented in our history.  The problem is that our public sector is screwing up our markets in all major industries, taking away resources from private enterprise and making rules and regulations and imposing layers and layers of taxes that are strangulating the life out of private initiative, business expansion and hiring.

Republicans aren't the ones who oppose fixing this; they oppose putting more gas on the fire.  

(I will post more on the monetary policy thread.)
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DougMacG
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« Reply #348 on: December 18, 2012, 12:58:12 PM »

This is too stupid to answer... but here goes:

A NY Daily News opinion piece linked at Real Clear Politics today has the headline:

Why they came for Susan Rice’s scalp

Answer:  "It is about her skin color. It is also about her being female."  Exact quote.

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/susan-rice-scalp-article-1.1220678#ixzz2FQlcxxv0

Photo accompanying the bizarre answer:


It could be my television set but I watched those shows and didn't notice she was 'a person of color'.  Nor do I care.  They went after her because she lied - on an important matter when the whole point was to get accurate information out to the American people.

The author must not have known that the same day the Indian American Republican Governor of South Carolina would appoint tea party favorite: Tim Scott.  RCP used this photo:


Excusing them for not knowing, they might though have known that the darling of the Republican party in the campaign of 2012 was Mia Love:


Neither Democrat lying, nor conservative favoring limited government is a topic about race - or gender!


« Last Edit: December 18, 2012, 01:22:00 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
G M
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« Reply #349 on: January 03, 2013, 05:39:29 PM »

http://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2013/01/03/leftism-forget-it-jake-its-chinatown/?singlepage=true

Leftism: ‘Forget It, Jake. It’s Chinatown.’

January 3rd, 2013 - 9:57 am
     I went shopping with my family on New Year’s Day at the “premium” outlet mall in Cabezon, California, outside Palm Springs — the kind of place where you traipse around for hours in the hopes of scoring a $225 Prada tie for 30 bucks, or a $700 Versace sweater for $135.

A large number, possibly a majority, of the shoppers there are well-heeled Chinese who have flown over to binge on Yves Saint Laurent, etc. products — many of which were made in their home country in the first place. Dressed in designer clothes, these mostly young and trendy Chinese are the privileged scions of the Communist Party. Their parents and grandparents are the ones who played along and did their best not to make waves, even cooperated, throughout the mass murders of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.

Now, they and their kids are reaping the harvest of their modern state capitalist system that still flies under the banner of communism, a false flag operation if ever there was one. Ironies abound, and those same ironies provide a snapshot of what constitutes “leftism” in our own culture.

Idealism is not the point, nor has it been for ages.

Leftism has devolved into a kind of scam run not only on others but also on the self. Leftists are brilliant at convincing themselves of their own altruism and then broadcasting it to the public, thus providing cover for the most conventionally greedy and selfish behaviors. We see that in our society all the time: the quondam Marxists of Hollywood, the media, and the academy blathering on about economic equality while living lives the Medici could not have dreamed of.

Part of this construct is a “prevent game,” a public persona and system erected so privilege cannot be questioned or undermined. A nomenklatura more successful and sophisticated than anything ever conceived in the Soviet Union. The result of this is a highly stratified society. As is well known but scarcely reported, blacks and Latinos have actually done worse under Obama than other groups. Normally, that would be unconscionable, considering the rhetoric. But as we know, it’s all about the rhetoric. Reality is unimportant — an inconvenience.

Relatively unbridled capitalism has always been the best way out of this, the best way to true social mobility, but our nomenklatura doesn’t want to admit this because it might threaten them and their perquisites. It would blow their cover.

I suspect those Chinese shoppers knew this better than anyone, having lived through a similar experience ratcheted up to the nth degree. Although I was too polite to do it, I wanted to question them. I would have loved to know what they say to each other in the privacy of their own homes, not that they would be likely to tell me.

But there was something to learn from watching them. I felt like a detective and it made me think of Roman Polanski and Robert Towne’s Chinatown. I also thought of myself, of the way I was when I was a leftist. Yes, I drove a Porsche then (a used one). And had a house in the Hollywood Hills. And ate at gourmet restaurants. And there were plenty like me. I was part of a class. I felt safe and protected for many years, though finally I just left it. I couldn’t stand the hypocrisy anymore. Or maybe I just lost the ability to convince myself of my own altruism.

Whatever the case, when it comes to the truth about leftism, it’s about the cover it gives. Or, as Bob Towne put it: “It’s Chinatown.”
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