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Week In The News: State Of The Union, Pope Out, California Killer

State of the Union. Papal shocker. California’s ex-cop nightmare. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Law Enforcement personnel block Hwy 38 during the hunt for accused killer and ex-Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner in Yacaipa, Caif., Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP)

Law Enforcement personnel block Hwy 38 during the hunt for accused killer and ex-Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner in Yacaipa, Caif., Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP)

The State of the Union was just the start this week.  The President made his pitch.  The Republicans weren’t buying, much.  And off we went.

The pope will abdicate.  First time in nearly forever.  North Korea tested yet another nuke.  Ominous.  The LAPD hunted down a murderous one of its own.

We’ve got the GOP with an historic hold-up of a Secretary of Defense.  A giant airline merger.  “Blade runner” Oscar Pistorius charged with murder. And a nasty stranded cruise ship pulled to port.

This hour, On Point:  our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Molly Ball, staff writer covering national politics for the Atlantic. (@mollyesque)

Gerald Seib, Washington Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal. (@geraldfseib)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal “The president actually has very little money to spend, so he proposed only limited new funding for these programs his party’s liberal base loves. Spending caps, tax cuts, Republicans in Congress and the giant squeeze of entitlement programs that are sucking funds away from all else—all are tying his hands.”

Reuters “Catholics reacted with shock on Monday to the sudden abdication of Pope Benedict, although the mood among many was one of respect rather than the outpouring of emotion which greeted the death of his beloved predecessor John Paul II.”

Los Angeles Times “As the massive search for a fugitive ex-cop suspected of three slayings continued Saturday, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck announced that he was reopening the investigation into the firing of Christopher Jordan Dorner from the police department, the event that apparently sparked his vengeful campaign.”

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  • JGC

    This is a total shockeroo on the Pope situation.  It has been over 600 years since they have had to devise a Papal Retirement Package; another “line item” to add to the 2013 Vatican Budget. How will the Holy See’s HR Dept handle this?  Get ready, Catholics, for that second basket to be passed this Sunday:  The Pope Benedict Retirement Collection Fund-o-rama.  Give generously!  

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    I was sent a link this week about a mathematical modeling program called Minsky. I hope some of the engineers, scientist and economists on this thread take a moment to look at these videos and give their opinions and feedback, yea or nay . This program treats math equations as flow chart objects and connects them via arrows, outputs results and graphs the outputs, etc.. Are we on the verge of a new mathematical symbolism ? I think this ties in with some of the programs on, “On Point”, this week about education and asteroids (science), indirectly, of course .

     

    http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2013/02/09/ten-videos-on-using-minsky/

     
    Concerning the videos on economic theory:

    “He” ( Steve Keen ) argues that the ratio of private debt to GDP ( Gross Domestic Product ) is the causative factor in economic downturns, not the ratio of public debt to GDP.
    ( You want a “ reasonably” high rate of PD to GDP. )

    Note 1: This is not the same as saying that public debt is not important or that it does not impact our lives. The argument is about mathematics and correlation as they relate to measurable economic statistics. Please, this is NOT about politics.

    Note 2 : Personally, I would love to see a pure equity economy. Vast amounts of equity. But that is my vision and story and I‘m sticking to it !

    • Don_B1

      Clearly, at least to non-austerians, the private debt, in both households with large mortgages on overpriced homes and the overleveraged debt used by banks and insurance companies (e.g., A.I.G.) through various derivative instruments to speculate on just about anything, is what made the Great Recession of 2007-2009 so different from all the other recessions since the big recession(s) that caused the Great Depression.

      The book just out by Alan Blinder of Princeton and former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan, “After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, The Response, and the Work Ahead.”For additional information on the Federal Reserve response, see:http://e.businessinsider.com/5116d6411e240a9c3f2a04e4uo90.lz8/URlp42-os4RNsmwXB2dc0which gives a graphical display of the difference in the FISCAL RESPONSE to the Great Recession with respect to those other, recessions mostly controllable by Federal Reserve monetary policy, whereas the Great Recession needed strong FISCAL policy (spending) and while the stimulus was necessary and effective in halting the GDP free-fall from September 2008 to May 2009, it, as predicted by many economists, was NOT enough to generate a strong recovery.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri
  • JGC

    The other day I had a question after the Obama SOTU address, about: did folks here have any personal stories about knowing someone who had been killed or injured by a gun (not military action overseas).  I was really surprised/shocked by the number of stories in that short time frame.  

    Conversely, does anyone feel they had been saved from a dangerous situation because someone in their midst HAD a gun to provide protection?

    • brettearle

      I support gun control.

      Nevertheless, we can’t forget the number of potential incidents that DIDN’T occur–and we don’t know the number–when people who carried, with the intent on doing harm, held back because they knew that firearms were nearby and accessible to others.

      • buddhaclown

         Fair enough.

    • buddhaclown

       I know several people who have been shot. My high school friend’s father shot and killed his friend, a co-worker who shot his friend in the chest by accident, a neighbor who was shot and killed by police during a domestic dispute . . . just to name a few.

      I have not been involved in, nor have I known anyone who was involved in, a dangerous situation that was diffused by someone having a gun.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        sounds like the police diffused your friends domestic violence with guns. how do you shoot someone in the chest “by accident”?  Would your highschool friends father not commit murder if he could not buy the gun legally (assuming he bought it legally)?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      he stacked the audience for political reasons. i dont know anyone who was shot to death but i know several people who have died in car wrecks. I know people who have been able to protect themselves with guns. attempted muggings and home invasions that are prevented without even a shot fired dont always get reported and almost never make the news for some reason

  • Ed75

    Yesterday Pope Benedict explained that he will live at Castel Gandalfo from 2/28 until the new pope is elected, and then he will live in a renovated convent in the Vatican Gardens. He will devote his life to prayer.

    Specifically he will be praying that Vatican Council II will be realized, that the real reform intended by Vatican II has not yet been realized. That the council will be seen not as a discontinuity in the Church’s history, but, as it is, a point of continuity, and that all the tragic results of the incorrect idea of the ‘spirit of Vatican II’, which is often at odds with the documents and the fathers’ intentions, will cease.

    • keltcrusader

      When does he plan to apologize for protecting and moving around all the pedofile priests reports that crossed his desk and allowed them to molest even more children? When does he plan to apologize for forcing subordinates to keep what they knew secret and not report to the police the priests who were abusing children. The Man is scum and deserves to retire in jail.

      • Ed75

        Some things are not what they seem. In this particular area, Pope Benedict was the person who implemented the new rules that protect children and was adament on removing priests with a history of abuse. I think you’re blaming the wrong person.

        Did you see the crowds at the pope’s Ash Wednesday Mass, his last public Mass, crying, and giving him rounds of applause?

        • keltcrusader

          Unbelievable case of Willful blindness going on here.

          He was in on it all until it started making him look bad. He should have NEVER been elected Pope with such blackness on his record.

  • Ed75

    Same-sex marriage is being passed in France and probably in Britain, gaining momentum. In a related story, an asteroid will come close to earth. Sandy was judged to be the second most costly storm after Katerina. More warnings for us, which are meant to beg us to reform our lives:

    “The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.”
     (Rev. 9:20-21)

    • AC

      by this reasoning, you are proposing dinosaurs were also gay, and stubbornly refusing to reform, thus God sent a meteor to smite them?
      …..just curious about the logic of this rationale…

      • Jasoturner

        I always thought T-Rex held his wrists a little funny…

      • Ed75

        Bad dinosaurs, bad dinosaurs. Well, they learned their lesson.

        • sickofthechit

           Brings to mind the old Far Side cartoon which showed the reason the Dinosaurs was that they were all standing around smoking cigarettes.

        • Don_B1

          Do you think they have “free will?”

          • Ed75

            No, of course only human beings (and angels) have free will.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          As a joke that’s funny Ed and I really want to give your comment a like. Unfortunately I know you’re serious.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        they have gay penguins and they are evolved from dinosaurs, maybe there were gay dinosaurs too. not that they should be smote for that

        • Don_B1

          Exactly!

          There are “gay dolphins,” and most mammals and many reptiles have exhibited “gay” actions.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            what about the elusive gayfish?

      • nj_v2

        Logic?? Believers don’t need no stinkin’ logic!

        • DrewInGeorgia

          That’s what Faith is for, to quash logic.
          Logically, disparaging any particular group of people for behavior you deem to be immoral is about as anti-Christian as one can get. Something or other about Judgement…

    • Acnestes

      I had a vision that in the year 2126 the Holy Mother Joan IV (the Great) will declare willful ignorance to be a mortal sin.

    • Jasoturner

      I would find a “god” with nothing to do except worry about which body parts his creatures decide to put into other creatures to be pretty unimpressive.

      I have always viewed learning and pursuit of excellence to be man’s highest calling, and one would think a deity would be at least as ambitious.  Preoccupation with the physical desires of others seems awfully trivial.

      • Coastghost

        Unfortunately for your rational argument, morality however you care to construe it consists in no small measure of exactly how a human being comports himself somatically: whether he commits adultery or incest, whether he is a glutton, whether he assaults a passer-by with gun or log chain, whether he slaughters stray animals in his spare time. Physicality is an intrinsic dimension of what we humans term “ethics” and “morality”. 
        Whatever “God” or “god” appeals to anyone, that deity does not seem interested in absolving us utterly of our physical constitutions.

        • Jasoturner

          There is quite a difference between how independent humans chose to physically interact in a relationship and murder.  Perhaps you are using too broad a brush to make your point.  Also, the last paragraph is a non sequitur.   The is no reason to bring god or clowns or unicorns into discussions of morality, nor do we need anything to absolve us.  Indeed, outside the last paragraph I largely agree with your observation.

          • Coastghost

            Ahhh, but I’m an anti-rationalist (read: anti-Cartesian) in the Swiftian and Vichian tradition, so I am not necessarily obliged to adhere to your reductionist epistemic categories. (You observe promptly that I am no philosopher of any talent.)
            You seem to draw the implication that our very physicality exempts us from at least some moral considerations but not others, according to your exercise of rationality.

          • Jasoturner

            Is every physical act a moral action?  Does one ever draw a line?  Is breathing moral?  Is a physical tic?  But I suspect we both agree that to murder is immoral.  I think, practically speaking, that a line exists.

          • Coastghost

            I too think we perhaps agree more than either of us has admitted here: nevertheless, I further think we have inherited far too many unexamined self-evidences over the past four centuries about far too many issues that we have the joy of having to deal with.

      • Ed75

        God is indeed concerned with all these things, they all concern persons. Sexuality is very important for a person, powerful. So it’s proper use is very important. See Onan, see Sodom.

        Mary told the children at Fatima “More people go to hell for sins of the flesh than for any other reason.”

        It’s not the only reason, but it’s up there.

        • Jasoturner

          Ah, you know the mind of god!  That must be very helpful.

    • Steve__T

       So why did the meteor hit Russia? What have they done?

      • sickofthechit

         They jailed the members of PussyRiot!

      • Ray in VT

        Too many of them commit the sin of wearing a shirt made of two fabrics.

        • sickofthechit

           No cotton/poly blends for me either!

      • Coastghost

        MORE curious timing: only yesterday did I read Seneca’s summative views of Etruscan religious mentality: per Seneca, the Romans imputed significance to phenomena upon their occurrence, whereas for the Etruscans phenomena occurred because they took place in an environment already pervaded with significance.

      • Ed75

        There are a large number of abortions in Russia, sadly, but sometimes an event like this is a message of our fragility for everyone. Mercifully the meteor landed in a relatively sparsely populated area.

        Did you see the lighting strike that hit the cross on top of St. Peter’s the night of Pope Benedict’s statement of resignation (reported on ‘World over’ EWTN, 2/13)?

    • J__o__h__n

      Obviously the asteroid is due to Ratzinger’s resignation not the relatively minor event of yet another civilized country recognizing equal rights.

    • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

      And you need to stop worshiping world events as signs of doom!

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      “In a related story,”
      Related stories? They’re related just as everything else in existence that we know of is related. Of course everything is relative though.

      Why would God be sending us warnings if he already knows we’ll ignore them? Why not just spank us and get it over with?

      • Ed75

        Spanking … sounds interesting. No, seriously, this quote is a plaintive plea of God to lead us to repent, and some will repent, so it is effective. But sadly it tells us that many will not repent.

  • Arthur_game

    Joe Paterno was unfairly destroyed by the media and it continues to this day.  Hopefully you cover this after the criminal trials are over.  Very sad.  If they can do it to JoePa, they can do it to you.

    • keltcrusader

      He aided and abetted a child molester for years to protect his precious Sports Program. He deserves to be reviled as much as the perpetrator Jerry Sandusky.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      i hope they can destroy anyone who covers up and allows boys to be raped

    • Acnestes

      He sowed the seeds of his own destruction.  Don’t blame the media.

  • StilllHere

    Whining by Dems about $85 billion of cuts when deficits have been $1 trillion+ annually for the last four years+ is pathetic.  Bring it, and more!

    • northeaster17

      When those cuts cause the elimination of jobs and bring about all sorts of unintented consequences that further stagnate the economy. What then? Ask Greece. Ask the Brit’s and the Irish about austerity. Who’s to blame then. Oh wait, it will be Obama, the so called liberal, and his co conspiritors. Tell me I’m wrong. That seems to be the point of this sequester stone walling by the Republicans.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        i am all for unemploying govt workers. some them might actually get real jobs or start businesses that contibute to the economy. for the others that are useless it will be cheaper to put them on welfare than their bloated saleries, pensions and benefits. dont you think spending a trillion dollars a year on “defense” is a bit over board?

        • StilllHere

          Yes, that’s why defense gets the majority of the automatic cuts. Sensible, no?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            i think its a good start  i would like to see much more cut from “defense” and “homeland security” especially the 60,000 thieves and perverts who work for the TSA.

          • StilllHere

            How about removing foreign bases put in place during the cold war?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            i am in favor of declaring peace and disbanding all of our standing army so that would also be a good start

        • sickofthechit

           The first thing to cut out in defense is companies like Haliburton who overcharge for things the military used to do for itself.  And hopefully we would be rid of showers that electrocute our soldiers.

      • StilllHere

        $85 billion, you’re joking.  It’s a drop in the federal spending bucket.  You won’t even notice.

    • Don_B1

      The deficits are caused by both a reduction in revenue due to the underperformance of GDP (CBO estimates it is 5.5% below what it would be if the Great Recession had not occurred) and the additional safety net spending (unemployment, TANF, Medicaid, etc., due to the increase in unemployment and therefore destitute families.

      If the ARRA (stimulus) had been another 50% to 75% larger, the deficit would not have been over $1 trillion for all those four years; even with its small size, the CBO estimates it will be under $1 trillion this year, except that letting sequestration take effect will almost certainly push it back up over $1 trillion.

      • hennorama

        Don_B1 – indeed.  Here are some cumulative numbers, compared to FY 2007 levels (the last pre-Great Recession FY).

        Federal Revenue has fallen a cumulative $1.2762 Trillion during FYs 2008 through 2012.  Net New Spending (NNS) in the 5 year period was $3.7116 Trillion.  95% of the spending increase went to 5 broad Categories:

        1. DEFENSE added $888.5 Billion, 23.9% of NNS.  Military Defense spending increased by $636.1 B, and Veterans spending was up $184.4 B, together making up over 92% of the Category increase.

        To get a grip on the numbers, the added DEFENSE Spending would pay  the 4 year average college costs for 12.25 million students.  That’s about the current number of female college and university students in the US.

        Alternatively, you could have paid off the entire negative equity of all underwater US mortgages ($691 B) and have $197.5 Billion left over, enough to pay for all Federal Law Enforcement, Courts, Prisons, Transportation and General Government activities in 2012.

        2.  WELFARE was up $854.0 Billion, 23.0% of NNS.  This is Food and nutrition assistance, Unemployment compensation, Retirement and disability insurance (excluding social security), Housing assistance, and Other income security.  Unemployment ($382.0 B), Food and nutrition ($179.1 B), and Housing ($66.7 B) accounted for about three quarters of the increase.

        3. HEALTH CARE added $751.8 Billion, 20.3% of NNS.  Medicare accounted for 49% of the increase.  This is a result of demographics and higher costs for health care.  Payment to vendors, mostly to the states for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs, were also about 49% of the increase.  A good chunk of this is related to the Great Recession.

        4. PENSIONS increased $593.6 Billion, 16.0% of NNS.  99% of this is from Social Security.  This is principally due to demographics, with Baby Boomers starting to retire en masse.  However, part of this increase is due to a larger percentage of those age 62 and older who began taking benefits.  In other words, a significantly higher than normal percentage of people opted for “early” SS benefits.

        5. OTHER SPENDING added $447.0 Billion, 12.0% of NNS.  This catchall Category includes several items that are “NEC” – Not Elsewhere Categorized.  A large part of this is Stimulus-related, and the net increase accounts for repayment of some Stimulus items.  This is a highly variable Category, with Spending ranging from $71 B in FY 2007 to $377.1 B in FY 2009, at the peak of the Stimulus.

        For sources and more, see my previous post on this topic:

        http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/01/04/week-in-the-news-cliff-deal-sandy-relief-hillarys-health#comment-757928646

    • hennorama

      StilllHere -

      The CBO now projects FY 2013 Federal Revenues of $2.708 trillion, and Federal Spending of $3.553 T, resulting in a Projected Deficit of $845 Billion.  Mandatory spending $2.116T and net Interest of $224 B total $2.340 T.

      This leaves $368 B of Revenue available to pay for Defense, Homeland Security,  other security items, and all non-Defense discretionary spending, including:

      Education, training, employment, and social services
      Transportation
      Income security
      Health
      Veterans benefits & services
      Administration of justice
      International affairs
      Other (natural resources, environment, science, space, technology, community and regional development, agriculture, admin. exps. for Soc. Sec.& Medic., energy, commerce and housing)

      Perhaps you could put forward a detailed list of what Federal Spending you think should be cut, and the likely impact of those cuts.  Also, what level of deficit spending do you think is appropriate right now, if any.

      Sources:
      http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43907
      http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43907-BudgetOutlook.pdf
      http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43905_BudgetProjections.xls

      • StilllHere

        It can all be cut, start at A and continue on down to Z, nothing is sacred.

        • hennorama

          StilllHere – TY for your detailed and thoughtful semi-responsive reply to my post, which read in part “Perhaps you could put forward a detailed list of what Federal Spending you think should be cut, and the likely impact of those cuts. Also, what level of deficit spending do you think is appropriate right now, if any.”

          Brevity has considerable merit, but partial responses have little.

  • Matt Hoostal

    Good morning and thank-you,
    Could the panel discuss the critically important climate legislation being introduced by Senators Sanders and Boxer? While not enough votes are in the House, might this bill give President Obama more impetus and justification to move environmentally?
    Thanks and cheers,
    Matt Hoostal
    Bowling Green, Ohio

  • jimino

    Looks like the sequestration cuts will take effect, allowing the “benefits” of all getting rid of all that terrible government spending to affect every state and congressional district.

    I would have preferred starting with totally eliminating ALL federal spending in districts with tea party Republican representatives so they could bask in the wonderful outcome their philosophy claims would result thereby.  It would also give all of us a chance to see how following their advice and demands would work in the real world.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      can they get their money back too or will that continue to be spent or wasteful govt programs?

      • sickofthechit

         Red States are net takers from the government.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          then they are going to need that money right?

      • Denis

        Specifically which wasteful programs are you speaking of?

  • Coastghost

    “Completely unrelated” and HIGHLY, cosmically coincidental: a meteorite explodes with impressive credentials just hours before our noteworthy asteroid hurtles past.
    Would we actually know that no connection exists? We observe meteor showers regularly, consisting obviously of debris clusters with components and pieces traveling closely together. Do our astronomers and astrophysicists REALLY know that we won’t have another impressive meterorite impact, say 24-48 hours after the asteroid hurtles past? or perhaps in another 300+ days when our notable asteroid hurtles past again?
    I offer no predictions: simply to say no one predicted this meteorite impact over central Russia. And WHAT timing! 

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      some asteroids have “moons” so i think its entirely possible that meteorite hitched a ride but i am no astrophysist

    • Steve__T

       They were all looking in the other direction. The asteroid is comming from the south and the 10 ton meteor came from the north. Well the world is round and it may be difficult to look 360 degrees for a moving object while on a moving object.

      • Don_B1

        The size of the object and whether the sun’s rays illuminate it such that the reflected light travels to the Earth (e.g., full moon vs new moon) are the biggest factors in discovering potential Earth-impacting objects.

        There was a discussion of this on NPR’s Morning show today, I believe.

  • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

    The reason I am not interested in a cruse ship vacation is not that the ship might have a problem, but that should a problem occur the passengers don’t know how to take care of themselves.  When there is no power, don’t use the head, go to the poop deck, or the cruse line equivalent.  Same reason I am not looking to a gated community in Florida for retirement.  I want to be part of a strong vibrant community that can handle adversity. The failures on the ship has as much to do with the passengers as the crew.  When the power goes out one should ask; “Is there a community organizer in the house.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      it occured to me also that before bathrooms on boats they had the side of the boat. is that why they call it the poop deck? lol I dont know why they did not just take the people and put them on a boat that worked and take them to shore. probably so they dont have to give refunds

  • Jasoturner

    Tom &c.  PLEASE don’t play the game that paints the democrats and republicans as equal contributors to the upcoming draconian budget cuts.  If you want to be fair and balanced, tell the truth and call out the republicans.

    • Coastghost

      Nay nay: the blame does not go to the Republican Party: per Obama and the Democrats, the blame goes to Americans and our secular economy, since we simply do not generate enough revenue for our governments (Federal, state, local) to spend on our behalf (while paying for the privilege of government’s “sound” economic administration).

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       That’s right.  It isn’t equal.  The Dems won’t even pass a budget once they locked in irresponsible spending levels.

      • StilllHere

        Moreover, the sequester is Obama’s compromise from Aug 2011 that he’s running from now.  Dems own this, no matter how ignorant they are.

        • keltcrusader

          Ignorance meet Mirror

          • StilllHere

            What fact did I get wrong?  Try again poser.

          • nj_v2

            ^ Troll

        • sickofthechit

           Plenty of Republicans voted for it.

          • J__o__h__n

            And they are the ones preventing fixing it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            dont you guys see that you are being duped by thinking there are two “sides” and one is right? the whole dem/ pub thing is a sideshow to distract and devide the masses. this is why washington was against political parties

          • J__o__h__n

            There are two sides.  Yes, both parties are too controlled by corporations, but one is so much worse than the other.  The Republicans are even so much worse than they themselves used to be.  Do you really think that Gore would not have been much better than Bush?  If McCain were president we would have already invaded Iran by now.  Would Romney really be the same as Obama?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            rupurt murdoc donated more to the oboma campaign than romney campaign. mccain actaully knows the horror of war first hand so i doubt he would be as gung ho as you think however he might have had a heart attack and i would not want a president palin. who can know what would have happened? its speculation. what we know is both “sides” spend billions of dollars to perpetuate the myth they are the only game in town and the corps have free reign to do as they please while the average individual becomes less and less relevent tot he process.

          • StilllHere

            It doesn’t need to be fixed.  Good enough for Obama, good enough for everybody.

          • StilllHere

            That’s what bi-partisan is all about.  Deal with it.

        • buddhaclown

          The only reason it exists is because the pubs created an artificial crisis when they refused to raise the debt ceiling. So this is 100% the fault of the pubs. 

          • StilllHere

            You should learn how governing is done before commenting.

          • nj_v2

            ^ Troll

        • Don_B1

          The fact that Republicans are “washing their hands” of it, means that they are comfortable with the consequences, so they are the ones who “own it.”

          • StilllHere

            Nice try, but that don’t fly. It was a bi-partisan compromise!  Political nirvana.  Get used to it.

          • Don_B1

            The Democrats and Obama only compromised under heavy duress, heavy enough that in private business it would be unenforceable.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      it takes two to  tango.  Let’s get real both “sides” work for the corporations and not the people. I think the budget cuts would be great if they actually happened they would be a good start.

  • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

    The concept of national debt is poorly understood, it is nothing like personal debt.  The congress is creating a straw-man on taxes and spending.  We have spent 40 percent more than we collect in taxes for decades.  Is that debt or simply inflation?  When spending increases efficiency, it is resources well spent.  Money is not a fixed horizon to base the economy. We are looking a the wrong gauges (Economic measurements)  We must focus on how we care for people, how we define productive work, and how we prepare the next generation to carry forward our ideas of democracy.  So many hear, so few understand. 
    God bless the Farmer.

    • sickofthechit

       I like to think of it in terms of my own situation.  If I am making $30,000 per year and I owe $100,000 on my home then things aren’t so bad,  A little tight, but hey I’ve got 30 years to pay it off.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        what if you make 30,000 a year and your mortgauge is 1 million or more? would you keep borrowing money to put additions on that house and buy a bunch of planes and guns?

      • Don_B1

        Note that for governments, which do not have an “expiration date,” there is similarly no debt repayment “date.”

        What a government has to do is make sure that the interest on the debt does not rise above what it can sustainably pay. And as the economy grows, it is helpful when the debt grows slightly so that there exists an “investment of last resort,”  which are Treasury bills where investors can put excess money when other investments do not look like they will provide a good return and may even decline greatly in value.

        That was an aspect, inappropriately used, of Alan Greenspan’s argument that the Bush administration tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 were justified, as otherwise, the government just might totally pay off its debt and that would not be good for the economy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      so it doesnt matter that we borrow and spend just because it has been going on for a while? whats frustrating is anyone can find examples of how our money is wasted yet these buerocrate always demand more and more expansion and yearly budget increases depsite the fact that we are spending borrowed money. how is it sustainable in the long term?

      • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

        Sustainability has nothing to do with money.  It has to do with how we care for the world and each other.  Money is simply a counter, a marker for trading work over time.  When we spend and don’t tax, the spending becomes inflation.  When we don’t spend on our society, education, healthcare, productivity, old age care, we are causing debt.  All can be lost or gained in a single generation.  We need to see past the numbers of debt as money.  If you move money from your left pocket to your right, is your left poor or your right rich?.  This concept only works when you see society as one whole.  Who do we owe our debts too?

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          right now i am making the sound of one hand clapping for you.
          i dont want to have the money i earn with my labor go to the govt so they can use it to kill people around the world and pay 12 people to plant a single sapling plus however many managers the 12 people i watched plant one 6 ft sapling. its wasteful and not cool

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    What did the Pope give up for Lent?

      The Papacy. 

    • sickofthechit

       It’s a shame he couldn’t get the priests to give up little boys.

      • Acnestes

        Q: Why can’t they run the latest version of Windows in the Vatican?

        A: They all have 9 year old laptops.

        • sickofthechit

           Shame on you.

          • Acnestes

            Couldn’t be helped!  Actually, it started life years ago as a Michael Jackson joke

          • sickofthechit

             Have you heard the one about the Janitor who has to sub for the priest in the confessional while he goes to the bathroom?  The priest hands him a list of penances and puts the Janitor in charge.  He is doing fine until a woman comes in and says she has given her husband a bolwjob and she wants to know what her  penance is.  It is not on the list so the Janitor stops an altar boy and asks him “What does father give for a blowjob?”  Without blinking an eye the kid says “Usually a Snickers bar and a pat on the head”.

          • Acnestes

             Ouch.

  • StilllHere

    Why is Obama slow-walking drilling permits?  We need the jobs!

    • sickofthechit

       With Cheney in the news recently it brings to mind his lie that the Iraqi oil fields would pay for the war.  Where is all that money?  I guess maybe Halliburton got theirs!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Try better.

      • nj_v2

        He’s incapable.

    • Ray in VT

      The number of new drilling permits on Federal lands under Obama is significantly more than under Clinton, and it is well inline with the number of permits issued during Bush’s first term.  There was a spike from fiscal years 2006-2008, but those numbers are certainly outliers historically.

      http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/wo/MINERALS__REALTY__AND_RESOURCE_PROTECTION_/energy/oil___gas_statistics/data_sets.Par.65795.File.dat/table08.pdf

      There are also nearly 7,000 permits that have been approved that have not yet been drilled:

      http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/wo/MINERALS__REALTY__AND_RESOURCE_PROTECTION_/energy/oil___gas_statistics/data_sets.Par.86452.File.dat/AAPD%20Report%20%28approved_apd_not_drilled_September%2030,2011%29.pdf

      With the exception of FY 2011, Obama permit approval times are also in line with fiscal years 2006-2008:

      http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/energy/oil_and_gas/statistics/apd_chart.html

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      maybe because we have produced so much natural gas that the price is in the toilet so its not really profitable to drill still more?

      • Ray in VT

        The low price of natural gas certainly seems to be hurting the market for coal.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           When can we access that low price of natural gas in New England? — my heating bill would certainly benefit.

          • nj_v2

            Yes, it’s all about you.

          • Ray in VT

            They’ve been working on building one in Northern New York, and they’re talking about a pipeline under Lake Champlain.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            A pipeline under Lake Champlain, what could possibly go wrong?

          • Ray in VT

            I’ve thought the same thing.  I have to admit that it makes me a bit nervous. Maybe it’s just a plot to kill Champ.

          • sickofthechit

             Try insulating, weatherproofing, and simple conservation like turning down the thermostat and put on a sweater as Jimmy Carter so wisely said so many years ago.  Oh, if we had only reelected him.  We’d be getting 50% of our energy from renewables.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            our rates have dropped something like 25%. look at your heating bill and compare the rate to years past

      • StilllHere

        Who cares if someone wants to pay for the permit and lease?

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          thats the point. they don’t. there are plenty  available not being used because its not profitable when gas is so cheap because we are producing record amounts. don’t worry a bipartisan effort is fast tracking facilities to export our natural gas to china and elsewhere will make the price shoot back up domestically(we currently cant export it to china where it costs 5x as much.) once again making the oil and gas companies even more money and  increasing natural gas production and fracking more

          • StilllHere

            Again, who cares; if they’re paying for the permit, the gov collects the revenue.  Export revenue is a great way to address our balance of payments deficit as well as our fiscal deficit.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            people who heat their home with gas will care if the price quadruples. they get great deals on those drilling permits don’t kid yourself. exporting our non-renewable publicly owned natural resources should be done in a restrained, judicious long term manner

      • keltcrusader

        They are actually burning the excess in some places rather than storing it – you can actually see the glow from it from space in SD. How wasteful can you be with our limited resources??

    • Don_B1

      The last time I heard, just about all the drilling equipment was already in use. More permits would just mean that land would get set aside, but no new wells would be drilled.

      As for natural gas wells, many have been shut down as it costs more to extract the gas than it can be sold for in the current increased supply, which has cut the price of natural gas by as much as 75%.

  • sickofthechit

    IF any one talks about gun control could we please consider requiring gun owners to keep all guns trigger locked, and all but one locked up separate from ammunition?

    • Coastghost

      Why urge such a “requirement”? I own four firearms but I have no children crawling about unsupervised, so I don’t worry about their shooting themselves or me accidentally.

      • sickofthechit

         What about a home invasion where they lie in wait for you to come home?

        • Coastghost

          If they get to my firearms before I’m able to, I guess I’ll be SOL. But I could as well be murdered without a firearm, since I also have a serviceable sword on the premises.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            shh, sword control is next

          • Coastghost

            SHHHHHHHH!!!

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            well you know what sword control leads to:ninjas!

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        especially when CT had that exact requirement and it failed to prevent the tragedy

      • Steve__T

        Home break-ins are how “illegal” guns get out to criminals. I’m sure you would be sickened, if someone stole your guns and someone was killed with one of them. With a trigger lock you have to break the gun to get it off, rendering it useless.

        • Coastghost

          Yet the guns I own are LEGALLY owned. My firearms remain LEGAL as long as they are not stolen.
          I would be distressed if they were stolen, indeed. One reason I’m generally in favor of the rule of law.

          • Steve__T

             I put Illegal in parentheses to say your guns were legal. but once stolen become illegal. Sorry if I confused you.

            You would be distressed if they were stolen. The key point of the sentence was someone killed, guess that doesn’t bother you much.

            If the law says that to own a gun you have to lock it, I guess you would then lock it. Why do you need a law for common sense?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            why do we need laws for common sense? most gun owners lock up their guns not because of the law but because it makes sense to  do so.

          • Steve__T

             My point

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          wrong, in fact on the trigger locks it warns that they can be removed by someone motavated to do so. at best they are a temporary impediment. theft is just one way criminals get guns. i do support and advocate people using gun safes but i cant see how you could enforce a law requiring them to use them without some serious civil liberties concerns. trigger locks are a joke though in terms of securing your gun. they can just take the gun and remove the lock later and its not hard to do without damaging the gun.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Don’t forget liability insurance. When under 20 I drove a car worth 1/3 of the annual liability insurance I paid to road it. That’s the kind of thing that gets through to a teenager. After I proved myself not a threat to others’ life, limb and property, those rates went down.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        oh yes liability insurance. backdoor elitist ban for lawful gun owners. Explain how that would have stopped the tragedy in CT. 
        seems like kids kill die all the time in car wrecks despite the high rates to insure them and no one blames the cars

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Hey, dipwad: Crash into someone when you don’t have liability insurance and be prepared for a life of indentured servitude.

          I can’t explain it any simpler to you. Try understanding better.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            hey, rude childish name caller guy, shoot someone when you are not supposed to and be prepared for a life in prison AND civil liability. what do you think happens now?
             If people want liability insurance let them buy it. whats stopping them? forcing them to buy it is a backdoor to banning weapons espically for people who are not rich which is elitist and anti  american.  what if the insurance company decides not to sell the policies? oh well, no guns for law abiding people right? maybe you should think about the ideas you advocate

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            If you think I’m rude, this must be your first day on the internet.

            I just look at all the Teabaggers who wave guns in the air, then look at the responsible folks who go shooting at the club in my town, and realize that the latter’s common sense will not protect me from the former’s hair-trigger paranoia.

            It’s the same as how fifty people at an intersection driving properly aren’t going to protect you from that one moron who isn’t.

          • StilllHere

            Your comment has been tabled with an anonymous hold and won’t appear for a full vote until 60% of the board has approved.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            You really don’t get how humor works, do you?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            yup with all the whackos with guns running around you better get one yourself to protect yourself from them or stick close to your “responsible folks” who carry. i havent witnessed any “teabaggers” waving any guns in the air around here(unless david gregory is a teabagger) but i live in MA so maybe where you live its different.
            yes it is the same as one bad driver being the problem, thats why i drive a car with airbags and a seatbelt and not a motercycle, to protect myself from those people. i dont mind if other people choose to ride motercycles, though they are so dangerous thats part of freedom. a gun is  a safty device just like a seatbelt

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      we already have that in MA and a while ago Connecticut passed a law that requires parents to safeguard their firearms from minors by using trigger locks or locked gun cases. How did that work out? Maybe they should charge nancy lanza with violating that law?
      perfect example of these sort of laws being feel good measures

    • hennorama

      sickofthechit – I appreciate the sentiment of your post, but trigger lock requirements (as applied to self-defense) were held as violating the Second Amendment by the SCOTUS in the Heller decision.  Quoting the decision, in part:

      “3. The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District’s total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense.”

      See:http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/07pdf/07-290.pdf

  • buddhaclown

    North Korea’s nuclear test, coming so shortly after their successful satellite launch, made me — for the first time in my life — feel genuine fear for the security of our country. Coupled with the fact that their stated goal is to attack the United States; a young male testosterone-driven leader with his finger on the button; a country that seems more like a religious cult than a nation; a worrying degree of apathy on the part of the US government and media (exemplified by the fact that the On Point didn’t even cover this); and a long history of the same old procrastination policies that do absolutely nothing to halt the DPRK’s progress . . . I’m beginning to think a very real disaster is looming the likes of which will make 9/11 look like a joke.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment.
      the n koreans have had nukes for a while now, their main goal is to retain power in their own country their rhetoric is really towards that end.  They use ginned up fear to justify their military spending just like we do. don’t believe the hype

    • DeJay79

       on the plus side I doubt that any other country really cares that much for N. Korea, I know China is politically connected but I seriously doubt that they would go to war for them if we blasted then for making these weapons

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        why should we have the weapons but they should not and should be “blasted” for making them?

        • DeJay79

           track record and type of government.

          We have had them (infact invented them) for decades now and even when we were at the closest moment as a country we had the restraint not to use them.

          second, have you seen how people in that country are forced to live? I can’t trust any government that would treat its citizenship that way just in an attempt to obtain a WMD.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            what the heck are you talking about? we are the only ones to ever use them against another country. Looks like we are the only ones whose “track record” shows we should not have them. They have had them for over  adecade and have not used any yet.
            Yup they are an opressive police state. too bad they did not have an armed populace able to prevent that.  We kept japanese-americans in prison camps while we were inventing the bomb yet you still trust our govt? 
            maybe we should get rid of our secret torture prisons and stop murdering people, including our own citizens, with extra judicial drone strikes then maybe we could take the moral high ground.

          • DeJay79

            I was going to list facts and history to support what has happened in this world we live in but then I thought I would just be wasting my time on trying to convince you of anything or anyone else who might read this so instead I’ll just agree with you, sarcastically of-course.

            I hope that it is proven that the United States is an awful horrible government that can’t ever be trusted and that the rest of the whole world gets nuclear weapons and teams up against us and forcing all the US citizens into forced labor only after blowing up every major city in our country.

            Then you and I can sit down and talk about how much more fair the world is now that the justice of all of our wrongs have been visited on us. 

          • hennorama

            Futo Buddy – unsurprisingly, you have gone from “discussing” nuclear weapons by asking “why should we have the weapons but they should not and should be “blasted” for making them?” immediately to your frequent “too bad they did not have an armed populace able to prevent that” screed.

            An impressive leap, but one hopes you have something to break your fall, as you have come up woefully short.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            so you dont want to discuss nuclear weapons or gun control but just make odd statements about falls?

          • hennorama

            Futo Buddy – I’d explain my post to you, but as you said ” why bother?”

          • buddhaclown

            If we were like the DPRK, you and your parents and all of your distant relatives, and your children, and your childrens’ children, would have been locked up permanently just for writing what you just wrote here. The fact that you can criticize your own country with no fear of punishment shows the profound difference between the two societies.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            right and the reason that cannot happen here is we have guns. the second amendment protects the first. in china for example on paper they have all the same rights as us, inlcuding free speach, except one. would you criticize the government there?  its not our place to meddle in the affairs of other soverign nations just look at our track record doing that.  since they already have the weapons and have for a while its a little too late to discuss whether they should be allowed to have them anyways

        • buddhaclown

          For the same reason someone with a murder record and a history of mental illness shouldn’t be allowed to have guns. This isn’t rocket science.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            except they are a soverign nation and we are not in charge of them

  • buddhaclown

    Why is there so little talk of Vatileaks in the American media’s analysis of the Pope’s decision to step down? There is a huge amount of politics in play in Rome surrounding this, virtually none of which has been covered by the American press. Is it fear of offending catholic listeners? 

    • DeJay79

       maybe it is more of a big “who cares!?!” with the shrinking catholic presences in this country much less people care about that.

      I know that I am only interested in it as a historical side note. The last time a sitting Pope willing resigned before death was 1297!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Shrinking Catholic churchgoer population, yes.

        But the USCCB is still infecting our health-care system. And it gets worse every time a Catholic hospital merges with a real hospital.

        Talk about a fish rotting from the head first.

        (And I’m not even remarking on the shell game of hiding the pedophiles, its own story.)

  • ToyYoda

    I know it’s too early and tasteless for this, but I wonder if Oscar Pistorius thought he was shooting a Replicant, after all his girl friend looks like Darryl Hannah.  :)

    • hennorama

      ToyYoda – the next time you begin a post with “I know it’s too early and tasteless for this” you should stop and hit the [Backspace] key until those words disappear.

      Alternatively, you might consider Stephen Colbert’s advice to conservative candidates.  Just substitute the words “firearms-related homicide victims” for the word “rape” in Colbert’s advice:

      “I just want to give you a little advice on how to handle yourself, if in the middle of a debate or while casually talking to reporters, you feel yourself about to share your views on rape, OK?  I want you — and this is important, so go grab a pencil, OK?  If you’re about to talk about rape, I want you to stab yourself in the eye with your pencil!  OK?  (audience cheering)  Just jam it in there!  Really work it around, just back and forth, up in your skull cavity, OK?  See if you can get it in there and sever the portion of your brain that stores the word “rape”.  OK?  And don’t stop until your urge to appeal to voters by talking about rape has passed.”

      http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/420541/october-24-2012/richard-mourdock-s-rape-comment
      :)

  • toc1234

    Tom a perfect transition away from your discussing the hypocrisy of President Obama (compared to the Senate version) concerning drones and kill lists would be to explore his nominating Jack Lew (sketchy hjistory at Citi while it was tanking, pro-tax havens (Cayman)) and Mary Jo White at SEC (made big bucks defending wall street firms).  perhaps, touch on why alarmists like van hoilland, waxman, etc.. aren’t making a big stink about these two.  I mean it cant be just b/c they are Obama’s guy, could it?  Oh, what’s that? you have no plans to discuss any of the above today?

    • jimino

      So you agree with many liberals that Obama is really a right wing, militaristic, big-money controlled President.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/H2OXD7NTOLDJZWZMM2DG6W6LC4 CBSSportscom

    It’s not unfortunate that Rubio’s hydration issues overshadowed his speech; it’s unfortunate that it distracted people from talking about how his speech sadly echoed most of the tired arguments from 2012. It’s like the election never happened.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Hey, at some point the less attention paid to the content of the speech, the better Rubio looks. He’s got that Sarah Palin thing going for him, in which the oddball stuff obscures the worse actualities.

      Now, for example, nobody is keying in on how his “middle class home where he’s lived all his (adult) life” is on the market for $600k+.

      That’s the kind of crap our Beltway Inbreds wouldn’t let Al Gore get away with. Actually, strike that: That’s the kind of crap our press corpse spent years making up about Al Gore.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        yeah al gore is really struggling

        • StilllHere

          Gore, talk about a guy who looks like a corpse.

  • toc1234

    “It’s clear that Mr. Obama chose Mr. Hagel not because he wants a strong and knowledgeable adviser but because he wants a cipher who will take orders from the White House. Mr. Hagel all but admitted this at last month’s hearing when West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin noted that “you’re going to be basically following policy, not making policy.” Mr. Hagel replied, “I won’t be in a policy-making position.”

    So at a time of global turmoil and growing White House pressure to gut defense, the Pentagon gets a potted plant. Imagine Don Rumsfeld or Henry Kissinger declaring that they took a policy job in which they could not make policy. Mr. Hagel is unlikely to be an effective public spokesman and he lacks the knowledge to wrestle intelligently with the Pentagon’s many competing interests.’  wsj 2/10/13

    • StilllHere

      He didn’t come across very well in the hearings.

  • OnpointListener

    Ted Cruz is a dangerous man!

    Ted Cruz is a dangerous man!

    Ted Cruz is a dangerous man!

    Ted Cruz is a dangerous man!

    • DrewInGeorgia

      All humans are potentially dangerous but it’s the mindless minions who support them that are the real danger.

      • hennorama

        C’mon Drew, let’s leave the “mindless [Despicable] minions” out of this.  They seem so happily content.

        http://flixer.com/resource/imagecache/650/users/braden/images/despicable_me-2010-4.jpg

        • DrewInGeorgia

          And sooooooooo cute! How could anything so adorable be dangerous? Tribble anyone?

      • OnpointListener

        Exactly!

      • OnpointListener

        Mindless minions are in abundant supply and always have been (look around).  In order to keep things from spirally out of control, propagandist demagogues must be kept in check.  The larger question is how to accomplish this aim  morally and legally.  

        • DrewInGeorgia

          The only check for “Propagandist Demagogues” is an informed Citizenry. A large chunk of the population wants to eviscerate Education in favor of Defense which is why those like Cruz are given voice. Morality is neither here nor there in my view. If you start silencing those of the Senator’s ilk you trample Freedom Of Speech. A lack of Free Speech won’t lead to an educated populous.

      • OnpointListener

        And because the “mindless minions” are in full supply, it is up to the rest of us to keep in check the crazies and to keep the dialogue sane.  

        In the past, I had always presumed that most people are sane.  Recently, I have changed my mind.  If the center of the bell curve represents average intelligence, then the average is too low to qualify as practical, sentient, and capable of making moral decisions.

        Thus, like you say, we are truly in real danger.

  • nj_v2

    Re. yesterday’s “Near Miss” program…

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/meteorite-falls-in-russias-chelyabinsk-region-damage-and-casualties-unclear/2013/02/15/7041c0c8-7732-11e2-b102-948929030e64_story.html

    Russian health official: Nearly 1,000 injured after meteor explodes over Ural Mountains
    MOSCOW — A Russian health official says nearly 1,000 people have sought help for injuries caused by a meteor that exploded in the sky, blasting out countless windows.

    Chelyabinsk health chief Marina Moskvicheva, said Friday that 985 people in her city had asked for medical assistance. The Interfax news agency quoted her as saying 43 were hospitalized.The Russian Academy of Sciences said the meteor — estimated to be about 10 tons — entered the Earth’s atmosphere going at least 54,000 kph (33,000 mph). It shattered about 30-50 kilometers (18-32 miles) above the ground, releasing several kilotons of energy above the Ural Mountains.

    (snipped)

    Additional video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE4p8gCOY7Q&feature=player_embedded

  • Ellen Dibble

    I salute the pope for his abdication.  His references to hopes for unity in the church and commentary about dissension among the power-holders at the Vatican suggest that gridlock exists not only in Washington.  And I have a hunch there is a great deal this individual can do, which nobody else can do, if he can get loose of all that institutional weight.  I have paid attention to his initiatives, and his responses to the shifting tides of time, and I think he can incorporate science and create a more inclusive concept of religion, either/and/or.  I’m sure it depends upon who is the next pope, whether he can feel free to do that.  I hope someone does, of whatever faith.  Maybe he’ll develop a pseudonym for himself.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Good to read you Ellen, it’s been a while and I was getting concerned.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    “I have no evidence to suggest that it is or isn’t, but it could be Martians!!!” says someone at the hearings.

    Tom, you have to ask if that’s McCarthyite? Less inside-the-Beltway, please.

  • Steve__T

    Not a word about the 48 arrested at Keystone Pipeline Protest as the Sierra Club lifts a 120-year ban on civil disobedience. Civil rights leader Julian Bond, NASA
    climate scientist James Hansen,  Michael Brune Sierra Club Executive Director and Daryl Hana were arrested Wednesday in front of the
    White House as part of an ongoing protest calling on the Obama
    administration to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Daryl Hana did an interview with Democracy Now saying “Obama said to push him” so they did and got arrested.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2013/2/14/we_need_to_push_him_actress

  • newt

    If you get around to the cruise ship fiasco, I have a question.  There have been several incidents like this, losing power and so forth, not to mention crashing and flipping over off the coast of Italy, by cruise ships in the past few years.

    The US Navy has a couple of hundred ships, including 12 aircraft carriers that carry more people than any cruise ship,  for months , not a week or so, at a time.  They also carry, launch, and land, jet planes, some of which carry nuclear bombs.  I know of case in which a Navy ship, especially aircraft carrier, lost power, went adrift, and had to be towed back to port. Never mind crashed into the coast of Italy, or anywhere else except an occasional sandbar.

    Unlike the Navy, cruise ships are directly dependent upon public trust, good will, and money to stay in business.  Why can’t crusie ship companies do a good a job as the U.S. Navy does in keeping their ships functioning and on course?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      They don’t have to.

      They’re full of Americans, sail from American ports, take American dollars, exploit tons of immigrants, but are registered elsewhere (not paying taxes like, say, a resort on American soil), and they like it that way.

      Passengers have limited recourse in the courts, including very limited venue.

      But, yay tort reform!

    • jimino

      It’s what the Steve Martin character (the jerk) would call a “profit deal.”  Just think how wonderful things would be if we only privatized the Navy.

  • MrNutso

    Ted Cruz: one of the one hundred best and brightest.

    • jimino

      Cruz was elected with the help of much more secret “outside money” than went to his opponent.  How do we know that much of his political financial support didn’t come from Saudi Arabia, North Korea, or the Muslim Brotherhood?  We need to know just who is behind him.  Why is he keeping this secret?  Just what is he hiding?

    • hennorama

      MrNutso – is your post proof of the aptness of your moniker, or pure sarcasm?  Despite the fact that “naked” sarcasm is difficult to discern, I vote for the latter.

      In fact, one might consider this as the “jiji du jour”.

    • Jasoturner

      Don’t forget the 435 certified geniuses in the other chamber!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=548635542 Eric Magnuson

    As a Democrat from Nebraska, I have disagreed with Chuck Hagel in issues in the past but always respected him. He represents a shrinking constituency of officials that fall in the center. When the Republican party cannot confirm one of their own members because of political jockeying, it shows how truly far to the right they have moved. And they wanted to try to rebrand the party? Suggesting a former Senator and nominee for Secretary of Defense may have taken money from North Korea is just an example of why they lose face with the average American. 

    • StilllHere

      The average American would know who gave him/her a check for $200K and what was expected in return.

  • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

    Krugman on Zombies.
    “But the zombie keeps shambling on — and here’s Mr. Rubio Tuesday night: “This idea — that our problems were caused by a government that was too small  — it’s just not true. In fact, a major cause of our recent downturn was a housing crisis created by reckless government policies.” Yep, it’s the full zombie.”http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/opinion/krugman-rubio-and-the-zombies.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

    This is the new term for fatalism. 

  • Coastghost

    Today’s program is also tiptoeing directly past high crimes committed by women in positions of power (San Diego, CA, Dixon, IL). What opportunities equality affords!

    • StilllHere

      LOL, $54 million in Dixon.  Gives the ladies something to shoot for.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Apparently Obama is on his second vacation of 2013 — just 6 weeks in.

    This time he left Michelle to ski in the Rockies and he went to Florida for private golf lessons with Butch Harmon.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      “Now watch this drive!”

      Let’s play that game. All the live long day.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        i was shocked by bush’s golf playing too. oboma plays roughly 8 times as much golf as bush and still finds time to shoot skeet” all the time” when he is not in Hawaii. maybe he needs to get into clearing brush

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=548635542 Eric Magnuson

      Look up the amount of vacation George Bush took while in office and then get back to us.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         I’m no Bush fan but Bush only went on vacation AFTER there was a budget.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Your comment has been tabled with an anonymous hold and won’t appear for a full vote until 60% of the board has approved.

    • StilllHere

      He’s just going to stop in Chiraq today for a photo-op then it’s skeet-shooting all recess long.

    • Mike_Card

      So what would “less government” look like?

  • Paul Larkin

    With regard to Chuck Hagel, anything we can do to move our relationship with Israel to a more mutually respectful, mature relationship – one which values and allows for frankness and criticism, where it is warranted – would be ultimately be good for both sides, and I appreciate Hagel’s courage in challenging the status quo.  The current state of things, in which – uniqely amongst our allies – we refuse to publically question any of the actions of whatever government is in power there is politically motivated, and has the effect of prolonging the tragedy of the unresolved status of the Palestinians, and to compromise our ability to forge alliances and goodwill with the rest of the middle east.  I admire his courage in a whole variety of areas, and I think his willingness to speak his mind is on balance the sort of character trait that is sorely in need in political appointments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=548635542 Eric Magnuson

    Good comment on the Keystone Pipeline as well…very disappointed in the president for allowing this environmental atrocity to go forward. It tells me that he is not really all that serious about the environment regardless of what his speeches say. It is one of the dirtiest forms of energy and endangers the largest underwater aquifer in the US which is crucial to farmers and the people of the Midwest.

    • nj_v2

      What?! Obama’s actions diverge from his rhetoric?? Say it ain’t so…

  • toc1234

    Lefty Jack: I say sensible b/c I am a liberal and I like these things.

    why doens’t Jack have a couinterpart on this show?  he should alternate w someone of a center/moderate view.

    • jefe68

      You know you can go listen to Rush or turn this off if it’s to left wing for you. 

    • StilllHere

      Jack is there for pure entertainment, of whom is the question.  He provides the reclusive hermit perspective.  He adds nothing.

  • Coastghost

    Yes, Obama SAID “everything’s paid for” . . . indeed he did.

    • StilllHere

      laughable, truly

  • toc1234

    Everytghing is paid for?  Notice how Obama didnt mention how it was paid for?  Nor does Jack or Tom care.  funny how Romney took all that flak for doing that in the fall.

  • OnpointListener

    The Republicans got it wrong when they thought Romney was going to win in a landslide.

    They will be equally surprised when they lose the House in the next election.

    • Ray in VT

      I was just reading Rush’s transcript from the day before the election yesterday.  There was a lot of nay-saying the biased polls that showed a dead heat, and a lovely prediction of 300+ electoral votes for Romney.

      • OnpointListener

        So true, thank you for pointing that out.  Crazy means CRAZY.  The job now is to get these people   outa here!

      • StilllHere

        Get a life!

        • Ray in VT

          Thanks for the advice, but I’ll keep my own council as to how best to spend my time.  I find it quite interesting and fulfilling to spend a bit of my time examining the lunacy of the right.  Someday I hope to figure out just why people turn to some bloated gas bag like Rush for information or entertainment.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

       Pal,  you are taking these political races way too seriously.  Its always a horserace to keep the peeps engaged and distracted from the real issues. Romney, just like Kerry back in 2008 knew the results before they started.  Its all in the script ( the Movie is called: Bankers rule behind theTwo Party charade.).

    • DeJay79

       I also love how they keep saying “We also won the last election because we have the house.” That is just total B.S.

      They already had the House by a bigger number, all they did was manage not to lose it completely not the same thing as winning it.

      • StilllHere

        Nobody says that what they say is that America voted for divided government and that’s what we got.  America doesn’t want Obama/Reid/Pelosi to have free reign destroying this great country and turning it into some socialist backwater haven for slackers.

        • OnpointListener

          socialist backwater haven for slackers:  republican  defense contracts, the biggest giveaway the republic has ever known, brought to you by Dick Cheney and George W. Bush.

          • StilllHere

            How so, which ones?  What’s changed the last 5 years?

      • OnpointListener

        I agree.  Thank you for pointing that out.  It needs repeating over and over again.

    • sickofthechit

      Their jerry-mandering skills and control of so many Governorships and state houses does not bode well  though.

      • OnpointListener

        I agree.  

    • Vandermeer

       Oh I hope so… And we need to get more active getting a Democrat into Kerry’s old seat in the Senate.

  • Coastghost

    There’s also some difference between voting in a republic and emotivist Twittering and political crowdsourcing, arguably.

  • http://mimiambic.livejournal.com/ ymc

    Yeaah Jack Beatty mentions Gail Collins; my news week is done.

  • vtleroy

    Regarding Pope Benedict’s resignation, I find it interesting that little attention is being given to the role that the church’s sex abuse scandal may have played. HBO Documentary Films just this month aired a compelling expose that reveals the Vatican’s involvement at the highest levels. This has included hiding the international sex abuse data, reassigning (and even promoting) offending priests and cardinals, and more. The Pope’s age and failing health notwithstanding, the timing of his resignation is interesting at the very least.

    • StilllHere

      HBO documentary films, lol.

      • jefe68

        Your comments, lol.

    • Vandermeer

       The Pope is pooped!

  • nj_v2

    Rethuglicon/right-wing jackassery of the week…

    http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/02/11/iowa-anti-choicers-admit-they-want-to-imprison-women-for-abortion/

    Iowa Anti-Choicers Admit They Want to Imprison Women for Abortion

    …Nine state representatives in Iowa have introduced a bill that would define killing a fertilized egg as “murder”.

    …The point of this bill is, simply put, to throw women in jail for “murder” for deliberately ending pregnancies—and quite possibly for trying to prevent them, as many anti-choicers continue to insist, despite the evidence against them, that the pill and emergency contraception work by “killing” fertilized eggs.

    (excerpts)

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/02/12/1186599/-Michigan-s-GOP-Strips-Abortion-Care-from-Insurance-Plans-But-Protects-Their-Viagra#

    Michigan’s GOP Strips Abortion Care from Insurance Plans But Protects Their Viagra

    Last week, the Michigan Senate issued a revision to the health insurance plan it offers its employees.  The change, pushed through by Republican Senator Rick Jones, told our employees – or should I say our FEMALE employees – that abortion care would no longer be provided to them under any circumstance.  No exceptions to the rule.  No explanations provided.

    Yet while the Republicans feel it appropriate to take away reproductive care from our female employees and our daughters, they saw no reason to eliminate their Viagra from the Senate insurance plan at the same time.

    (excerpt)

    http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2013/02/14/conservative-super-pac-freedomworks-made-video-of-fake-panda-bear-performing-oral-sex-on-fake-hillary-clinton/

    Conservative super-PAC FreedomWorks made video of fake panda bear performing oral sex on fake Hillary Clinton

    There conservatives go again, showing off those family values of theirs. And by family values I mean hypocrisy, incredibly vile taste, and sexism.

    David Corn at Mother Jones is reporting on tea party group and super-PAC FreedomWorks (where Dick Armey used to work) producing a video of a fake panda bear performing fake oral sex on a fake Hillary Clinton. The video was scrapped, but that won’t erase the sick incentive, the reporting, the mental image, or the disgusting subject matter:

    (excerpt)

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/02/11/roger-ailes-obama-is-busy-getting-blacks-to-hate-whites/

    Roger Ailes: Obama ‘is busy’ getting ‘blacks to hate whites’

    Fox News CEO Roger Ailes believes he can help Republicans win over Latinos because he says that President Barack Obama “is busy trying to get everybody to hate each other” and “we need to get along.”

    In an interview with the New Republic that was published on Monday, Ailes explained that Fox News was the network that could help Republicans outreach to Latinos.

    “The president likes to divide people into groups,” Ailes said. “He’s too busy getting the middle class to hate rich people, blacks to hate whites. He is busy trying to get everybody to hate each other… We need to get along.”

    (snipped)

    • Ray in VT

      How about this one:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/kevin-grandia/new-academic-research-fin_b_2663001.html

      “A
      new academic study confirms that front groups with longstanding ties to
      the tobacco industry and the billionaire Koch brothers planned the
      formation of the Tea Party movement more than a decade before it exploded onto the U.S. political scene.”

      Plus:

      “Nonprofit organizations associated with the Tea Party have longstanding ties to tobacco companies, and continue to advocate on behalf of the tobacco industry’s anti-tax, anti-regulation agenda.”Both from a link from the article I provided.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         They wanted to start the TEA party in 2002?  Then it must be Bush’s fault.

        • Ray in VT

          Nope, just some conservative billionaires and Big Tobacco.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Al Gore and Charlie Rose both have deep, long term ties to the tobacco industry and both support wasting tax payer dollars on so called ‘green’ energy boondoggles.

            I guess tobacco is causing problems all over the place.

          • pete18

             Don’t you get it? When conservatives with money try to influence policy it’s a furtive conspiracy, when liberals with money do the same thing it’s noble activism.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Regardless of the Party it’s Business As Usual.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=548635542 Eric Magnuson

    I was happy to see the pope leave his post (as unexpected as it may have been) because I feel he has not been an effective leader in moving the church forward.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Infrastructure spending is one of the signs of an activist government, per Seib?

    Tell that to every Republican president who didn’t let things fall the hell apart on their watch.

    This country is full of public goods built so long ago (’30s, ’50s, ’60s, mainly) that it’s predictable how many folks have forgotten that these things just didn’t sprout out of the ground or fall from the sky. A WSJ reporter, even a DC bureau chief, shouldn’t be so swept up inside the Beltway that this language pivot is lost on him.

    • StilllHere

      Your permit to post here has been pulled, seek remedial reeducation before trying again.

      • jefe68

        Who appointed you as the arbitrator of what people can post or not? 

        Funny how you right wingers get your nickers in a twist when the 2nd Amendment is being questioned and yet you have no problem attempting to deny people their 1st Amendment rights in a heart beat when you don’t like the content.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I don’t even know what kind of lame-ass quip you think you’re making.

        • Mike_Card

          Lost, without Gregg to lead the way.

          • StilllHere

            Truly pathetic stalking.

          • Steve__T

             Agreed, you need to stop.

  • JONBOSTON

    Tom Ashbrook, 

    It would be great if you identified for listeners the Obama policies that would actually help create middle class jobs. Are they more jobs at Solyndra type companies? Keystone pipeline jobs? climate change regs from the EPA they may impact on coal production? More rules from NLRB that challenge a company’s opening plants in right to work states? 

    Also your gratuitous description of Ted Cruz’s comments regarding a  payment made to Hagel as “McCarthy-like” somehow was never mentioned to describe the Obama campaign’s calling Romney a felon, or killer of a steelworker’s wife , tax evader, outsourcer , etc.  Or how about the ultimate slime merchant Sen. Harry Reid going before the well of the senate to claim that “someone told him that Romney hadn’t paid any taxes for 10 years”. Or do you only reserve criticism for Republican senators but not comments made by Democrats about Republican presidential candidates.. 

    • StilllHere

      Well said, but don’t expect a response.

      • nj_v2

        Right, like the way they respond to so many other posts.

    • sickofthechit

       It’s about time EPA regs started impacting coal, we have already buried more than 650 miles of streams here in Kentucky.  The rest we are mostly poisoning with mercury, sulphur. and a host of other unpleasant, unhealthy things.  There is no such thing as clean surface mined coal.

      As for Keystone, it is the dirtiest oil available.

      Fracking, they don’t even have to adhere to clean water or air regs thanks to mr. fixit DICK cheney.

      • OnpointListener

        Thanks for reminding me of how much I despise Dick Cheney.  He ranks up there with Hitler as being a force of pure evil.  Oh how I wish there were such a thing as true “Karma”.  The Dick  single handedly got exemptions, and exemptions from disclosure, to the clean water act in order to promote fracking.  He trumpeted up and pressed false arguments for going to a war in which Haliburton made millions and we lost thousands of our sons and many daughters, in addition to  thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, all the while losing any credibility we had with the outside world.

        Dick and George can not leave the country for fear of being detained and extradited as war criminals.  And criminals they are.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Fine recycling of talking points. Why bother?

      • JONBOSTON

        And that’s precisely why the private sector ‘s money should be at risk and not the governments. What don’t you get? It’s one thing for the government to be investing in basic research , which I have no problem with. But it’s absolutely idiotic for the government to be investing in companies that are in the business of trying to develop a business model/ product with the research.That’s for the dreaded private sector to be investing in. Obama and the his clueless drones will never understand….

        • TomK_in_Boston

          The private sector is too risk-averse to support early stage companies in some crucial areas.  They need gvt support. You probably have no first-hand knowledge of starting a company: I do. It takes many years to know if a biotech idea is going to yield a money-making product. It’s almost impossible to get an investment until there is good evidence that it will, which I would say takes 5 years as a bare minimum. Gvt support is needed to fill the gap.

          I’m not defending solyndra specifically and I’m not crazy about funds which could be used for basic research being used for early-stage companies, but it has to be done.

          Do you really want to say that if the Chinese gvt decides to subsidize solar to the extent that steers the whole sector to China, the only for us to compete is via the private sector? Sorry, but they won’t take on that losing fight – they’ll take the easy route and play ball with the Chinese.

          • pete18

             ”Do you really want to say that if the Chinese gvt decides to subsidize
            solar to the extent that steers the whole sector to China, the only for
            us to compete is via the private sector?”

            Yes.

          • JONBOSTON

            If the Chinese government unfairly subsidizes its solar industry to the detriment of US industry then the proper role for govt. is to punish Chinese imports by imposing countervailing duties on Chinese-manufactured solar panels. It is not the role of govt to pick and choose  companies that want to develop those technologies; that is the role of the private sector. And that’s exactly what the US govt did earlier this year when the US Commerce Dept announced import tariffs on Chinese solar panels ranging from 2.9% to 4.73%. And yes I’ve had significant first hand knowledge with start-up companies. I’ve worked in senior management as in-house counsel for two of the world’s largest multi-national companies….

          • jimino

             ”I’ve worked in senior management as in-house counsel for two of the world’s largest multi-national companies….”

            Then you should know that our trade agreements are designed to favor the global deployment of capital for maximum gain, regardless of the effect on good-paying US jobs and the harmful impact of massive trade deficits.

            But what sane American wouldn’t trade a decent wage for the opportunity to buy a flat screen TV for $200?  Especially if they throw in a new panini maker too!

    • jefe68

      Well, well, politics is a dirty business. Thanks for reminding me.

  • David_Collins_1

    I have received an email with the “Warren Buffett Congressional Reform Act” 

    Congressional Reform Act of 2011*
     
    1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman
    collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of
    office.
    2. Congress (past, present & future)
    participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund
    move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the
    Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It
    may not be used for any other purpose.

     3. Congress can purchase their own
    retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

     

     4. Congress will no longer vote themselves
    a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

    5. Congress loses their current health care
    system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

    5. Congress must equally abide by all laws
    they impose on the American people.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      I say we pay them all minimum wage and be done with it.

    • OnpointListener

      The conversation around social security and medicare would be a whole lot different if Congressional members had to fend for themselves like those of us in the private sector.

      Go get ‘em!

  • http://harvestboston.wordpress.com smh00a

    Two points:

    On the Carnival Triumph debacle: A couple thousand well-to-do Americans got a small taste of what 1 billion humans experience every day in the developing world.

    On the Pestorius case: How many sporting heroes can fall in one year? Lance, a slew of baseball players, golfer Vijay Singh, football player Ray Lewis … and now a paraplegic track hero from South Africa. Another reminder for us not to idealize those in the public eye and remember that they are deeply flawed, as we all are.

    - Steve in Boston

    • DrewInGeorgia

      In response to your first point: You’re right. That does NOT mean that they all deserved it OR that you should take pleasure in it.

      • JGC

        Wait a minute…didn’t Gregg go on a vacation to Mexico this week? Could he have been…?  Naaah. No way. Right?

        • DrewInGeorgia

          Nah, he didn’t leave soon enough and missed that boat. I’m pretty sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere.

    • JGC

      I don’t think of a Carnival cruise as the playground of the well-to-do.  It is the last gasp of the middle class.  It is (they hope) an escape and a holiday and probably one that they have been saving for, for at least a few years, if not more. 

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I’m with you. I don’t cruise but people who do say that Carnival is not the E-Class Mercedes Benz, or even Lexus ES, of the form.

    • stillin

      That is so well said, I mean, really, simply the truth.

  • jefe68

    One thing is clear, our Congress is dysfunctional.
    Instead of the sequester how about the whole lot of them are fired. 

    • hennorama

      jefe68 – dysfunctional and irresponsible.  Who leaves the workplace in the middle of any financial crisis, let alone a national financial crisis?

      BTW, the legislative bodies have interesting terms for recess.  The House calls them “District Work Periods” and the Senate calls them “State Work Periods.”

  • Steve__T

    The police drama in L.A. is a show all in itself. Especially the response of the police, shooting women without warning and others, that did not fit the description, nor did their vehicles. 
    They were under stress is no excuse.

  • jgeigerphoto

    North Korea planning on bombing the U.S. is a lot like a dog chasing a car; It usually doesn’t go well for the dog and even if the car stops, what’s it going to do with it?

    • buddhaclown

       No, it is more like a man walking into a movie theater and opening fire. Sure, there is no way the man is ultimately going to “win” . . . but I don’t think he much cares. The problem is analysts continue to insist that the DPRK can be understood in political terms just like any other nation. But North Korea isn’t really a nation, it is a quasi-religious cult divorced from reality, and cults do crazy things even if they know it means their own extinction.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Apparently Chris Dorner misunderstood the meaning of ‘Ash Wednesday’.

    • hennorama

      IMO it’s waaaaaay to soon for any sort of humor about this (alleged) multiple murderer.

      • nj_v2

        Correction: “…any sort of alleged humor…”

        • hennorama

          I stand corrected. Merci bien.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Maybe so but it is difficult to have any sympathy for this disturbed individual after his ‘alleged’ actions.

        • hennorama

          WorriedfortheCountry – I interpreted your original post as a variant of “Dorner got what he deserved.” Please correct me if I’m wrong. I merely think that any sort of humor about these circumstances is inappropriate. Regardless, I have no sympathy for Mr. Dormer, only sympathy for the victims of his (alleged) criminal acts.

    • nj_v2

      Tasteless and humorless. 

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Let’s send Bloomberg to the UK and he can work on banning horse meat.

    • StilllHere

      And shrinking soda portions!

    • J__o__h__n

      At least the horse meat didn’t have mad cow.

  • Coastghost

    Dorner and the LAPD parted company back in 2008, from what I’ve read. He was “honorably discharged” from the Naval Reserves on 1 Feb 2013, if I read correctly. Was his motivation REALLY a four-year old grudge? (Regardless of what he did or did not say in his manifesto, which I’ve not read.)

  • Listener2

    I strongly suspect that Dorner told the truth.  His allegation of police brutality rings true, as does his allegation that Randall Quan (former LAPD Chief) was protecting the interests of the LAPD, not serving as Dorner’s advocate.  What Dorner did in response is ghastly, but I can understand it.  He was fired for making false statements, so he lost his job as a police officer and his security clearance with the Navy.  The LAPD took away his life; they destroyed him.  That pushed him over the edge.

    I fully expect that another review of Dorner’s case will exonerate the LAPD, but I don’t think that result will be any more valid than earlier reviews.  Dorner was a probationary officer when he made the mistake of reporting brutality by a senior officer.  The LAPD was not going to let that allegation stick.

    The father of the schizophrenic man who was kicked, as well as the man himself, supported Dorner’s story.  Hotel employees who witnessed ‘most’ of the incident claimed they did not see the officer kicking the man.  If you were one of those hotel employees being interviewed by LAPD detectives, what would you say?

    Disgusted.

    • stillin

      totally agree, Dorner told the truth and in many places, that will get you out, or killed, that’s our culture, today.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Anyone read this week’s Time magazine in any other country? Y’know, the one where Marco Rubio isn’t the “Savior” of the GOP?

    I guess Time’s going to show its true colors til they stop running actual ink-and-paper presses altogether.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    President Obama yesterday said he supported Hagel’s confirmation to SecDef because he had earned two ‘Purple Stars’.  The military is still trying to find out what a Purple Star is.  Sounds like it could be a Prince album.

    On a serious note, it appears that Hagel is incompetent and not up to an important job like SecDef.  This reminds me of Bush’s nomination of Harriet Meiers who also appeared not up to the task.  Too bad members of Obama’s party don’t have the courage to quietly ask Obama to withdraw the nomination and put up someone who can get the job done.
     

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      isnt that one of the lucky charms in the cereal?

    • StilllHere

      Great, now I’ve got a Prince song in my head.

      • pete18

         That is an excellent thing!

    • OnpointListener

      You are comparing Chuck Hagel to Harriet Meiers? You gotta be kidding me.  

      The military does not know what a purple star is?  A purple star sounds like a Prince album?

      Your comment is off the charts.  

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Yes, neither appear qualified for job for which they were nominated.

        This is probably one of the more important times in US history for a SecDef. The nature of threats is changing rapidly and spending resources must be reduced. We need the best and brightest to lead the transformation of our military to deal with these threats. Hagel does not come close to fitting the bill.

  • twenty_niner

    I think a cartoon from the Chicago Tribune says it perfectly:

    SPEND! SPEND! SPEND!

    Under the guise of recovery – bust the government – blame the capitalists for failure – junk the Constitution – and declare a dictatorship.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      be careful with the tribune i got a virus from their website they must have upset the chinese or something

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      I was expecting something from this century, or at least a failed “both sides do it” palliative.

      But right-wing humorists (sic) and actual satire seem to have gone their separate ways long ago.

  • JGC

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren first appearance in Senate Banking Committee hearing, trying to find out when the last time the government actually took a Wall Street Bank to court. Lots of hemming and hawing and we’ll look into that. Her response:

    I want to note that there are district attorneys and U.S. attorneys who are out there everyday squeezing ordinary citizens on sometimes very thin grounds and taking them to trial to ‘make an example,’ as they put it.  I am really concerned that too-big-to-fail has become too-big-for-trial.

    Also to be noted on this subject, the government has gone the route of imposing fines on the big banks, rather than the slog of going to trial. But often, even though the billion dollar fines sound impressive, in fact, they are not fully collected because language is not included in the settlement to specify the fines are not tax deductible.  That means, for example the $766-million cash payment and $1.2-billion foreclosure-prevention “contribution” being made by Wells Fargo to the government may be tax deductible, another subsidy by the U.S. taxpayer to the coffers of the Big Banks. (paraphrased from a Gretchen Morgenson NYT article)

    • TomK_in_Boston

      I saw that video, it was great. She kept asking when they last took a case to trial, very politely. They kept not answering and trying to change the subject, and Eliz kept  after them. I am SO happy to have her as my senator instead of the nasty Ken doll.

      • JGC

        I really like Elizabeth Warren, too. I wish she was my Pennsylvania Senator. I like how she is able to distill complicated financial dealings into language that everyone can understand. And when she does that, it is impossible for her (adversaries?) to respond in twisted lawyerish government speakese. The contrast is just too stark.  But I didn’t find Senator Brown to be …well, there are worse.  PA Senator Toomey is the former President of Club for Growth, and Casey is …I really don’t know. He seems to be the Incredible Disappearing Senator. 

    • hennorama

      JGC – Sen. Warren definitely made quite a first impression.  Warren was discussing civil litigation, but this happens with criminal cases as well, which is even more outrageous, IMO.

      Take the HSBC money laundering case.  HSBC settled for $1.921 billion in fines and foreitures, a sum equal to a bit over 11% of their 2011 net profits.  No one went to jail, and HSBC was allowed to continue to operate as usual.

      HSBC had routinely processed cash on behalf of known terror groups, Mexican drug cartels, and rogue governments such as Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Libya and Burma.  This was one of the clearest cases of criminal money laundering in recent memory.  The U.S Attorney on the case said that HSBC ignored “numerous red flags and warnings about the money laundering risks” and “routinely did business with entities on the U.S. sanctions list, evading U.S. prohibitions on such transactions by disguising the source of the funds so the payments would go through.”

      And essentially all they got was a very expensive parking ticket.

      Oh yeah … they also promised not to do it again, even though they had been doing it for more than 10 years, and despite being notified of these improper practices in 2000 and numerous times thereafter.

      The Justice Dept. routinely negotiates these “deferred prosecution agreements” in lieu of possible jail time for offenders, which significantly contributes to public apathy and cynicism.  Most people who hear about these outrageous acts think to themselves “well at least someone’s going to jail…” and are confounded to no end when prosecutors allow these entities to go on with their business after simply paying a fine, implementing corporate reforms, and “fully cooperating” with the investigation. 

      These agreements generally do NOT count as part of a criminal history if there was no finding of guilt by a court and the defendant did not plead guilty or otherwise admit guilt in open court.

      Corporations simply consider these fines, forfeitures and legal costs as part of the costs of doing business.  The vast profits generated by these firms and individuals allows them to purchase influence, and virtually guarantees that true reform will not occur.  Any reforms in place will be relentlessly attacked, watered down, and eroded behind the scenes by lobbyists, and modified or repealed by future legistative actions of politicians purchased by “The Street.”

      Jail time for the humans involved and a corporate death penalty for the entities involved are really the only way to prevent this from recurring.

      Senator Warren really has her work cut out for her.

      http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/December/12-crm-1478.html

      • OnPointComments

        There was an interesting confrontation between CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo and Barney Frank yesterday.
         
        http://freebeacon.com/bartiromo-takes-frank-to-task-over-lack-of-prosecutions-from-08-financial-crisis/ 
         
        “Former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank (D., Mass.) advocated criminal prosecutions against “individuals” involved in the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent collapse on Wall Street Friday on CNBC.
          Maria Bartiromo reacted incredulously to Frank’s refusal to name specific individuals who may have perpetrated criminal wrongdoing, accusing the former Congressman of playing populist politics by making specious allegations against the financial industry.”
         
        I agree with Maria Bartiromo.  I wish every time some politician tried to tar and feather an entire nameless group of people that the journalists would say “Name them.  Tell us who and tell us what the evidence is.”  Accusations against an anonymous group is easy, and sleazy; being specific and coming up with names and evidence is more difficult and ultimately fairer.

        • StilllHere

          Exactly.  They can’t even refer to the crimes that have supposedly been committed.

        • hennorama

          OPC – TY for your responses. I respect and appreciate your views.

          However, I think the article mischaracterizes both Ms. Bartiromo’s and former Rep. Frank words as “…accusing the former Congressman of playing populist politics by making specious allegations against the financial industry.”

          There certainly was a spirited exchange, but Rep. Frank wasn’t “making specious allegations against the financial industry”. He pointed out that some “things that were wrong by a kind of moral or even economic standpoint weren’t illegal .. so no, I don’t think you could have gotten everybody sued who did something wrong. On the other hand it does seem to me there clearly was some criminal activity …”

          Frank went on to discuss the idea that there might be difficulty with suing and subsequently bringing down an entire entity – “…people have to go back to the accounting issue when they sued a big accounting firm and it went under .. ” This is a reference to when Enron’s 2001 collapse wound up taking down the accounting firm Arthur Andersen as well.

          Frank used significant qualifiers in his remarks, and carefully avoided “naming names” because, as he said, “that would be irresponsible” yet Ms. Bartiromo repeatedly tried to put names and other words into his mouth.

          It was an entertaining exchange, but Ms. Bartiromo did not prove her accusation that Rep. Frank was being irresponsible. And certainly the article mischaracterizes the exchange.

          But I sympathize with your point that it is indeed quite easy to generalize about “an entire nameless group of people .”

          Let’s name a few other examples

          Politicians in Washington (often hilariously used by politicians in Washinton as if they themselves were not part of this group)

          47% of Americans

          the 1%

          Illegals

          the Left

          the TEA Party

          the LAPD

          Takers

          Makers

          You get the idea.

          I also want to point out that my post did specifically name HSBC, and I would have named the individuals involved in the more than 10 years of money laundering if I knew their names.

          TY again for your response.

          • OnPointComments

            I was hoping Maria would ask “Which are you, Congressman Frank, the pot or the kettle?”  It is the ultimate irony that we end up with the Dodd-Frank law, named after two corrupt politicians who profited from the industry they regulated.

      • OnPointComments

        An interesting story from PBS:
         
        FRONTLINE investigates why Wall Street’s leaders have escaped prosecution for any fraud related to the sale of bad mortgages in “The Untouchables.”
         
        http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/untouchables/ 
         
        “More than four years since the financial crisis, not one senior Wall Street executive has faced criminal prosecution for fraud. Are Wall Street executives “too big to jail”?
         
        FRONTLINE investigates why the U.S. Department of Justice has failed to act on credible evidence that Wall Street knowingly packaged and sold toxic mortgage loans to investors, loans that brought the U.S. and world economies to the brink of collapse.”

        • hennorama

          OPC – TY for your response. I had seen that particular show and several others along the same lines.

          As I’ve said before, Wall Street bankers, traders, financiers, et al have only one goal in mind – to make money for themselves. The book “Where Are The Customers’ Yachts?” first published in 1940, comes to mind. Greed is not only good, it is expected and assumed, and hugely rewarded. Risk, ethics and laws are often mere inconviences to be ignored or laughed at, until someone gets burned by risky deals, publicly embarrassed due to ethical lapses, or caught breaking the law. Then of course, influence is applied to reduce penalties, change the law, and figure out ways to tie the hands of regulators.

          Public acknowledgements of such inconveniences as SEC or Congressional investigations, Federal, state or local indictments, or scandals exposed by the Fourth Estate amount to non-denial denials (“mistakes were made,” etc.), mealymouthed apologies (“we are profundly sorry”), payments of fines that become “costs of doing business”, promises to never do it again, and a cynical return to business as usual.

          Wherever there is a financial market, there will be someone looking to rig it. Wherever there are rules and laws, there will someone looking to bend or break them. This is nothing new. We tolerate this misbehavior due only to the ancillary perceived benefits – the financing of startup companies, the investment opportunities afforded to “the little guy,” etc.

          This is not by any means meant to indicate that everyone involved in financial markets acts unethically, illegally or solely in their own interests. But the culture of greed promotes and rewards those who make the most money, and winks at any questionable methods used to generate those profits.

          Twas ever thus.

          BTW – I have heard several stories of individuals who committed mortgage fraud of the types described in the show. As explained by individuals involved, often the scheme involved a mortgage broker who put together someone with a great credit history and someone unable to qualify for a mortgage. Then the person with great credit would apply for the mortgage, get approved, then buy the house as a straw purchaser on behalf of the party unable to qualify. A fee would be paid (always in cash) either by the broker, the party unable to qualify, or both, to the straw purchaser.

          Then the party unable to qualify would move into the house and pay the mortgage. Obviously, when the housing market crashed or the mortgage rate adjusted upward, the straw buyer would often be left holding the bag when the mortgage went unpaid, and the lender would often foreclose and repo the property.

          In every case, I recommended to the parties involved that they “fess up” but due to confidentiality issues, the actions available to me were limited.

          [EDIT/ADD]: To my knowledge, none of the parties I spoke, with nor anyone else involved in their stories, were ever sued or charged with a crime.

  • jbseniorcare

    sometimes when you and Jack get leaning to your favorite side,the left, you loose all semblance of balance and credabiiity. This morning’s show was a good example: So you don’t think that a nominee for Secretary of defense,who has already badly “failed” his initial congressional inquiry, should be expected to remember, know,disclose where a $200,000 check which he received, came from. If he can’t remember the details of a personal transaction of that magnitude then perhaps he has dementia;this would be a big drawback for a SOD. If that is not the case why would he not just say where the money came from.But when Jack,the bloated intellectual, pontificates you just seem to roll over. Whoes show is this ?
      Also, on the domestic side,Jack was at it again. Of course the majority of americans want a higher minimum wage; that is just human nature;we all would like more money.Where was the obvious retort about the impact such an increase might have on hiring or the variances in cost of living from state to state and the rite of each state to determine what level of minimum wage will be best for their economy   . Ditto for the universal pre school proposal. Where was the discussion of what a failure “Head-Start’ has been proven to be and,despite President Obama’s protestations that all of this would require not one more single dime,we still have not heard from what magic source(s) all of this money will appear. One good guess would be the states,aka, the taxpayers. If Mint Romney or a Republican President had had put forth such a vague statement,you and your left leaning journalist associates would be out for blood,demanding the details.
     I would also appreciate it if you could pry yourself away from guests from The Atlantic, The NY Times,… and,as much as it might hurt, have some from a blatently right wing publication. That is if Jack will allow it.

    • harverdphd

       ”bloated intellectual”   Don’t you want to reach out and slap him when he starts his John Kerry bellow?

    • tunnelman

      Not sure if supporting Chuck Hagel and being for higher minimum wage would qualify as purely leftist ideology. For Hagel: we know why it’s dragging on and on…purely political dancing from McCain and the others who are looking to remain relavent.

      Minimum wage should be set at a fair rate. $9 is barely enough for one person, let a lone a family, to survive on. There are no doubt countless studies on both sides, but how can you justify the inflated corporate salaries, while giving the working class 1960′s wages?

      Trying to label as leftist these common sense viewpoints (and ones based on a majority of Americans), is misleading. Much as in the gun violence debate, the Right attempts to control the narrative, rather than sitting down and fimding a common sense solition.

      • OnpointListener

        Thank you, Tunnelman for telling it like it is.

      • StilllHere

        How many families are being supported by individuals making minimum wage?  

      • JONBOSTON

        Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing was one of the most glaring displays of incompetence that I’ve ever witnessed. The fact that he’s been nominated for SecDef should be a frightening thought to most thinking Americans. But then again we have fewer and fewer thinking Americans.

        As far as increasing the minimum wage, it will reduce the hiring of low skilled entry level workers, especially minorities suffering high unemployment. And in those situations where employers don’t reduce employment, they will raise prices rather than incur less profits. So then we all pay in the end. Who benefits most from raising the minimum wage? Unions with collective bargaining agreements that have wage rates targeted to the minimum wage levels. 

        Last comment–those on the left routinely cite  ”inflated corporate salaries” to justify their arguments. I laugh at the sheer ignorance of such comments as if all those working in corporate America get such salaries. Here’s  reality–the so-called Fortune 500 corp.s have only 500 CEOs and they get paid whatever they’re paid. On the other hand the millions that work for those companies by and large get middle class or upper middle class salaries, like everyone else. Do you have similar objections to entertainment stars , pro athletes,etc.,  getting ridiculous compensation when the thousands that work on movie sets and on professional teams are paid barely more than middle class salaries. Those on the left refuse to accept the notion that people are paid what they’re worth, ie., what a free and functioning marketplace determines. 

      • jefe68

        As the above comments are a good example of.

    • Coastghost

      We should all be sensitive to Jack Bleatty’s existential circumstance: the Poynter Institute has assured us that NPR no longer employs “news analysts”. While “On Point” is itself not NPR, nevertheless, “On Point” is an NPR program, one which demonstrably has no news analyst, since we know full well the Poynter Institute is entirely above reproach.

    • jefe68

      Don’t listen. Why complain if it’s so hard for your poor sensitive right wing ears?
      The only bloated thing here is this diatribe.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Where was jbseniorcare when Jack and Tom were basically cheer-leading for Romney? Guess that was okay…

  • harverdphd

    Someone said barbequed pulled pork is a hot menu item up in Big Bear….

    • hennorama

      harverdphd – another new low.  Last week it was a Dick joke and a fart joke.  Now it’s a joke alluding to a former LAPD officer’s burnt body.

      Well done.  Now please crawl back under your rock.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Sometimes I like tasteless humor,
        it’s humorless humor I have a problem with.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        I just read this reply that I missed on the fending off asteroids show and thought I’d share:

        DrewInGeorgia:”We’re publicly funded so we’re putting the data out there” ~ Edward Lu
        Bravo Edward Lu! How many problems could we solve if this approach was taken Globally as opposed to the “Keep it Private, Keep it Profitable!” model?

        haverdphd:”Not many if the bullet has your name on it.”

        Eloquent as always.

  • Vandermeer

    The Pope is pooped!

  • Coastghost

    A distinct pity former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL), so nimble when it comes to managing the timing of the release of bad news (so nimble, in fact, in spite of his prior or intervening diagnosis of bi-polar disorder), was not as accomplished at addressing the scourge of gun violence on Chicago’s South Side as he was at investing in art memorabilia and finding the funds with which to make such purchases. His voice of moderation and reason in the present debate no doubt is already sorely missed. (Does the timing of his announced plight mean that he’ll be fodder for next Friday’s show, BTW?) 

    • StilllHere

      He’ll be ignored, too sensitive for On Point.  His father got him the job, perhaps in return for taking it easy on the Machine, and so it’s a little messy for Dems.

  • hennorama

    Any Federal Minimum Wage (FMW) increase should be phased in over 2 to 3 years, as it was the last time it was raised.  The minimum wage went from $5.15 to $5.85 per hour in July 2007, to $6.55 per hour in July 2008, and to $7.25 per hour on July 2009.  This was the first increase in the FMW in a decade.

    Back then, many states already had minimum wages that were higher then the FMW.  That is true right now as well, with about forty percent of states having a higher minimum. 

    I’d do a series of increases, something like this – ASAP from $7.25 to $7.80, then a year later to $8.40, then another year later to $9.00, then indexed for inflation thereafter.  This stepped approach would allow affected businesses time to plan for the increases.

    Reseach about minimum wage increases is mixed, but generally the conclusion are that the impacts on employment are small.  Here are some stats about minimum wage workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report “Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers: 2011.”  Keep in mind that hourly workers represent 59.1 percent of ALL wage and salary workers per this report.  The percentages of ALL workers in each of the following categories is shown in parentheses.

    5.2% of hourly workers were paid at or below the Federal minimum wage (3.1% of ALL workers).

    2.8% of hourly workers who usually work full-time (30 hours or more) were paid at or below the FMW (1.3%)

    49.5% of hourly workers who were paid at or below the FMW were under age 25, and of these workers, 47.4% were under age 20 (1.5% and 0.7% respectively)

    As you can see, minimum wage and sub-minimum wage workers were not huge parts of the overall US workforce in 2011.  Those who oppose a FMW increase seem to be exaggerating the overall impact of such an increase.

    Sources:
    http://jobsearch.about.com/od/minimumwage/a/minimum-wage-rates.htm
    http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2012/ted_20120306.htm  (a nice chart)
    http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2011.pdf

    • Coastghost

      A restatement found at Natl. Review Online of the argument Mona Charen made on Friday’s “All Things Considered”:

       
      “A full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year,” the president said. “Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong. Tonight let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.”
      Has Obama not read any economics since his undergraduate days (if then)? As a poverty-fighting measure, you could hardly do worse than to raise the minimum wage. According to 2011 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only .66 percent of all full-time workers in the U.S. earn the minimum wage. The suggestion that many workers are toiling full-time at minimum-wage jobs is flat wrong. Among those being paid an hourly wage, just 5.2 percent earned minimum wage or less. Half of those earning minimum wage are under the age of 25. Even among teenagers who work, 77.2 percent earn more than minimum wage. And among those getting minimum wage, 40 percent come from families with incomes over $61,000.
      Still, minimum-wage jobs provide a step onto the first rung of the economic ladder. Workers get experience, references, and cash. Most get raises within the first year. When the minimum wage is increased, some of those jobs are eliminated. Economist Russ Roberts summarizes the literature: “The standard finding is that a 10 percent increase in the minimum wage reduces employment among low-skilled workers from 1 percent to 3 percent.” So, for the sake of the less than 1 percent of full-time workers who earn minimum wage, Mr. Obama would eliminate the jobs of roughly 240,000 people.

      http://www.nationalreview.com/author/126296/latest

      Were I a Millennial, I’d be justly suspicious of Baby Boomer philanthropy.

      • hennorama

        Coastghost – TY for your response. I respect your views.

        Everything in Ms. Charen’s article confirms what I said in my post – that minimum wage and sub-minimum wage workers were not a huge part of the overall US workforce in 2011, that research about minimum wage increases is mixed, and generally the impacts of an FMW increase on employment are small.

        One point though – Ms. Charen cherry-picked the data she used. Her statement “According to 2011 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only .66 percent of all full-time workers in the U.S. earn the minimum wage” narrowly defines “full-time” as “40 hours or more per week” rather than the more common 30 or 35 hours. The BLS Glossary defines full-time as 35 or more hours/week; I used 30 in my post.

        Regardless, the numbers of full-time hourly workers being paid the FMW are pretty small.

        Ms. Charen also quotes an old blog post (Jan. 5, 2007) from Russell Roberts, which claimed an “overwhelming consensus.” Russell blogged on:

        “This consensus was challenged in 1993 in a series of papers by Card and Krueger. Using a very different methodology from previous research, they found virtually no effect on employment and some evidence that an increase in the minimum wage might increase employment among low-skilled workers. Card and Krueger’s work generated a critical response questioning the reliability of their findings.”

        “I do not find the Card and Krueger findings compelling. Some do.”

        Russell confirms my point that reseach about minimum wage increases is mixed.

        Ms. Charen also claims “for the sake of the less than 1 percent of full-time workers who earn minimum wage, Mr. Obama would eliminate the jobs of roughly 240,000 people.”

        This falsely implies that only full-time workers (as narrowly defined by Ms. Charen) earning minimum wage would be affected. Her claim that 240,000 jobs would be eliminated, presumably permanently, is far from certain. Even if true, 240,000 workers would be 0.178% of total non-farm employment (using preliminary December 2012 data showing 134,668,000 employed).

        This confirms my point that the impacts on employment are small.

        Compare that to the approximately 3.829 million workers (per the BLS report previously referenced) who worked at or below the FMW in 2011.

        See:http://cafehayek.com/2007/01/the_empirical_l.html

        http://www.minneapolisfed.org/publications_papers/pub_display.cfm?id=3190

        http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

        • Coastghost

          Card and Krueger would seem not to have an argument apt to present circumstances:

          http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2009/12/what-about-card-and-krueger.html

          Granted, this post is three years old but C&K’s argument (not widely shared, not even close to it, it seems) is twenty years old.
          I would not use a figure as low as 30 hrs/wk to define “full-time employment”. Though some may get by on a 35 hr/wk salary, I think most F/T employees vastly prefer, and count on, a 40 hr week.

          • hennorama

            Coastghost – TY for your response.  I respect your views.

            Addressing your final point first – indeed Ms. Charen’s citation of a study published in 2010 was cherry-picked, and not even a direct measurement of facts.  The figure was taken from the study “Minimum Wages and Poverty: Will a $9.50 Federal Minimum Wage Really Help the Working Poor?”  This was NOT a measurement of actual data.

            The study’s authors came up with the figures cited by using an assumption and then an estimate based on a survey, and included workers who were earning between $5.70 per hour and $9.50 per hour, at a time (March 2008) when the FMW was $5.85/hour.  Hardly proof of anything and not a strong citation.  A harsher critic might fairly say this citation is completely false.

            See:http://www.people.vcu.edu/~lrazzolini/GR2010.pdf  Table 2

            One also would expect citation of studies of more recent data from July 2007 through July 2009 and thereafter, the period when the FMW actually went up more than 10% three different times in in a span of two years.  Given these relatively large increases, one would expect demonstrable effects on employment.  Where are those studies proving Ms.Charen’s citation (“Economist Russ Roberts summarizes the literature: ‘The standard finding is that a 10 percent increase in the minimum wage reduces employment among low-skilled workers from 1 percent to 3 percent.’)?  If such studies exist, they certainly would be more relevant than the prior research.

            Now back to your first point – the article you linked to also agreed with my conclusion that  the impacts of an FMW increase on employment are small.  FTA – “I would add that there are many good critiques of the original study and the most plausible belief is still the traditional result, namely that minimum wage laws have a (slight) negative effect on employment.”

            Thank You for your support.

            There are other views on the effects of raising the FMW, which one can peruse via the pro-FMW increase site Raise The Minimum Wage.

            See:http://www.raisetheminimumwage.com/pages/job-loss

            As to the hours/week issue – regardless of the number of hours/week one uses to define “full-time” the number of full-time workers who earn minimum wage is small.  This is even further evidence that changes to the minimum wage doesn’t impact a large part of the overall workforce.

            If your argument is that raising the minimum wage doesn’t directly impact many people, or even many low-income people, I agree. 
            Pres. Obama stated his goal as “Tonight let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.”  This is a very modest goal, and the cohort it is aimed at is small.

            Whether this is Pres. Obama’s ACTUAL goal is arguable.  Given that an increase in the FMW impacts not only those those currently earning at or below the FMW, but also those earning a bit above it, the goal may be to raise the wages of all of those currently working below, at, or slightly above the present FMW, and those working for wages slightly above the proposed FMV levels.

            How this would impact Federal revenue and expenditures is unclear, but one would obviously get an increase in FICA revenue, and perhaps some reduction in refundable tax credits such as the EITC and ACTC.  There may also be some reduction in other income support payments for housing, nutrition and health care.

            One also can argue that an increase in FMW might be absorbed by the affected businesses, especially corporations, given that Corporate Profits After Tax are at or near record high levels, and Compensation of Employees is at or near record low levels, as shown in the chart below.

          • Coastghost

            The takeaway: increasing FMW would be another one-act play of populist political theatre, of statistically negligible consequence. Our President has nothing better to do with his time than contribute to climate change by jetting across the country to perform as 21st century carnival barker for the dim notion. Highly impressive deployment of resources. 

          • hennorama

            Coastghost – TY for your response. I have no problem with the “statistically negligible consequence” part of your statement that “increasing FMW would be another one-act play of populist political theatre, of statistically negligible consequence,” but I’ll politely withhold comment on the pejorative remainder of your post.

  • hennorama

    Cacimo – please cite examples of instances that you describe as “when Obama was running McCarthy type ads on Romney during the election”.  Assuming any exist, of course.

  • britheart

    Tom, I always listen to your Friday roundtable and find it worthwhile but wonder if you could have separate hours for domestic and international news like Diane Rehm has. One hour to cover everything is just not long enough.

  • Dee

    The shameful Zionist apologists block Hagel’s nomination…

    The criminal Zionist entity in Israel and their apologists inCapital Hill will pay for blocking the nomination of Chuck 
    Hagel with increased calls to cut off aid to Israel and with 
    increase call to boycotts and divest from Israel….

    Not to mention how those who do their bidding on Capital 
    Hill win suffer at the ballot box as many of them did in the 2012 election. People have a way of using their own power 
    elected officials who refuse to do what is right and act ac-
    cordingly…

    The Former Attorney General of Israel Michael Ben Yair 
    warned Israelis of the consequences of their lawlessness
    in his 2003 Op-ed. (See URL ) He told them they would be abandoned & find no support for their continued presence.
    in the Middle East….

    How right he was and how many Americans hate Israel’s 
    guts (esp. on the Left ) and would vote to shut it down 
    today as a state that can no longer be morally justified. 
    http://www.seruv.org.il/english/article.asp?msgid=77&type=article

    Dee

    P.S. For those who have not heard how the criminal Re-
    gime in Israel is guilty of land theft and the suppression 
    of the Palestinian People in their homeland and especially 
    in the Palestinian Territories today–see the URLs below.

    Salman Abu Sitta became a victim of Zionist Terroism 
    in 1948  http://archive.org/details/Salman_Abu_Sitta

    Maya Wind an Israeli activist refused to serve in the IDF
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCp8JRFA5wI

    • JONBOSTON

       Atrocity update? Any heads roll in the mideast? What problem do you have with civilization?

    • JONBOSTON

      Do you believe Israel has the right to exist in peace?

      • Dee

        The issue today is Israel’s lawlessness and 
        its violation of Palestinian peoples’ sovereign borders….And thus the burning issue today is the Palestinian peoples’right to live & be free in their historic homeland of Palestine without the bullies and land thieves in the Zionist Re-gime determining their coming and going….Hence a country’s right to live in peace can only comes through the diplomatic channels as many international school law scholars have pointed out not through the use of force.Thus a belligerent and hostile state like Israel has no such right as it has violated its inter–natonal borders and indeed the terms of its UN membership as outlined in the partition agreement of 1947….Hence Israel’s continued military aggression against its neighbors will not bring it peace.This is why American aid must end today.Dee P.S. Countries cannot bully their way to peace and expect their neighbors to accept such uglyaggression.They won’t….end of story.

        • William

           But Israel is so much better than Palestine. Why would we think anything else?

    • JONBOSTON

      Is there anything about Israel that you admire? Is it Israel’s democratic institutions and respect for the rule of law? Is it Israel’s quest for a secure peace in the face of 800 million Arabs that seek its extermination? Is it Israel’s scientific, cultural, and technological achievements? Despite its small population, is it Israeli citizens’s numerous Nobel prize achievements in such diverse areas as peace, literature, and medicine?

       

      • Dee

        Your continuous denial is disturbing yet this is
        often the problem with colonial apologists they 
        do and say anything to justify the unjustifiable 
        until others oppose or as Maya Wind points out refuse “uncompromisingly”  to accept such de-
        ception and violent and illegal actions. 

        Here is the Former Attorney General Of Israel 
        Michael Ben Yair addressing this double stand-
        ard and unlawfulness head on…..

        “We enthusiastically chose to become a colonial society, ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring settlers from Israel to the occupied territories, engaging in 
        theft and finding justification for all these activities. Passionately desiring to keep the occupied territories, we developed two judicial systems: one – progressive, liberal – in Israel; and the other – cruel, injurious – in the occupied territories. In effect, we established an apartheid regime in the occupied territories immediately following their capture.That oppressive regime exists to this day.” 

        http://www.seruv.org.il/english/article.asp?msgid=77&type=article
         
        So please get with it as Israel will become 
        history at the rate of your denial and others. 

        Dee

        • JONBOSTON

          You do nothing but spew garbage and engage in delusional rants bordering on the lunatic fringe.

          • Dee

            It is Israeli leadership and the fanatical Jewish settlers who 
            are on the delusional fringe in Palestine about their “rights” and “moral ” position in Pale-stine…(Colonial land thieves have always propped them-selves up while dismissing the rights of indigenous people.Yet , the delusional settlers take their claim one step further by claiming  ”a historic right” which has no place in a court of law …even if it were true. ) Theodore Hertzl the founder of Israel also had his eye on Africa..So this is more Zionist Fiction to legitimize the public theft of Palestine…Still, the world and the law has progressed beyond tribalism…Thus the UN and even the Israeli Supreme Court had to accept the International Court’s unanimous ruling in 2004 that Israeli leaders could not give the settlers land that wasn’t sovereign to Israel.. You can read the details of the Israeli Supreme Court decision by one of Israel’s leading inter-national legal scholar David Kretz-mer and get the real deal …..http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/clinging-hypocritically-to-civil-rights-1.146534

      • jefe68

        Ignore her.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          Guess neither Dee nor Jon realize that both sides are equally culpable.

    • William

      Exactly what do the Palestinians bring to the table besides terrorism? Is there anything that the rest of the world could actually learn from a failed society as theirs? I mean really, if they disappeared tomorrow would anyone notice?

  • Steve__T

    Disqusting Disqus

  • DrewInGeorgia
    • hennorama

      DrewInGeorgia – the article doesn’t point out that Hanford is where the  world’s first large-scale plutonium reactor was built.  Plutonium produced at Hanford was used in the first nuclear test blast at Trinity Test Site and in the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki in August 1945.

      Given the age of this site and the relatively crude design of the original reactor(s) and many of the storage tanks (single shell !!), its unsurprising that there are leakage issues.  This will likely be an issue for a long time, unfortunately.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        I agree and also noticed the omissions, it’s a bad situation.

  • jefe68

    Meh.

  • William Ventura

    http://fakeisthenewreal.org/reform/
    Electoral college reform (fifty states with equal population)

  • hennorama

    I’d like to recommend an excellent discussion titled “Gun Access & Suicide” on the HuffPostLive site.  It’s notably NOT about firearms control, but rather about reducing suicides involving firearms.  About 2 of every 3 deaths involving a firearm are suicides.  One point that was made repeatedly was about the “success” rate of suicide attempts involving firearms being 85% vs. pills being “successful” 2% of the time.

    http://live.huffingtonpost.com/#r/archive/search/gun

    • JGC

      Thanks for that. 

    • DrewInGeorgia

      No doubt about it, I’ve known two individuals that committed suicide with firearms. The first was when I was a kid and he shot himself in the side, or so he thought. It actually wound up being a true gut shot. His parents said that the paramedics thought he had only intended to wound himself because the powder burns pointed to him pulling his flesh to the side when the rifle discharged. The other was accidental according to acquaintances that witnessed it, I can’t imagine having to see that. Accidental is italicized because to me there’s nothing accidental about putting a gun to your head and pulling the trigger. Whether you think it’s loaded or not, you never point a gun at something you don’t intend to kill. You can’t stomach pump a bullet to the brain-pan, hence the high “success” rate with firearms.

      I also know someone who did truly shoot themselves accidentally while cleaning their weapon. Luckily neither they nor their spouse who was in the same room were killed. This is the reason why you never keep a round chambered. Once he’d been treated and was back at home recovering I asked him if he had learned anything. He said he learned that he loved his wife more than his weapon, he got rid of the gun.

    • JGC

      I think massive shooting events like Newtown are the shocking attention-getters that draw everyone in to the conversation.   But if we look at the actual facts, most shooting incidents involve suicide attempts, and down from there, different definitions of “accident”. It is all in the availability of the weapon at hand. 

      • hennorama

        JGC & DrewInGeorgia – TY for your responses.

        As the panelists in the HuffPostLive discussion indicated, the firearms violence debate post-Newtown quickly polarized, with the NRA and many firearms owners being put on the defensive by various proposals and assertions being made.  We can readily observe this in this forum.  This is not constructive.  If the debate could be steered back to defining common goals, agreement might be forthcoming, and subsequent actions toward those goals might be more effective.

        One also must recognize that the general public doesn’t really think of suicide (or accidents) when the term “gun/firearms violence” is used.  They almost universally think of firearms used by one person  against another.  That’s the main reason suicides are rarely mentioned in this debate, despite the fact that about 2/3 of all firearms-related deaths in the US are suicides.

        The debate also rarely considers the non-fatal firearms-related injuries, except when discussing crimes involving firearms.

        To me, the goal is clear:

        PREVENT AND REDUCE FIREARMS- RELATED DEATHS AND INJURIES.

        All injuries and deaths from firearms are violent by definition and should be including in the discussion.  Firearms are far too easy for a disturbed person or criminal to access, and far too easy to be misused spontaneously as a result of their wide availability.

        As JGC said, mass firearms murder events, usually involving the suicide of the shooter (as the HuffPo panelists rightly pointed out), are “shocking attention-getters that draw everyone in to the conversation.”  That’s the main reason the politics of firearms control have recently changed.

        But if one steps back from the justifiable emotional responses to the mass murder of schoolchildren, a more rational view would be to first look at the far more common problem of suicides using firearms as the means of dispatch.

        Recent Executive Orders from Pres. Obama will allow greater data disclosure from Federal agencies and more research about firearms use and misuse.  This will help by putting more objective information into the hands of the public and policymakers, and will help guide the actions taken toward common goals.

        This lack of data reporting is quite clear.  The CDC “National Violent Death Reporting System” only has data from 18 states!  The FBI crime data is also incomplete, as Alabama and Florida don’t report their data.  This MUST change.

        http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nvdrs/

        But first, common goals need to be established.  The current debate has done little to foster calm and reasoned discussions leading to common goals, and anything we can do to turn this discussion to the topic of common goals will be worthwhile.

        http://www.cdc.gov/injury/overview/index.html

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1155042916 Mike Hanson

      Wait .. dont people have a ‘right to doe’?

      • hennorama

        Typos as Freudian slips that make me chuckle, Part 5:

        “Wait .. dont people have a ‘right to doe’?”

        I believe the “right to doe” varies, depending on the time of year and the state in which one is deer hunting, as well as one’s hunting weapon of choice (i.e. bow vs. firearm).

        Alternatively, one could argue that the “right to doe” is what male deer are competing for and why male deer grow antlers.

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