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Week In The News: North Korea, Dead Lawmen, Texas Manhunt

All eyes on North Korea. More dead lawmen, and a Texas manhunt.  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Soldiers of the U.S. Army 23rd chemical battalion, wearing anti-chemical suits check mock chemical pollutants on each other for a demonstration of their equipment during a ceremony to recognize the battalion's official return to the 2nd Infantry Division based in South Korea at Camp Stanley in Uijeongbu, north of Seoul, Thursday, April 4, 2013. (AP)

Soldiers of the U.S. Army 23rd chemical battalion, wearing anti-chemical suits check mock chemical pollutants on each other for a demonstration of their equipment during a ceremony to recognize the battalion’s official return to the 2nd Infantry Division based in South Korea at Camp Stanley in Uijeongbu, north of Seoul, Thursday, April 4, 2013. (AP)

Korea and jobs – or not enough jobs – at the top of the news this week.  North Korea’s stream of threats got bigger.  Scarier.  We’re used to ignoring it.  This week, we’re not so sure.  The March jobs report – crummy.  Just 88,000 jobs added last month.  Down from 268,000 in February.

Lots of gun talk.  New state gun laws.  And lawmen, gunned down.  In Texas.  In West Virginia.  We may have an immigration deal coming.  We do have a big pipeline spill in Arkansas.  And a Rutgers coach, out over anger management.

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

-Tom Ashbrook


Tom Gjelten, national security correspondent for NPR. (@tgjelten)

Margaret Talev, White House correspondent for Bloomberg. (@margarettalev)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

CNN “North Korea stirred up fresh unease in Northeast Asia early Thursday, threatening attacks by a smaller, lighter and diversified’ nuclear force and warning, ‘The moment of explosion is approaching fast.’ The new threat came after the North Koreans locked South Korean workers out of a joint factory complex and announced plans to restart a nuclear reactor it shut down five years ago. Meanwhile, the United States announced it was sending ballistic missile defenses to Guam, a Pacific territory that’s home to U.S. naval and air bases”

Los Angeles Times “This North Texas community about 35 miles east of Dallas prepared early Thursday to mourn the sudden loss of Dist. Atty. Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia. McLelland, 63, and his wife, 65, were gunned down at their home in nearby Forney on Saturday, less than two months after another Kaufman County prosecutor, Mark Hasse, 57, was shot and killed outside the courthouse. So far, no arrests have been made in connection with either shooting, authorities said.”

USA Today “Rutgers University has fired coach Mike Rice less than 24 hours after ESPN’s Outside the Lines aired video footage of Rice physically abusing players, the school announced on Wednesday morning. ‘Based upon recently revealed information and a review of previously discovered issues, Rutgers has terminated the contract of Mike Rice,’ the school statement read.”

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  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    I thought I would pass along one of many links to an article about a new invention by Stanford University researchers that will cool buildings and objects on the hottest days and when direct sunlight shines on them. This is a major breakthrough concept that could significantly shake up our energy markets and go a very long way to stop and reverse the fears of global warming.


    I hope that many of you will support this invention with your investment dollars and purchases.

    Also, from Minnesota Public Radio

    “Is cooling the house heating up the planet?”, Aug. 27, 2012.



    • TyroneJ

      The extrapolation of the actual Stanford work to the claims about passive cooling is hype. Also has a small problem with the thermodynamics. (Never send an electrical engineer to do a thermodynamacists work.)

      • Don_B1

        I appreciate (and “Liked”) your comment, but be wary of generalizations: there are electrical engineers who do appreciate thermodynamics!

      • Don_B1

        @Wm_James_from_Missouri:disqus @TyroneJ:disqus @sickofthechit:disqus 

        I admit to not being an expert here, but let me spout on what I think may be going on.

        First, some physics:

        There is a well-known relationship between the absorptivity of a homogeneous material surface and its reflectivity, which has been traditionally considered near constant across the electromagnetic spectrum; e.g., a coffee pot is often made of silvery metal, highly reflective (as is observed for the visible light spectrum) which by the inverse relationship means that heat, which is radiated in the infrared (IR) spectrum, is thus not well radiated, helping to keep the pot warm.

        Now for this discovery:

        What the Stanford scientists appear to have achieved is the construction of a surface which is reflective in one (or many different) part(s) of the spectrum and highly radiative (thus not reflective) in other parts of the spectrum.

        They appear to have been able to find materials that radiate in only those parts of the (IR) spectrum which are not absorbed in the atmosphere (bypassing the various carbon absorption bands) so it passes into space. But in other parts of the spectrum, including those parts of the IR spectrum where greenhouse gases absorb and re-radiate energy, the material is reflective, lowering the radiative heat gain in the material.

        What does it mean in the real world:

        This will work great in a warm environment when buildings need cooling, but when the temperatures call for heating the building, the reverse would be needed. Now when they can accomplish that through a switch which biases some aspect of a nano-material to achieve that, the world will really have something! Otherwise, the material would have to be removed or covered and one that does the reverse installed or uncovered.

        Sorry for the delay in getting this out.

        I would be interested in your ideas.

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

          i had a matchbox car that changed colors according to tempertures back in the 80′s so that should not be too tricky

    • sickofthechit

       I think it is called white paint.

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

      is it windows?

  • Ed75

    Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday. Sister Faustyna (St.) lived in the 1920s and ’30s in Poland and wrote the Diary. Pope John Paul II promoted the devotion in Poland, and then as pope. She is the first person declared a saint in the 3rd millenium. Pope John Paul, the pope of Mercy, made her feast day the Sunday after Easter – anyone who confesses their sins and receives Communion on that day is promised exemption of temporal punishment for sin, a wonderful opportunity. There is a huge celebration in Stockbridge, MA.

    • sickofthechit

       My beloved Catholic Church, always willing to do a deal!

  • Ed75

    Dark matter – only dark because it doesn’t reflect light – wonderful! It’s as if we have a substance that is between regular matter and non-material spirit and grace – dark matter can pass through matter as if it’s not there, yet has gravity. Wonderful.

    • Don_B1

      There are four (known) forces in the universe: 1) Gravity, 2) Electromagnetic (radio, infrared, light, x-ray, gamma ray, etc.), 3) Strong nuclear force (binds protons and neutrons together in atomic nuclei, e.g., against the electromagnetic force of repulsion between positively charged particles), and 4) Weak nuclear force, which accounts for the radioactive decay of nuclear particles. The latter two forces are only effective over short distances, of the order of the atomic nucleus, and would not show the existence of “dark matter” in space.

      The “Dark Matter” is called that because it is indicated ONLY by actions of individual stars, galaxies, etc. as if in response to a large gravitational force, but no material source for that gravitational action can be found. Electromagnetic radiation seems unaffected except for the gravitational effects predicted by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

      My totally unsubstantiated speculation is that Dark Matter is matter in another “brane” [multidimensional subset of the 11 dimensional universe predicted by at least one of the string theories, that is not in the brane of what is visible from Earth, and where only the gravitational force is effective over all dimensions (which explains why it is orders of magnitude weaker than the electromagnetic force.

      But there is nothing in any speculation from physicists that I have knowledge of that would support your interpretation.

  • StilllHere

    The Obama administration wants banks to loosen mortgage lending standards and in return will not hold the banks liable for increased defaults.  Nothing could go wrong with this plan!

    • Don_B1

      A major problem slowing the economic recovery has been the failure of those with “underwater mortgages” or mortgages with high interest rates but good jobs to be able to refinance to obtain the lower interest rates available to some new buyers. This would help free up money going to pay high mortgage payments for general goods purchases and also allow young workers the ability to purchase a home and begin building a family.

      Following the 2007-2009 Greater Recession, lenders tightened lending rules by not just eliminating subprime loans but loans that would have been allowed in the 1950s to 1970s. It is a return to that level of security that the new rules are attempting to accomplish. But Republicans still do not want to see a reviving economy because that would slow their recovery.

      So just how does the following requirements of the “new mortgage rules” fit your end result of another bubble:
      “– For all new loans, lenders must determine that borrowers have sufficient income or assets to pay back a loan
      – Lenders must document borrowers’ employment status, income, debt obligations, credit history and other financial information
      – Lenders must show that borrowers can repay both the principal of the loan and interest over time. They can not base this evaluation on teaser rates that will later rise
      – So-called “low-doc, no-doc” loans – in which lenders make quick, risky sales, then flip the loans to investors – will not be permitted
      – Creditors refinancing non-prime mortgages into a more stable loan would not need to follow the full underwriting process”

      The ONLY point in the list above that has wriggle room would be the last, and you have to read all the requirements published by the CFPB to determine that and, knowing the rules by which the CFPB works, it is doubtful that lenders will be allowed to run rampant, they will have some encouragement to offer mortgages to people who would have qualified for a mortgage in the 1950s to 1970s, but not to those who got one in the “subprime” era.

      • hennorama

        Don_B1 – well written, well reasoned and well done.

        You mentioned “underwater mortgages”. Here’s an example of the choices involved in Federal Spending:

        Compared to FY 2007 levels (the last pre-Great Recession Fiscal Year), during Fiscal Years 2008 through 2012, Net New Federal Spending (NNS) was $3.7116 Trillion. 95% of the spending increase went to 5 broad Categories.
        DEFENSE added $888.5 Billion, 23.9% of NNS.

        With $888.5 Billion, we 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.

        This reminds me of Jon Stewart on the Daily Show, way back in Jan. 2009, when he said to Gwen Ifill:

        [Stewart] I have a plan. Well .. they’re bailing out these gigantic corporations, these banks – two trillion dollars I think it’s gonna cost – give, take all the consumer debt, give us the money, but only for consumer debt and mortgages, we’ll pay it back to them, make it clean, hit the reset button, we know where it went to … it’s a trickle-UP theory of economics. I don’t know why they talk about giving it to banks. Give it to us, specifically for our consumer debt.

        [Ifill]: And we’ll put the money IN the banks.

        [Stewart] RIGHT! And then they’ll have money, we’ll have no debt, and the world will be made of unicorns and rainbows. Don’t you think that’s the way to go?

        The exchange is about 5:25 into this video:


        • Don_B1

          Thank you so much!

          • hennorama

            YW, Don_B1. Keep up the good work.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    That pesky David Stockman got me wondering again…… How many Wall St prosecutions has this beloved Democratic administration presided over to date?

    What is that called? Free Market Capitalism?

    I think not.

    • jimino

      Isn’t that what you would expect from the third most right wing president in modern times?  Or are you one of those that so ignorantly views Obama as a  Marxist-socialist-etc. liberal?

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there!

        (Unless you are ready to admit there is no practical deference between National Socialists and International Socialists.)

    • John_in_Amherst

      I can not defend the administration’s lack of prosecutions.  The inaction is reprehensible.  However I am SO glad Elizabeth Warren’s nomination was derailed by the GOP so that she can now raise hell from the senate!  Let’s hope another fist term Democratic senator gets elected president in 2016.

      • Don_B1

        @John_in_Amherst:disqus @jimino:disqus @Government_Banking_Serf:disqus @rwb:disqus 


        What really is funny is how the radical right (RWB!) finds it necessary to label President Obama a radical socialist/Marxist/Stalinist/Communist when those who looked at his statements and actions could always determine that he was a most conservative Democrat though with a few areas where he could be considered “progressive” but never radical. He is a pragmatist in the extreme, where he tries to work with everyone from within his own team and then finds he has to go way to the right to get his bills passed, if possible.

        On his budget, it looks like he has been “negotiating with himself” again but maybe the Tea/Republicans will save the country again by rejecting the additional revenue that he is supposedly making an absolute condition of his signing a budget bill.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Dude when you doubled down on that “Obama is a sercet Republican joke” you killed it.  President Obama is a BIG Government, Tax and Spend Liberal, who really isn’t that in to you.  He likes the trapping of wealth and power but doesn’t care about using wealth or power to do anything.  

          The Gun Control issue is evidence of that.  He will happily take the Gun-Grabbers’ money, and use them in a photo-op but what has he done? Has he done any horse trading to get more than just a vote? Or was that all he needed to check the box? 

          I will grant that from you extreme perspective President Obama seems to be a  pragmatic centrist like Nixon.

          • Don_B1

            You probably have no idea of the $700 billion “stimulus bill” that Rep. Paul Ryan (R, WI) was working on in December 2008 and early January 2009, until the Republicans coalesced into a “NO for anything that might help Obama” posture. They were willing to spend an equivalent amount, although even more biased toward tax cuts for the rich, which would have been even less effective than President Obama’s ARRA. So much for “big government!”

            What do you really know about President Obama’s likes or dislikes about the “trappings of wealth and power?”

            President Obama is using the “bully pulpit” to carrot and stick Congress into passing gun safety legislation that will make a difference, maybe not immediately, over time in the fight to reduce gun violence in a crazy gun culture. Getting a vote will do more than just “check a box.” It will expose members of Congress to future election failures when they do not act to legislate the wishes of some 90% of the electorate.

            Responsible actions by gun owners will be a legal requirement soon.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Frankly I had never heard that Rep. Ryan. I am not surprised that such a proposal was worked on at the time panic reigned supreme. But I will look into it later.
            (Nothing could be less effective than the ARRA.)
            All I know about President Obama I have learned from the media and his autobiographies.
            The time for such Presidential Leadership has passed along with the media induced anti-civil rights hysteria. Here in America, Rights are not subject to popularity contests, which is why we have a Constitution. These new laws you are so proud of will be over turned in due time.

          • Don_B1

            While you are ar it, take a listen to this C-SPAN video of Rep. Paul Ryan enthusiastically calling for his Republican colleagues to support the GWB administration stimulus bill in 2002:

            Ryan and Stimulus: 1:27:27 mark for 2 minutes,   and another at the  3:48:05 mark for 2 min

            http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/168695-1Just amazing how “flexible” Republicans can be when it is in their “interest”! Ryan makes just about all the arguments of Keynesian economics for stimulus in a recession, even without the current additional condition of the economy being in a Liquidity Trap [Look up the definition!], which makes stimulus not only more appropriate, but necessary for anything more than a lingering, slow recovery.While I deeply fault President Obama for not immediately making a strong case for Keynesian stimulus, other than just riding along on a groundswell “need to do something,” I understand (but do not agree with) his decision to get the amount of stimulus that would pass Congress (and that took Sen. Arlen Specter and the Maine Senators) and then try to get little bits more in “bargains” with Republicans, giving up other fiscal actions which have been detrimental to middle and lower income Americans.Please read (and reread)http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_dismal_science/1998/08/babysitting_the_economy.htmlwith a mind open to at least understanding what is going on in this example of a “mini-economy in a Liquidity Trap.I have no doubt that you will, at least initially, want to simply discard the ideas presented because of the cognitive dissonance it will engender in your mind. But if you sincerely resolve to make the effort to understand the concepts, you might be surprised as the light bulb turns on and the concepts become clear and compelling. If not you are allowed in this country to stay ignorant and act contrary to your interest and that of the 99% (and even, ultimately, the interest of the 1%). 

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            It is some comfort that you think me dumb and not evil. And I take pride in the fact that you believe I am immune to the insults that you carefully stack one on top of the other in your comments. Thank you.
            For your edification I am familiar with Lord Keynes and the permutations of his theories on economics.
            Because of the effort that you have put forth I feel you deserved this reply, but I see no reason to continue further in this. You are firm in your opinions as am I in mine.

            We shall not grow wiser before we learn that much that we have done was very foolish.
            Friedrich August Von Hayek

          • Don_B1

            Where did I call you “dumb”?

            I may have inferred that you are ignorant,but, while many do, the two should NOT be confused.

            I suppose that continued”willful ignorance is possibly a form of dumbness, but I think it more a form/indication of arrogance.

            It is for such people that Hayek’s quote applies and that seems to fit you more than me.

            I have given you a few links for reading since it seems inappropriate to copy whole articles into this space, if not copyright infringement.

            If you would read then and give me an issue by issue discussion of what you think they mean and why they are wrong, I will do the same for an article of two that you submit.

            One additional link, to a pdf linked here:


  • Fiscally_Responsible

    The Nation website (and magazine), a very liberal (in this case, radical left wing) media outlet, exhibits the typical hypocrisy of the “open minded, tolerant” left.  Many of their news articles as well as reader comments reflect very inflammatory hyperbole in their articles titles and content (e.g. just one recent article cited those who equated abortion with inflicting violence against women and had the term “violence against women” in its title).  When I responded to the article with an opposing viewpoint, my comment was removed (demonstrates what they really believe about free speech) and I was blocked from posting any more comments.  I guess that they support free speech, as long as it aligns with their point of view.  They can certainly hide behind their community guidelines policy for post content and tone.  But they seem to only apply it to those with opposing viewpoints and not to their own writers as well as readers that agree with them.

    • Ray in VT

      You stated once that you wanted to have the right to discriminate against gays and lesbians, so why would you deny the right to discriminate to others?

    • John_in_Amherst

       Having not posted what you wrote to the Nation makes it difficult to evaluate your claim. 

      The ND Heartbeat Bill is clearly unconstitutional according to the SCOTUS Roe V Wade decision.  Subjecting women who are already stressed by 1) the decision to have an abortion and 2) the inability to find a provider in ND to the additional stricture that they need to know they are pregnant before a lot of women would even suspect they are and then make the fateful decision and find a practitioner and get to him/her could be viewed as psychological torture.

      Life begins with the first breath.  before that, a fetus is a woman’s responsibility, with all the attendant decisions being hers alone to make.  As a recent web post stated succinctly, being pro-choice does not mean I am pro abortion.  I just know that it’s none of my damn business.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Are you consistent in that opinion? What else is none of your damn business? 

        • John_in_Amherst

          how about your right to practice whatever religion you please, as long as it doesn’t interfere with mine?  Don’t believe in a right to chose an abortion?  Don’t have one.  It’s not my business.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Don’t believe in slavery so don’t own one?  Really is that the argument you want to make?   

            Please reconsider and tell me what issue you feel you have no business telling me what to do about.  I believe that your list will be convienetly short.

          • John_in_Amherst

            I would agree this is a difficult area of philosophy.  On your last birthday, did you celebrate x number of years of life, or x+ 9 months??  Not even the pope celebrates conceptiondays.  We celebrate birthdays, because that is when a human enters the world.   We do not celebrate conception days because conception – and what follows – are private matters between the prospective father and mother.  Mothers have dominion over their bodies and what goes on inside them until they give birth.  Life begins at first breath, not the union of sperm and egg.  To take any other point of view brings IVF, contraception, even gene technology that can already bring stem cells, fetal or not, to the point where they are dividing and potentially heading toward life, into the cross hairs.  Honestly, do you want to ban them, too?  With biotechnology at its current state, it is not rash to ask, is every cell we shed a life?  What of transfusions and transplants?  Ungodly co-mingling of individuals, or life saving medicine?  Faith takes over where reason fails us, and my faith does not include a right of the state to meddle in the reproductive choices of individuals.  If you believe I will rot in hell for this, so be it.  I have faith you are wrong.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            It seems you missed my meaning so I will try it a different way.
            I believe that life starts at conception. But I believe in limited government. To reconcile these beliefs I do not advocate for a government ban of abortion. Such a policy would not achieve my end goal of eliminating the practice of abortion. To do that I must convince as many people as possible that life begins at conception and that every human life is worthy of respect. Granted that is a larger mountain to climb and many people would choose the short cut of governmental abortion bans. But with the untold dead from excess government it seems to me to be the only respectable option.

            That being said, I ask you what other things are none of your business? There is a caricature that some that support “choice” by women in abortion don’t support people being allowed to make other choices. I am offering you an opportunity to refute that stereotype by listing the other important choices that you feel are none of your business.

          • John_in_Amherst

             I agree that “every human life is worth respect”, the difference is when life begins.  A third of all conceptions result in spontaneous abortion (miscarriage).  By choosing to believe it begins at conception, you leave open a host of thorny issues, including whether a woman who miscarries is guilty of manslaughter.
            And you did not answer the question of what you would do regarding IVF.
            A range of personal behaviors or choices involve actions that do not infringe on others’ safety or rights, but are prohibited, at least in some states or even nationally.  Nudity in places not freely in public view (“nude beaches”).  How people relate to one another sexually (sexual preference).  How people choose to connect to the spiritual web that interconnects us and all the natural world (freedom to worship, or not).  Drug use in private (so long as it does not result in harm to other people).  Choosing to the right to die in the face of end-stage terminal illness.  The list goes on.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Their own hypocrisy is lost on them.

      Ripped-up lecture ads and demands that Epstein be paid to walk away from Vassar were only the beginning. Shortly before Epstein’s lecture, a Vassar student issued a bizarre threat on his facebook page. Lashing out at “‘Middle-class’ Industrial Capitalist A**holes” (no asterisks in the original), he threatened to walk in on Epstein’s talk and do physical damage to himself, horrifying the audience as a way of disrupting the lecture. This alarmed MICA and prompted a call to campus security, which was present at the event as a result.


      • Don_B1

        Interesting that you don’t mention the issue under discussion, Anthropomorphic Climate Change, and how Alex Epstein, with a BA in Philosophy from Duke University in 2002, the founder and director of the Center for Industrial Progress, is a leading corporate speaker promoting a hypothesis that (any and all) industrial progress will always better the environment.

        Tell that to the people living downwind of fossil fuel power plants, downstream from mining operations, working in coal mines where the owner puts extraction of coal above all safety rules, etc.

        In June 2011, Mr. Epstein on one of his “Power Hour” programs with arch climate change denier Richard Lindzen, made the comment:

        “In my opinion, the time for debate is certainly not over because the vast majority of us don’t even know what the debate is about — let alone what has been proven and what hasn’t, let alone what action implications all of this has.”

        While it is true that a lot of people do not know a lot of the details of the “debate,” it is NOT true that there is still a SCIENTIFIC debate on whether Climate Change is here or the probable existential consequences of ignoring it.

        Over 70% of U.S. voters (over 50% of Republicans) believe ACC is real, though there is a lot of uncertainty in the public (but much, much less among climate scientists) about how imminent or severe the effects will be. The scientific debate is over much smaller details, the contribution of positive feedbacks, etc., which will control the speed of arrival of really bad effects.

        But everyone should note that over the last 20 years, the predicted effects are arriving much quicker than those predictions indicated. This means that there is LESS time than initially predicted for action to mitigate the emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion.

        While some of the actions of the fossil-fuel divestment campaign supporters are to be deplored, having seen the way fossil-fuel supporters debate on this subject, it is highly unlikely that any real light would have been shed on this subject. The “Gish-Gallop” attack tends to obscure any real points in a sea of emotional calls to “liberty and freedom,” both of which are defined to mean the ability to extract fossil fuels no matter what the cost.

        Having many times pointed you and others of your biases to websites where actual climate data and current analyses of that data can be obtained:








        it is clear from your never actually taking issue with specific facts that you really are not interested in a fair debate, but in footwork that just dazzles the average person and confuses the issue so that a true understanding is NOT achieved by anyone that is not already in possession of enough science information to understand the issues.

        Dave Roberts at Grist is one of the best bloggers translating scientific jargon into posts that can be understood by the average layman, albeit with some concept lookups, etc.

        Al Jazera, funded by a “Petroleum State” in the Middle East, provides some of the best climate change coverage anywhere, and is certainly not going to be a fossil fuel opponent unless the science takes the truth there.

        Your diatribe just shows that you are unwilling to LISTEN to your opponents, which is the first rule in getting to the truth of an issue.

        You appear to have no interest in getting to the truth, just in promoting your ideology.

    • sickofthechit

       Maybe you should file a law suit.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      F_R replace “The Nation” with “Fox News” and “liberal” with “conservative” and there you’d have it. 

  • Ray in VT

    In an interesting move, Republican state legislators sponsored, but have now said that they will not vote on, a piece of legislation that declared “Constitution of the United States of America does not prohibit states or their subsidiaries from making laws respecting an establishment of religion” as well as declaring that they did not recognize any federal court ruling which said that they couldn’t basically establish a religion.  Is it time to ride the nullification carousel again?

    • John_in_Amherst

       The GOP touts itself as the “law and order party”.  Except when the laws are not to their liking.

  • Gregg Smith

    “Now, over the next couple of months, we’ve got a couple of issues: gun control. (Applause.) I just came from Denver, where the issue of gun violence is something that has haunted families for way too long, and it is possible for us to create common-sense gun safety measures that respect the traditions of gun ownership in this country and hunters and sportsmen, but also make sure that we don’t have another 20 children in a classroom gunned down by a semiautomatic weapon — by a fully automatic weapon in that case, sadly.” -President Obama at a fundraiser in San Francisco

    Does anyone have a problem with Obama flat out lying? Of course you don’t.

    • Ray in VT

      So is it your contention that there is no legal action that can be taken that can prevent gun violence?  I assume that is your basis for Obama’s lie.  Are you applying the Constanza defense to him as well?

      • Gregg Smith

        That’s not my contention at all. There was no “fully-automatic” weapon involved. It’s a lie.

        • Ray in VT

          That is correct.  It was not a fully automatic weapon, although his previous words were correct.  That seems pretty nit-picky.  Has it been a hard week to drum up anti-Obama sentiment or something?

          • Gregg Smith

            No, it’s always easy. He is hyping the fear, it was a lie… as you well know. 

          • Ray in VT

            You mean like the lies that Bush and his administration told in order to get us into Iraq?  How many people did this Obama lie end up killing, and if he believes it then does that absolve him of telling a lie?

          • Gregg Smith

            No, I wasn’t talking about Bush, he’s history. 

            “Obama lied”, just say it.

          • Ray in VT

            I’ll do it.  The statement that it was a fully automatic weapon was a lie, but no one died.  I would be concerned if the President continually repeated it, but if it was a one-offer, then I’ll pretty much cut anyone slack for that.

            When Bush told the nation that Iraq and Al Qaeda had operational contacts when that was not believed by the intelligence community, then that was a lie.  Will you say it, or will you continue to be an apologist for the lies of the former administration?

          • Gregg Smith

            Thank you.

          • Ray in VT

            You’re welcome.  I will be applying your standard to all statements by Republicans and Tea Partyers from now on, and I await your concession that Bush lied.

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

            yeah people wont die untill after they are disarmed

          • John_in_Amherst

             Oh yawn.  A mass killing is so blase; totally undeserving of hyperbole.

          • Gregg Smith

            Legislation should not be passed on an emotional basis. Sober and accurate representation of the issue should be honestly debated. 

          • Don_B1

            Except the legislation that you advocate for, and then you will take any and all efforts, no matter how deceptive.

        • sickofthechit

           Perhaps it hasn’t come out that the weapon had been altered to shoot as an automatic and it was a slip-up.

    • jimino

      Perhaps he received faulty information about the matter.  Or maybe he just doesn’t understand the terminology.  If he believes it’s true, it’s not a lie, is it? 

      • Gregg Smith

        Yes and that’s fair enough. I contend there is no way he doesn’t know. He has been out front on this surely he knows what he is advocating.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         He’ll find out what is in the law after he signs it.  Just like Obamacare.

        • Don_B1

          The contents of the legislation will be available immediately before the votes are cast in Congress. Speaker Pelosi was referring to the unfortunate fact that a lot of details were still in flux a few days before the vote would be taken, due to the continuing process of building enough votes from members of the House to pass the bill.

          No worse than when Speaker Hastert had to extend by fiat the length of the House session some five hours through the dark of night (till 5 a.m.!) in order to get the votes for Medicare Part D.

      • sickofthechit

         Perhaps it hasn’t come out that the weapon had been altered to shoot as an automatic and it was a slip-up.

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

          really? are they keeping the details a secret untill they catch the guy?

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

        perhaps he could pick up the lingo since he goes shooting “all the time”

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      It is the Washington Post that has been calling our President a liar for monthes now.  But some here have missed it.

      At the same time, President Obama and the White House gun-violence plan act as if the information is fresh and relevant; it has also been repeated as current information by the news media. The Obama gun-violence plan cites “studies,” but in fact these all are merely riffs on the same, relatively small survey taken nearly two decades ago. Generally, we would rule such claims are deserving of a Pinocchio or two.


      • hennorama

         RWB – do you know WHY the information is so out of date? The WaPo article you linked to alluded to the answer, but presuming you don’t know the full story, I’ll answer my own question, OK? (This is info repeated from multiple prior posts on the topic).

        The NRA and firearms manufacturers have actively suppressed and discouraged research into firearms safety and firearms deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was effectively barred from such research since 1996, when the following sentence was inserted into the law that funded the CDC:

        “Provided further, That none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”


        This restriction changed only due to Pres. Obama’s Executive Order directing the Centers on Disease Control to start studying “the causes of gun violence” again.

        The CDC is not the only Federal agency impacted by NRA and firearms manufacturers’ efforts to restrict the availability of info about firearms. Believe it or not, the ATF is also restricted in its ability to release trace data on firearms due to the Tiahrt Amendment (TA)

        Under TA, the ATF is restricted from publicly disclosing both firearms trace data (on firearms used in crimes), and analysis of patterns of sales of firearms used in crimes. For instance, due to TA, it is nearly impossible to know how many Bushmaster .223s are used in crimes. This is like prohibiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from disclosing the makes and models of vehicles with safety defects.

        TA also requires that the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) destroy certain criminal background check records after only 24 hours. The Justice Department Inspector General found that the 24-hour destruction policy makes it easier for corrupt dealers “to falsify the NICS check to hide a knowing transfer of a gun to a prohibited person” (Department of Justice, 2004).”

        TA prohibits the ATF from requiring annual gun dealer inventories. If a gun dealer is corrupt, they can claim that firearms are stolen or lost, then sell them “off the books,” making these firearms practically untraceable.

        For example, former gun dealer and National Rifle Association (NRA) Board Member Sandy Abrams, who eventually lost his license after being cited for more than 900 violations of federal gun laws, had 422 guns missing in one inspection, more than one-quarter of his inventory, and his shop had over 483 firearms traced to crimes (Brady Center, 2006).


        Recently, Pres. Obama issued 23 Executive Orders related to “Gun Violence Reduction”. Several of these are related to data on firearms. You can read them here:


        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          With all that said, did he lie to advance a policy that he favors. 

          • hennorama

            RWB – One cannot fairly characterize the use of old info as a “lie”, especially if one has been actively prevented from acquiring new info on the topic.

            The info is out of date, but it is the most recent AVAILABLE info.

            Let’s say new studies show the figure to be 4% rather than 40%.  Does that make the fact that one can purchase firearms without a background check any less problematic?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            If you knowingly repeat facts that are wrong because they serve your argument, then you are lying. If you believe that you must lie to support your argument then what you are supporting must be wrong. It seems plain to me. Either we demand honesty from those that serve in elected office or we don’t. Would you accept Ted Cruz saying that AR15’s stop 100 rapes a day in America? Neither would I.. If honesty is not required it changes everything a lot. And none of that “Change” comes with any “Hope.”

          • hennorama

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

            You wrote “If you knowingly repeat facts that are wrong because they serve your argument, then you are lying. If you believe that you must lie to support your argument then what you are supporting must be wrong. It seems plain to me.”

            Given that the “40%” remarks were not only qualified by the use of the words “as many as”, “nearly” and “up to” in each of the quotes in the WaPo article, and that the data in the study cited are unrefuted by more recent data, how do you conclude there is repetition of “facts that are wrong”? And if one cannot show “facts that are wrong”, the remainder of your reasoning falls apart.

            The article itself states “Vice President Biden, meanwhile, deserves kudos for acknowledging that the information is suspect and may not be entirely accurate. He at least frames it with some caveats, which is proper.”

            The problem is there is a dearth of reliable data on the topic of firearms sales. As stated, this is due primarily to the active suppression of information about firearms, and the active discouragement of research into firearms safety, firearms deaths, and firearms sales. This suppression of information and discouragement of research has been at the behest of the NRA and firearms manufacturers.

            Again, as stated, some of the restrictions changed recently, due to Pres. Obama’s Executive Order directing the Centers on Disease Control to start studying “the causes of gun violence” again. This won’t necessarily help with the stats on firearms transactions that are not completed without a background check through a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL, aka “gun dealer”), but it’s a start.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I truly enjoy our communications. And I truly desire to understand your position better.
            I went to some length to sight a source that would be acceptable to you and still you resist the main thrust of what I am pointing out. It is as if we are scientist trying to operate a satellite each using a different system of measurement.

          • Don_B1

            You cited the WP Fact Checker column where Glenn Kessler uses the words “Lie” with the phrase “automatic weapon” used by PresidentObama.

            Whether the President”slipped” and thought he was correcting an error from automatic to semi-automatic and did the reverse or not, it seems irrelevant to the real argument that there is no need for either type of assault weapon.

            What would have been the purpose of such a lie, if it was one?hennorama points out that there are other problems where the WP FC only “connects” but does not prove statements “false,” such as where it “approves” VP Biden’s caveats but does not recognize President Obama’s qualifiers as “caveats.”

          • hennorama

            RWB – TY for your response, and apologies for the delayed reply on my part. I respect and understand your views.

            Let me summarize my thoughts on the matter of the “stale claim that 40 percent of gun sales lack background checks”:

            The 1994 National Survey of Private Ownership of Firearms (NSPOF) was imperfect, as are all surveys. The survey was sponsored by The National Institute of Justice – the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice.

            The NSPOF data, and analysis of the NSPOF data, have been cited numerous times by BOTH sides of the firearms issue. Here is just one example:

            http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/WP-Tough-Targets.pdf (This Cato white paper about “defensive gun uses in America” is from Feb. 2012. Citing the 18-year-old1994 NSPOF is further evidence of the dearth of available research).

            A key finding of the analysis of the NSPOF was “About 60 percent of gun acquisitions involved federally licensed dealers.” This means that about 40 percent of gun acquisitions did NOT involve Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs). Only FFLs are required to conduct pre-purchase background checks related to firearms transactions. This is the source of the “stale claim”.

            At about the same time the analysis of the NSPOF results was published in 1996, Federal funding for research into firearms sales, firearms safety, and firearms deaths was effectively banned.

            Due to the lack of Federal funding, and other restrictions, little research on firearms background checks has become available to the public; perhaps due to this, the analysis of the NSPOF data has not been refuted by further research.

            It would be much more accurate to use the term “gun acquisitions” (which was used in the key finding about the NSPOF, above), rather than the terms “gun sales” or “gun purchases”.

            That would be my advice about using the NSPOF findings – quote them as accurately as possible, in order to remove any reason for criticism. (i.e. “the stale claim that 40 percent of gun sales lack background checks”).

            As the article you linked to states, “when gifts, inheritances and prizes are added in, then the number shrinks to 26.4 percent”. There is about a 6 percentage point MOE, so this could be as low as 20.4 percent or as high as 32.4 percent. Still a significant percentage, no?

            Finally, as I asked you earlier, let’s say new studies show the figure to be 4% rather than 40% (or 20.4%, 26.4% or 32.4%). Does that make the fact that one can purchase firearms without a background check any less problematic?

            Hope this helps to promote mutual understanding.

          • Don_B1

            Thank you for the detailed information with links to sources.

            It is amazing how the “gun lobby” grasps at the straw of a “misspoke” to distract from the real issue.

          • hennorama

            Don_B1 – you’re welcome, as ever; thank you for your kind words.

            Including the source(s) for various items in my posts allows the reader to decide for themselves if the post is factual, true, and honest. I figure that since I’ve already done the reading and/or analysis, why not allow others to benefit? I see no reason to keep reinventing the wheel, so to speak.

            As you no doubt have discerned by now, I research the topics that I decide to comment on, as well as many other topics that never end up in the forum. The same is true when I refute the claims of other posters.

            Whether one agrees or disagrees with my posts, it’s rarely possible to argue that the information presented has no factual basis.

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

            you left out the study that caused the funding from gun control advocacy to be pulled

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

            the problem is that there is no way to get criminals to volunteer to take a background check

          • hennorama

            FutoBuddy- TY for your response. I respect and appreciate your views.

            You wrote “the problem is that there is no way to get criminals to volunteer to take a background check”.

            Two points about your statement:

            1. Background checks are designed to exclude not only convicted felons and other criminals, but also those who:

            are under felony indictment

            are unlawful users of or addicted to any controlled substance

            have been adjudicated as a mental defective or have been committed to any mental institution

            are aliens who are illegally or unlawfully in the United States

            have been dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces

            have renounced US citizenship

            are subject to a court ordered restraining order

            have been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence

            2. Your argument contains a logical fallacy. You argue that background checks will not stop all criminals, so therefore requiring them or improving them has no value. This is false. Some criminals will be stopped, and some mentally ill persons will be stopped, and some of the others on the list above will be stopped. There is a deterrent effect from the background check system, and improving and expanding it will help keep firearms out of the hands of prohibited persons.

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

            1.good point. there are several classes of people who are forbidden from buying guns.  feel free to edit my question to include them.
            2. i guess if you change my argument and include something i never said it might contain that fallacy. i dont think expanding background checks will stop anyone who is motavated to buy a gun who is not allowed to. moreover since no one or almost no one gets prosecuted whats the point of expanding laws that are currently not enforced?
            3. in your obfuscation you failed to answer the question. how will you force people with bad faith to comply?

          • hennorama

            FutoBuddy- TY for your response.

            I guess I missed your (completely absent) question, since you made a statement.

            You wrote : I dont [sic] think expanding background checks will stop anyone motavated [sic] to buy a gun who is not allowed to”. Putting aside the difficult syntax, this is an odd argument, due to the fact that hundreds of thousands of transactions have been stopped due to failed background checks. Your argument seems to be that 100 percent of those who failed the check and were therefore unable to complete a firearms transaction, and who were “motavated”, then went on to buy a firearm outside the NICS system. That’s an argument that no one can prove, which means it is merely an opinion and therefore it carries virtually no weight in a debate.

            Your next argument, implied by your new question “how will you force people with bad faith to comply?” is that only those with “good faith” will comply. That is far from true. If that were true, then we should have no laws whatsoever, as only those with good faith will comply with the law, ever. This is just silly.

            You also say “no one or almost no one gets prosecuted”, as if the intent behind background checks is to prosecute those who fail the check, or who lie on their Form 4473. It is not. The intent of the background check and the NICS system is to be the first line of defense against criminals and other prohibited persons from obtaining firearms.

            You seem to be suggesting that police officers be stationed at all FFLs, waiting to arrest those who fail the check. Or perhaps you feel that all law enforcement agencies should get all the information contained on all Forms 4473, so they can determine if someone lied and therefore should be arrested or prosecuted. Otherwise, how would they know someone should be prosecuted?

            You further say “whats the point of expanding laws that are not enforced?” Your prior statement that “no one or almost no one gets prosecuted” itself proves the fallacy of your argument. If some people are getting prosecuted, then the law is indeed being enforced.

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

            why should any tax money be spent to promote a political viewpoint?

      • Don_B1

        Seeing as how the N.R.A. has worked overtime to prevent any arm of the government from collecting or analyzing gun data, it is not surprising that some data is shaky, but I would think that an argument could be made, contrary to Glenn Kessler’s, that even more guns are sold at gun shows today than back in 1994.

        And you don’t hyperbolically use unfounded data? Every time your finger strikes the keyboard putting out one of your climate science denying rants, you are shouting out lies of orders of magnitude more consequence.

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

          you know the gun show loophole is a myth right?

    • hennorama

       Gregg Smith – please prove your claim “Obama flat out lying”.

      Can you prove the Newtown Massacre weapon is not fully automatic?

      Can you prove it was not modified?

      Can you prove that Pres. Obama didn’t inadvertently let slip something not publicly known about the weapon?

      One would be ill advised to hold one’s breath waiting for your response.

      • Gregg Smith

        An AR-15 is not fully automatic, look it up. It wasn’t modified. He corrected himself mid-sentence and it’s his big push, he should know what he’s talking about. He lied. The issue is not going his way and he’s turning up the rhetoric. Are you falling for it?

        • hennorama

          Gregg “I never lie” Smith – you have done nothing to prove your claim, other than to make yet another claim (“It wasn’t modified”.)

          You wrote “He corrected himself mid-sentence …” If one corrects oneself, is that not evidence of an error rather than a lie? Can you prove otherwise?

          “Because I said so” is not an argument, nor is it proof of anything.

          • Gregg Smith

            He had it right and “corrected” himself, meaning he changed it to a lie. He knew. If he didn’t then he has no place issuing EO’s on the matter. He’s either stupid or a liar but I guess they are nit mutually exclusive.

            BTW, I like the name Gregg “I never lie” Smith. It’s my middle name.

          • hennorama

            Gregg “I never lie- April Fool!” Smith – you continue to do absolutely nothing to prove your claims, as usual.

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

        every report says its a semi automatic but maybe oboma knows a secret he could not keep to himself

        • hennorama

          FutoBuddy- TY for your response. I respect and appreciate your views.

          Indeed, that was one of my points when I asked Smith “Can you prove that Pres. Obama didn’t inadvertently let slip something not publicly known about the weapon?”

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

            does anyone need to prove something so clearly silly? why would that info possibly be withheld?

          • hennorama

            Futobuddy – TY for your response.

            The original claim by Smith was “Obama flat out lying”.

            He has done nothing to prove this claim. Neither has he stated that it is merely his opinion.

            There are three possible explanations for Pres. Obama using the words “fully automatic”:

            1. He was lying.

            2. He made a mistake.

            3. He was telling the truth and inadvertently let non-public info slip out.

            There is no way to prove any of the three possibilities, so making a definitive claim is merely expressing an opinion rather than an argument.

            I have no idea which of the three possibilities is true, or even if some combination of them are true. That’s why I make no claims on the matter, and why I challenge those who make definitive claims on the matter, without stating that their claim is merely an opinion.

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

            yes there is no way to prove which one of those is true. Its clearly not number three though.  there is absolutly no reason why they would not say if there was an automatic weapon used and they have identified the specific firearm in the media. i am sure if he had used an automatic weapon that information would be impossible to supress given the number of witnesses and all the media attention. the only possible reason to lie and say it was not an automatic weapon and it was would be if you were trying to push a ban on semiautomatic rifles and were willing to lie to do so because if it was really an automatic weapon used we would not need ot change any laws as they are already practically illegal. is that what you are accusing the president of?

          • hennorama

            Futo Buddy – TY for your reply. As stated, I make no claims about the matter, as there is no way to determine which of the three possibilities, or combination of possibilities, is true.

            Your reasoning for your opinion is well taken, but is not proof.

  • Gregg Smith

    There has been zero coverage on ABC, NBC, or CBS of the Kermit Gosnell trial. The practitioner of the post-birth abortion evidently is not newsworthy. There was a similar news blackout when Planned Parenthood endorsed the procedure or when State Senator Obama cast his lonely vote in favor of the same thing. I understand the need to explain and parse it all away but the facts remain. So feel free to rag me for being inflammatory but it’s happening, it’s on trial. All I’m asking is for fair coverage.

    • Ray in VT

      So, if we’re looking to throw the lie flag this morning, then I’m throwing mine regarding this statement:

      “Planned Parenthood endorsed the procedure or when State Senator Obama cast his lonely vote in favor of the same thing,” as well as for “So now the vast majority of scientist agree, there has been no warming for 20 years” from a few days ago.

      • Gregg Smith

        All of it is true, accurate and current. The best you can do is argue semantics.

        • Ray in VT

          That is also a lie.

          • Gregg Smith

            I never lie. 

            Do you have a problem with Gosnell? Do you think the trial should get a mention on the big 3? Do you believe Obama as a State Senator did not vote for the bill? Do you believe PP has a problem with Gosnell? Did you find fault with the findings in the recent Economist piece regarding temperature?

          • John_in_Amherst

            OK, if we rule out lying, we have to conclude you are just deluded or misinformed

          • Ray in VT

            You just consume, believe and regurgitate lies, which means that you don’t lie because you believe it, right?

            I do have a problems with the actions that Gosnell’s clinic has been accused of.  It’s pretty horrific.

            Not voting for the bill and endorsing the procedure that you have dubbed “post-birth abortion” are not the same.  Here is what then State Senator said about one of the proposed bills in 2001:

            Number one, whenever we define a previable fetus as a person that is
            protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the
            Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are
            persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be
            provided to a – a child, a nine-month-old – child that was delivered to
            term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a
            court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it – it would
            essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not
            allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would
            be an antiabortion statute.

            My concern with many of the bills coming out of the states is that I think that the main purpose is to try to legislate abortion out of existence.  By your logic on this issue, can we assume that all of the Republicans in Congress who voted against the Violence Against Women Act are in favor of violence against women?

            I do not find fault with the Economist article.  It’s a pretty good publication.  My problem is that the article does not say what you say that it says.

          • Gregg Smith

            You are arguing semantics, as I said. You are also telling me what I think which is typical. Am I being a bit provocative? Yes, sue me. The 3 events are related and chilling.

            Obama was the ONLY Senator to vote no. Don’t try to paint that as mainstream, he’s a radical. NO ONE agreed with him.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m arguing the facts, not semantics, and at least I’m not making up definitions or something.

            So, which bill did Obama vote against?

          • Don_B1

            Good catch Ray!

            Gregg ALWAYS runs to the “semantics” excuse when caught in one of his multiple lies .

          • Gregg Smith

            I never lie.

          • Don_B1

            Except when you do, just as you did in saying, “I never lie.”

          • Gregg Smith

            Yes you are arguing semantics. You’re hung up on the definition of “endorsed”. 

            Why are you asking about the bill. You quoted Obama on it, didn’t you?


          • Ray in VT

            I am hung up on how the statement of one official does not make the policy for the whole organization.  I have yet to find  PP endosring any such position on their website.  Does the GOP endorse hanging abortion providers or jailing women who get abortions?  Elected Republicans have called for such things.

            I quoted Obama’s statement regarding a 2001 bill.  That bill did not pass, and I don’t think that he alone could have held it up, so please tell me which specific bill he was the only dissenting vote on.

          • hennorama

            Gregg “I never lie” Smith – HAHAHAHAHAHA.  Good one. 

            Four days late, but still a good one.

          • Gregg Smith

            You’ve jumped the shark. You can’t answer the questions without damning yourself and you know in your heart I’m right.

          • hennorama

            Gregg “I never lie” Smith – replying to me, you wrote “You can’t answer the simple questions without damning yourself”.

            Since you did not ask me any questions, I find your expectation for me to “answer the simple questions” quite odd. Not that one is surprised by you writing odd things, but I digress … Perhaps you’ve simply lost track of to whom you are writing. As I’ve said previously, this sort of mental lapse might be the sign of a serious illness, so you might want to get a thorough examination from a health care professional.

            Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and any advice should not be interpreted as medical advice.

            Now, back to your other remarks, in order:

            You wrote “You’ve jumped the shark” Umm .. what? I fail to see what gimmicks I’m employing to hold the reader’s interest. Would you be so kind as to enlighten the forum with your explanation of your sentence?

            You wrote “You know in your heart I’m right”. Uh, no, in fact quite the opposite. You are incorrect (i.e. NOT right) in the claims you made, as demonstrated by your repeated inability to prove them. In addition, I have directly refuted your claims in multiple posts. How you interpret this as “You know in your heart I’m right” escapes me.

            You wrote “I thought not answering questions was dishonest in your book. Didn’t you say that?” I have implied dishonesty, but haven’t “sa[id] that”. Not answering DIRECT questions is avoidance, and is evidence of the weakness of one’s claims and arguments.

            You should know this, as you repeatedly avoid answering direct questions, don’t you, Gregg Smith?

            Avoiding questions in an “open honest debate” evinces flawed reasoning and violates basic principles of discussion. When one engages in a discussion, one must be willing to address questions, concerns and comments. Otherwise, the discussion devolves into pontification and is no longer a two-way exchange of information and ideas.

            But as I said, you already know this, as it is your habitual practice to avoid direct questions.

          • Acnestes

            You might as well try and reason with your TV set.

          • Gregg Smith

            Have you seen a reasonable reply to my righteous comment?

          • jefe68

            Ah yes, the man who thinks he’s righteous.

            Seems more akin to self-righteous.

          • hennorama

            Gregg Smith – I’ll simply repeat what I wrote to you 3 and 4 days ago, about your previous lie.

            You wrote: “Exactly, Planned Parenthood has now endorsed post-birth abortion.”

            To which I replied: “Gregg Smith – that is complete and utter inanity, not to mention inaccurate, internally illogical, and intentionally inflammatory.”

            I followed up with this:

            “1 . inanity. Your claim that “Planned Parenthood has now endorsed post-birth abortion” is simply completely lacking in substance. It is untrue. There’s no “there” there.

            “2. inaccurate. Planned Parenthood and Ms. Snow did not “endorse” anything other than the neutrality clause contained in the Federal Born Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 (BAIPA).

            “3. internally illogical. The WS headline and article, video, and you, all use the term “post-birth abortion”. There is no such thing, and there cannot be any such thing, by definition.

            “Abortion in this context is the termination of a pregnancy. Once there is a birth, there is no longer a pregnancy. Therefore, one cannot terminate a pregnancy “post-birth” as by definition, birth ends a pregnancy (except in the instance of multiple fetuses).

            “4. intentionally inflammatory. Speaks for itself. This inaccurate headline and article merely seeks an emotional response from the reader. It is at best a wild exaggeration, and at worst, a complete fabrication.

            “Also known as a LIE, which is definitely NOT part of “open and honest debate”.


            So much for your “righteous comment”.

          • Gregg Smith

            It’a bad enough to read your post once, it’s creepy the way you quote yourself. I never lie.

          • Don_B1

            Then I guess you will have to stop posting here since there is a lie in most of your posts.

          • hennorama

            Gregg “I never lie” Smith – you might want to try a new mantra.

            Your claims are unsupportable.

            If you disagree, please show exactly when and where “Planned Parenthood has now endorsed post-birth abortion.”

            I’ll give you some help. Ms. Snow’s complete testimony starts at about 37:30 into the video in the link below. The Weekly Standard completely cuts off the first 2+ minutes of her testimony, picking up instead at about 39:40 into the full video. The omitted portion includes Ms. Snow’s prepared statement and her first reference to the Federal Born Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 (BAIPA).


            Good luck in your quest.

    • John_in_Amherst

       abortion is terminating a pregnancy before term.  Hence Post-birth abortion is impossible.  The egregious malpractice at this Philly horror show of a clinic is strong evidence that women seeking abortions should have the option of finding a safe, clean, responsible clinic.  It was grizzly clinical scenes like this nightmare that propelled the repeal of laws prohibiting abortion.

    • MrNutso

      I live in the Philadelphia area and have been following the story since if first broke.  It’s big in the area and garners daily coverage in both print and TV.  Does that mean it has to be covered nationwide?  Maybe, maybe not.  Why is it up to the GOP or any government agency to decide what news outlets should broadcast.  The story is not about abortion, it’s about a doctor who was killing babies after they were born.  He was lying to his patients and supervisory agencies dropped the ball.

      • Gregg Smith

        Thank you for the update, I’m glad it’s getting local coverage. 

      • sickofthechit

        “Why is it up to the GOP or any government agency to decide what news outlets should broadcast.”(?)  Because they’ve been so successful with FAUX News!

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        The same reason we should hear about most national “news” stories, a free follow of ideas and information is central to a voting public.

        “’Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
        Thomas Jefferson

    • hennorama
      • Gregg Smith

        I was referring to the nightly news broadcasts. Sincerest apologies. Dollars to donuts you knew nothing about it. I never lie.

        • Don_B1

          By your definition of a “lie,” you have to be totally clear what you are talking about when you make your initial comment. So anyone reading this thread can infer that you lied because you had to retract the full meaning of your initial comment to restrict it to “local” coverage.

        • hennorama

          Gregg “I never lie” Smith – Fine. You need to modify your absolute claim after it is proven wrong. Very well done.

          You might start off by admitting you have an addiction to repeating inaccurate and false claims. I believe the trope is “the first step to overcoming a problem is admitting you have a problem”. Perhaps you might start with “I was wrong”, rather than “I was right, because you took what I said out of context” or “What I meant was …” or similar post-remark justification of your inaccurate remarks.

          You might also want to define the word “lie” as you seem to have no consistent concept of its definition.

          “Open and honest debate”, huh? What a joke.

          Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and any advice should not be interpreted as medical advice.

  • DanDaDaDan

    Through his creation of fake crises, use of overblown rhetoric, repeated attempts to blackmail the US government, and unwillingness to provide any social services for his people while pouring money into his military, Kim Jong Un reveals he has somehow obtained a copy of the GOP playbook and is applying its tactics verbatim. On reflection however, since it is apparent that North Korea’s tactics have not changed in 60 years, one is left to ponder where the GOP obtained its new playbook 4 years ago.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      So the Republicans are accually (dramtic pause)

      International Socialists!

      I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there!

      • DanDaDaDan

        This’ll be stating the obvious for most people, but different political philosophies may employ the same tactics. 

      • Don_B1

        Sometimes funny things are true!

        And no matter where the “playbook” came from, I would argue that the current GOP playbook is not all that new; the tactics and strategies are the same dating from the late 1960s with a new poorly constructed veneer.

  • John_in_Amherst

     so is a semi automatic holding 30 rounds more like a manual single shot or more like an automatic?  Your umbrage is a transparent excuse to spout anti-Obama indignation.

  • John_in_Amherst

    In response to a listener’s claim that Obama was lying intentionally when making a point in Denver about the Aurora masacre, so is a semi automatic holding 30 rounds more like a manual single shot or more like an automatic?  Your umbrage is a transparent excuse to spout anti-Obama indignation.

    • Gregg Smith

      As Jimino points out below he could be stupid, uncurious and easily manipulated by others giving him false information about his position. Or he lied.

      • jimino

        Thank God his possible stupidity or manipulability  didn’t lead to something really bad like invading and occupying another country at a cost of hundreds of thousand lives.

        • Gregg Smith

          Evoking Bush out of the blue in lieu of anything new is true to you.

          • Ray in VT

            It’s only appropriate when arguing with those who will continually defend much greater lies just so long as there is an (R) after someone’s name.

          • Gregg Smith

            Untrue, not fair.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, I’ve yet to see what I would consider to be evidence to the contrary.  What’s that status on whether or not Bush lied to the American people in the run up to Iraq?

      • John_in_Amherst

         from the “takes one to know one” department?

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

      i would say it is more like a single shot firearm but thats like asking if batman or superman would win in a fight.

  • Ray in VT

    Ben Carson played the race card this week, which was something that I thought conservatives were not supposed to do.  I guess that I can’t criticize his anti-gay comments anymore.  I suppose that I’ll have to stick to Louis Gohmert and Sue Everhart.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Gee, I thought Dr. Carson was simply holding a mirror up to the usual suspect race-baiters.  CNN (Erin Burnett show) had a good segment on it the other day defending Dr. Carson.

    • 1Brett1

      Herman Cain plays the race card all the time too…Judge Thomas was quick to play the race card. They are all conservatives, so it’s different.

      • hennorama

        1Brett1 – has Herman “I am suspending my presidential campaign” Cain actually ENDED his presidential campaign yet?

        Or is the Cain campaign like the Korean War, not yet officially ended?

    • Don_B1

      You have to understand: Republicans always claim that they do not play the race card; they just (falsely, usually) accuse their opponent of playing the race card as they, Republicans, do play it.

      • Ray in VT

        I’m sure that some people have made some very unfortunate comments about Dr. Carson that have involved race, and that it totally unnecessary.  However, if one is merely criticizing his statements and positions, then I think that it is just whining.  Now, should he be criticized for lumping gays, child molesters and animal f*ckers in together.  Yeah, that seems pretty valid, and I don’t think that he’s generally gotten it any worse than people like Louis Gohmert on that issue.  However, if one was to call him some sort of shucking and jiving, uppity boy, then that would be pretty horrible, but the criticism that I have read has stayed away from issues of his ethnicity or his character.

  • JGC

    Is the sword mightier than the pen?  Referring to NRA Goon Squad “protecting” Asa Hutchinson against possible “violent” attacks by reporters at National Press Club event this week. At the very least, the 2nd Amendment is mightier than the 1st, is the NRA’s take-home message.


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

      what did the goon squad do?

  • kaltighanna

    On Point staffers, please start moderating this comment session. It is in danger of becoming another bottomless pit of stupidity and inflammatory rhetoric, so common on the internet nowadays. When thoughtful dialogue is no longer possible (because a handful of trolls takes over), the real listener with legitimate questions and comments stops coming over.

    • Gregg Smith

      I agree, the extent to which some will go to excuse anything this President does is astonishing. Honest debate is not possible.

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        Too may criticize the President and attribute to him too much power;  or, complain that he doesn’t do enough.  

        Forgotten however, is the nation is a Republic not a dictatorship.

      • Don_B1

        Right from one of the chief trolls!

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Where are the thought police?

      Signed, a real listener

      • sickofthechit

         What’s you first name?  Worried?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          just don’t call me ‘sick’.

        • John_in_Amherst

           apparently it’s “a”

    • John_in_Amherst

       Totally agree.  But to paraphrase Wayne Lapiere, maybe the only thing that stops a right wing troll with a keyboard is a left wing troll with a keyboard.  I find it too hard to sit by and let a few snipe from right without responding.  I find I can only take this show intermittently, otherwise reading the comments causes a spike in my blood pressure.
      “When you get down and quarrel every day, you’re saying prayers to the devil I say”  – Bob Marley

      • Acnestes

        Don’t bother.  They live in some alternate reality and aren’t amenable to reason.  Grit your teeth and ignore them  Refuse categorically to respond.  There’s no point.  They thrive on attention and love to hear themselves talk.  Don’t encourage them.

        • John_in_Amherst

           Sage advice.  I feel like Odysseus tied to the mast listening to the Sirens…

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          “Qui tacet consentire videtur”

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

        I can’t go for identifying with names.

        Too many employers are interested in putting first and last names together from places on the internet and holding it against workers (or applicants) for ideas that have nothing to do with anything professional or workplace.

        At least there are enough people named John in Amherst for you.

        As far as “stopping a right wing troll with a keyboard”, remember this is public radio.

        • John_in_Amherst

          citizens having the courage to voice & back their convictions is the essence of democracy. Doing so responsibly and respectfully is the essence of civility. It seems civil democracy is slipping through our national fingers…

      • anamaria23

        I, also, can only  scan this site occasionally, now,  due to the obsessive personal contempt for the President, which then leads back to Bush, etc.
        Not good for the BP as you say.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        What exactly are you advocating?  

        • John_in_Amherst

          A need on the part of progressives to stand up and counter the erroneous assumptions, incorrect facts and illogical conclusions that some on the right seem so willing to trot out in vitriolic rants. 

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Here is where we have the problem. As firmly as you believe that you are standing up and countering the erroneous assumptions, incorrect facts and illogical conclusions that others seem so willing to trot out in vitriolic rants, I believe I am doing the same. On every item we disagree there is little common ground, we see each other as blindly lost at sea. In that light all we have is vitriol. Shouting down the other while murmuring how sad it is that there is no real discussion, is the problem and not the solution. It comes from a like of intellectual honesty. This is politics. And politics ain’t softball.

          • John_in_Amherst

            right you are.  However, I see a tendency for the GOP to eschew facts in favor of preconceived or convenient opinions, and this is not a unique observation, but demonstrable.  Take climate change.  Many in the GOP consider it bunk.  However, in the past 2 decades there have been over 13000 peer reviewed papers in scientific journals on climate change.  Of these a handful – less than a couple dozen – argue that climate change is not real.  Yet FOX, talk radio jocks and the GOP doggedly adhere to the notion that there is some reasonable debate.  The GOP’s “science problem” is a much-discussed issue, even among the GOP.  As Bobby Jindal said, the GOP is in danger of becoming the stupid party.  On the bright side, we have yet to descend to the level of the 1870′s when fisticuffs and assaults were not uncommon in the House of Representatives.  C-Span could only pray for such high jinx….

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            That you see the tendency in one and not the other would be justification to join one and not the other.  Personally I see both teams playing the same fast and loose with the facts game.  Each team is sure that they are justified in lying to win office so they can save us rubes from ourselves.  I would put climate change in that same category.  (It is only important so we can use it against our enemies.)  
            Speaking of cudgels, a good beating on the floor of the Capital may be a health sign for our Republic.  I put no faith in “bipartisanship” and kumbaya politics.  

    • sickofthechit

       Verified names would squelch the shrieks.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Great point kalt!  I’m really tired of the shoot ‘n run types who can’t reason and have no interest (or ability) to support conversation from which the rest of us might benefit. 

    • StilllHere

      Yes, I agree, I find it painful to read stuff I don’t agree with.  Come on moderators!

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Oh boy.  Another horrid jobs report.  The labor participation rate is now the lowest since 1979.  90 million Americans have left the labor force.  What will the administration apologists say this time?  Mark Zandi, where are you?

    • Ray in VT

      90 million?  Are you sure about that?  Anyways, the bright spot is that January and February numbers were revised upwards by 61,000.  It was a pretty poor March number, continuing the trend of these weak spring numbers that we’ve seen these last few years.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        It is ugly.  Labor participation is at 63.3%.  A healthy number would be above 65%.

        I guess it is bad timing for Obama to come out with another tax INCREASE on the same day as these numbers come out. Tax INCREASES do not create jobs.


        • Ray in VT

          I do see where that 90 million number comes from, but that’s people not in the labor force, not people who have left it.

          I do wonder about some of the structural factors in the labor force participation rate.  For instance, the aging workforce may be impacting that, as well as something like more parents staying at home with the kids, which is certainly something that used to happen more, although I don’t know if that is happening more now than it did in recent years.  Still, perhaps that 65-66% number was something of a historical anomaly, as it only began to tick above 60% in the early 1970s.  To be clear, though, I don’t think that the lowered number is good, although it just may not be that bad when looking historically and at some demographic issues.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Demographics are certainly at play.  Lack of economic growth is also a major contributor.

            It is unfortunate that economic growth isn’t a priority for this President.  

          • nlpnt

            You have been paying NO attention – economic growth is THE priority for the President, but he’s been stymied at every turn by a GOP Congress that whines constantly about “Obama not creating jobs” while tying his hands.

            Cutting the public sector in a depression and worrying about the deficit when investors are all but falling over themselves to buy Treasury bonds at near-zero interest!?! 

            And that’s not even getting into insisting on limping from fake crisis to fake crisis to squeeze out just a little more from the people with the least to spare. Maybe the GOP should’ve prioritized “shrinking government” in the early/mid ’00s back when they had the Oval Office and all of Congress!  

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             I couldn’t disagree more.

            Obama could have had  a deal on corporate tax reform and simplification.  Also, Obama could have made regulatory reform and simplification a priority but he went the other way.

            Obama has been all about politics — not getting things done.  And it appears to have worked — because you are convinced.

            I’m no big defender of the GOP.  They failed us in many ways under Bush.  However, the President has a special power to get things done — if his proposals are reasonable.

            btw – the GOP budget GROWS Federal spending at 3.5% every year for 10 years.  It doesn’t CUT spending.

            btw – the recession ended in June of 2009.  There was NEVER a depression.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            It’s simple. Righty policies by conservadem BHO are opposing the natural econ cycle of recovery. Sequester! Public sector layoffs! Austerity! Talk of “entitlement reform”! It’s insane.

            If they wanted to prolong the Bush crash they couldn’t have done much better. They’re being herbert hoover instead of FDR.

            Here’s reaganomics in a nutshell. We’re way overdue to fight back.


          • WorriedfortheCountry

             “herbert hoover instead of FDR”

            FDR was no better than Hoover.  Now if you had said Coolidge vs. either FDR or Hoover you’d be talking.

            I highly recommend “The Forgotten Man” by Amity Schlaes.  I just finished it and it is well sourced, scholarly work.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there! (I’m going to get a lot of use out this here today.)

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Wait a second, the inflection point in your chart happens under CARTER.  Yet, you reflexively blame Reagan.


          • TomK_in_Boston

            I don’t reflexively do anything. There was this disaster called the vietnam war, and reaganomics took the vietnam hangover and made it permanent.

          • William

             All those trillions of “pumping by the Fed and not much to show for it.

          • Don_B1

            @TomK_in_Boston:disqus @rayinvt:disqus 

            Austerity in liquidity trap is contractionary! Who knew?

            Certainly not the Republicans, although some of them certainly did know, but they had an ideological agenda to satisfy, for which austerity gives them a big ladder up.

            For more, see Jared Bernstein, here:


            and here:


        • Don_B1

          Because the tax increases President Obama is proposing will affect mostly those in the top tax bracket where 51% or less of income is spent, by taxing it and then spending it, more jobs will be created in this way than by letting the rich keep (and keep) that income.

    • Gregg Smith

      I actually am beginning to think some people are finally getting it. The administration has been touting jobs added (or saved) from day one as the LFPR has plummeted. I feel sure some here will continue to buy the hype and say it’s good news the unemployment rate dropped .1% but not too many. There is only so much lipstick you can put on a pig.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Even Obama apologists at CNBC and Austin Goolsbee had to admit this is bad.

        Goolsbee: “This is a punch to the gut…”


      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Perhaps we can take the trillions of dollars that we will save with Obamacare and have another stimulus package.

        • StilllHere

          I thought it was gazillions!

      • Don_B1

        I find it fascinating to see Gregg, Worried, Fiscally and RMB all decrying the jobs report when they have refused to support any responsible bill that would support more job growth!

        Talk about the child accused of killing his parents throwing himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan!

        Tax cuts DO NOT, repeat DO NOT, create jobs when they go mainly to the rich and that is all they seem to support. As an example, the tax increases of the Clinton administration did not decrease employment, so why is tax policy only effective in one direction?

    • creaker

      There’s no reason for there to be anything but – the only reason we didn’t see these numbers a decade ago was that we were in an unsustainable bubble – and we were  racking up huge amounts of debt, both at the government level and in households.

      The middle class is evaporating – the poor are poorer. People can’t rack up debt like they used to. So they aren’t buying – and there is no reason for there to be more jobs.

  • JGC

    I am visiting in Pennsylvania this week.  Just to let everyone know, Grice Gun Shop is having a 2nd Amendment Rally on Sunday, April 7 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., featuring PA-5 U.S. Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson.  “Grice Gun Shop and Congressman Thompson urge ALL gun owners to attend this rally, show your support, and LEARN WHAT YOU CAN AND NEED TO DO to be proactive on the highly restrictive proposals and infringements that violate our 2nd Amendment!!! We DO NOT have time to wait…Sign up or upgrade NRA membership PLUS ENTER A CHANCE TO WIN AN AR-15″

    • JGC

      Sheesh…you guys are not supposed to “like” this stuff…

      • Gregg Smith

        What’s not to like? Welcome home.

      • jefe68

        Well what did you expect. The gun advocates who post on this forum are in the extreme camp.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Darn them and their belief in the Constitution and Civil Rights.

          • jefe68

            Yeah, hide behind that Constitution when it suits your agenda.

            You mention Civil Rights? How ironic.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            The irony is lost on you.

          • nj_v2

            Whereas you’re just lost.

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

            they are discussing disarming blacks, gays and women. how is this not a civil rights issue

          • John_in_Amherst

             and darn their willingness to shirk all responsibilities and to assume the government thugs in black helicopters are coming for their guns

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

            gun owners are shirking their responsibility? all our our rights entail some responsibility. its fine to have a right to vote but useless if you do not so clearly you have a responsibility to do so. the right to bear arms is no different. responsible citizens are doing their civic duty by owning firearms

          • nj_v2

            And their ignorance of what the Second Amendment was actually intended for, and their delusions about fighting off some future, imagined, “tyrannical” gubmint.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Didn’t I see you thrown at a student in a Rutgers Gym?

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

        I thought you were just warning us.

        Maybe playing a game of “Real or The Onion?”

        • 1Brett1

          I prefer reading it as an Onion-type comment…And, hey, who needs to do anything about straw purchases?! If someone wants to buy a gun for a convicted felon or a violently mentally-ill person, why should that be anybody’s business?! Those people who shouldn’t have guns will just find some way to get a gun anyway, so why have severe penalties for the honest citizen just helping out a person who is out to do harm to others for whatever reason?! 

          Why, Adam Lanza shot his way into that elementary school and killed 26 people plus himself in under 5 minutes, but he would’ve done just as much murdering with a sharpened spoon, or a No.2 pencil, or even his bare hands!

          Why should there be universal background checks and registration for all gun purchases when we know the government just wants to have all of that information to enslave honest folks and give criminals the upper hand when the government comes and herds all of us (except for criminals, mind you) down a hole!

        • JGC

          Real!  If you google gricegunshop.com , you will see the same ad I saw in my local paper yesterday. Whenever I wonder why people can’t agree on common sense solutions, I see something like this and I am reminded why. 

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

            i looked at that link. i must have missed the offensive part. what upset you about the link?

    • sickofthechit

       “Freedom of speech” no matter how offensive must be allowed  (but not advertising!){I for one say censorship is in order here!}

    • John_in_Amherst

       freedom unconstrained by responsibilities = anarchy.  The only reason I can think of to own a semi-auto high-round weapon is the fact that there are so many of them in the wrong hands already…

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

        sounds like a great reason to me

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Grow up! No one is going to take your guns away. You’ve been duped – the second amendment isn’t going to be repealed. 

      • JGC

        No one is going to take my guns away because I have no guns. This is a kind of wake-up reporting/commentary on a sector of the U.S.  Like you (?), I am a dual U.S./Canadian citizen, and it is always a culture shock to move between the two solitudes of metropolitan Montréal and rural western Pennsylvania.   

        • NrthOfTheBorder

          I might have misspoke – so, my apologies if I had. 

          Re Culture shock – two solitudes/Montréal etc sounds like we should communicate off line so to speak.   

    • StilllHere

      See you there!

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

      great but do they have any .22lr in stock?

  • hennorama

    R.I.P., Roger Ebert.  Two thumbs up, WAAAAAAAY up.

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

      A great critic, and a better writer.

    • brettearle

      Increased public ardor and respect for Film, more than Pauline Kael and Andrew Sarris.

      He and Siskel were bitter enemies–who didn’t speak to each other, off camera, for years.  Go figure.

      • hennorama

         brettearle – well said. Ebert and Siskel were able to communicate the concepts and techniques of the art of film, through the eyes of the critic, in simple terms, as if they were talking to the viewer from the bleachers at Wrigley, drinking a beer and eating peanuts.

        Of course, it helped that they had a half hour to do so each week, rather than merely a 30 second sound bite.

        As to Ebert v. Siskel – conflict makes for good TV.

        • brettearle

          Thumbs Up

    • nj_v2

      Yeah, that was the worst news of the week.

  • creaker

    North Korea is just the distraction of the week. If they weren’t doing what they are doing, they’d go back to daily headlines about Iran again.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I am interested in learning why China’s new leader, Xi Jinping is letting this heat up now.

  • MrNutso

    Yes, what have the Republicans proposed to create jobs?

  • OnpointListener

    Unemployment is what the obstructionists in Congress want… the sequester is taking its affect.

    • Don_B1

      Right now its more the ending of the temporary 2% cut in the payroll tax (F.I.C.A.) with the Fiscal Cliff resolution, but the sequester cuts wil begin biting soon.

      Note the big worker cuts were in retail stores where workers are not buying as much as they would have if the cut had been extended or replaced with other stimulus.

  • http://twitter.com/en_b ian berry

    How come they say job numbers are great then a month later they say they were actually horrible and how many times can they do this until nobody believes them anymore?

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      It depends on if you are paying attention.  See “1984” ” Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia!”

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

        i tossed that same quote out the other day lol

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    So where have the Republicans been on Job creation?… Hello, is the sequester not starting to impact our economy… less income for government workers = less spending, less government acquisition = less spending…

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Don’t despair.  Metro-DC is still doing fine.  The rest of the country — not so much.

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        They live in the Beltway Bubble. Sugar and spice for all on K-Street!

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Just like in The Hunger Games.

    • MrNutso

      Yes, if not for drastic cuts in public sector employment, the numbers would be much better.

    • margbi

      The Republicans have been busy making legislative decisions about what women should do. Mostly get home, stay there and have lots of babies. They talked a good game on job creation but see how that changed after they got elected? 

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

    I’m sorry, but when Talev says the GOP says “Why is President Obama flitting away…when there’s this one bad piece of news?”, she’s sorta reading their reaction from any time after inauguration day 2009.

    The party of grinning about the optics over that manly man “clearin brush at the ranch” now sits there with a straight face and bitches at how a President isn’t working himself into a stroke a la Woodrow Wilson.

    And by the way, I’ve noted an uptick in fiscal conservative Congresscritters saying “Y’know this sequester thing is hurting real Americans doing good things with government money in my district.”

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

      i have not noticed any impact from the sequester

  • brettearle

    Many assume that North Korea is a psychotic, rogue state that is out of control and extremely dangerous.

    I would argue that the country’s government is not unstable to the point where they wish to be destroyed.

    Any country that is in the process of harnessing nuclear weapons is sane and smart enough to know that their country could be EVISCERATED, should they escalate tensions to the point of a major military strike or even a minor nuclear strike.

    • Don_B1

      But just 100 years ago, all the countries of a continent let themselves get trapped in a sequence of not letting the other out-bluff them, and they ended up in WWI.

  • debhulbh

    Re Prison personnel deaths (v sad)

    Decades of doling out lengthy sentences to young men, not commiserate with the crime ( the failed policy of mandatory minimums), holding men in solitary confinement (drives sane men, insane). These FAILED policies of the/OUR prison system, will and is now coming back to BITE us.
    Shame on us for allowing this to happen.

    That prisons make money off of the backs of men in prison (trading on the stock market) is unconscionable.

    Many of these men are FIRST TIME NONVIOLENT offenders and they are given 5/10/15 yrs???? for a first time offense, give me a break… and them. Its barbaric. HOlding any human being in solitary is also BARBARIC and it has GOT to end.
    If we call for these things we BETTER be prepared from what will come of it. NO good will come of it.

    • brettearle

      As long as more of us do not wake up and concede that we live  in a country whose so-called democratic ideals are compromised, threatened, and destroyed–every single day–we will continue to live in a country where we,

      ….often pay lip service to Democracy, Liberty, and Freedom, and nothing more….

  • creaker

    Did you hear about jobs at McD’s in Winchendon, MA? They are only considering college grads for servers.

    • StilllHere

      What else to do with a women’s studies degree?

  • Michiganjf

    The economy CAN’T turn around by sputtering along with a few half measures thrown in now and again to keep it afloat…

    We needed to build weighty INERTIA all at once so that the economy could speed ahead under its own momentum.



    • William

       What are you talking about? Obama has got his tax increase, his sequester, his stimulus, and the WH reports the economy is growing.

      • Michiganjf

        You’re not going to sway anyone with bloated blather.

        • William

           Are you calling Obama a liar? How can you say that? Stand up for the guy, just once.

          • StilllHere

            He must be racist.

      • StilllHere

        Sorry, your facts are not convenient to the Democrat meme.

      • Don_B1

        @davidjenson:disqus @michiganjf:disqus @StilllHere:disqus The Fiscal Cliff “resolution” provided a return to Clinton era tax top marginal tax rate for only those earning over $400,000, not those earning over $250,000 plus other tax provisions with a resulting revenue increase of about $600 billion, not anywhere near the $1.2 trillion that Obama had initially sought nor near the near $2 trillion that Simpson-Bowles had indicated should be provided.

        The WH has reported that the economy is growing, but not nearly fast enough; since the Tea/Republicans, and apparently you, want the deficit eliminated yesterday, and a balanced path takes some more revenues along with spending cuts, either you don’t care about the deficit or you want to punish people for something they did not do by cutting support they need to restore their lives.

        And if you want to eliminate the deficit right now, you don’t care what happens to the economy and all the unemployed that are desperate for work now.

  • Coastghost

    Our beloved news media do a poor job of accounting: routine calls come to this program bellyaching about US jobs going overseas. No one responsibly compensates for this truism by noting, equally, that foreign companies bring manufacturing jobs to the US (BMW, Mercedes, and Honda come instantly to mind). I don’t know the ratio of jobs in/jobs out, but our media outlets are not telling us clearly and emphatically, either.

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

      i like how there is a big uproar when jobs go to another country but no one cries when a class of workers is replaced by machines

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000570151428 Jo Bleaux

    I’m all about working later. But the first step, as the caller pointed out, is having a job. I was recently laid off after 27 years, and I’m finding that age discrimination is alive and well.

    • hennorama

      I’m all about working … later.  Just not right now, thanks.  ;-)

  • Trudie

    My husband was laid off at the age of 62 and is now close to turning 64 and has not been able to find any job..even miniman wage jobs..he is a skilled worker electrician, welder, no one will even interview him…so now taking ss early which is only 11 grand a year…how do we live on that…no retirement as never a union worker…oh an I am a Vermonter…there are no jobs in VT the reason the unemployment rate is low it is mostly due to people giving up….

    • William

       You should move to Texas. Houston is not so bad and there is a big demand for experienced electrical workers like your husband.

      • hennorama

        William – such a stirring “recommendation” of Houston - “Houston is not so bad”.

        One expects that’s NOT the slogan Houstonians would choose to promote their city, regardless of its accuracy.

        • nj_v2

          Plus, you’d get to have Rick Perry as your governor! What more does one need?

          • hennorama


          • Gregg Smith

            I love Rick Perry.

    • JGC

      Hi Trudie,

      I am a person who was raised in Pennsylvania, now  lives in Québec, and regularly vacations in Vermont. Forget about Texas; if your husband needs only to bridge a few more years of work until retirement, I wonder if there would be something for him in northwestern PA where there is industry quietly humming along in powdered metals and fracking. I don’t know about age discrimination issues, if any. I am scanning  the classified ads of my hometown paper, and here are positions being advertised today: at Eastern Sintered Alloys,P.O.Box 708, St. Marys, PA 15857  they need “mold set up personnel” for 2nd and 3rd shifts, and also a “maintenance mechanic”, requiring ability to weld, plumb and read blueprints, must have valid drivers license, position is for first shift.   Another ad from Modern Industries, Inc. in Kersey,PA where they are looking for a “double disc grinder” who must be able to read blueprints, use gages, adjust for size/flatness,  hold finishes/tight tolerances; with competitive pay and excellent benefits, apply personnel@modernind.com  .  There is also a company called Alpha Sintered Metals, Ridgway, PA ( hr@alphasintered.com ) that is looking for a quality engineer. 

      Rent in the area is about $550-600 per month for a 2-BR apt. Culturally, it is to the right of Vermont.  The abundant wilds are naturally beautiful, like Vermont, although the town centers are not (unlike Vermont.) But again, if it is for a place to work and live comfortably and cheaply for a few years before returning to VT, it could fit the bill. 

  • Steve_the_Repoman

    Is the “tool box” shy of tools or do we need to be working on a different house?

    Does the current structure – education/economic/political/spiritual -support enough of the populace to remain viable?

  • rogger2

    Howard’s got it.

    We have a consumer based economy and right now most people just don’t have expendable income. 

    • StilllHere

      Because of higher taxes!  But the decision has been made that the government knows how to spend your money better than you do.

      • Ray in VT

        I think that the government, acting via our elected representatives, certainly has the ability to make better decisions how to spend our dollars on some things.  How much would each of us individually spend on roads or schools if it was just up to us.  Also, I couldn’t find an more recent chart than this, but if one looks at our total tax revenues, it wasn’t any higher in 2007 than it was when it peaked in the late 1960s, and it is certainly lower than it was in the late 1990s:


        The fact is that relative to other industrial nations, we aren’t really a high tax nation.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Wall Street loves good news but doesn’t want to invest in it.
    They want consumers to buy, Buy, BUY, but don’t want to pay them good wages to enable them to. The farmers are starving the cows and whining about a drop in milk production!

  • creaker

    People need to wake up – we are a much poorer country than we used to be. And the country is changing to reflect that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000570151428 Jo Bleaux

      The money is still there, just in many fewer hands.

      • creaker

        Well, for the movers and shakers that’s been the goal all along, hasn’t it? It’s a lot easier moving wealth from one pocket to another than it is creating it. And given the opportunity of making money by sucking the life out of this country, many are going take advantage of it.

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

    Okay, Tom: When caller Howard says “My taxes are too high”, is it too much to make them do some math and describe to us all how their taxes have gone up?

    It’s either that or get them to admit that it’s merely how they “feel”.

    • Ray in VT

      He identified the issue of supervisory unions, and I do think that we could probably do with less, but most of the time when that issue comes to the vote, then citizens reject creating larger supervisory unions due to the loss of local control.

    • DanDaDaDan

      I totally agree. Taxes are lower than they have been in God knows how many years.

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

        On average, yes. Individually, it remains to be seen. As has been shown, the tax burden remains many different things for different strata of the economy.

        But what I don’t care for is the free pass given to individuals who are calling up and saying “My taxes are too high”.

        If my cousin said that to me at a family cookout, my first thoughts would be: Did you change income brackets? Jobs? Investments? Do you have a full-time accountant or even HRBlock or TurboTax? Can you prove this, or are you just reiterating what everyone from Fox to Rush to the WSJ tells you?

        But no, here it just sits there as a “point” to be made.

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

          the increase in the payroll tax was easy for most americans to notice on their paychecks

      • daveincatskills

        Americans have whined about taxes under the British before our Independence.  Taxes as a % of GDP have gone down.  The burden has shifted from an equal contribution from both individuals and corporations to the individual taxpayer due to corporate lobbyists and SCOTUS Citizens United decision. Corporations contribute only $220 B in tax, but individual taxpayers contribute $1,2 Trillion.  Taxpayers need to unite and boycott nonessential items until a fair tax system is put in place which eliminates the loop holes for corporations and the wealthy.  

    • Mike_Card

      There is an unconscionably large number of people who look at their federal income tax returns, then make that statement.  They don’t recognize that the federal income tax is very likely less than half their total tax bill, yet they direct all their vitriol toward Washington.

      Congress lusts after re-election, which lusts after money, so Washington further reduces taxes by pushing the responsibility for providing services down to the states via the route of unfunded mandates.

      States’ rights are conserved, congressional representatives–including senators–are re-elected and everyone is happy.  Congress remains stultified, states and municipalities teeter on the edge of insolvency, but the stupid masses continue to whine about too many taxes and unprotected borders and closed national parks.

      Makes a guy/gal want to just chuck it in:  the citizenry is just too stupid to live.

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    I keep hearing in the sub-text of this conversation about jobs a good deal of anger and frustration.  Is it just me?  

  • IzzyFurreal

    problem with the jobs report is that it is only the most recent canary in the
    coal mine of a dysfunctional U.S. economy. 
    Economic policy has been managed by simple slogans, and the simplistic belief
    that problems can be solved by either tax cuts, subsidies or low interest
    rates.  Due to the over simplification we
    have gone from bubble to bubble and have never allowed the economy to correct
    from any of its excesses.  The American
    people have not fully woken up to the fact that we are living on borrowed
    time.  A major overhaul of the economy is
    in order which requires fair distribution of the pain this will entail.      

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Yep. I’m so sick of BHO and his liberal facade while his actions are those of a corporate class warrior. Now he’s proposing cuts to SS before the negotiations even start. His austerity policies are directly responsible for the slow recovery and continuing growth of inequality.

      Can we PLEASE have an end to financial con gamers who do nothing but suck the life out of legit companies paying 15% or less tax rates?

      • daveincatskills

        Neocons complain about BHO however he is giving them everything they ask for.  The goal posts have moved so far to the right “Democrats” are liberal republicans. SS is one leg of retirement, but the other, pensions, interest on savings and 401Ks have alls been devastated by lack of regulation and crony capitialism.  SS is not in trouble and is all some good hard working have left for retirement.  Lets lift the $108K cap on SS tax.  Stop the NEOCON war on the safety net.

  • debhulbh

    Re The deaths in Texas of prison personnel and
    which are indeed vv sadDecades of doling out lengthy prison sentences to young men, (many of them first time nonviolent offenders) not commiserate with the crime ( the failed policy of mandatory minimums), holding men in solitary confinement (drives sane men, insane). These FAILED policies of the/OUR prison system, will and are now coming back to BITE us.
    Shame on us for allowing this to happen.That prisons make money off of the backs of men in prison (they trade on the stock market) is unconscionable.Many of these men are FIRST TIME NONVIOLENT offenders and they are given 5/10/15 yrs???? for a first time offense, give me a break… . It is barbaric. The failed Policy of holding any human being in solitary is BARBARIC, cruel and unusual punishment, over the top. Studies the world over say this., harkening back to Dickens’ time – has GOT to end.If we call for these things we BETTER be prepared for what will come of it. NO good will come of it.

    • William

       But crime is down due to locking up criminals. So it is a hard sell to try and convince people that criminals should not spend time in jail.

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        We incarcerate more people than any other country in the entire world. That’s not per capita, that’s absolute numbers.

        We incarcerate more people because of what we criminalize and who we choose to incarcerate.

        No one from Wall Street has gone to prison for the greatest heist in all of history.

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

          we are also per capita the highest right? we could empty half our prisons tomorrow by ending prohibition

      • debhulbh

        Crime is not down due to locking up criminals.
        As the American prison population has doubled in the past two decades, NYC city has been a remarkable exception to the trend: the number of its residents in prison has shrunk. Its incarceration rate, once high by national standards, has plunged well below the United States average and has hit another new low, as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced recently. And crime in the city has fallen by more than 75 percent, almost twice as much as in the rest of the country.Whatever has made New York the safest big city in America, that feat has certainly not been accomplished by locking up more criminals.

      • debhulbh

        “Criminals should spend TIME in jail” you say, I say “they do”.
        But the issue is – the lengthy sentences, not commiserate with the crime, being doled out.

        First tome nonviolent offenders getting 5/10/15 years? does that sound right to you?

        Our prison/justice system has lost the run of itself. Throwing young men into prison for years, does NOT work.
        They need nothing more than education/programs/mentors etc

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

        just tell them about the judges who get kickbacks to lock up kids in private prisons

  • Coastghost

    Right, Tom: Vermont and New Hampshire and Maine are all getting crowded with Latin American immigrants, legal and undocumented both. Right . . . .

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

      been to nashua lately?

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

    Mark Sanford is in the news.

    I guess his mea culpa got lost in the ether, but whatever a family values Republican who finds his soulmate while married to someone else does to get his “good name” back, it’s been done.

    • Mike_Card

      The South Carolina definition of ‘family values.’  Just hang on for their definition of ‘traditional marriage.’

  • originalname37

    Tom just missed the very good point that the guy from Canada made at the very end.  There were some very good reasons (robbery, battery) for the son *not* to have a gun.  The dad didn’t know about them, but the background check did.

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

      and how would you achieve a background check when both parties know they are acting in bad faith?

  • 1Brett1

    Another moronic comment with the same memes–er, themes of incest, pedophilia and bestiality with respect to same sex marriage…as if heterosexual men currently marry their own daughters to ensure they get their due inheritance:


  • daveincatskills

    We need reasonable gun control laws. The second ammendment is an anachromism when the U.S. was a frontier nation and was worried about the British after our war for Indepennce.  Weapons have evolved in their lethality.  There is no need for the average citizen to have this capability.  Restricing weapons to bolt action rifles and revolvers would allow for a measure of protection and recreation for advocates.  Only the military which stores its weapons in armories and law enforcement need these modern weapons….

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

      why does law enforcement need them? yes nowadays the US is perfectly safe and crime free and we have never been attacked by terrorists or lunatics so the right to defend yourself is silly and old fashioned.

  • Ray in VT

    Virginia gubernatorial candidate and current Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is asking the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a 3 judge panel’s ruling that Virginia’s “crimes against nature” sodomy is unconstitutional.

    • MrNutso

      Hard to believe when he want’s to “screw” so many of his fellow Virginians.

      • Ray in VT

        Jon Stewart also did a funny piece a while back on the guy in Virginia who is trying to get the law against unmarried people living together off of the books, as it hasn’t been used against anyone in a whole 10 years (or something).

  • Bruce94

    I listened to the whole show today and not a word about the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination observed yesterday.  I’m disappointed that no mention was made of this American hero, Civil Rights and Non-Violent Civil Disobedience icon especially considering the circumstances of this death.  King was in Memphis in support of sanitation workers and their union on strike for better wages and working conditions.  He had just launched the “Poor People’s Campaign” to address economic injustice in the context of rampant racism, militarism and materialism.

    I thought it might be appropriate to remember him this week as we are told (by Jack) that our country is apparently moving closer to the Conservative Nirvana–a low-wage, service economy with growing income inequality and declining social mobility which IMO is built on the following:  deregulation and a rapacious capitalism; ultra low taxes on the wealthy; globalization and outsourcing; neo-con militarism; cronyism and collusion; and privatization of historically public functions.

    I’m glad to hear that Monday’s show will deal with the poor job numbers.  Here’s another stat that should disabuse anyone of the notion that the sequester doesn’t matter or that we can afford the fiscal insanity and rank stupidity of the sequester in a weak post-recession economy:  according to BLS the number of unemployed persons per job opening now stands at 3.3, nearly twice the pre-recession ratio.

    I predict that just as the U.S. Credit Downgrade in the wake of the last Debt Ceiling debacle was owned by the Tea Party extremists, ultimately the sequester and its negative impact on the economy including higher unemployment will be identified, as it should be, with the Tea Party zealots and a weak GOP leadership incapable of compromising and working across the aisle for solutions. 


    • brettearle

      Even though more of the blame should likely fall at the feet of the recalcitrant Republicans, as long as we have a prominent need to apportion blame, it will do nothing but to inhibit the process, and the possibility, of both compromise and progress.

      • Bruce94

        I think progress also depends on bargaining in good faith and accepting the will of the majority.  The last election clearly demonstrated that most Americans reject the Paul Ryan budget(s) and his vision for entitlement reform as morally and fiscally unacceptable.  Not surprising when you consider opinions from sources as diverse as yesterday’s guest, David Stockman, who once wrote that Ryan’s approach would put the entire burden of entitlement reform on the poor AND the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops who declared that Ryan’s budget failed to meet the moral criteria of the Church.

        All this said, what does the GOP do in the wake of the Nov. election?  They double-down on their unpopular, unacceptable proposals and seek to balance the budget on the backs of the poor, elderly, disabled and disadvantaged in a display of utter contempt for the will of We the People. 

        They talk about a potential “generational theft” imposed by the Debt, but fail to recognize the real theft that their policies and ideology contributed to (some would say caused) in the run up to the financial disaster and Great Recession of ’07.  And how is voucherizing Medicare, eviscerating Medicaid, and privatizing or undermining Social Security for the next generation not a form of “generational theft?”  

        You are correct to advocate moderation in the tone of the discourse, but I think the record shows that the politics became exceptionally polarized on the day after Obama was elected due primarily to Republican stratagem. 


        • brettearle

          Your comments are excellent.  And clearly compelling.

          But there is more to the Economy than is in Washington’s grasp.

          At least, that’s how I look at it.  And, I think, more and more people are seeing it, that way, as well.

          Deficits; Value of the Dollar; Interest Rates; Inflation; the Stock Market; the Trade Deficit; the Speculative Markets of all kinds–including the world oil markets; restraints on Wall Street?; the Debt; the banks yet imperiled?; Glass-Steagall; the stalled recovery from 2007; the greying of the Baby Boomers and Entitlements; the Global Economy; the printing of money by the Federal Reserve……

          Shall I go on?

          `Cause, there’s likely more.

          The complexity of these indices are so  mind-boggling that Washington is arguing over a fraction of the base of the Eiffel Tower–and not the lofty structure itself.   

          The debate is DESPERATE for compromise.

          Blame plays a role in the EGO–not in the SOLUTION.

          • Bruce94

            Thank you for your reply.  Well, we are in agreement that factors contributing to a less-than-robust recovery are many and complex, and I would agree that your list includes at least some beyond the grasp of government.  I would add that when govt. gridlock for political gain becomes a drag on the economy, we all lose. 

            I know that some on this forum don’t give much weight to the Debt or the role that the Fed. played and continues to play in influencing the quality and wisdom of our economic decisions whether private or public, govt., business or individual/family.  I for one view the national debt as a long-term problem that certainly needs attention, but for now a higher priority should go to job creation. 

            You sound as if you’ve given this more thought than I have, so I’ll ask you a question regarding the Fed.’s culpability in our current mess.  When interest rates are held to the lowest level in decades and businesses can borrow for next to nothing, could this distort management decisions by incentivizing purchases of plant and equipment especially when profits are high and demand in the economy is weak as is now the case?  In this scenario, profits are diverted from labor to capital, and labor suffers a double-whammy–one from trade policy that favors outsourcing and union busting and the other from monetary policy.

            Have you heard this argument before and if so, what do you think?

          • brettearle

            Wow, my comment above must have misrepresented my erudition.

            You’ve asked me a question that’s above my pay grade–and it even might be above Bernanke’s–but I will take an irresponsible stab at it, nonetheless….while, at the same time, revealing a sector of my widely- acclaimed ignorance:

            My instincts are anti-supply sider and are in favor of stimulating the economy through supply and demand.

            To me this means putting more and more money into the pockets of the Middle Class.

            I am of the opinion that Business is as diffident and is as moody as the Markets are.

            I believe that interest rates will never stimulate the economy, via business development, the way that an increase in employment will.

            And here’s where I am embarrassed to repeat, yet again, on this Thread, that I have been published, nationally (albeit very modestly) on a part of the subject, in the above paragraph:

            to wit, the current status of employment in the country.

            I would argue (against Charles Murray’s claims, of Middle Class lassitude) that the Middle Class, suffers from a metastasizing plutocracy that is largely advanced by the alarming progress of technology that cannot keep up with its own demands.

            Therefore the new jobs, in manufacturing and in other sectors, tend to favor those people who are ALREADY trained in earlier iterations of software applications, et al.

            Consequently jobs are being both subsumed and created to favor the-already trained and skilled in these areas.

            It’s not Brains–but it’s what KINDS OF BRAINS that are  killing the middle class.

            And as former Labor Secretary Reich (one of my heroes) has said, the Retraining in the Labor Markets are deplorable….

          • Bruce94

            Thanks for taking the time to respond and share your insights.  I also find Reich’s voice to be incisive and important to our understanding of govt’s. role in creating the conditions for robust economic growth to occur and for its benefits to be broadly shared …using fiscal and monetary policy (i.e. spending and borrowing) to enhance human potential and increase worker productivity. I believe Reich has asserted that borrowing from the future in order to invest in the future (in things like education, healthcare, children’s nutrition, training, research & infrastructure) is legitimate because it promotes the acquisition of skills that we need to improve our productivity and be in a position to pay down the debt in a reasonable period of time.  On the other hand, borrowing from the future merely to prop up existing living standards (i.e. for consumption or, worse, speculation) is unjustified and may constitute what deficit hawks describe as “generational theft.”

    • StilllHere

      Great, maybe we can get some context about $85 billion in cuts (necessitating less borrowings) in a $14 trillion economy.  And all the budgets that have passed the House but the Democrat Senate won’t even address.

      • Ray in VT

        I believe that the most recent budget passed by the House was voted on, and voted down, in the Senate.

        • StilllHere

          Great, they get around to stuff 20% of the time. 

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Yep, we’re well on our way to oligarchy. Voodoo econ is working. Even better, the losers who are getting screwed are supporting it.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    “We are all Stocktonians now”

    An interesting and on-point analysis of David Stockman’s shoddy treatment by economists on the left and right.


    • twenty_niner

      Good piece by Peter Schiff, who did in fact, call the housing bubble before it imploded.

      “But nobody saw it coming”

      Wrong. Lots of people saw it coming who were scoffed at, dismissed, and derided. Some of those people also made a lot of money by being on the correct side of the trade. Those on the other side, well, got bailed out. So, heads I win, tails I win.


      Now flash forward, same deal, anyone who dares to nay say the Fed’s coke party gets scoffed at, dismissed, and derided.

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

      have you been to stockton?

  • MoorparkRick

    Regarding gun control controversy: I hear those in opposition to additional gun control legislation saying that we don’t need more laws, we just need the laws we have enforced aggressively.  Is this a reasonable point?  Would that do what we want as far as limiting mass killings?

    • hennorama

      MoorparkRick – this comment is related only to the “Moorpark” portion of your moniker; my apologies if my comments are off base.

      At one time, I was acquainted with various personnel at the Exotic Animal Training & Management (EATM) program at Moorpark College, and have fond memories of the weekend Zoo events that are open to the public.

      I also recall frequent merry breakfasts at the Cactus Patch downtown (as if Moorpark HAS a “downtown” ;-) ).

      Of course, this was all back in the prehistoric days before the 118 and the 23 were even connected.  How things have changed.

      • MoorparkRick

        We have lived in Moorpark since the time to which you refer and we attended the EATM Spring Spectacular just a few days ago!  Have been to it several times as our kids grew up, now taking our grandson to it.  And, we have eaten at the Cactus Patch many times too…

        • hennorama

          MoorparkRick – As the Disney people say – “It’s a small world after all …”

          I hadn’t thought of the Moorpark area since … well I don’t know when.

          Maybe I’ll get back there one day. I definitely enjoyed that part of California, especially the non-freeway part of the 118 between Moorpark and Oxnard. It has a bit of a “Grapes Of Wrath” feel, with the ranches and fields, the old school house, the eucalyptus tree right next to the road, and the fruit stand in Somis.

          Thanks for triggering such fond memories.

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

      well if nancy lanza had followed the CT gun storage laws she would have had a much better day

  • pete18

    Here’s something I bet most of us can agree on, means testing unemployment payments: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/millionaires-got-80-million-jobless-000001735.html

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Sure but this is small potatoes.  Child EITC fraud and illegal immigrants is a much larger problem — in the $billions.


      Are we still allowed to use the term illegal immigrants?

      • pete18

         Put them both on the list.

      • nj_v2

        Not if you get hired to work at AP, but there’s a better chance of the sun freezing tomorrow than that happening.


        AP Bans ‘Illegal Immigrant’: The Tricky Language of Immigration Reform

      • hennorama

        WorriedfortheCountry – the article you linked to has NOTHING TO DO WITH the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Rather, it is about the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC).

        Also, the fact that one has an ITIN DOES NOT mean one is what you describe as an “illegal Immigrant”. In fact, one need not even be a US resident to get an ITIN. A few facts about ITINs:

        Many legal immigrants have ITINs. There are several reasons why an individual who must file U.S. taxes may not have a Social Security number. People who must pay taxes but who may not be eligible for an SSN include:

        - Non-resident alien filing a U.S. tax return and not eligible for a SSN; if you are not a U.S. citizen, you are considered a “nonresident alien” unless you meet one of two tests: the “green card” test or the “substantial presence” test for the calendar year. An example of a non-resident alien who needs to file taxes is a person who owns or invests in a U.S. business and receives income from that U.S. business, but lives in another country.

        - U.S. resident alien (based on days present in the United States) filing a U.S. tax return and not eligible for a SSN (for example, a foreign-born student in the U.S.) dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.

        - Dependent or spouse of a legal immigrant on a temporary visa.


        You can do better than citing out of date info that doesn’t accurately support your claims.

        • Bruce94

           Thanks for the public service announcement and for responding to yet another effort by some anti-immigration reform xenophobes to throw as much b.s. as they can find up on the wall in the hopes that some of it might stick. 

          • hennorama

            Bruce94 – YW, and TY for your kind words.

            The other factor about the redstate.com blogger’s article is that those who have an ITIN and claim the Additional Child tax Credit (ACTC) do so in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code. Just as Mr. Romney claimed (falsely), they “pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more”.

            Quoting the article, which quoted the Treasury Inspector General For Tax Collection’s “shocking report”:

            “Nonetheless, IRS management’s view is that the law does not provide sufficient legal authority for the IRS to disallow the ACTC to ITIN filers. In addition, the Internal Revenue Code does not require an SSN to claim the ACTC and does not provide the IRS math error authority to deny the credit without an examination. As such, the IRS continues to pay the ACTC to ITIN filers.”

            Also, keep in mind that in order to claim the ACTC, the taxpayer must have EARNED INCOME over $3,000 for tax year 2012, as well as other qualifications.

            Let’s use an example, with an unmarried non-citizen taxpayer having an ITIN (and therefore unable to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit), wages of $10,000, no other income, and one qualifying child. Here are the Federal tax calculations:

            AGI $10,000, minus Standard Deduction of $5,800 (Single Filing status), minus Exemptions (2 X $3,700 = $7,400) = $0 Taxable Income. This means $0 Federal Income Tax.

            The (refundable) ACTC calculations are: ($10,000 minus $3,000) X 15% = $1,050. Limit is $1,000/qualifying child.

            Refund = $1,000.

            Now, keep in mind that the taxpayer had Social Security taxes of $420 and Medicare taxes of $145 deducted from wages during 2012. In addition, the taxpayer’s employer paid in a combined $765 in SS and Mcare taxes. This $565 and $765 (total $1,330) will be of no benefit to the taxpayer if they are unable to qualify for Social Security in the future.

            This means the net payment for 2012 on behalf of this taxpayer is $1,330 SS & Mcare taxes, minus their $1,000 refund, leaving a net of $330 paid in to the US Treasury.

            BTW, here’s what the Social Security Administration has to say in answer to the question

            “Can noncitizens receive Social Security benefits?”

            “In certain cases, yes.

            “To qualify for benefits, all noncitizens first must meet the same eligibility requirements as United States citizens. Additionally, a noncitizen or alien worker assigned a Social Security number (SSN) on or after January 1, 2004 must meet additional eligibility requirements. If you are subject to this provision, neither you nor your dependents can qualify for benefits based on your earnings unless you meet one of the following:

            “You were assigned an SSN based on your authorization to work in the United States at any time on or after January 1, 2004, or

            “You were admitted to the United States at any time as a nonimmigrant visitor for business (B-1) or as an alien crewman (D-1 or D-2).

            “Once an alien worker has met eligibility criteria, we must have evidence of the lawful presence of the beneficiary. That means before we can pay out benefits for any given month, we must have evidence during that month the beneficiary was either:

            “A United States citizen;

            “A United States national; or

            “An alien lawfully present in the United States.”


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

      Really? Because people who are in a position to file for UI simply have too much money to spend?

      If this is a serious idea, it’ll make sense when the business cycle is more robust and demand isn’t in danger of fallnig off the table.

      • pete18

         “Really? Because people who are in a position to file for UI simply have too much money to spend?”

        Did you read the article? Yes, in some cases millions.

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

          Yes, I did.

          “Means testing” is just another word for making things all Americans pay for into stuff for “poor people”.

          The last thing I want is some millionaire to say “I paid in and I don’t get paid back therefore tyranny”.

          • pete18

            I believe unemployment taxes are paid by companies, not individual taxpayers, therefore there is no, “I paid in x amount,” complaint equation.

    • hennorama

      pete18 – from the article – “millionaires collecting unemployment insurance made up just 0.035 percent of the 9.2 million Americans who received jobless benefits in September 2010. ”

      Please let us know when you find a REAL problem that needs to be solved.

      • pete18

        Yes, by all means let them keep on collecting, why in the world should we correct wasteful spending?

        Sheesh, I try to find something that will make everyone happy, a critique of wasteful government while bashing millionaires  and people still complain.

        • hennorama

          pete18 – what is your objection to this phenomenon?

          You say it is “wasteful spending”. Please define the term “wasteful spending” so we understand what you’re talking about.

          Were these payments you decry illegal, fraudulent, or unearned? Or do you simply object to the fact that these very few recipients had other income that was much larger than the income of most Americans?

          The total amount claimed ($80 million) was spread out over at least three years, since, according to the article, it “includ[ed] a record $29.9 million in 2010”.

          This is hardly a huge issue, which was, and remains, my point.

          • pete18

             $29.9 million here, $29.9 million there pretty soon we’re talking real tax payer money. I’m concerned about of all of it, why aren’t you?

          • hennorama

            pete18 – TY for your response. I respect your views.

            I never said I wasn’t “concerned” about these legitimate benefits, but rather that;

            A. $80 million over at least three years is TINY in the scheme of Federal Spending

            B. There is nothing illegal, fraudulent, or unearned about the benefits paid.

            You still haven’t defined “wasteful spending”, nor have you stated your objection to these benefits.

            TY again for your response.

          • pete18

             I didn’t claim it was illegal, I just said it made the case for means testing unemployment payments. Don’t you agree? What in the world are you defending here?

            I don’t believe I need a hard definition of wasteful spending to justify cutting back tax payments to people who don’t need it or haven’t earned it.

          • hennorama

            pete18 – OK, so these benefits are not illegal, and not fraudulent, and the beneficiaries qualified for them. So, what’s the problem?

            It appears you have two objections:

            1. the level of other income that the beneficiaries had in the year they received the benefits (“people who don’t need them”), and

            2. these beneficiaries claimed benefits that they in some way didn’t qualify for (as you wrote, they somehow “haven’t earned it”). This is despite the fact that you say “I didn’t claim it was illegal”.

            Given that there was no claim or evidence that the benefits were illegal, fraudulent, or that the beneficiaries did not qualify for benefits, #2 seems invalid on its face.

            That leaves #1. Your objection is distilled to “they don’t need them”.

            If that’s your argument, then there is a looooong list of Federal benefits, including tax preferences, various deductions, credits, etc., that will fall into that very same category.

            One suspects you did not intend to climb onto such a slippery slope.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • pete18

            See above.

          • pete18


            The only lubed surfaces here are your
            objections, which are purposely oblique. What I’m presenting here is exactly
            the same argument you have given us many times for means testing social
            security payments. There’s also nothing illegal about well to do seniors
            collecting social security payments beyond what they’ve paid in, but to help
            reform the system so it will be sustainable in the future, it makes sense to consider
            means testing those payments over a certain dollar amount.  If millionaires are collecting unemployment insurance
            while we’re running a deficit and others who are not millionaires are struggling
            to find work the same argument applies.

          • hennorama

            pete18 – TY for your response. I understand and respect your views.

            Indeed, I favor means testing for Social Security and Medicare (SS & MC), but not for unemployment compensation (UC). This difference is easily explained, and is due to the major differences between these benefit programs:

            UC benefits are limited in duration, and are a “use it or lose it” proposition. They expire. In addition, when one qualifies for UC, it is generally an unexpected, unplanned and negative event in one’s economic life. If your circumstances change, and you return to employment, this is generally a positive economic outcome. But as we know, a return to employment is not a sure thing. There are exceptions, of course, as some workers plan for job changes, or use their UC benefits as a sort of “paid vacation”.

            In contrast, SS & MC benefits are limited in duration only by the beneficiary’s lifespan. The timing of when one claims SS benefits, and when one becomes eligible for MC, are generally expected, planned, and positive events in one’s economic life. There are exceptions of course, as in the recent trend of a significantly higher than normal percentage of people opting for “early” SS benefits. Much of this is due to older persons losing their jobs and being unable to find gainful employment during and after the Great Recession.

            Let’s say means testing is in place for SS & MC, and your other income exceeds the testing level. You then lose benefits for 12 months. Now let’s say your income drops below the testing level. Benefits are restored in full at the next testing interval. This can go on indefinitely, and change forth and back numerous times, but that safety net is ALWAYS there if you need it.

            Now, let’s say means testing is in place for UC, and your other income exceeds the testing level. You lose benefits for 12 months, and the expiration clock continues to tick. UC benefits generally expire one year from the beginning of a claim. Now let’s say your income drops below the testing level. Benefits are restored ONLY IF they haven’t expired. Too bad, so sad, yours have expired. Once benefits expire, they are GONE FOREVER unless you are re-employed and subsequently earn enough to re-qualify. The safety net is only temporary, regardless of your need.

            Any questions?

          • pete18

             See above.

          • pete18

             Responding to your post, “Indeed, I favor means testing for Social Security and Medicare..”

            I’ve never seen anyone try so hard, with so many shifting and fallacious arguments, to justify spending more tax dollars where it wasn’t needed. Well, except maybe for the President and Democrats in Congress. No wonder budgets never get cut.

            While putting through these reforms, Congress could easily put an exemption in for
            the few millionaires whose income and assets dropped below the means-tested baseline within the year cycle. They could reapply if that situation actually came up. This is not rocket science, unless of course your DNA is so constructed
            that cutting government spending of any sort causes a Pavlovian panic attack.

          • hennorama

            pete18 – TY again for your reply.

            Thus far, I have not seen you point out any shifting or fallacious arguments. I have been consistent – I disagree with your idea, and believe you have proposed a solution which is in search of a problem. Your proposed “solution” is one I do not favor for the reasons described.

            If you see this issue as part of government “waste, fraud and abuse”, fine. However you have failed to demonstrate any waste, fraud or abuse.

            I’m not against “cutting government spending of any sort”, as demonstrated in my favoring means testing for SS & MC.

            I salute you for your vigilance, and thank you again for your reply.

          • pete18

            “Thus far, I have not seen you point out any shifting or fallacious arguments.”

            First you argued that it wasn’t enough money to worry about,
            then you shifted to saying, “what’s the problem if it wasn’t illegal for them
            to collect,” then, when it was pointed out to you that same argument would
            invalidate your own suggestion for means testing SS, you changed your objection
            to some sort of sophistry about the unfairness of the immoveable ground about
            year cycles, as if congress couldn’t easily adjust this.


            Again, what in the world are you defending?
            Unemployment  benefits are meant to help
            people survive being laid off from a job while they find new work, not provide
            spending money for people who can easily endure temporary unemployment. Anywhere where the government can adjust existing programs to make them more efficient and less wasteful of taxpayers’ money should be applauded.

          • hennorama

            pete18 – TY again for your reply.

            My arguments did not shift one iota – they expanded. All of my arguments still hold – this is a tiny issue; no illegality, fraud or unearned benefits; temporary benefits shouldn’t be means-tested.

            You still have not clearly stated your objection to these benefits. You seem to be saying “they don’t need them,” yet provide no evidence other than the simple fact of the total income of these select beneficiaries. You use the word “wasteful” repeatedly yet decline to define it. The idea of “an exemption … for the few millionaires whose income and assets dropped below the means-tested baseline within the year cycle. They could reapply if that situation actually came up” is laughably impractical and unworkable. Imagine needing to demonstrate one’s income and assets on a monthly, quarterly or other basis.

            You propose a solution in search of a problem, and a solution that is objectionable in my view.

            I am not “defending” anything. I am refuting your idea. There’s a difference. If someone qualifies for a temporary benefit, they should receive it until and unless they no longer qualify, or the temporary benefit period expires. If they claim benefits fraudulently or illegally, they should be sanctioned.

            Means testing for UC is a bad and unworkable idea. Your time and mine would be better spent elsewhere. I for one will spend no more time or energy on this topic, as my points have all been clearly made.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    With regards to “gun control” please stop using other countries as examples of
    how America should address this issue. We are not Canada, Australia, or Britain.
    We have a history with guns unique to the US and need to find our own solutions.
    If we could get beyond the rhetoric of the far right (no controls) and far left
    (no guns except for police and military) perhaps we could find common ground for
    reasonable laws. But at present we can’t seem to bridge this gap in most issues,
    guns being only one. It’s as if there’s nothing we, as a people, can agree on (even when 80% of us say we do). 

    • nj_v2

      Really, no one—even the “far left,” whoever the heck you think that is—is saying “no guns.”

      As with climate change, this is yet another example of the phony duality-ification (yeah, i know, i made it up) that distorts issues.

      Most people support reasonable gun-control legislation, and a minority funded by weapons manufacturers reject any measures at all.

      And there simply is no significant, “far-left” political presence in the current national landscape.

    • jefe68

      Nice diatribe, well maybe not.
      I’m on the left and I’m not saying no guns.
      Of course I can find plenty of people on the right who are completely out of control on this issue.
      Such as Wayne LaPierre.

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

        Yeah, and there is always the platform discrepancy.

        When the next thing RWNJ Wayne LaPierre says in the nutjob vein gets actually called “too far”, and made into his middle name in the media, it’ll about the first time.

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

      yes its odd when people compare us to places where they do not have a right to bear arms

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    “Climatologists are no Einsteins, Say His Successor”

    Who should I listen to, Michael Mann or Freeman Dyson?  Hmmm.


    • nj_v2

      Stupid question. Which is not surprising coming from this handle.

      A question that makes some sense: Does one listen to the 99% of scientists who actually study climate full time (which Dyson doesn’t) or Dyson (who once proposed space travel powered by, in essence, nuclear bombs).

      We definitely don’t listen to the WorriedOne.

      Dyson’s main complaint seems to be with the dreaded climate models, yet conditions have changed faster than most of the conservative models have predicted.

      Thorough debunking here


      more here


      with some background here


      • WorriedfortheCountry

        99%?  Source?  There was a time when 99% of physicists thought Einstein was nuts.  Science is not done by consensus.

        Mock Dyson all you want. The man is brilliant and he has worked in the field of climate.

        I’ll stick with science.  But thanks anyhow.

        • jefe68

          He can be brillant… and wrong.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Perhaps but I’m willing to listen instead of knee-jerk condescension.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            You’re willing to listen to, praise, and hype those who state your preconceptions, regardless of qualifications. You’re willing to ridicule those who disagree with your preconceptions, regardless of qualifications.

            Do you have a job?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Who did I ridicule?  Michael Mann?

            Not really.  However, we could get into the ‘hide the decline’ if you wish.

            Did you even read the original article that I posted on Dyson?  How could you argue with his logic?

            I didn’t find it controversial at all and yes it was consistent with my own observations.  Climate science is a nascent field and far from settled.

            He is also critical of journalism.  Again, he is spot on.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            You have never said anything positive about a climate scientist, and you get really excited when anyone denies man-made global warming. 

            “Hide the decline”? Give me a break. Do you get your science from righty blogs? It doesn’t refer to a decline in temp, it refers to tree-ring date not matching actual temp post-1960.

            If you really think the science is not settled, why are you so sure all the scientists are wrong? Personally, all I have to do is look at the historical correlation of CO2 with temp to be very concerned by the current level. But you, I know, have a blog that explains the CO2 away, too. I guess that’s “settled”, huh?

          • Gregg Smith

            The historical records show temperatures have always risen BEFORE CO2 levels, sometimes by hundreds of years. Yes, I know about the feedback thing excuse. It makes no sense.  But even so, all the models are being proven wrong. Temperatures are stable. It’s good news, rejoice.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         “yet conditions have changed faster than most of the conservative models have predicted.”

        You haven’t been paying attention.

        Hey, the US just met the 1997 Kyoto protocol — without even trying. 

        Don’t party too hard this weekend celebrating.


  • twenty_niner

    Dear Mr. Bernanke,

    I forget, do we borrow the money and then print it, or print the money first and then borrow it? And do we put the money in the market before or after we borrow it, or both?
    Yours Truly,
    The Big Banks


    Please print MOAR!

  • William

    Another really bad jobs report and the boys in DC are rushing through bills to bring in more foreign workers. 

  • StilllHere

    Why no discussion of the bankruptcy of Stockton, CA, crushed by the weight of out of control municipal spending?  Who is next?

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

      have you ever been there?

  • TomK_in_Boston

    I’m SO sick of our wall st loving conservadem president. He TALKS such a beautiful liberal talk, and then he sticks the knife into the middle class. That’s what makes him so dangerous, like Nixon going to china. 

    Cuts in SS, when it doesn’t even contribute the the deficit, breaking many of his promises. Idiocy about cutting the deficit and cutting spending, with the economy teetering on the brink. No mention of eliminating the “carried interest” deal for financial con gamers, no mention of a financial transactions tax. Unbelievable! Any dem who supports the Grand Sellout should have a primary, and I’ll contribute to the challenger.


      Although for reasons I completely do not agree with, it’s good to see you’re beginning to view Obama in a more critical and negative light. Perhaps there’s even hope for Jack Beatty but I tend to doubt it. In my opinion, history should judge him as one of the worst and most incompetent presidents this country has ever experienced. And to think, he’s not even an oligarch! Or God forbid, even a capitalist!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cacimbo-Smith/1142235495 Cacimbo Smith

    Please. You are not meant to support a family on a Wendy cashier job. That is meant for college students and stay at home parents looking for a little extra cash while the kid is in school. Stop pretending you should be able to support a family on that job – you never could. The difference is now people think they should be able to.

  • JGC

    About the USA Today blurb concerning Mike Rice physically abusing the Rutgers students:  Times have certainly changed. Sittin’ ’round the kitchen table with my family this past week, I reminisced about the oldie days when the math teacher used to throw erasers at our heads when he thought we weren’t paying attention, the history teacher would launch his rubber-tipped blackboard pointer at us if he caught us goofing off, and there was also the school “Board of Education”, which was a large paddle with holes drilled through it, permitting the teachers a full force swing with no air resistance as we bent over in the hallway.  There was no demeaning name calling though. Just brute force.

  • JGC

    Just read this in my PA hometown paper, and I really have to put this up for comment, (and BTW this is Real, not the Onion):

    “A teacher and coach at a north-central Pennsylvania high school has been suspended with pay after being charged with performing a sex act on himself that a passing trucker saw on Interstate 80 (resulting in) charges of indecent exposure, open lewdness  and careless driving…the incident occurred about 8:20 a.m. (Friday) March 29.”

    Do people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their automobiles on their way to work?  Do we need to specifically add this to the list of DON’Ts for distracted driving, along with texting and hand-held communication devices?  Like, a big NO to anything hand-held while driving, except the steering wheel?

    • StilllHere

      Sounds like an opportunity for a hands-free device.  I would suggest Bluetooth technology not be considered for this application.

      • Fredlinskip

        I think there’s an app for that.

    • hennorama

      JGC – your post reminded me of the movie Casablanca, when Captain Renault tells Rick he has to close the joint:

      [Rick]: How can you close me up? On what grounds?

      [Captain Renault]: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.

      [A casino worker gives Renault a wad of money.]

      [Casino Worker]: Your winnings, sir.

      [Captain Renault]: [Quietly] Oh, thank you very much. [Loudly] Everybody out at once.

      [hennorama]: I’m shocked, SHOCKED to find that sex acts are going on in automobiles. Everybody stop driving at once.

      One could further imagine a male trucker observing the teacher enjoying himself, dialing 911 on a handheld cell phone (which is not illegal in PA, right?), and reporting the scene to the dispatcher. The camera then pulls back to reveal a hooker’s head in the trucker’s lap.

      What a waste of time for everyone involved. Enforcing the speed limit, and anti-DUI laws would be a much better use of law enforcement.

      BTW, I found the following line in the article rather amusing, for some reason:

      “[Local] school officials were tight-lipped about the situation when contacted by [the newspaper] on Wednesday”.

      (As you did not identify either the newspaper or the locale, I respected that choice).

  • Gregg Smith

    “There are few things sadder than the “climate denier.” He ignores the data and neglects the latest science. His rhetoric and policy proposals are dangerously disconnected from reality. He can’t recalibrate to take account of the latest evidence because, well, he’s a denier.”


    • JGC

      There is another link to the Economist story, which Rich Lowry’s National Review commentary is based upon, that says one study reports that warming is being absorbed into the deep ocean (greater than 700m) at unprecedented rates, and that can possibly explain the recent flattening of the atmospheric temperature increases. But this is way too much for me to contemplate further before I’ve had my coffee.  Whenever I read scientific studies, the only conclusion is “More study is needed.”

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Wait a second…how can this be… we were told the science is ‘settled’.

      That line has always been hogwash.  Too bad so many bought it, hook line and sinker.

      • Mike_Card

        Belief trumps facts, then?

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

      Rich “Starbursts” Lowry has given up the privilege of being taken at his word. He’s a hack.

      No surprise that this decontexted piece of nothingburger has been twisted into the new cause celebre on the right.

    • Fredlinskip

      What do the the other 9,999,999 scientists that study this issue think?

  • 228929292AABBB

    I would suggest our government is doing the same thing to us the North Korean government is doing to its citizens.  In both countries domestic agendas are failing so the focus is shifted to an outside  enemy which can distract and unite us.  Distract us from what?  From unemployment numbers headed the wrong way despite the crippling of the young with the debt of stimulus, from continued unaddressed chaos in Syria, a President who promised to put ‘everything I’ve got’ into gun control but has neither accomplished nor even really tried much of anything on it, and instead signed legislation Monsanto wrote to exempt itself from the law.  Far better to scare the public about North Korea, which has already been bellicose and crazy for the last 40 years. 

    • Fredlinskip

      I think we need  occupy North Korea:
      “…we don’t want the smoking gun be a mushroom cloud”

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

        for real or are you being sarcastic?

      • Gregg Smith

        Good point.

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

      war is peace

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    An incredible indictment of identity politics overwhelming American higher education.

    We sort of knew it was true but now it has been documented.


  • 228929292AABBB

    I think this is a good and fair show but it does at times seem a touch liberally biased and today was one of those times.  When a Texas DA’s murder was covered the obvious possibility Mexican drug gangs were involved was referred to only in the most apologetic indirect whisper so the conversation could turn in earnest to the evil of white supremacists (the reason white supremacists would murder a white couple wasn’t made clear by the guest during this lengthy monologue).  When a caller raised the idea President Obama shouldn’t merely be credited for talking and wishing about ideas but might be evaluated on whether he actually enacts any of them, around the 30 minute mark, another call was taken so the subject could be changed without comment.  Not so fair and balanced.

    • ExcellentNews

      If President Obama was not blocked every inch of the way by an organized campaign paid for by the oligarchy and carried out by the Republican party, maybe he would have been able to actually implement some new ideas. As things stand now, the corporate looters are still running the country as if George W Bush the Third was still a president.

      • 228929292AABBB

        That’s sort of the point – Guantanamo going strong, now we can kill and imprison forever without due process; not outside the law but within it.  Debt up, jobs down, no bankers prosecuted, (not even the ones who finance terrorism) corporate welfare going strong – George W Bush in fact does seem to be the President still.  An entire generation of Democrats has formed its mind around making excuses for President Obama, along the lines of the comment above: ‘well people won’t let him do what he wants’.  Bless me, I guess I misunderstood the job of President, I thought it was to lead.  George Bush, dopey as he was, was passing sweeping legislation from a minority position all day long.  Most of it was terrible, but the point is it is possible to do things as President.  If President Obama is so easy to block, if he has good ideas that he would enact if everyone just cooperated and let him, that just makes him a failure.  The job is to get things done, not just speak eloquently about getting things done. 

        • Fredlinskip

          Your point has some merit, but still  I 
          I think he’s fared well “considering” magnitude of the problems he has had to face from day one and degree of obstructionism the President has had to face from day one.
          Consider the alternatives.
          There was “I don’t know much about economics” McCain &
          Romney-Ryan ticket who were intent on establishing Europe style austerity on the nation.
          No I don’t like extension of perpetual War, excesses of drone program, Guantanamo.
          I think part of that has to do with a somewhat misguided strategy to prove Dems are pro-military. At least one recent election (Bush Kerry) seemed to revolve around who was going to be “tougher” on Terrorism

      • StilllHere

        So he doesn’t know how to govern.

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

        oboma seems to want to continue the bush policies

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I think they try hard on this show but they fall short of living up to their own standards.  It is an example of fish not knowing they are wet.

      • Fredlinskip

        What do you think the best news program out there is, if you don’t mind me asking?

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

           Best News program? News and opinion are so often mixed that I don’t find any one program BEST.  I enjoy this program and Face the Nation and Special Report but I would not call any of the Best.

          • Fredlinskip

            I believe this program is “one of” the best as well, 
            “wet fish” and all.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    To me this is proof that no one in “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” can ever be trusted and that the organization should not be taken seriously.  


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

      none of bloombergs ideas should be taken seriously

      • JGC

        Not true! (I’ll try to expand later, if there is time.)

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

          is there still time for me to get a big soda?

  • pete18

    I think this sums it up perfectly:

    “With the labor participation rate the lowest it’s been since 1979,
    and another 200,000+ workers that were added to the category of being
    too discouraged to look for work, nearly 90 million Americans are now
    out of the work force.  The major culprits in March are being identified
    as the payroll tax “increase” (actually, the payroll tax cut was never
    meant to be permanent) and, of course, Obamacare.

    The full effects on jobs of Obamacare have not been felt yet. There
    will certainly be millions of more workers losing full-time jobs as
    their employers seek to bring their full-time workforce under 50 so that
    they can avoid the worst of Obamacare’s mandates and taxes. Some
    employees will be shifted to part-time work — especially in the retail
    and restaurant industries. Others will simply see their jobs disappear.

    So what kind of economy appears likely to emerge from the ruins of
    The Great Recession? It isn’t just Obamacare that is reshaping our
    economy. Obama administration policies and regulations that make it more
    difficult to start a business mean that there will be fewer
    entrepreneurs creating new products that require good workers to make
    them.  Employers will seek to hire more temporary help during busy
    periods rather than permanently expand their workforce. The number of
    full-time workers in some industries will drop dramatically as companies
    adjust to an economy of sluggish growth, high taxes, and a clinging
    uncertainty about the future by either not filling open positions or
    hiring part time help.

    Without regulatory and tax reform — and the repeal of Obamacare — the
    post-recession environment is going to be a lot more unfriendly to both
    business and labor. But at least we’ll all be equal in our misery
    thanks to the president’s redistributionist policies and a disrespect
    for those who achieve, or wish to achieve, success.”


    • Fredlinskip

      Wall Street’s happy- 
      Are you saying that’s not what it’s about?
      Wall Streeter’s are “achieving” just fine. We just need to redistribute some more $ that direction and they’ll start loosening up some of the 10′s of trillions in off-shore accounts and start hiring Americans again.
      What?- you think they won’t do that?
      I thought that was what Ryan plan is all about- get them boys (and girls) some more $ and they’ll hire up a storm.

      • pete18

        This is an interesting discussion you’re having with yourself, I have no idea what it’s about but anytime you want to comment on my post above feel free.

        • Fredlinskip

            I really don’t have the time available to engage your arguments more thoroughly at this time, but will try to clarify my response for you- since it’s seems to have gone over your head.
          It seems as if GOP position (Ryan, McConnel & friends) is to lower taxes, cut regulation, therby flooding large corporations with more “capital”, which they will supposedly use to stimulate economy, lower unemployment etc.
          I gathered from your comment that you are in that camp? If you are ,then you should be happy that corps and Wall Street are doing swimmingly at present.
            So where are the jobs and when are corps going to start investing in American? 
             I hope the “tax reform” you reference includes freeing up revenue in off-shore corporate tax havens.
            If you run America like a business, you will enact policies that slash American jobs and hire overseas (like Romney’s friends at Bain) and slash benefits (such as those pesky “entitlements”).
             I have addressed unemployment, tax reform, & regulation in my response- which are all subjects you raised in your post.


    Five years in office and still another pathetic monthly jobs report. Obama is absolutely clueless when it comes to understanding economics and business.  Is it any wonder this is the worst economic recovery the US has experienced since the Great Depression. We now know Obama’s plan for bringing down the unemployment rate -create enough job killing programs and policies that those looking for work just give up and drop out of the labor force. The labor force participation rate is now (63.3%) at its lowest level since Jimmy Carter was president. If that rate were merely at March 2012 levels, the unemployment rate would have been 8.3%. At January 2009 levels, 11%.

    You would think that at some point Obama would step back and re-think his policies since any sensible person would observe that they’re clearly not working. If he wasn’t such a left wing ideologue, perhaps he would promote programs and policies that stir investment and growth in the private sector, the true engine for GDP growth and more hiring. Obama’s stimulus program was a colossal failure. Increasing the marginal tax rate on those with incomes over $450K may have satisfied the envy and resentments of the downtrodden but has done nothing to cure  our economic ills and spur economic activity. Just the opposite.  Only morons, left wing ideologues and low information voters believed Obama’s class warfare garbage that middle and lower class lives would improve if only the rich paid their ” fair share”. Obama’s green energy program and the billions invested in various companies is an unmitigated failure. This coming week Fisker automotive will be the next bankruptcy filing , just in time to avoid re-paying taxpayer the hundreds of millions invested in the company. Just wait until the full impact of Obamacare sets in. I happen to support the idea of universal health care. However, I felt that in the midst of a recession and weak economic recovery , the last thing we should have been doing is increase the cost of hiring workers.  Wait until times improved. For the many clueless that frequent this board, the more expensive it is to hire people, the fewer get hired. And because Obamacare does nothing to control runaway medical costs, those few companies that will continue to offer increasingly expensive  health insurance , will fund health insurance at the expense of granting workers hire wages and compensation. And the income inequality will grow even wider.

    Note to caller Joe from Framingham– corporations do not receive tax credits to shift jobs overseas. Neither do oil companies receive tax credits for drilling in the US and elsewhere. And we have a global economy– insulating the US from global forces will result in widespread financial harm to the very people who fear most from global economic forces. Suggestion–deal with it or suffer the consequences. 

    • Lawrence

      Obama “Clueless?” Dude, it’s Goldman Sachs that runs the White House of any president. Can’t blame any president, just Wall St.


        Obama has no idea on how the economy operates and the programs and policies necessary to foster economic growth. He has failed the test of leadership, is divisive and a demagogue, and is always looking for some person, group, or event to blame for problems facing this country. Obama suffers from what  Pres. Reagan said many left wing ideologues suffer from: ” The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so”. I am convinced that history will not be kind when judging his presidency.

        • Fredlinskip

          Yeah W was “a uniter, not a divider”.
          Then Obama came in an all of a sudden we had a divided country.
             Actually I seem to recall a moment in time , around 9/11, when the whole world and country was willing to unite around our President- too bad we had such a clueless idiot in office at the time.
              Reagan said lots of interesting things- including “I don’t recall” 139 times during Iran-Contra hearings.

          • Gregg Smith

            Obama’s President now.

          • Fredlinskip

            But not so much the “divisive” one that Jon makes him out to be, IMHO

          • JONBOSTON

            The division you blame Bush for causing dealt with differences over policy such as Bush’s policies regarding Iraq, counter-terrorism, Gitmo, etc. Bush never impugned the motives, character or doubt the sincerity of those that disagreed with him. Bush stood silent despite the outright lies and calumnies spewed by Bush haters and those suffering from Bush derangement syndrome.  Fair minded and reasonable people would call this demonstrating presidential character. One such Big Lie was the Left’s article of faith that Bush lied about the weapons of mass destruction. Funny how despite the various committees in Congress assigned to investigate these charges and Obama’s control of the presidency, none of these so-called lies have have been substantiated.

            Obama on the other hand has done nothing but impugn and disrespect the motives and sincerity of those individuals and groups that have disagreed with him or opposed his policies. At times he’s impugned the motives of Republicans (especially the outrageous lies said about Romney), conservatives including members of the Tea party, insurance companies, doctors, Wall St., bankers, corporate jet owners, Supreme Ct., big Pharma, big oil, the top 1%, millionaires and billionaires, FoxNews and Rush, etc. In doing so, Obama has created a new low standard for presidential leadership and character.

            It figures that you don’t understand the difference between sincere policy disputes and attacks on individuals and groups. It’s typical of the Left who, unable to debate ideas, resorts to character asassination. 

          • Fredlinskip

            My biggest problem I have with W (and I have many) is that he squandered a fantastic golden opportunity at 9/11 to enact policy to make country & world much better place and to give greater meaning to the lives lost on that day.
             Instead he chose to use this new found “political capital” to do just the opposite, IMhumbleO.
              I shouldn’t just focus on W but whole administration in general.    I think you are mistaken if you think W admin was very tolerant of contrary opinion.
               I could enumerate much evidence to support this opinion, and have on previous occasion but life is short.
               Character assassination? Reread your comment and tell me you had no desire to impugn the character of our current Prez?
                 I think part of the problem is that Obama speaks what he (and I on most occasion) see as the truth. You take great offense, because “you can’t handle it” and have different opinion. 
            I recall when W was prez, he said a lot of stuff that you would not find offensive, but I very much did.
            One’s perspective has much to do with whether one finds what another says offensive.

    • hennorama

      JONBOSTON – To you and all the other economic amateurs trying to portray the decline in the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) as evidence of some sort of economic apocalypse – please refrain from using the LFPR as evidence of anything. I would also like to encourage you to post the sources of the information you present.

      I say this because even actual experts are unable to explain why either the Civilian Employment to Population Ratio (EMRATIO) or the Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate (CIVPART) have declined so rapidly and have not recovered as much as expected.

      BTW, a little-known fact about the LFPR argues for increased immigration – foreign-born workers, especially foreign-born men, participate in the labor force at a much higher rate than native-born workers. According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics:

      “In 2011, [the most recent year for which data is available,] the labor force participation rate of the foreign born was 67.0 percent. The labor force participation rate of the native born was 63.6 percent. The labor force participation rate of foreign-born men was 79.5 percent in 2011, compared with 68.8 percent for native-born men. Among women, 54.6 percent of the foreign born were labor force participants, compared with 58.7 percent of the native born.”


      Quoting an actual expert, Willem Van Zandweghe, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City:

      “The sharp decline of the LFPR since the onset of the recent recession is due to long-term shifts related to demographic trends and to the cyclical downturn in the labor market. A variety of evidence indicates that, on balance, trend factors account for about half of the decline in labor force participation from 2007 to 2011, with cyclical factors accounting for the other half.”

      Van Zandweghe defines “trend factors” as demographic, cultural, and institutional trends. The quote is from quite an interesting paper that Mr. Van Zandweghe wrote. You can download it here:

      And here’s what Julie Hotchkiss, a research economist from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta had to say:

      “Employment growth coming out of a recession is normal, but the continued decline in the labor force is a puzzle. Typically as the economy rebounds, people are enticed into the labor market to take advantage of new job opportunities in the growing economy.

      “Two explanations that have been offered for the declining labor force have been the availability of extensive federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation and an increase in the number of workers filing for disability insurance; neither explanation can account for the observed decline in the labor force.”

      “Reasons offered for the continued growth in nonparticipation don’t appear to hold water. The Emergency Unemployment Compensation program was extended through January 2012, greatly reducing the potential contribution of individuals rolling off EUC to the ranks of not-in-the-labor-force. Further, despite the sporadic upticks over the last couple of years in the share of those out of the labor force who are disabled, the share is on a consistent downward trend. There also doesn’t appear to be any particular age group that contributed to the most recent increases in nonparticipants. Finally, the current stagnation in the growth in the labor force cannot be explained by longer-term trends in labor force participation rates.”

      See:http://www.frbatlanta.org/chcs/pubschcs/hcc/110413.cfm (There are some excellent charts in this article)

      Another voice, the Heritage Foundation’s Senior Policy Analyst in Labor Economics, James Sherk, says:

      “Demographic changes explain approximately one-fifth of the drop in labor force participation. The baby boomers are aging and thus more likely to retire, dropping out of the labor force. The remaining drop in participation primarily comes from millions more people going on disability insurance or attending school. While those enrolled in school will probably return to the labor force, those going on the disability rolls will not. They will remain permanently outside the labor force.”


      “On the other hand, economists are expecting labor force participation to fall no matter what happens in the labor market. The first of the baby boomers turned 65 in 2011. People in their 60s are considerably less likely to work and more likely to retire than those in their 50s. An aging population will push down labor force participation whether the economy does well or poorly. The aging of the baby boomers presents economic challenges for America, but these challenges have nothing to do with the cyclical state of the economy. If demographic changes explain most of the drop in labor force participation, then the unemployment rate accurately measures the health of the economy.”

      Mr Sherk of Heritage differs with the Fed on how much demographic changes have impacted the LFPR. Mr. Sherk relies on internal analysis from Heritage’s own analysts, who have created hypothetical models. Here’s what they say about their methodology, in part:

      “The principal data source for this report was the 2007 and 2011 monthly micro-data from the Current Population Survey conducted by the Bureau Labor Statistics in conjunction with the Census Bureau. Variable construction was a large part of the analysis.”

      In other words, they use their own models, using variables they also have constructed. This is not necessarily problematic, but it raises some questions. The reader can decide for themselves, by reading Mr. Sherk’s analysis and methodology here:


      Bottom line – if the experts can’t explain or agree on why the LFPR has not recovered as much as expected, neither can you. Drawing conclusions from unexplained phenomena is ill-advised at best, and silly at worst.

      • Gregg Smith

        You’ve got to be kidding. 

        • hennorama

          Gregg “April Fool!” Smith – thank you for your thoughtful, in-depth response. Very well done, sir.

          • Gregg Smith

            Every bit of what is happening was predicted with stunning accuracy in 2009. The anemic GDP, the LFPR, the job losses from Obamacare, the explosion in food stamps and disability, all of it. It is going precisely as planned and one famous radio guy even said he hoped Obama would fail, but he didn’t. This is what he wants and with all due respect to Jon, I don’t think it’s a matter of total incompetence although there is that too. There is no mystery no matter how many excuses you make. He has you right where he wants you, defend away. 

            You are far to gone to debate, but you’re welcome for the response.

          • hennorama

            Gregg “April Fool” Smith – Wow, you mean economists and others predicted that the Great Recession would result in GDP reductions and slow growth, lower participation in the labor force, job losses, and increased use of Federal support programs? You mean the same things that happen during and after balance sheet recessions?

            Wow. What a surprise. NOT.

            As to your repeated claim of “job losses from Obamacare”, please demonstrate that this is a factual, true and honest claim. Show us the facts that back up your claim. Assuming you can find any facts, that is.

            Please also define “explosion” as used in the context of your claim of “the explosion in food stamps and disability”.

            Please also support your silly claim that “It is going precisely as planned”. Again, assuming you can.

            Did you mean as “It is going precisely as planned [by Republicans whose goal was to make President Obama a one-term President]”? Or did you mean something else?

            As to your hilarious “You are far to [sic] gone to debate …” You, sir do not “debate” despite your repeated claim that you are all for “open and honest debate”. Rather, you pontificate, and when challenged, you change the subject, claim your conflicting words were taken out of context and/or “cherry picked”, avoid responding to direct questions, fail to support your claims and define your terms, and run away. Just as you are doing now.

            That is not “open and honest debate”, sir. That is closed-minded dogmatic pontification.

      • Bruce94

        Thanks for the expose.  I’m glad someone is willing to take time to respond in a coherent manner to some of the half-truths and misrepresentations of fact that get thrown up on the wall in hopes some of it sticks.  That you have the time and inclination to delve into the source material and share it on this forum is commendable. 

        I would simply add to your response that it took over thirty years of deregulation, globalization and supply-side tax cuts to get us to this point; those who think that Obama or anyone in the White House could have completely reversed these decades-long trends in four years are kidding themselves.

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

        human labor is becoming obsolete


        I applaud your ability to type.  Pray tell–if fewer people are working , and more living off the largess of government, how will this welfare state survive?

        • hennorama

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

          Actually, there are not “fewer people [who] are working”.

          Nonfarm employment is up. The most recent figure of 135.195 M (2013-03-01) is 1.1% higher than the 133.631 M figure from the beginning of the Obama administration (2009-01-01), and is 97.9% of peak non-farm employment of 138.056 M (2008-01-01).

          As your question is inaccurate, it is difficult to answer.

          Pray tell — would you care to rephrase?

          There’s both graphic and numeric data in this handy source:


  • 1Brett1

    “…historical records show temperatures have always risen BEFORE CO2 levels, sometimes by hundreds of years.”


    • Gregg Smith

      You are quoting me, and no attribution? Where’s the love?

      I acknowledged I’ve seen that, it’s old news, there is new data. I went on to write:

      “Yes, I know about the feedback thing excuse. It makes no sense.  But even so, all the models are being proven wrong.”

      • 1Brett1

        There are various quotes from various commentators, all over the Internet, just like the quote I put into my comment (including nearly the same quotes from comments in the link I provided)…It’s not about you! It doesn’t matter what makes sense or doesn’t make sense to you.

        • Gregg Smith

          Wow, whoever you quoted said the exact same thing as me even the part in caps. But you’re right, it’s not about me. It’s about the models that turned out to be wrong and the temperature that is stable. It’s about the science.

          • 1Brett1

            I suppose you have a copyright on those words? Or are they just singularly unique to your opinions? ;-)

            Well, there are natural fluctuations in the earth’s climate (those fluctuations are not caused by humans alone), but humans contribute to the fluctuations being more frequent and more severe and causing more catastrophe, like with the Dust Bowl phenomenon…humans didn’t cause the drought but caused the catastrophe that devastated the US for a decade (which is a good microcosmic model). 

            Which models turned out to be wrong? Which scientists were able to determine that, of those so-called models, which ones were wrong?

            It appears you are saying that one set of scientific findings is wrong and one is right. Of those which are wrong and right, which percentage of those findings is on the “right” side? 

          • Gregg Smith

            The models I’m referring to are the ones that predicted temperature should be rising because of the bookoos of CO2. Temperatures are not rising, the models were wrong. 

            I was referring to this, which was news in many circles.

          • 1Brett1

            The issue is a complex one; the interpretation of the data is difficult to parse. Regarding your link…it wasn’t all that clear cut; and, I don’t know about you but I had difficulty following all of the data there and coming to the conclusion that the gavel has been slammed down definitively on the side that CO2 emissions do not effect climate or that any models were absolutely wrong. 

            As far as “models,” the current long-term models (the only ones in my view that would have any chance of showing any long-term effects) were created in 2007 to forecast the 21st century (considering we are just at 2013, it seems a bit premature to proclaim “the models were wrong”). Let’s wait till 2099 before we declare those models “wrong.”


            I believe that the climate is changing on its own and that human activity is increasing the effects from those changes. You do not believe that. The only debatable area of all this, in my view, is in the actual frequency, intensity and duration of climate change and not that it is happening or that humans play a role. You, obviously, see that differently. Fair enough. I don’t really care whether you feel humans have any effect on climate or that CO2 has any effect on temperature changes (as I do), but for you to suggest that absolutely those factors have no effect or are inconsequential over time is wrong in my view. You can pick and choose the information you find correct or that fits your belief (and proclaim that this is the last word), and I’ll pick the information I find reasonable (that is ongoing and being updated all of the time, and is worth monitoring without making any absolute proclamations). 

            Often, for the general public, media outlets and organizations will pare down complex information into easily digestible statements, which is a huge mistake on both sides of the debate. If there is a problem with any debates in this realm, it is along these lines.

            And, just a few more links (out of many, many links I could provide):




  • Bruce94


    Despite the most recent jobs report, significant
    head winds from various sources and the recalcitrance of Tea Party zombies, Cro-Mag
    Conservatives and Romnesiacs epitomized by some of the comments below, steady
    progress has been made under Obama’s leadership.  Since some clueless contributors on this
    board seem inclined to re-litigate the Nov. election, here’s one response to
    their wild and unsubstantiated claims:

    42 consec. months of GDP growth & 38
    consec. months of private-sector job growth resulting in the creation of over 5
    million new jobs; more than 532,000 manufacturing jobs created since Feb. 2010;
    1 million jobs saved by auto industry rescue with an est. 190,000 new jobs
    expected by end of this year marking the first time since 1997 manufacturing jobs
    were added to the economy; est. 400,000 teachers kept in classroom & 4,700
    police officers hired or kept on the job thanks to Stimulus spending which most
    non-partisan economists agree prevented another 30’s style Depression; 4 new
    trade deals est. to increase U.S.
    exports by $12 billion creating 72,000 new domestic jobs.

    Some head winds that were unavoidable &
    beyond any President’s control:  increasing
    globalization & interdependence of the banking system combined with
    European debt crisis & austerity measures undertaken which have aggravated
    the decline & contributed to double-dip recession in those countries that
    adopted austerity (are you Ryan budget deficit chicken hawks paying
    attention?); a recession Obama inherited made worse by collapse of the
    financial services sector where it began after years of conservative-driven
    deregulation & tax policy that enabled an insidious financialization of the
    U.S. economy combined with unprecedented private & public debt overhang
    that was bound to make recovery slower than any other in most of our lifetimes;
    for those suffering acute Romnesia, when Obama took office an economy that was
    bleeding 800,000 jobs per month & GDP contracting at 9%.  At the time,
    experts advised Obama that the rate of GDP decline was only 3%, so Obama’s
    original estimates of recovery rate & size of deficits were understandably

    Some head winds that were inflicted by the
    GOP for perversely partisan gains:  The
    American Jobs Act containing proven, bipartisan strategies for creating jobs
    blocked by the GOP.  Experts estimate that unemployment could now be below
    7% if the Jobs Act had been passed last year; John Boehner succumbing to Tea
    Party extortion and rejecting the “Grand Bargain,” a bipartisan
    approach to deficit reduction which put entitlement & discretionary
    spending cuts on the table in exchange for tax hikes on the wealthiest
    2%.  A 3-to-1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases was deemed
    unacceptable by this extremist iteration of the GOP who feel greater fidelity to
    Grover Norquist than they do to their Oath of Office or constituents; GOP
    obsession with defending tax breaks for millionaires and special interest
    loopholes that led to the debt ceiling debacle & U.S. credit downgrade resulting
    in a further drag on economic growth and job creation.

    The choice was and remains between steady
    improvement with the possibility of more rapid growth if the Republican agenda
    of undercutting the President at any cost can be defeated OR returning to the
    same failed trickle-down, voodoo economics that brought on the Recession in the
    first place. 

    • twenty_niner

      “President at any cost can be defeated OR returning to the same failed trickle-down, voodoo economics that brought on the Recession in the
      first place.”
      What you have now is the ULTIMATE in trickle down – the Fed printing trillions and keeping interest rates at 0, that’s all great for the big banks and people who can afford to put money in risk assets (better get out soon), but is decimating savers and people who are living on fixed incomes. In fact, they get the double whammy of no interest income on top of the dilution of their purchasing power.




      • Bruce94

         You may be more familiar with the nuances of monetary policy and the Fed. than I am, but I’ll throw this comment out for your consideration.  Most nonpartisan and mainstream economists I’ve heard on the subject have asserted that actions undertaken by the Fed since the onset of the Great Recession ’07 have been reasonable and justifiable.  Many attribute the fact that the U.S. has avoided a double-dip recession to these policies including keeping interest rates low and  quantitative easing.

        If you are at or approaching retirement age and you didn’t panic and sell when the market hit bottom, you’ve seen the value of your IRA or 401-K restored to pre-Recession levels or higher depending on the degree to which your portfolio was rebalanced given the post-Recession reality. 

        The consensus seems to be that if the Fed were to pull back or reverse course now, we would quickly slide into another Recession because the fundamentals of the economy (especially the job market) are not strong enough at present.

        • twenty_niner

          Inflation has been under-reported for years:


          In 1995, the Boskin commission changed the formula for inflation to lower SS payouts, which they want to again with chained CPI.

          401K? That’s great if you have one worth a damn.


          Further, there are plenty of retirees who have gotten burnt twice in the markets, in 2001 and 2008, and aren’t about to risk precious savings in the Fed’s latest asset bubble.

          • Bruce94

             So maybe we found common ground.  I’m totally against chained CPI, and think there are many other beneficiary-friendly ways to fix SS.  I take it from your apparent concern about people on fixed incomes that you agree?

          • twenty_niner

            I’m for a policy solution that would benefit everyone, which is something other that fixing the previous bubble with bubble 2.0, then 3.0, etc. And they keep popping with ever more impact. This was Stockman’s point, but others have been making this point in recent years.

            The problem is it’s very hard to plan anything in this economy long term. When is the Fed going to end ZIRP? 

            For retirees, many planned on interest income, which no longer exists, which is now seriously impairing household budgets.


      Only a public sector employee, member of academia or union organizer could utter such nonsense. Obama has no understanding of the private sector, even less understanding on how to create meaningful economic growth, and is totally clueless on how to create sustainable job growth in the private sector. 
      The stimulus program was initially sold by him as a way to jump start hiring in the private sector, the true engine for economic growth and creating national wealth. It was anything but. When the stimulus bill became such a farce , the Obama administration then began touting the program’s new goal of “saving and creating jobs”, knowing full well that you can’t prove that a job’s been saved.  But so what when the media never bothered to ask. Instead it became nothing more than a sop to public sector union parasites who responded in kind by funneling union dues to Democrat politicians. Hiring more teachers and firefighters is great but no credible economist could argue that their hiring would drive economic growth in the private sector. Moreover no state could maintain their hiring without unending stimulus funding.  It never made any sense to me.

      You mention the auto sector bailout. The Obama admin crowed that it saved  or created jobs. What the bailout actually saved was the UAW’s heavily padded compensation packages; what it created was a massive taxpayer loss of nearly $23billion. Obama redistributed $26billion more to the UAW than it would have received had it been treated as it usually would in bankruptcy proceedings. This amount is more money than the US spent on foreign aid in 2011 and 50% more than NASA’s budget. Thus the entire loss to US taxpayers from the auto bailout came from funds diverted to the UAW. None of that money kept factories running. The UAW bailout undermined a bedrock principle of US Bankruptcy law that creditors with similar unsecured claims receive equal treatment. For the low information types, Obama screwed other creditors and bondholders to favor the UAW, some of whom were public pensions that held Chrysler and GM bonds. In fact it was the Indiana state police pension fund that challenged Obama’s screwing of bondholders all the way to the US Supreme court.

      Austerity is not the cause of Europe’s problems. The most troubled economies ( the so-called PIGS) suffered from enormous govt. spending ( on average nearly 52.6% of GDP by 2010) and extremely high tax rates ( 40-50%).  These countries cut spending but increased taxes–totally misguided economic policies that caused near economic ruin.

      Lastly you mention Obama’s Jobs Act. It was nothing more than increased government central planning–more money for failed green energy programs and non-shovel ready infrastructure spending , including such speculative black holes as high speed rail. All at the expense of more taxes  and more debt. And more public sector union parasite votes.

      • Bruce94

        Your disdain for Obama I believe is wrongheaded and misplaced.  The last time we had a businessman in the
        White House and ex-governor with loads of executive experience, it was an
        unmitigated disaster.  Of course, I’m
        referring to George W. Bush, who in spite of his vast private-sector experience,
        chose or implemented policies that led to the worst financial collapse since
        the Great Depression. 


        We are in agreement that the true engine of economic growth resides
        in the private sector—a core principle that I’ve never heard Obama or his
        minions dispute.  When you charge that
        Obama has failed to create jobs in the private-sector (even though we have
        witnessed 36 consecutive months of private-sector job growth) or that Obama is
        clueless as to how those jobs are created, I’d say that the President’s mission
        and that of Government in general is not to create the jobs in the private
        sector, but rather to create the conditions conducive for economic growth to
        advance in order to generate something approaching full employment. 


        Your take on the auto bailout contradicts practically every
        credible economist I’ve heard on the subject. 
        They all tend to agree that without Obama’s auto rescue package, it
        would have been another unmitigated disaster for not only the affected auto
        workers, but also for the chain of suppliers and distributors as well as their
        states and communities that would have been decimated if a conventional
        bankruptcy had proceeded. 


        I don’t know what you care to call it, but austerity
        measures involving draconian budget cuts, tax increases or, more often than
        not, some combination have catapulted many of the non-PIGS to double-dip
        recession.  In the case of the UK, it’s a
        triple-dip.  On the other hand, you do
        understand that govt. spending in the Nordic countries has averaged 50% or
        higher along with tax rates at 40-50% WITHOUT dire consequences.  As a matter of fact, the Nordic countries are
        in better shape in terms of their debt-to-GDP ratios than the U.S. where
        spending has been held down to 25-35% of GDP (depending on the index used). 


        Finally, the American Jobs Act you
        attack along with other measures like an Infrastructure Bank and Veterans Job
        Corp would have provided a second stimulus and possibly kick started a more
        robust recovery.  There’s no way of
        knowing for certain since Republicans succeeded in blocking every attempt at bipartisan
        cooperation on programs and budget items that have been effective historically
        helping the country to come out of severe recessions in the past.  No brainers like: spending on new and
        pre-existing infrastructure projects; modernizing schools and colleges;
        refurbishing foreclosed properties; expanding high-speed wireless services;
        incentivizing employers to hire the long-term unemployed; and extensions of various
        credits to businesses in areas like energy;new job creation and payroll expansion; R & D; bonus
        depreciation.  These are not black holes,
        but rather examples of the kind of enhancement of human capital and
        infrastructure that is required if the U.S. is to remain competitive in the
        global economy because our competitors in Europe and Asia are busy doing the
        central planning and making these investments while we dither.

        BTW I have nothing but admiration for public sector employees, members of academia, and union organizers partly because in the case of public workers and teachers, they do their jobs  having to tolerate the verbal abuse and ingratitude of persons like yourself.  In the case of union organizers, they take pride in helping establish wage standards that benefit non-union employees as well as their own in a given economic sector–standards that probably had as much to do with building a strong middle-class as anything you’ve cited thus far. 

        • pete18

           “Of course, I’m
          referring to George W. Bush, who in spite of his vast
          private-sector experience, chose or implemented policies that led to the
          worst financial collapse since the Great Depression.”

          Please name one policy that Bush put into place that led to the financial collapse. Just one.

          • Ray in VT

            How about his kindler, gentler SEC that was going to be more of a buddy to the Street, instead of a boogeyman?

          • Bruce94

            While Bush doesn’t deserve all the blame for the financial crisis, he pursued or continued policies, made appts. and created an atmosphere of lax or no regulation that crippled those agencies and staff charged with the responsibility of regulatory oversight.  This led to or exacerbated the financial meltdown and certainly hamstrung the govt.’s effort to contain the crisis and mitigate the effects of the subsequent recession.

            Bush reappointed Greenspan whose easy money policy fueled the housing bubble and whose advocacy of self-regulation for banks and mortgage lenders was a factor in the absence of regulation in the run up to the economic crash. 

            Bush’s advisers blocked tighter regulations on mutual and hedge funds
            resulting in the resignation of SEC director William Donaldson.

            Together with lax regulation, Bush championed the “Ownership Society” which gave the green light to the sub-prime mortgage industry and its abuses.

            Bush squandered the surplus he inherited from Clinton with ill-advised tax cuts and spending increases that brought a return to permanent deficits leaving the fed. govt. in a much weaker position to contend with the financial crisis and recession. 

            Bush signed TARP which bailed out the banks without obtaining any commitment from those behemoths to increase lending to the private sector or mitigate the problems they caused or compensate those who were damaged by their outrageous decisions.

            In spite of facing economic conditions totally different from what Reagan had to tackle, Bush continued the same tax policies favoring capital gains and high earners.

            After 9-11 Bush didn’t call for sacrifice, but famously urged Americans to “go shopping” further fueling our credit-driven consumer binge.

            Those who counseled Bush to pay attention to the deficit and out-of-control spending were ignored or ousted like Paul O’Neill at Treasury and Larry Lindsey at the WH.

            In spite of the animus expressed toward Obama by your sidekick JONBOSTON and others, it think it’s more likely that Bush will go down in history as the least successful President on the economy since Herbert Hoover.

  • Ray in VT

    I’m still waiting for someone to show evidence that there’s a scientific consensus that there’s been no global warming for 20 years.  It’s still looking like a lie.

    • Gregg Smith

      “Scientific Consensus” is an oxymoron. At one time the scientific consensus was the world was flat.

      Phil Jones was the main man for the IPCC’s infamous 2007 fourth quarter assessment and even he says there has been no significant warming since 1998. Where is the evidence to the contrary?

      • Ray in VT

        An oxymoron is a contradiction in terms, such as little giant.  There is nothing about “scientific consensus” that is inherently contradictory.  Such a position can be wrong, but that doesn’t make it a contradiction.

        So now the IPCC is something that you are going to trust?  I thought that it was just some ungodly conglomeration of government bureaucrats or something?

        Also, you said that there had not been any warming for 20 years, and I said that that was a lie.  Well, if you look at the data comparing 20 years ago to now, then you will see that that is a lie.  The global temperature anomaly in 1992 was about .2, and the running yearly average was nearly .3, and in 2012 the anomaly was .57, which was about the same as the running average.  So, I know that I was brought up with the “new math”, but .57 is still more than .2, right?  So your statement was a lie.

        Global temperatures have been relatively stable since 2001, with the running average bumping right along at the high end, as only one year in the 20th century (1998) was warmer than 2012.  Temperatures have been relatively stable over the past decade, and that is a good thing.  I would have liked the Economist article more if it had addressed rising ocean temperatures, which it only just touched on, but that’s fine.  Land temperatures get most of the attention anyways.

  • Anthony Amiewalan

    The situation with North Korea is getting out of control. Not sure what we can even do….


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

    its funny that you said i did not ask a question then you finally address the question i asked. I also enjoyed your critique of my syntax.  There is not a real good way to know how many people bought guns after they failed the NICS check but since they are not prosecuted for doing so there is no reason why they would not simply purchase weapons on the black market.  I don’t think its much of a strech to think that a person who wants something will get it one way or another.
    so after you deny i asked a question then you identify my question as an argument you still fail to answer it instead presenting a logical fallacy.
    the background checks in terms of a first line of defense are like the great wall of china, the mongolians just went around or like the maginot line how did that work out?
    i did not suggest anything of the sort in reguards to stationing police at FFLs. how do you come up with such nonsense? why not actually address what i say? is it because you know there is no way to force criminals to comply with a background check on a private sale?

Aug 21, 2014
In this November 2012, file photo, posted on the website freejamesfoley.org, shows American journalist James Foley while covering the civil war in Aleppo, Syria. In a horrifying act of revenge for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded Foley — and are threatening to kill another hostage, U.S. officials say. (AP)

An American is beheaded. We’ll look at the ferocity of ISIS, and what to do about it.

Aug 21, 2014
Jen Joyce, a community manager for the Uber rideshare service, works on a laptop before a meeting of the Seattle City Council, Monday, March 17, 2014, at City Hall in Seattle. (AP)

We’ll look at workers trying to live and make a living in the age of TaskRabbit and computer-driven work schedules.

Aug 20, 2014
In this Oct. 21, 2013 file photo, a monarch butterfly lands on a confetti lantana plant in San Antonio. A half-century ago Monarch butterflies, tired, hungry and bursting to lay eggs, found plenty of nourishment flying across Texas. Native white-flowering balls of antelope milkweed covered grasslands, growing alongside nectar-filled wildflowers. But now, these orange-and-black winged butterflies find mostly buildings, manicured lawns and toxic, pesticide-filled plants. (AP)

This year’s monarch butterfly migration is the smallest ever recorded. We’ll ask why. It’s a big story. Plus: how climate change is creating new hybridized species.

Aug 20, 2014
A man holds his hands up in the street after a standoff with police Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, during a protest for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo. (AP)

A deep read on Ferguson, Missouri and what we’re seeing about race, class, hope and fear in America.

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