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Week In The News: Guns, Immigration, North Korea

Maybe a gun deal.  Maybe an immigration deal.  And who knows on North Korea?  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, shakes hands with unidentified South Korean Air Force soldiers upon his arrival at Seoul military airport in Seongnam, South Korea, Friday, April 12, 2013. (AP)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, shakes hands with unidentified South Korean Air Force soldiers upon his arrival at Seoul military airport in Seongnam, South Korea, Friday, April 12, 2013. (AP)

The unusual sound of Congress groaning to life this week.  And over the Korean peninsula, big unsettling question marks about what’s just theater and what could be theater of war.  North Korea talks “sea of flame” for the US again.  Secretary of State John Kerry says they won’t be accepted as a nuclear power.  Pentagon intelligence says they’re already there.

A filibuster avoided on guns in the US Senate.  Now comes the big wrangle.  An immigration deal emerging.  Big budget talk.  Annette Funicello passes on.

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

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Major Garrett, chief White House correspondent for CBS News and correspondent-at-large with the National Journal (@MajorCBS)

Jonathan Chait, writer for New York Magazine (@jonathanchait)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “The White House’s budget request for the 2014 fiscal year drew headlines for its proposed changes to how entitlement benefits are calculated in a compromise effort to cut the budget. But how would other departments and programs be affected? While Congress almost never enacts the president’s budget as proposed and Republicans oppose many of the specifics, the budget offers a window on Mr. Obama’s priorities at the beginning of his second term. Times reporters provided analysis.”

CBS News “A bipartisan group of senators appears to be inching ever closer to a deal for overhauling the nation’s immigration system, and having made recent progress on one of the issue’s key sticking points, negotiators say they expect to present a version of the legislation by the end of this week.”

ABC News “The South Korean military is on high alert today preparing for North Korea’s possible mid-range missile test ‘anytime soon,’ while Pyongyang seeks to grab international attention and build an image at home of Kim Jong Un as a formidable leader.”

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  • JGC

    Incredibly powerful advocacy video, “How many more rounds?” from momsdemandaction.org .  As described by Susan Krashinsky, marketing reporter for the Globe and Mail (Canada):

    Shell casings from a black AR-15 rifle spin in slow-motion flight.  Each one is labelled with the name of a U.S. school or a city where a mass shooting has taken place:  Columbine; Carson City; Virginia Tech; Aurora and Minneapolis and Brookfield and Newtown…the images of shell casings are accompanied by audio of 911 calls, news reports and solemn presidential addresses about shooting incidents, and the voices of parents whose children have been killed.

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

      A survey of police officers reports that 60 percent said that the passage of Obama’s gun control legislation would not improve officer safety.

      http://dailycaller.com/2013/04/10/survey-shows-law-enforcement-united-against-gun-control/

      • jimino

        Thank you for the non sequitur.  

        How many law enforcement officers were gunned down at Sandy Hook?  Or Aurora? Or anywhere else that is intended to be addressed by the legislation?

        • anamaria23

          What are the Republican’s proposals for improved mental health screening and care?  What  do they propose to keep criminals off the street?  Do the police have any ideas?
          Trouble is, the republican’s and the NRA are opposed to government expansion, so these measures would have to come from the private sector.  
          Police are against restriction of assault weapons?  Who knew.  Other reports say differently.

          • Don_B1

            As discussed on yesterday’s “The Takeaway” from WNYC and carried by many NPR stations, a Washington (state) representative made the comment that turning the response to just mental health is a red herring (he did not use that term) as the state of evaluation is not nearly adequate today and is not really on the horizon plus its cost would be prohibitive.

            But small steps like keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and known troubled individuals, while not a panacea, can make inroads on the problem which will grow with time.

            But the big thing here is that the survey RWB cites was an ONLINE survey, and in these days of strong N.R.A. opposition, it is hard for me to think that the respondents represent a real sample of all true opinion.

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

            besides bloombergs money i dont think there is much opposition to the second amendment

          • Don_B1

            Then what led some 20+ Republican Senators to vote for cloture on the gun background check law?

            Admittedly, it is just to allow debate, but they sensed the pressure of 90% favorability of the bill in polls.

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

            i guess you answered your own question

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

            i dont know what either sides proposals are.mine would be to pressure the states to actually share the records about people who the courts have declared to be insane so the database is not such a joke. It would be a logical place ot start if you belive background checks are effective at all.  All the surveys i have read about what police want says they are all for gun rights to increase public safety

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

          i guess gun free zones are safe as long as you are a police officer

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

        was that the same article that said tht 90% of officers are against more gun control?

      • JGC

        “The online survey is not necessarily statistically indicative of the attitudes of law enforcement nationally.” 

    • hennorama

      JGC – yes I just saw that video yesterday.  Really powerful and effective.

      There’s also an ad from votevets.org promoting background checks.  The narrator, an Iraq War veteran, begins by saying “I had to pass a background check to get into the Marine Corps, before I could carry a weapon …”

      He then goes on to demonstrate what the weapon in his hands can do.

      http://youtu.be/jlfvG-TyHAw

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

        yes lets make policy decisions on blind emotions what could go wrong?

        • hennorama

          Futo Buddy – TY for your reply. I understand and respect your views.

          No one is advocating or trying to “make policy decisions on blind emotions”. Some are using emotional appeals to influence the public as well as policy makers. This is true for both sides of this issue.

          If you believe that policy makers will make their decisions based on “blind emotions”, fine, but that’s a topic that is not being discussed. What was under discussion were ads by two advocacy groups, not “policy decisions”.

          TY for your reply.

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

            i guess you did not read the link.

          • hennorama

            F B – I did indeed open the link, and as stated, had already seen the ad. Again, no one is advocating or trying to “make policy decisions on blind emotions”. Describing the video as “an emotive depiction” is accurate, but says nothing about policy decisions.

            Again, some, including both momsdemandaction.org and votevets.org, are using emotional appeals to influence the public as well as policy makers. This is true for both sides of this issue. Emotional appeals are de rigueur in politics and advertising. Did you think otherwise?

            Allow me to quote a few emotional appeal blurbs from the NRA.org site:

            “WE ARE AMERICA Sign Up Now! Receive the latest Stand and Fight news!”

            “WE’RE IN THE FREEDOM FIGHT OF OUR LIVES”

            Not exactly bland and neutral. As stated, these sorts of emotional appeals are de rigueur in politics and advertising. One seldom persuades anyone simply by listing raw facts.

            Believe me, I’ve tried. And tried. And tried.

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

            people can use all the emotional appeals they like but at some point reasonable people need to look at what is being proposed and at what is logical and will work. their proposals are not logical and will not work so they are bad proposals

          • hennorama

            Futo Buddy – TY again for your reply. Your views are respected and appreciated.

            Indeed, emotional appeals, appeals to logic and reason, and virtually every sort of appeal will be used, by both sides of the issue. There’s nothing unusual about this.

            As to your opinion “their proposals are not logical and will not work so they are bad proposals” – putting aside the lack of specificity, you certainly should express your opinion loudly, emotionally, logically, and as often as you wish.

            TY again for your reply.

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

            i went through all of their proposals point by point and explained how they did not address the problem the group claims to want to address. how much more specific could i be?

          • hennorama

            F B – you may have, but not directed to me on this particular thread. I do not read every word in this forum. No worries, though. Best wishes.

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

            here you go
            i could not get their propaganda video to play but i got their goals off their site, which is quite slick bloomberg really got his money’s worth despite the fact the video wont play.1) Ban assault weapons and ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.2) Require background checks for all gun and ammunition purchases.
3) Report the sale of large quantities of ammunition to the ATF, and ban online sales of ammunition.4) Make gun trafficking a federal crime with serious criminal penalties.5) Counter gun industry lobbyists’ efforts to weaken gun laws at the state level.
            these are their policy recomendations lets consider how those would have prevented the worst school shooting, the one at virginia tech.1. cho used pistols with 10 round magazines2.cho passed a background check (the state had not shared the fact he had been deemed mentally ill with the NICS system)3. i am not sure what they think a “large quantity” of ammunition is and how the ATF knowing about however many rounds the guy bought would have changed anything. are they suggesting arresting people who buy whatever they define a “large quantity” of ammo to be? if not then this would not have prevented the VA tech incident.4. gun trafficking is already a federal crime and there are serious criminal penulties already unless of course the ATF is the one trafficking guns to mexican cartels then there are no consequences besides the dead border agent.5. i dont see any way this effort would have prevented the Va tech shooting.as you can see this organisation is just trying to make emotional appeals and even the slightest consideration of what they are proposing shows they are irrational responses at best. not to mention the fact that the worst mass school killing in america was not done with a gun of any sort if was done with a bomb.

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

      i could not get their propaganda video to play but i got their goals off their site, which is quite slick bloomberg really got his money’s worth despite the fact the video wont play.
      1) Ban assault weapons and ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.2) Require background checks for all gun and ammunition purchases.
3) Report the sale of large quantities of ammunition to the ATF, and ban online sales of ammunition.4) Make gun trafficking a federal crime with serious criminal penalties.5) Counter gun industry lobbyists’ efforts to weaken gun laws at the state level.

      these are their policy recomendations lets consider how those would have prevented the worst school shooting, the one at virginia tech.
      1. cho used pistols with 10 round magazines
      2.cho passed a background check (the state had not shared the fact he had been deemed mentally ill with the NICS system)
      3. i am not sure what they think a “large quantity” of ammunition is and how the ATF knowing about however many rounds the guy bought would have changed anything. are they suggesting arresting people who buy whatever they define a “large quantity” of ammo to be? if not then this would not have prevented the VA tech incident.
      4. gun trafficking is already a federal crime and there are serious criminal penulties already unless of course the ATF is the one trafficking guns to mexican cartels then there are no consequences besides the dead border agent.
      5. i dont see any way this effort would have prevented the Va tech shooting.
      as you can see this organisation is just trying to make emotional appeals and even the slightest consideration of what they are proposing shows they are irrational responses at best. not to mention the fact that the worst mass school killing in america was not done with a gun of any sort if was done with a bomb.

      • JGC

        Sorry the video would not run for you, but maybe you’ll eventually see it on TV.  It is not a Bloomberg-backed ad.  It was from a Toronto ad agency, Grey Canada, that contacted the head of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and offered their advertising services pro bono. 

        Yes, this is definitely an emotional appeal, but it is hard to check the emotions at the door when there are so many dead children. And a heartfelt emotional appeal is a memorable contrast to the cold rantings that daily come out of the mouth of Waynebot LaPierre. 

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

          maybe they could use that ad agency to make an ad to convince oboma to stop killing children in afganistan. i would even throw in a few bucks.
          emotions are great but as you can see they do not make great or even logical policies. care to tell me how any of their ideas would have prevented VA tech?

      • hennorama

        Futo Buddy – notably and interestingly, you are using a single incident to argue for most of your positions, in a similar way that some are using the Newtown Massacre to argue for their position. Is it logical and reasonable to make policy decisions based on factors from one incident?  Just curious.

        As you know. the Virginia Tech shooting may have been prevented had the state of Virginia done its job by entering the shooter’s mental health records into the NICS system. The problem was that at the time of the shooting, Virginia law differed from Federal law, and the form used by Virginia courts to notify law enforcement about mental health disqualifications was worded to reflect ONLY the Virginia law. This is an example of “weaken[ed] gun laws at the state level”.

        Essentially the shooter fell through the cracks in the system. Events can provoke change, however. Virginia law and reporting changed greatly AFTER the Virginia Tech shooting. Virginia did not report that info to the Federal database because of a legal loophole, but the law there has been changed, and Virginia now leads the US in per capita mental health reporting.

        No doubt Virginia legislators responded both to the emotional appeals of the victims, their families, and others, as well as the logic for changing their laws given the tragedies resulting from those laws.

        The VT shooting also may have been prevented had various mental health professionals, educators and the legal system provided him with more help. But certainly he should NEVER have been able to purchase firearms given his condition.

        And bringing up a bombing when discussing firearms is a bit silly. You seem to be focusing solely on “mass school killing in america [sic]”, similar to the way that the NRA has been proceeding post-Newtown. Focusing on innocent victims killed at schools is also an emotional appeal tactic, BTW, which is also notable and interesting.

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

          thanks for confirming that the VA shooting would have been prevented if the state had provided the records. i think if people are going to make suggestions for preventing school shootings looking at the worst one makes for a good case study to evaluate if their suggestions have any chance of meeeting their goals. several other states including MA do not share the records. i am all for expanding the records and think its not sensable to try to overexpand the back ground check system untill it actually has the relevent records. lets fix the cracks instead of trying to add onto the broken system. in all these cases it seems the individual fell though the cracks from failures of people to follow the system not even the system itself. they should be held accountable, not all of us.
          the national focus on rifles is a bit silly given their rare frequency of use for crimes and murders. also believing that banning ar15s or any other rifle will prevent crazy people who want to kill children from doing so seems silly to me because if no firearms existed (which we both know is impossible) then we would still have the much more significant threat of bombings or other things  and the children would not be any safer.

          • hennorama

            Futo Buddy – TY for your response. I’ll respond to your points in order.

            A. I never said “the VA shooting would have been prevented if the state had provided the records”. I wrote “the Virginia Tech shooting MAY have been prevented had the state of Virginia done its job…”.

            Even if Virginia had done its job, and the murderer failed a background check, no one can determine if he would instead have acquired weapons through another channel, such as a private transaction. That’s one reason background checks for private sales are also important.

            B. The issue of public safety relating to firearms is not limited to “preventing school shootings”. Far from it.

            For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), firearms were involved in 2 of the top 5 “Leading Causes of Unintentional Injury Deaths, United States – 2010”. Specifically, 19,392 Suicides and 11,078 Homicides.

            CDC’s Data Source: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), National Vital Statistics System

            See:http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/pdf/10lcid_unintentional_deaths_2010-a.pdf

            C. No system is perfect. While it is true that there are problems with some lack of records available to the NICS system, especially records related to mental health, that is generally not the case regarding criminal records. Immediate expansion of background checks for all firearms transactions allows for the immediate disqualification of at least some transactions for persons who should not purchase firearms. At the same time, improving the number of records available to the system is already ongoing, again, as evidenced by the changes in Virginia.

            D. While I feel that certain weapons don’t have a justifiable place in our society, I don’t agree with the concept of banning such weapons. On that point we agree. However, I do feel that some limitation on ammunition capacity is reasonable.

            Thanks again for your reply.

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

            a. you are correct it “may” have been prevented is more accurate. and also correct he may have bought the gun through another channel. the only problem i see is that i think a person who would sell an unqualified person a gun in the first place may not choose to submit to the background check if it was required. its already illegal to sell a gun to people who are not allowed to have them and you already assume some liability if you are not careful in the transaction. this is why i support a voluntary system by which people who choose to do so could get background check for a private sale for no cost.. VA was a while ago and states like MA still do not share the records.
            b. lol look at what is says and tell me whats wrong with it. neither murder nor suicide are unintentional so that cant be right. i am not laughing at the murders or suicides just that they would be classified as unintentional when they are infact the opposite.
            c i understand mass shootings victims are only a very small percentage of the total number of people who people kill with fire arms. however its hard to deny that the stated motaviation for “change” have been a few recent mass shootings. none of these individuals had criminal records that have been publicised but more than one had mental health records.  people who act in good faith will pay the $40 and go through the hassel to get the checks done people who act in bad faith, who we both agree are the ones who need the background checks, will not submit to them.
            d. at first glance it would seem limiting a magazine size would be beneficial but in practice large magazines are not reliable and thus not really much more “dangerous” than smaller ones. evidence for this albeit anecdotal is the fact that Cho in VA commited his crimes with 10 rnd magizines in pistols and killed more than anyone else in american school shootings. also laughner was not stopped when he tried to reload as i have heard some say but when his oversized magazine jammed. also it has been demonstrated that experienced and inexperienced shooters can put about the same numbers or rounds downrange no matter what size magizine they use.

  • Steve__T

    No sanity in Washington, I found this at DemocracyNow.org

    President Obama has formally released his proposal for a 2014
    budget. As expected, the plan leaves in place a cut to benefits provided under Social Security. Obama’s budget endorses a new formula to reduce Social Security cost-of-living benefits, known as a chained CPI.
    By doing so, Obama becomes the first Democratic president in history to target Social Security in his budget. The plan would also cut over $350 billion from Medicare, $19 billion from Medicaid, and tens of millions from the government’s heating assistance program for low-income
    Americans. Overall, the proposed cuts to government spending total over $1.2 trillion . Speaking at the White House, Obama said he met Republicans more than halfway.

    President Obama: “If anyone thinks I’ll finish the
    job of deficit reduction on the backs of middle-class families or through spending cuts alone that actually hurt our economy short-term,
    they should think again. When it comes to deficit reduction, I’ve already met Republicans more than halfway. So in the coming days and weeks, I hope that Republicans will come forward and demonstrate that they’re really as serious — as serious about the deficits and debt as
    they claim to be.”

    President Obama’s call for Social Security cuts has sparked outrage among progressives. In a statement, AFL-CIO
    President Richard Trumka called the plan “wrong and indefensible.” A coalition of lawmakers and organizations has delivered petitions with more than 2.3 million signatures to the White House opposing the chained CPI. In return for his overture to Republicans, Obama’s budget calls for more than $500 billion in new taxes on the wealthy as well $78 billion in levies on tobacco. It also calls for cutting farm subsidies and raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour, lower than he has previously endorsed. House
    Speaker John Boehner praised Obama’s offer to cut social spending but rejected his bid for new taxes.

    House Speaker John Boehner: “Why don’t we do what we
    can agree to do? Why don’t we find the common ground that we do have and move on that? The president got his tax hikes in January, and we don’t need to be raising taxes on the American people. So I’m hopeful in the coming weeks we’ll have an opportunity, through the budget process, to come to some agreement.”

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

      So you feel there aren’t enough Americans out of work now and we need policies that will increase that number?

      • Don_B1

        The cuts in Social Security will not have much immediate effect although the Medicare cuts could since they affect providers more than patients.

        But the taxes are on the wealthy and I defy you to provide a link to a widely accepted study that shows a correlation between taxes on the wealthy and job growth. Note Julia Ott’s comment on the lack of correlation on the program on Capitalism.

        But the best thing would be to not try to lower the deficit for at least a year or two so that the economy could strengthen before dealing with the health care cost problems that are going to affect both private and public segments of the economy if the delivery system not made more efficient. But no Republican proposal makes any attempt to do this.

        Obama’s “balanced approach” is the best ugly and imperfect solution within the constraint that Republicans are demanding be met: immediate deficit reduction.

  • Ed75

    The Pew study that came out this week states that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world today, whether it’s in North Korea (where to own a Bible is death, where to be found praying is life in a camp for you and three generations of your family), or Iran and other Islamic countries (where becoming Christian is a crime), or Nigeria where Churches are bombed, or Egypt where Copts are attacked with no government protection (though the U.S. says nothing and still gives aid, or in the West where persecution and religious restriction is growing. See ‘Persecution’, a new book by Nina Shea (persecutionreport.org).

    • 1Brett1

      More persecuted than intellectuals, artists or dissidents of any kind? Oops, sorry, you said RELIGIOUS groups…Of course, in all fairness to other groups in North Korea, if you say something derogatory about Kim Jung-un’s haircut, you get treated pretty badly too (even other fashion criticisms of the leader)…Oops, sorry, again, RELIGIOUS groups…But, yes, Ed, I do see your point; Catholicism may have its rough patches, but that is nothing compared to how some places, where radical Islam is the law, treat Christians.

      Not sure what you mean about persecution and restriction in the west, though.

    • NewtonWhale

      The link you gave is not to a Pew study, but to the PersecutionReport.org, which is a compilation site.

      Among the many links on that page is one link to a Pew study, but not from this week. It was  published September 20, 2012. Moreover, the Pew study specifically notes that because North Korea is closed to the outside world  “the report does not include scores for North Korea”.

      The report shows that Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, in that order, suffer harrassment in the greatest number of countries. Without comparing the number of adherents in each of those countries, it is not possible to say who is #1.

      More importantly for Americans, the study shows that:

      “The United States was among the 16 countries whose scores on both the Government Restrictions Index and the Social Hostilities Index increased by one point or more in the year ending in mid-2010. This was the first time scores for the U.S. increased on both indexes during the four-year period covered in this study.”

      http://www.pewforum.org/Government/Rising-Tide-of-Restrictions-on-Religion-situation-in-united-states.aspx

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

      we are trying to persucute and many muslims as we can what do you want?

      • Ed75

        You’re just not doing a good enough job ….

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

          if it was my goal i would git er done but i personally do not support it. what do you want a “gitmo  2″?

  • Ed75

    This week an abortion doctor named Kermit Gosnell is being tried for murder. His ‘clinic’ in Philadephia was a true house of horrors, where babies born alive were stabbed and killed with scizzors, etc. The media hasn’t touched this story.

    • 1Brett1

      From time to time, other doctors who perform procedures/operations on people that are of the typical medical kind, even what you would consider the “moral” kind (an array of things from tonsillectomies to amputations), are found out to be butchers, incompetent medical idiots who have maimed people for life. Often, we don’t hear about these in news. And, as with Dr. Gosnell, they don’t represent the majority of doctors.  

      • Don_B1

        A few years ago, a doctor at Johns Hopkins performed seed implantations in veterans with prostate cancer where the seeds ended up not even in the prostate, and left the men with severe problems for the rest of their lives.

        He did get dismissed from Johns Hopkins and I believe he lost his medical license, but that was faint consolation to the mainly veterans who were his ill-treated patients.

      • Ed75

        Agreed, but one difference is that in those cases the medical procedure was botched and the patient not healed. In this case, the procedure was successful: the baby was killed, it was just done in an unseemly manner.

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

      Any time you want to draw the link between this quack and Penna’s state government’s fascination with the haphazard, arbitrary (actually counterproductive) laws which do squat protect the health of women, be my guest.

      And it’s funny how anti-abortion terrorism makes abortion clinics less common and less transparent. If there were a medical choice of this legal procedure in the neighborhood, lesser providers would disappear.

      • Ed75

        From a pro-life point of view, as horrific as Mr. Gosnell’s actions are, they are in substance no different from any abortion: a child is killed. It’s just that everyone can see it here, and here the woman’s life is in even more danger because of unsanitary conditions, etc.

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

      i saw that on tv so the media must have mentioned it

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

    FTA:
    A secret recording of a campaign strategy session between U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and his advisors was taped by leaders of the Progress Kentucky super PAC, says a longtime local Democratic operative.Mother Jones Magazine released the tape this week. The meeting itself took place on Feb. 2.Jacob Conway, who is on the executive committee of the Jefferson County Democratic Party, says that day, Shawn Reilly and Curtis Morrison, who founded and volunteered for Progress Kentucky, respectively, bragged to him about how they recorded the meeting.

    http://www.wfpl.org/post/source-progress-kentucky-behind-mitch-mcconnell-campaign-recording#.UWbu5Vorq1o.twitter

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

      I guess that Progress Kentucky PAC saw “All the President’s
      Men” as a how-to manual.

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

    FTA:
    Last year, the ACLU sent a FOIA request to the IRS seeking records regarding whether it gets a warrant before reading people’s email, text messages and other private electronic communications. The IRS has now responded by sending us 247 pages of records describing the policies and practices of its criminal investigative arm when seeking the contents of emails and other electronic communications.

    http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2013/04/aclu-irs-says.html

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

      look at the cispa that they are currently sneaking through

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

    On paper the Stasi had less power than the IRS does.

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

    FTA:

    JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri’s database of concealed weapon permits was twice given to federal authorities investigating Social Security disability fraud in a move that has enraged lawmakers already angry over potential abuses in a new driver’s licensing system.Missouri State Highway Patrol Col. Ron Replogle was questioned for nearly an hour this morning by the Senate Appropriations Committee after he revealed to Chairman Kurt Schaefer yesterday that his agency had turned over the data.

    http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/highway-patrol-gave-feds-missouri-weapon-permits-data/article_266b644e-a235-11e2-a8e7-0019bb30f31a.html

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

      There can be no such thing a “reasonable regulation” when those empowered to regulate do not act in accordance with regulation.  

    • jimino

       “The intention was to cross-check the names on the concealed carry list
      with the agency’s list of those with disabilities attributed to mental
      illness to find possible evidence of fraud in the system.”

      Isn’t that the PRECISE position of the NRA? 

      Do you really oppose such an effort?

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

        If you break the law to enforce the law then you have abandoned the rule of law.  

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

    Sen. Paul at Howard University: “Some have said that I’m either brave or crazy to be here today. I’ve never been one to watch the world go by without participating,” Paul told Howard’s students. “I take to heart the words of Toni Morrison of Howard University, who wrote: “If there is a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/paul-gets-cool-reception-at-howard/article/2526861

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

      From Mr. Chait’s colmun:

      Paul’s speech omitted his party’s long and continuing use of black culture as a political wedge. It likewise omitted any mention of the GOP’s conscious decision to make itself into the party of the white South. Instead Paul’s analysis centered almost entirely on economics, on which Paul offered his characteristically mindless combination of goldbuggery, market absolutism, and total inability to grasp the possibility of any government intervention in the market that falls short of socialism. (Democrats, he asserted, favor “equalizing outcomes through unlimited federal assistance.” Equalizing? Unlimited?)

      http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/04/jay-z-rand-paul-and-the-black-democrat-mystery.html

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      I found it odd how he was SO proud of himself for going to a “traditionally black university”. It isn’t about changing the message to meet the needs of the voter, it is about looking like you care.

      Then there are his continued references to the history of the Republican party and how the minority voters should fall in line because the party’s ideals are their ideals. He needs to learn what my kids learned at school. The 19th century Republican party had what we now consider Democrat ideals. Today’s Republican party is NOT the 19th century Republican party. Hopefully the voters will look at the CURRENT ideals of all parties and vote for the one that most reflects their needs and desires.

  • 1Brett1

    To the forum commentators who, on occasion, have provided a link to a story about citizens protecting themselves with guns, here:

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/09/us/tennessee-gun-death/index.html?hpt=us_c1

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

      Are you tyalking about this link?

      http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/armed-citizen.aspx

      • 1Brett1

        No, I was talking about another one, but you’ve just demonstrated my point: that your ilk will provide a story that you feel is a good argument for/illustration of no restrictions on gun ownership.

        Are there more individual stories of people stopping crime with guns than people getting injured with guns? 

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

          2 million times a year Americans use firearms in self defense.  Comparing that to murders, suicides, woundings, and accidents would overwhelmingly favor gun ownership.  
          Your ilk is dependant on hysteria not statistics.   

          http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/493636.html

          • anamaria23

            In how many of the incidents you cite  were asssault type weapons used for self defense?

            There is no  proposed ban on  guns for self defense and you know it.
             
             

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

            The Ar-15 is the most popular rifle sold on the USA.  Among it’s many uses is: Hog Hunting.

            http://www.captainsjournal.com/2013/03/26/hunting-hogs-with-an-ar-15/

          • BHA_in_Vermont

            And one could not hunt hogs with a hunting rifle?

            Link to Outdoor Life’s 50 best hunting rifles of the last 10 years. Only one was an AR style, only one other was magazine load. Two levers, the rest are bolt action.

            http://www.outdoorlife.com/photos/gallery/guns/2011/05/best-hunting-rifles-decade

            Their comment on the Remington R-15:
            “Despite the recent enthusiasm to create AR-style rifles for deer-size and larger game, the concept isn’t without its problems. At the top of the list is the weight of the rifles chambered in rounds adequate for the task. Compared with similarly configured bolt guns, they are bulky and uncomfortable to carry.”

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

            its true and no one will say that a .223 is a good deer round. its not even legal for deer in most places. there are lots of things people hunt that are not deer.
            they dont have a lot of wild hogs in VT so i get your lack of experience. i actually followed your link and i did not see the list you mentioned but i did see this one
            http://www.outdoorlife.com/photos/gallery/guns/rifles/centerfire/2011/11/20-best-semi-automatic-rifles-big-game-hunting?photo=15#node-1001350874

          • Gregg Smith

            Make sure you watch until the end to see the AR-15.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0IVSGctQIg

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

            the DHS has declared that an AR15 is  “suitable for personal defense”. so why is there a proposed ban on them? there is a great you tube video with a woman shooting a 12 gauge vs her shooting a AR15 you should check it out

          • 1Brett1

            John Lott?! Are you serious? (“Laugh out loud!”) He’s not a researcher; he’s not a statistician; he’s a debunked laughing stock in the research community (who would rather abandon their occupation than consider him a colleague). He’s a right-wing hack who threw away data that did not support his desired outcomes; he distorted other data to comply with his narrative. Starting with a premise, then looking for any flimsy data (however of dubious origin) that will support one’s premise is not statistical data.

            There are no valid statistics on guns used in self defense; those statistics can’t be verified in the same way that injuries and deaths from guns can…well, maybe anecdotal stuff by gun owners compiled by guns rights advocates, which isn’t statistical data at all. 

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

            Thanks for doing the dirty work, Brett.

            If it’s real, someone else besides John Lott would have done it also.

            My natural inclination to not trust any link to “UChicago” pays off yet again.

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

            I am sorry that you choose to resort to this tactic of argument.  You won’t accept my sources and the attempt to brow beat me into accepting your sources.  No thanks, I don’t need to follow you down
            that rabbit hole.  Now that the passions of the moment have pasted more Americans are realizing how devoid of facts the gun grabber argument is.  More are rejecting Mayor Bloomberg and his gang of criminal elected officials.  Next we will take these unconstitutional laws
            to court and repeal them.

          • 1Brett1

            I haven’t done any brow-beating, and I haven’t provided any sources…Come on John Lott? 

            I’m for universal background checks (closing of loopholes) and stiff penalties for straw purchases, in addition to stiff penalties for anyone in possession of a stolen/illegally obtained gun…and those should all be enforced. This is hardly a “gun grabber” position. Please.

          • 1Brett1

            “Your ilk is dependant on hysteria not statistics.” 

            And you provide a bogus report from a fake researcher and call that relying on statistics? …talk about tactics.

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

            its pretty hard to figure out how many people are not killed or victimised because of their self defense guns. the anti gun crusader who poses as a scientist puts the number of times guns are used yearly in the US at 100,000. thats ten times as many as are murdered. if you want to see some junk science that has become a laughing stock go read the kellermen study. sadly that study even though  it was withdrawn by its authors is still quoted constantly by the anti liberty side even thought it was that disgraceful study which prompted the feds to pull all funding for such research.

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

          yup

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

      good point, i have been saying all along the police should not have guns.

      • 1Brett1

        Only an idiot would think that was my point

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

          then why did you put a link to an article about a tragic death because a police officer misused his gun? its a little confusing when you cite something off topic manybe next time you pick an anecdote to support your claim make sure it does so. or you could just call people idiots thats a sure sign you are winning the debate

          • 1Brett1

            Gosh, I guess you “won” that one! 

            1) There were two shootings mentioned in the article, one didn’t have anything to do with a police officer.

            2) If your logic goes along the lines of: “a cop was irresponsible with his personal gun…therefore, all cops should not have guns,” or that it was inferred that this is what I meant, then it does indeed make you an idiot.

            3) The one shooting does show that even an ostensibly responsible gun owner (a cop) can make a mistake in judgment resulting in death from a gun.

            4) I did provide context for the link, and any doubt could have been removed if you had followed the thread’ I guess that was a little too much a combination of reading and thinking for you.

            Let’s see, maybe I can finish this post off using your mentality for discourse…um, BOOLYAH! BAM!!

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

            ahh more insults, good rhetoric, very convincing.
            cops have not demonstrated that they are not very responsible gun owners at all as a class your article illustrates that point. your tone and insults also illustrate that you do not have a rational argument because if you did they would not be needed

          • 1Brett1

            Naw, it’s just easy to insult you, as you insult others; I’m just more direct. Besides, you’re only pretending moral high-ground/superiority  now, but you’ve been into the sewer in the past. 

            I haven’t made any argument, it’s just that you are presuming my position. My reason for posting the link this morning was…wait for it: to counter the links neocons sometimes provide on here to articles that show citizens stopping crime with their guns…see? Get it?

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

            i don’t call anyone names nor do i insult people. 
            all that article shows is that cops should not be the only ones with guns because they are no more responsible or careful than anyone else with them. it also illustrates what i have been saying for a while about the need for firearms safety education for all children. both of those would be prevented by basic education

          • 1Brett1

            Cops don’t have basic gun education?

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

            very basic and clearly he did not do what he had learned. however i was suggesting that the children should have learned gun safety in school. like “stop,dont touch, leave the area, tell an adult”. we teach kids about drugs sex bullies crosswalks alcohol strangers and many other things in health class yet we cant take 2 minutes to tell the kids do not touch guns. it should be done in the schools but everyone who thinks their child may ever encounter a gun should take the 2 minutes to teach the kids.

  • albert Sordi

    Fortunately we will see victory this weekend for Nicholas Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution. And Maduro will proceed against sabotage from the US/UK/Israel block.  
    Its no surprise that the otherwise progressive NPR will ridicule and spin against the immense social progress of Hugo Chavez, while propping up Henry Capriles Rodinski. 

    As usual,  Zionism trumps social progress in the main stream media. To be fair Zionism will trump even corporate interests.    Regardless, NPR has been main stream for some time now.

    Democracy and the two party system of the USA is a clown circus fraud.  If you want to see real democracy,  watch the people win in Venezuela this weekend.

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

      If you could type that with a Boris Badenov accent that would be funnier.  You could replace US/UK/Israel with Moose and Squirrel.

      • Shag_Wevera

        I’m guessing RWB stands for right wing bastard?

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

          I thought we weren’t going to use pet names in public.  ;)

        • Acnestes

           I think of him as the rube.

          • 1Brett1

            Come on, that’s not fair! …Maybe a rube, but not THE rube!

          • Acnestes

            But he is the only one here who actually calls himself that!

    • brettearle

      Your ugly myopia is quickly turning to blindness.

      My guess is that you are in need of a Mitzvah, by a Lubavitch Rabbi.

    • Shag_Wevera

      The Pink Wave will rill roll on.  During Chavez’ 13 year run, poverty went from 48 to 29% of the population.  He built many schools and medical clinics.  Chavez, Morales, Gueverra, Castro, and the others in the Bolivarian mode will be viewed as heroes by the lense of history.

      • brettearle

        So, the Record on Human Rights is not checkered, with some of these Leaders?

        [As are the record of many countries, such as the US of A.]

        • alsordi

          What about all the dead and maimed children in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Southeast Asia caused by the USA.  

          What about their human rights ?? 

          • brettearle

             What part of my phrase, “US of A”, in my above comment don’t you understand?

            I am an equal opportunity condemner of Human Rights–including OUR  country and any OTHER country on the planet.

          • alsordi

            Very good of you Brett. 

          • 1Brett1

            I wonder of “albert Sordi” approves of this comment?

            Edit: “lol”

    • donniethebrasco

      Is this sarcasm?

      • brettearle

         No, it’s psychosis.

      • alsordi

        If you think this is sarcasm,  you need some serious intervention and deprogramming.  And no more FOX news for you !

  • donniethebrasco

    Hardest place to own a gun legally in the US – Chicago
    Easiest place to get killed by a gun – Chicago

    These gun laws will make the people that don’t like guns feel good, but no less people will die from guns.

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

      It was never about guns, it is about Control.

      • John_in_Amherst

         Sounds like the subtext here is all about paranoid fantasies of jack-booted, black uniformed agents of the ZOG repression coming for our guns….  Personally, I am getting sick of this unpatriotic paranoia.  (Not since the reign of Bush II have liberals considered the need to actually take up arms against the government. Just kidding.  sort of.)  Do you actually believe that the people who make up the police and military are going to blindly follow orders if someone in the Whitehouse issues the command to go confiscate firearms?  And let’s face it, in a show down with our military, if it ever comes to that, they have bigger guns and a lot more of them. 
        The last time the right wing was for gun control was the late 60′s when the worry was about the Black Panthers exercising their right to bear arms.  When the pendulum swings again, want to bet the rabid right changes their tune?

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

          i have noticed the racist or at least classist( is that a word?lol) undertones in many of the gun control proposals and current laws. I support a womans right to choose what sort of gun she wants to use to protect her family and the poor and minorities rights to be able to protect their families as well as people like bloomberg who can pay armed security. i think he may be more worried that they are coming for his sodas. no one would ever try to regulate sodas though right?  the sad fact is that we have an example in recent history of the government confiscating peoples guns during hurricane Katrina activities. the real way to prevent ever having an armed showdown with the government is to make sure we have an armed populace

    • OnPointComments

      Our legislators regularly propose a solution to a specific incident that wouldn’t have prevented the specific incident if the law had already been in place. 

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

        you noticed that too? i cant get any of the anti gun rights people to explain how that makes any sense

    • Don_B1

      Just as it can be raining while the sun shines (the rain cloud is overhead and the sun is shining from an area lower in the sky toward the horizon in a direction without clouds), the guns used to kill Chicagoans come from adjacent and more distant areas where the sale of guns is virtually unregulated.

      That you could even think that your snide, snarky comment would be accepted reflects more on your ignorance or desperation to make a case where you have no facts.

    • John_in_Amherst

       Granted, with 300M+ guns in the USA, it will take quite a while to whittle the number down to a manageable size, and no one change in the gun milieu of this country will magically stop the mayhem we have let ourselves in for with our lunatic gun policies.  But common-sense approaches like requiring a license to purchase ammo, and cross referencing those purchases through a database to track large-volume buyers, limiting magazine capacities, universal background checks, and more thorough vetting of prospective licensees with records tracking perps of domestic abuse, violent crimes and mental illness would help curb the number of casualties without taking away most individual’s rights to own guns.  The right to bear arms does not absolve gun owners (like myself) from our fundamental civic duty to promote public safety.

    • NewtonWhale

      What orifice did you pull that out of?

      How about some actual data:

      Firearm Legislation and Firearm-Related Fatalities in the United States

      Jounal of American Medicine, March 6, 2013

      Results 

      Over the 4-year study period, there were 121 084 firearm fatalities. The average state-based firearm fatality rates varied from a high of 17.9 (Louisiana) to a low of 2.9 (Hawaii) per 100 000 individuals per year. Annual firearm legislative strength scores ranged from 0 (Utah) to 24 (Massachusetts) of 28 possible points. States in the highest quartile of legislative strength (scores of ≥9) had a lower overall firearm fatality rate than those in the lowest quartile (scores of ≤2) (absolute rate difference, 6.64 deaths/100 000/y; age-adjusted incident rate ratio [IRR], 0.58; 95% CI, 0.37-0.92). Compared with the quartile of states with the fewest laws, the quartile with the most laws had a lower firearm suicide rate (absolute rate difference, 6.25 deaths/100 000/y; IRR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.48-0.83) and a lower firearm homicide rate (absolute rate difference, 0.40 deaths/100 000/y; IRR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.38-0.95).

      Conclusions and Relevance 

      A higher number of firearm laws in a state are associated with a lower rate of firearm fatalities in the state, overall and for suicides and homicides individually. 

      http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1661390

  • Coastghost

    Oh yes, the death of vital cultural memory Annette Funicello surely trumps the newsworthiness of the death of that former British PM, what was her name again, some other Hollywood has-been made a biopic of her a few years ago, what was her name again . . . ? “On Point” deference to entertainment values in order to slight history is just so–entertaining!! What are we in the provinces to make of this Disneyfication of “the news”, coming as it does from “the intellectual capital of the United States”?

    • brettearle

      Good point.

    • keltcrusader

      Leave Annette alone. She provided countless folks with entertainment all the while showing you could keep your morals intact at th esame time. You would think you, of all people, would at least value that point. Her life with MS wasn’t easy and it was a tragic ending to a life that was filled with kindness. 

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    The Exxon tar sand bitumen pipeline spill in Mayflower AK?  Also an oil spill in Texas by Shell?

  • TomK_in_Boston

    A very sad week, with a Dem president, falsely called liberal or even socialist by the corporate media, proposing cuts to SS. This is a betrayal of Dem core values and a political gift to the GoP. Cuts to SS are wildly unpopular, even among the most crazy. If the GoP wants them, why not let them own them? 

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

      Every time you say that is gets a little less amusing.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        I’ll just struggle through my day, knowing that I didn’t amuse a random bozo on the internet.

        If you ever have an idea, feel free to share it.

      • nj_v2

        I’m sure TomK is suffering knowing the effect he’s having on you, but i’m sure that somehow, he’ll get through it.

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

          I am truly sorry for Tom’s pain. One can hope that he can somehow carry on.

      • StilllHere

        The guy is a broken record of misguided talking points.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       He has proposed an adjustment on the accounting of CPI.  It only extends the program 2 years so it is clearly a modest adjustment.

      You would be on stronger grounds IF you argued on the merits of the adjustment — are they accurately measuring cost of living increases?

      • Don_B1

        Because the items that seniors include in their regular purchases contain less of some items used by young families and more health care costs, many advocates for the elderly feel that a full study would reveal that a CPI for seniors would show higher inflation than the CPI measure currently used, not to mention that of “Chained-CPI.”

      • StilllHere

        SS should be dissolved in favor of another welfare program that is better designed and less bureaucratic.  

        It’s so tiring hearing lazy Democrats whine and calling smaller increases cuts.  Math escapes them.

  • brettearle

    A US Government analyst has pointed out that the new NK leader hasn’t thought through an Exit Strategy–unlike his predecessors.

    It is, therefore, more troubling–if only for this reason.

    Un apparently has not established credibility with either the Public or the Military.  

    He seeks Theatre.

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

      Can we even be sure he is in control?  Perhaps there is an ambitious colonel setting him up to fail and then replace him with a military junta.  We know so very little about NK.

      • brettearle

        Your scenario is certainly plausible.

        But there may be Strict Loyalty to the Ruling Lineage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/NewtonsBob Bob Kavanagh

    If North Kores threatened Israel, how would we react?

    • brettearle

       And your subtle or obvious point is….?

      • http://www.facebook.com/NewtonsBob Bob Kavanagh

        Please answer my question. Please note our response to Iran when they threatened Israel but hasn’t threatened to nuke the US.

        • brettearle

          Why don’t you simply state your beliefs, rather than couching them in provocative questions?

          Do you have the courage to come out from behind your camouflage? 

          Without a `Please’….why not answer my questions, instead?

          • 1Brett1

            A hoax? Automatic writing? ESP? Charlatanism?

          • brettearle

            HEAR YE, HEAR YE….

            LADIES AND GENTLEMEN…

            1Brett1 is…..

            making an idiosyncratic reference to a criticism that I made of his post last night, Ladies and Gentlemen.

            Technically, his comment, above, is a form of Harassment, because…..

            His….Ego…..Is….Bruised….

            Ladies and Gentlemen….

            He can’t LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE.

            Instead, he makes failed attempts at acerbic comments–that only I am supposed to understand.

            It is not for the benefit of the “On Point” community.

            Let’s give him a round of applause!  

            Way to go!

            Welcome to Adulthood, 1Brett1…..

            May your stay not be temporary!

          • 1Brett1

            It was a joke. Judging by your reply, though, you seem wrapped just a tad too tight. 

            My only frustration in yesterday’s “conversation” was in your reading comprehension, which seems limited. 

            Of course, maybe I’m just possessed by demons, if that helps. 

          • brettearle

            No, we knew that your inability to let go of yesterday’s mild kerfuffle would result in a manipulative provocation……

            just…

            so…

            you…

            can…

            simply…

            come….

            out…

            with…

            the….

            t…i….r….e…d

            hackneyed…

            response…

            that….

            it…..

            was….

            a….

            joke…..

            so that you can find the license to send out another low-life barb….see barb, at end of 1kenobie1′s comment, as reference to yesterday’s topic, Ladies and Gentlemen.

            [And yes, it is a clever attempt, albeit a failed attempt, at being clever--by putting the yolk on him! 

            He claims to be possessed by demons?  Just for this comment, today, or....

            As....

            Always,

            Perhaps?....

            And.....

            let....

            the....

            record...

            show...

            ladies....

            and....

            gentlemen....

            that...

            I.....

            am....

            doing here close to what kenobie did yesterday, because....  

            Obie...

            wanted.....

            [no, scratch that, needed....]

            the….

            L…

            A….

            S….

            T….

            W….

            O….

            R….

            D….

            LET THE RECORD SHOW THAT THIS IS A SATIRE.

            [We wait to see, yet again, just how bruised Obie1Kenobie’s1Ego is….

        • brettearle

           By your silence, we will know Ye…..

    • StilllHere

      So South Koreans need a bigger lobbying organizations?

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

      very surprised?

  • donniethebrasco

    There goes Jack.  North Korea is threatening to shoot nuclear weapons, but somehow it is our fault.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Don’t let a good crisis go waste  … or at least that is what they say.

    • nj_v2

      Of course, that’s not what he said, but why let facts get in your way.

    • StilllHere

      That’s exactly what he implied.  This is all on North Korea and their dictator.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    How is it that we have continued to allow North Korea use this “threat for food” extortion for so many decades?

    We’ve let it go on so long that now they have nukes. At the moment the nukes are rudimentary but a lot more deadly than conventional arms. Clearly all the
    prior “efforts” were a total failure, yet we still play the game. The longer we play, the better their nukes, the more real their threats.

    Shut them off and make it CLEAR:
    You threaten, you get NADA.
    You attack and you just bought your ticket to hell.
    YOU play nice, WE play nice.

    • MrNutso

      It will continue, because China continues to provide a minimal sustenance to the NK population.  They do it, because if NK society collapses, the population will be streaming in to China looking for support.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        24 million people to China’s 1.35 Billion. China could tell them to stay in their homes and send them food.

        I’m sure the USA would kick in more as well since South Korea doesn’t likely want to (and probably couldn’t) absorb the equivalent of 50% of their current population.

      • keltcrusader

        I think perhaps China would prefer NK as the buffer between them and the potential border with a US Ally (aka SK)

    • Don_B1

      Beyond China’s food support to North Korea, North Korea has for a long time had massive artillery batteries that are in range of Seul plus large numbers of troops that could swarm across the DMZ and penetrate some distance, perhaps to Seul, before the South Koreans could turn them back, depending on the amount of advance warning.

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

    While the panel is talking on the politics of gun control legislation, I wonder if that one cherry-picked outlier poll that made “New gun law support eroding since weeks after Newtown” a Mediafact will be mentioned. It was pretty prominent all over The Evening News.

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

      lol so you think they should still be cherry picking the poll from right after the newtown incident?

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

        Any time you want to talk polls, reputable polls, and the trending of multiple reliable polls over time, the internet will still be here.

        That one poll (CBS, I think) was FrontPageAboveTheFold “fact”, on this show and on my generic Network Evening News. Only several media cycles did we learn that other simultaneous polls not showing the same thing were ignored.

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

          personally i put no stock in polls but some people are hung up on them for some reason. i think its cause they are good fodder to fill the 24 hour news channels

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

            It doesn’t matter what you or I personally think.

            This is the misinformation driving the flavor of the headlines, as demonstrated time and time again. It constantly tilts to the right.

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

            you think npr is leaning right?
            on the gun issue at least i really feel the opposite is true 

  • MrNutso

    Thanks for highlighting the potential poison pills of the legislation.  I hope that a badly amended bill is passed the President will veto it and place the blame on recalcitrant members of both parties.

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

      lol any bill labled gun control will be signed by oboma then he can declare mission accomplished on gun control

  • donniethebrasco

    Hardest place to own a gun legally in the US – ChicagoEasiest place to get killed by a gun – Chicago

    These gun laws will make the people that don’t like guns feel good that “something was done,” but no less people will die from guns.

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

      Then the NRA will have no problem with cops stopping every car driving into Chi-town to make sure more “easy state” guns don’t get there.

      I mean, the NRA’s always whining “Let’s enforce the laws on the books”, aren’t they?

      • MrNutso

        Thanks for mentioning that.  I always wonder how those espousing “enforce existing gun laws” plan to make sure that one who is not legally allow to own a gun does not in fact own a gun.

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

          I’d think it funny if it weren’t so serious. I mean, for the NRA, the government is simultaneously a bunch of jackbooted goose-steppers comin’ to take yer gunz, or government is a weak hand-wringing ninny helpless to do anything with the insanity and violent criminality pervasive through American society.

          What message one gets depends if you’re a potential NRA member or a TV news crew.

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

            it seems like both descriptions are accurate and not mutually exclusive at all

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

            Says more about you than the subject.

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

            or maybe its subjective? what does it say about me?

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

          in california they are actually riding around trying to get the guns from felons and lunatics. it seems borderline unconstitutional but they are getting guns from people that are not allowed to have them and are too stupid to exercise their rights

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

        i think the NRA is has heard of the constitution have you? there is no law on the books saying every citizen should be searched thats absurd i hope you are joking

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

          I’ll address your questions when they enter the realm of reality.

          Until then, let’s have the NRA’s solution to enforcing the laws on the books.

          Hey, why don’t private citizens who were all hepped up to be “armed volunteers keeping our schools safe” just stop every car driving out of the “wild west” states making sure nobody’s trafficking guns to places with stricter gun control.

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

            i will just assume you are joking

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

      FTA:
      The districts that contain Chicago, Los Angeles and New 
      York City ranked last in terms of federal gun law enforcement in 2012, according to a new report from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, which tracks federal data.
      http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2013/03/28/chicago-los-angeles-new-york-prosecuted-fewest-federal-gun-crimes

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

      lol donny they claim that their gun control has failed so badly because other places don’t have enough

  • KazInMass

    In addition to universal background checks, I’d like to see all gun owners carry liability insurance, to help compensate victims against any injury, damage, or death caused by the insured’s guns.  I know that the gun lobby would feel threatened by such an idea; has it come up for discussion anywhere?? 

    • MrNutso

      I agree, but that is an obvious non-starter.  If we can’t even get the gun manufacturers to be liable for their products (the only industry with that benefit) we certainly won’t get individual owners to be liable.

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

        i think if a gun was malfunctioning and caused harm you could sue the manufacturer. thats probably why guns these days are so remarkably safe

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

      There should be a special tax on those that refuse to own weapons for self defense because they inspire crime and require more government services.  

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

        And they should be forced to post a sign proclaiming their home is a gun free zone.

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

          i like it we should actually get a discount on our insurance because we can defend ourselves like you get a discount for a car alarm on your car insurance

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

            Exactly Correct.  Thank you.

          • jimino

            Here’s how that might work out for you:

            “CEO and chairman of the board, Edward B. Rust Jr. from State Farm
            believes that this topic needs to be addressed. He feels that the
            ownership of a gun “could be among a multitude of things” that are
            deemed to be risk factors by homeowners insurance companies when premiums are being calculated for policies.”

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

            i am sure the insurance guy thinks that mandating more insurance is a good idea. are you for real?

          • jimino

            Yes, in the real world one has to use real insurance companies if we wants real insurance.  And they rate real risk in deciding what premium to charge.  Probably a shock to your world view, huh?

            It’s only in your unrealistic mind that things would work differently.  

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

            i am sorry i took a tone with you but i really cannot believe you would think a quote from an insurance salesman saying they supported more mandatory insurance was compelling and not a farce. if people want insurance for their guns they can buy it like many other things. policies are available I got one with my NRA membership  and expanded coverage was available. requireing it would only cause the price to skyrocket and does anyone really believe that the people you really want to have the insurance would have their premiums all paid up? it also raises all sorts of privacy and availabilty issues. for example what if the insurance companies wanted to start inspecting peoples guns or where they are stored as part of a policy requirement? what if they decided they did not want to cover certain guns would people have to surrender their guns? would that not be a back door to make people give up their guns without constitutional oversight since it would be a corporation and not the govt doing it? its not a good idea they have something like that in mexico and it does not seem to work there.

          • jimino

            This has nothing to do with mandatory anything.  It’s simply an indication that those who evaluate risk and insure for it with a homeowners liability policy have clearly determined that having a gun in your home presents a greater risk, that is, more likely to be harmful than helpful.

            The paranoid and foolish “they’re-out-to-take-my-guns” lens through which you see any information regarding guns makes it impossible to have a rational discussion of the issue.

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

            he said it may be a risk factor. others are proposing mandatory insurance. if thats not whaht you are suggesting then whats your point?

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

            he said “risk factor” and i would be interested with what they determine that to be and how they determine it. when there are lawmakers discussing banning specific firearms and accessorys on a state and federal level and in some states actually taking peoples gun rights and you discussing gun insurance its not unreasonable to conclude that civil liberties are in jeopardy

      • jimino

        When needed by our country, all patriotic NRA members should be called to service in a citizen militia, if they do not immediately enlist and put their weapons skills to use.

        The unpatriotic, cowardly ones can stay at home and post on the internet about how useful their gun possession is.

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

          Many already did.  Are you aware of the origins of the oldest and most successful civil rights organization in America?

          • jimino

            Yes.  Times certainly have changed, haven’t they?

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

            Not really, there is nothing new under the sun. 

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

          of course we will be there. i signed up for selective service did not you?

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

      the idiots in the MA statehouse have been parading this idea about. actually they have that law in mexico. they have all the gun laws in mexico that some people think would be a good idea for america. how is all that gun control working out for them in mexico?
      what you are suggesting is backdoor banning and discrimanating against people of lower socioeconimic status. why do you want to strip the rights of poor people?
      will you make the gangbangers with their illegal guns who are responsible for much if not most of shootings get insurance too?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dorothy-Paradis/1266963984 Dorothy Paradis

    past caller saying more people are killed with hammers? knives? at least someone has the opportunity to flee, the wielder of these things is not going to be able to KILL 20+ in a matter of 5 minutes! Is he stupid??????

    • MrNutso

      No one can flee from my 30 headed hammer.

      • brettearle

        Not the NRA.

        But rather the NHA.

    • brettearle

      The pro-gun advocates, among us, simply love to trot out those fatuous claims about hammers and baseball bats.

      It’s ridiculous.

      Everyone knows and understands the mesmerizing and symbolic power of a firearm.

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

        here is the data its pretty clear that rifles are used in fewer murders than knives or blunt objects or bare hands
        http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-8
        tell us more about how you are “mesmerized” by the power of a firearm.

        • brettearle

           Look….

          It’s possible that I got your reference completely wrong, when I looked at it.

          Or else you are being strangely sarcastic or weirdly ironic.

          But the FBI tables appear to clearly back up my point, completely.

          But, indeed, maybe I misread your reference.

          Please advise.

          Otherwise, tell us how “mesmerized” you are by hammers.

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

            Are you looking at a different chart?

          • brettearle

            I used his reference.

            Did you have the chance to look at it?

          • hennorama

            brettearle – the point that “hammers” and “baseball bats” are nowhere to be found is lost here, regardless of how often one tries.

          • brettearle

            You mean, I ultimately, and literally, have to hit them over the head with my point?

          • hennorama

            Sadly, virtually and figuratively but not literally, yes you do.

          • brettearle

            Do you think that guy, above my last comment, was being serious?

            In this highly charged culture of Deeper- Meaning-into Things-That-Aren’t-
            There, if he is serious, it is Political correctness Run Amok.  

            These days, you can’t always tell who’s being funny and who’s not.

          • hennorama

            brettearle – TY for your reply. As I am uncertain exactly which post or “that guy” you are referring to, I reserve comment.

            It is not always easy to “read” seriousness, humor, sarcasm, reductio ad absurdum arguments, etc. in forums such as this. Brief written posts can leave the reader without benefit of tone, inflection, body language, etc. compared to in-person conversation.

            I believe we’ve discussed this previously, no?

          • StilllHere

            You should tone down your violent rhetoric especially given the topic. Think of the children.

          • brettearle

            Don’t know if you’re being facetious or serious.

            If you are being serious, then I think you’re entering into the realm of excessive political correctness.

            Every single moment, of every single day–across all forms of media–there are threats, and screams, and slurs, and ugly warnings, and actual violence, and real hatred.

            I was being metaphorical.

            To hit them over the head with my point, is to use assertive words, preferably over and over.

          • brettearle

            I just studied some of Still Here’s recent comments

            Judging by these comments, I’d say he was being humorous.

            I say, sir,

            Good Show!

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

            hammers? you are getting me mixed up with someone else i have not said anything about hammers

        • StilllHere

          I think he meant hypnotized …

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

      FBI crime statistics don’t support your argument.

      • nj_v2

        Common sense and decency don’t support your argument.

        • hennorama

          Nor do the FBI crime statistics.

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

            You are attempting to confuse the issue with apples and oranges comparisons:
            Total Rifle Murders = 323
            Total Blunt Object Murders = 496
            There for More murders happen with blunt objects than rifles.
            QED

          • StilllHere

            What if the rifle was used as a blunt object?

          • hennorama

            Touché.  Très drôle, monsieur.

          • hennorama

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

            You are correct in writing “There for [sic] More murders happen with blunt objects than rifles.” But that’s not what the caller said, nor was it what the poster ([peterlake], who says he has been involved in the firearms issue for over 30 years and who certainly should know better) wrote a couple of months ago.

            BOTH of them said “hammers”, not the accurate term “blunt objects” and BOTH of them said “killed” not “murdered”. There is absolutely no way to prove anything about the number of people murdered (or killed) via the use of hammers, as the FBI crime data does not break out hammers specifically.

            In addition, the word “killed” is much broader than “murdered”. It allows for the addition of the 45 Justifiable Homicides with rifles (most likely by law enforcement) in the 2011 FBI crime stats, as well as the accidental firearms deaths and suicides using firearms from the CDC data. It isn’t much of a stretch to extrapolate the FBI data to the CDC data, and I included a wide range of possible totals.

            You were accurate. They were not.

            TY again for your reply.

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

            Inaccuracy and statistics do not mix.  The logic of your compilation eludes me.  Are we disarming the police?  Are we re-criminalizing suicide?  Accidents with fire arms are less common than ever before even though there are more firearms in private hands than ever before.  It is as if you were grasping are figures to inflate a cost that is not truly there.

          • hennorama

            RWB – TY again for replying. As I said YOU were accurate. The others referred to were not.

            Again, my points are:

            A. “Killed” is not the same as “murdered”.

            B. “Hammers” are not the same as “blunt objects”. [EDIT/ADD]: Limiting one’s remarks to “hammers” completely leaves out Colonel Mustard, in the conservatory, with the lead pipe, to name but one example.

            C. If one uses the word “killed”, then Justifiable Homicides, Suicides, and Accidents must be addressed, in addition to Murders.

            D. There is no data available to specifically prove anything about hammers.

            TY again for your reply.

          • jefe68

            Then you should include them and stop f’n cherry picking stats to make your argument work in your favor.

          • jefe68

            You conveniently left out murders committed with handguns which are in the thousands. 

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

            jefe the fact no one is discussing handguns is the point of his statistics they seem obsessed with banning rifles though as you point out pistols are used in about 30 times as many murders 

          • StilllHere

            I’m not sure he knows the difference.

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

          Trotting out the “Have-you-no-decency” canard?  That is ironic coming from a person that uses dead children as political pawns.  Do you get your comments from a special kind of leftist’s magic eight ball?  

          • nj_v2

            I used “dead children”?? What the f**k are you talking about?

          • StilllHere

            It’s his only talking point.

      • hennorama

        RWB – that’s nonsense.  See my post above.

    • hennorama

       Dorothy Paradis – The claim “more people are killed with hammers than rifles” is nonsense and cannot be proven.

      Here’s what I told another poster who typed: “Hammers kill more people than rifles every year” a couple of months ago:

      (See:http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/01/18/week-in-the-news-obama-on-guns-algeria-hostages-dreamliner-grounded#comment-772555638)

      “peterlake – you’re wrong. More people were killed with rifles than were killed with hammers in 2011. If you can prove otherwise, please do. Here’s my case.

      In 2011, there were 323 Murders and 45 Justifiable Homicides with rifles, according to FBI data. That’s a minimum of 368 people intentionally killed by another human with a rifle in 2011. Preliminary 2011 data from the CDC indicates 851 accidental firearms deaths, and 19,766 suicides using firearms. That’s another 20,617
      firearms deaths.

      Extrapolating the Murder/Justifiable Homicide firearms deaths via rifle rate from the FBI data (4.01% of those killed with firearms) gives us a projected 826 accidental deaths and suicides with rifles. Even if that rate was lower (which is likely), even six times lower, we’d still project 138 accidental deaths and suicides with rifles.

      This gives us projected totals ranging from 506 to 1194 people killed by rifles. That compares to 496 Murders in 2011 from “Blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.)” with no detail about hammers.

      You need to get another talking point to parrot.”

      http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-11

      http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-14

      http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-15

      http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr61/nvsr61_06.pdf

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

        mmm fuzzy

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

      i bet chuck norris could

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Obama’s budget is a joke.  He increases spending 6% for the coming year.  The chained CPI accounting adjustment only extends the life of SS by 2 years.  This budget would probably get at many votes as his previous 3 budgets — zero.

    He also violates a campaign promise in the budget — offering $3 in cuts for $1 in tax increases.  There are almost no real cuts in his budget and the ones that are there are after he leaves office so they are meaningless.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=745185020 Cory Heaton

    We spend like a first world country and tax like a third world country. If American people want these programs they have to understand that they will have to pay for them.

    • MrNutso

      That only happens when taxes are high.  Only at that point do people realize there is a cost to things they want their government to do.

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

      i wonder if they knew about all the programs if they would still want them

      • jimino

        You mean like the $100,000 in annual federal benefits the Nebraska Republican/Tea Party US Senator from Nebraska, Deb Fischer, gets?

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

          yup or the millions spent to find out why lesbians are fat

          • StilllHere

            And we still don’t have an answer

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

            they will throw money at the problem no matter how much of our money it takes. as god is my witness we will discover exactly why lesbians are fat. its really the problem that defines our generation.  this is our moon mission.
            (ps i love lesbians but everyone has to agree this is not a really important thing to study with tax dollars relative to almost any other problem that exists)

          • hennorama

            Futo Buddy – you wrote about “the millions spent to find out why lesbians are fat”

            This is not only perpetuating a stereotype, it is inaccurate for two reason:

            A) “the millions spent” is inaccurate. The total project funding amount to date is $1,520,000, over two years.

            B) “ to find out why lesbians are fat” is only partly accurate, since the study is also about obesity risk in heterosexual males. The Abstract of the study indicates “we seek to uncover how processes of gender socialization may exacerbate obesity risk in both sexual minority females and heterosexual males.”

            The Atlantic Wire did a decent job of telling the WHOLE story of “… an ongoing study funded by the National Institutes of Health’s that’s examining the “interplay of gender and sexual orientation in obesity disparities.”

            “S. Bryn Austin, the Harvard-based project leader for the NIH-funded study, wrote in a statement to The Atlantic Wire:

            “The obesity epidemic is a major public health problem for our country, and no communities are immune. To stop the epidemic, we need to understand what all the causes are, and the causes and solutions to obesity are likely different for different parts of our society. Lesbian and bisexual girls and women make up almost 5 million Americans. In terms of sexual orientation and obesity, lesbians and bisexual girls and women – along with heterosexual men — seem to be the hardest hit. Why is that? We don’t know, but our study is designed to find out so we can come up with better ways to combat the epidemic for these communities.”

            http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/03/nih-lesbian-fat-study/63007/

            You can find out more about the actual study here:http://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cfm?aid=8324507&icde=15499915

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

            personally if you asked me to make a donation to fund a study as to why lesbians are fat i would not donate any of my money to it. one and half million sounds like millions to me and i can think of how i would rather either spend that money myself or how it might be better spent by the govt. once all my potholes are fixed and the “roads and bridges” are good and we are not deficit spending and everyone who wants one has a job and all the children are fed then we can worry about why lesbians are fat.

  • sarahrm

    Questions re North Korea. Why is the US provoking such reactions by engaging in “war games” with South Korea? Is this actually a phase in the encirclement of China? A show to distract and frighten the people of the US so we will ignore what Congress and the Pres are doing to Medicare and Social Security?  To justify our hideously bloated military budget? How many Koreans did we kill in the Korean War? What benefit to the people of the US by our relentless invasions of other countries and the unceasing slaughter of civilians? Terribly harmful sanctions that inflict suffering on civilians?  Dammit, which is the really crazy country?

    Also re “gun control.” Far too narrow a focus. Far too late anyhow. In large part the issue  is being used as another distraction from the pillaging of the populace in favor of the 1%, of the insane escalation of increasingly deadly and astoundingly expensive weapons of destruction. Question the increasing coarseness and violence of our culture, internally and all over the world. Time to question “American values.”
     

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

      dont forget the n korea thing is also a great distraction from them passing cispa and getting rid of whatever privacy we have left.
      i do thinks its a little ironic that oboma wants to take weapons from americans and give weapons, like subs and such, to egyptians and other forigners

  • http://www.openeyesvideo.com/ Glenn C. Koenig

    Look.  The “Affordable Care Act” kept the door open for the Medical industry to economically rape the US.  And now we’re all upset when Medicare costs are going up and we’re going to have to cut benefits?
    This is not just the President’s fault.  It goes much deeper than that.  That law is neither “affordable” nor is it “care.”  I guess we’ll have to find out the hard way, when the entire thing collapses.  We’re just going to have to work on improving our actual health, and cut back on all medical services.

    • pete18

       Well it is certainly mostly the President’s fault.

  • MrNutso

    The change in SS CPI in the President’s budget should be his last attempt to show the Washington VSP’s, “adults”, “centrist”, “moderates” that he is serious has taken action what ever they think the President should do.  Republicans are already rejecting the budget out of hand and the Washington chattering class will still say the President is not doing enough.

    When the budget proposal eventually dies due to Republican intransigence, I hope the President says “I told you so”.

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

      Anyone who knows what “VSP” means is obviously Shrill. You get a “like” on that basis alone.

  • creaker

    Chained CPI is a way for Washington to cut SS by a little bit every single year by voting once and then never having to bring it up again.

    • StilllHere

      Explain how that cutting works.

      • creaker

        With chained CPI inflation is calculated differently so smaller increases would take place. So cost of living increases would be smaller and over a number of years that would be accumulative.

        While the dollar value does continue to go up, the buying value goes down rather than keeping pace with inflation (there’s debate  the current method does not really keep pace with inflation, either). When one is on a fixed income, it’s the buying value of your SS check that’s all important.

        • StilllHere

          So it’s not really cutting, gotcha.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      That’s right. CPI (“Cut Peoples Income”) assumes that if the price of something goes up, you just switch to the cheaper alternative. It’s a cruel hoax, as health care is the big expense for seniors, it is already increasing in price faster than nominal inflation, and it’s not so easy to switch to the low cost alternative.

      It’s obviously just camo for a benefit cut. A disgrace from a Dem president. 

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

    Please, caller at :50 who delivers Meals on Wheels:

    NO FURTHER MEANS TESTING of SocSec. It’s just a way to give rich people a way to say “I’m not getting my share, it’s income redistribution”, and the race to retcon SocSec as a “giveaway to moochers” will be on.

    NO MORE RAISING of the SocSec age. “People” are not “living much longer than when SocSec started”, well off people are living a lot longer.

    That these proposals are so common should say something about how good they are. That “financial changes to SocSec and Medicare” are being mentioned in the same sentence points to warping the discussion that economists have.

    • nj_v2

      Raise the cap; solves the problem.

  • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Ms. Spider

    Jack, I don’t buy it (that Obama can’t walk away from his CPI change if he can’t hash out an agreement with the GOP).

    How many times in recent years have conservatives walked away from proposals they literally gave birth to (the individual mandate, cap & trade as examples)?

    • jimino

      It’s a lot easier to walk away when your base audience is not concerned with facts, which is the not-so-secret to the right’s success in such matters.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    The gang of eight immigration reform is reported to be 1,500 pages and no one (including the Senate) has seen it.

    Another 1,500 page law?  You’ve got to be kidding.  We have to fire these clowns before they destroy the country piece by piece.

    • StilllHere

      We have to pass it to know what’s in it.

  • creaker

    “Immigration reform” is really a discussion on how to import cheap, legal labor instead of that labor being illegal. In short this is a discussion on how to make things better for corporations, not immigrants or US citizens.

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

      it sure seems that way

  • Somebodytookmyname

    Why do we keep hearing about means testing Medicare? The critics should understand what they are talking about. Medicare is means tested. Higher income individuals pay higher premiums, in 5 levels up to 3.2 times the base rate. Those individuals probably also paid more into the system during their working career

    • StilllHere

      Exactly.  There are too many who don’t know the basics and somehow they often appear on this show.

  • MrNutso

    Thatcher didn’t ignore the sound of her own voice.

  • CeeCee99

    Since Social Security cuts came up in this conversation, please consider younger people who are disabled and trying to live on Social Security. We are pulled out of the workforce before we have had a chance to save enough for our later years. Social Security Disability presents a different set of issues. Those compounding cost of living cuts compound more severely over more years. Also, “entitlement” is a word with negative connotation. We ARE entitled because we pay into Social Security while we work. Congress was charged with managing that money to keep it solvent. They have failed all of us who have worked and paid for this insurance.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Dam right, Obama is now the spearhead of the class war.

    • StilllHere

      No one is talking about cutting SS.
      There is no such thing as severe compounding.
      You are entitled to being paid as much as you paid in, no more, but that is not what is happening.

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

    Nobody mentioned Brad Paisley on the panel.

    To me, the Brad Paisley/Jay-Z recording is simply a clumsy and inarticulate song. It seems like a decent song idea but the execution is lacking. I know enough of his work to feel that Paisley can do much better. (Jay-Z I’m not so familiar with.)

    PS I’m too white to say, but equating the Confederate battle flag with a do-rag as symbols to be looked beyond, to be looked beyond so the other race might see the individual rather than paint with a broad brush? That’s just weirdly imbalanced.

    • 1Brett1

      Paisley is a pretty good guitarist, but he is such a pandering songwriter (almost a parody of a country songwriter)…At least Paisley didn’t include any phrases about a truck, a tractor, how his daddy taught him everything about how to be a good man, and something about if being “country” isn’t cool than he doesn’t wanna be cool, or some such nonsense…but he’s “just a white man from the southland…” There is also that pathetic line in the song, “if you don’t judge my gold chains, I’ll forget the iron chains…” WHA?!?! As far as parody goes, I wouldn’t change one note/word. 

      P.S.-I believe it’s LL Cool J rappin’ the black man’s part.

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

        (Aw geez. I told you I don’t really follow rap / R&B! Thanks for reminding me of how white, suburban, and out of touch I am!)

        Paisley’s 2011 (?) song about being country was a not-incredible recording, but for me he “put that song across” with just his guitar, on A Prarie Home Companion. I can’t describe how, but the live performance outdoes the recording for the “beyond the literal lyric” emotional resonance. And that’s becoming a more rare thing in country circles.

        PS For me, the last country music song about country music we’ll ever need was written some 40 years ago.

    • nj_v2

      Colin McEnroe did a segment on the song on his show on Conn. Public Radio (WNPR). Sometimes i stop by there after On Point if i’m still around the computer doing desk work.

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

        Yeah, I heard that also.

        Colin McEnroe is something the mothership of NPR needs more of, methinks. I don’t know who I’d replace for him, but he has a capability of entertaining right-wing nuttery and also media inbrededness while standing outside of it.

  • nj_v2

    Weekly round-up of recent idiocy, ignorance, regressiveness; Rethuglicon, right-wing edition…

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/gop-congressman-compares-gun-registration-to-rwandan-genocide

    GOP Congressman Compares Gun Registration To Rwandan Genocide

    Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) on Thursday took to Facebook to rail against stricter gun control measures — and, along the way, compared a national gun registry to the genocide in Rwanda. 

    “The 2nd Amendment is (or should be) equal to the 1st Amendment and the 4th Amendment and all of the others,” Duncan wrote on Facebook. “Ask yourselves why it is under attack? Ask yourselves about a National gun registry database and how that might be used and why it is so wanted by progressives.”

    Enter the Rwanda comparison. “Read about the Rwandan genocide, the Hutu and Tutsi tribes,” Duncan continued. “Read that all Tutsi tribe members were required to register their address with the Hutu government and that this database was used to locate Tutsi for slaughter at the hands of the Hutu. (Since the government had the names and addresses of nearly all Tutsis living in Rwanda (remember, each Rwandan had an identity card that labeled them Tutsi, Hutu, or Twa) the killers could go door to door, slaughtering the Tutsis.”

    (snipped)

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/04/texas-congressman-cites-noahs-ark-evidence-against-climate-change

    Texas Congressman Cites Noah’s Ark As Evidence Against Climate Change

    Texas Republican Joe Barton stands out even among his fellow conservative Republicans who have made it an article of faith to deny the existence of a human component to climate change.

    On Wednesday, Barton cemented that reputation by citing the Old Testament to refute scientific evidence of man-made global warming, drawing on the story of Noah’s ark.

    “I would point out that if you are a believer in the Bible, one would have to say the great flood was an example of climate change,” Barton told a congressional hearing on Wednesday in a video first shown on the BuzzFeed website. “That certainly wasn’t because mankind had overdeveloped hydrocarbon energy.”

    (snipped)

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/04/09/1843661/senator-to-newtown-families-the-gun-debate-has-nothing-to-do-with-you/?mobile=nc

    Senate To Newtown Families: The Gun Debate Has Nothing To Do With You

    As the Senate prepares to take up a comprehensive gun safety bill on Thursday, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) told reporters that the coming debate will have nothing to do with the families of the victims from Newtown, Connecticut.

    “See, I think it’s so unfair of the administration to hurt these families, to make them think this has something to do with them when, in fact, it doesn’t,” Inhofe said and suggested that Obama is manipulating and misinforming the families for political purposes.

    (snipped)

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/paul-cameron-gay-people-more-likely-have-sex-children-and-pets

    Paul Cameron: Gay People More Likely to Have Sex With Children and Animals

    The discredited “researcher” Paul Cameron, chairman of the anti-gay Family Research Institute, frequently claims that gay people want to rape children. Or, as he once put it, “The long term goal of the homosexual movement is to get every little boy to grab his ankles and every little girl to give it a try.”

    Cameron, whose “research” has been used by numerous Religious Right groups and was cited recently in an essay promoted by RNC committeeman and Michigan Republican lawmaker Dave Agema, told the National Press Club today that around one in four gay men have sex with children “as part of their sexual repertoire.”

    He asserted that “parents are very leery about having their children sleep over or have homosexuals’ children sleep over with their children, they just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

    (snipped)

    http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2013/04/04/video-nra-instructor-couldnt-be-at-protest-because-oops-he-shot-himself-in-the-foot/

    VIDEO: NRA iinstructor couldn’t be at protest because – oops! -  he shot himself in the foot

    Let’s review our lessons, now, class: There are no gun accidents. There is plenty of gun negligence.

    Please proceed, Kenny:

    “I usually always cock it back and it usually ejects a shell that’s in the chamber. You pull the trigger to release the slide … This time there was a cartridge in there. And BANG! Hit my ankle.”

    “There was a cartridge in there,” said NRA Instructor Kenny. No, it wasn’t “in there.” Kenny negligently left it in there, or failed to notice it was in there, but it wasn’t just magically “in there.”

    Did I mention that Kenny had $8,000 worth of guns—ten, mostly handguns, plus a rifle– stolen from his apartment? They must have been grabbed by the “bad guys”– who now have the “good guy’s” guns.

    (excerpt)

    • 1Brett1

      Always a highlight of the week in review!

    • John_in_Amherst

       Winnowing through the week’s examples of idiotic right wing nonsense to highlight must keep you busy, but DO keep at it. 

      • nj_v2

        It’s usually a unpartisan effort. I also try to list the Dimocrat- and so-called liberal version as well, but didn’t have time this week. The Con stuff, on the whole, is usually more inane, though.

        I save these in a folder as i do my quick, daily news scan. Usually, they just kind of leap off the screen.

        Thanks, though!

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

    FTA:

    Corn ethanol fails every test a biofuel could hope to pass. It doesn’t lower emissions; it raises them. It also raises the global price of corn, starving the world’s poor and possibly inciting riots. But EPA mandates are propping up this boondoggle. Producers are scrambling to snatch up biofuel credits to meet the federally-mandated quota this year because neither supply nor demand will be sufficient to produce the more than 13 billion barrels of ethanol required.

    http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/04/11/is-the-end-in-sight-for-americas-biofuel-boondoggle/

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

      Rep Markey wants to double down on the failed policy by raise the standard to E85.  He must really hate the poor of the world to want more of them to starve to death.

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

        not to mention he hates engines and fuel lines

    • nj_v2

      I agree that biofuels are, even with appropriate feedstocks, are not a sustainable solution. Corn ethanol would seem to be one of the worst options.

      I keep reading where the EPA mandates, specifically, use of corn ethanol, but cannot find this in the actual rule.

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

        look in the usda regs

        • nj_v2

          It’s an EPA rule, not a USDA reg. EPA is a separate organization.

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

            lol its like how  at least 3 agencies regulate salmon

          • nj_v2

            No it’s not.

            lol

      • hennorama

         nj_v2: Try these:

        http://www.ethanol.org/index.php?id=78

        The Energy Policy Act of 2005: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-109publ58/pdf/PLAW-109publ58.pdf

        The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which amended and increased the RFS:
        http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-110publ140/pdf/PLAW-110publ140.pdf

        The two pdf links above are the actual laws, and are quite dense and voluminous. I’d start with the ethanol.org link first.

        • nj_v2

          Thanks, henn.

          Your first link summarizes, “The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005, P.L. 110-58), established the first-ever Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) in federal law, requiring increasing volumes of ethanol and biodiesel to be blended with the U.S. fuel supply between 2006 and 2012. ”

          It seems to say nothing about the rule specifically requiring the source be corn.

          I did skim over the actual rule earlier, but still couldn’t find a passage where corn was specifically mandated. Dense and voluminous is being kind.

          I might look more later if i have time.

          • hennorama

            nj_v2 – YW; no worries.

            I briefly scanned both. The word “corn” does not appear in The Energy Policy Act of 2005.

            It wasn’t terribly difficult to figure out what happened:

            First, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 amended Section 211 of the Clean Air Act, by inserting a new subsection (o) RENEWABLE FUEL PROGRAM, and included multiple definitions, like so:

            “(a) IN GENERAL.—Section 211 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C.
            7545) is amended—
            (1) by redesignating subsection (o) as subsection (r); and
            (2) by inserting after subsection (n) the following:
            ‘‘(o) RENEWABLE FUEL PROGRAM.—
            ‘‘(1) DEFINITIONS.—In this section” …. blah blah blah

            See:http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-109publ58/pdf/PLAW-109publ58.pdf (Section 1501 RENEWABLE CONTENT OF GASOLINE., on pg. 475)

            It also established the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) like so (same source as above, pgs. 476 & 477):

            ‘‘(2) RENEWABLE FUEL PROGRAM.—
            ‘‘(A) REGULATIONS.—
            ‘‘(i) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this paragraph, the Administrator shall promulgate regulations to ensure that gasoline sold or introduced into commerce in the United States (except in noncontiguous States or territories), on an annual average basis, contains the applicable volume of renewable fuel determined in accordance with subparagraph (B).

            ‘‘(B) APPLICABLE VOLUME.—
            ‘‘(i) CALENDAR YEARS 2006 THROUGH 2012.—For the
            purpose of subparagraph (A), the applicable volume for any of calendar years 2006 through 2012 shall be determined in accordance with the following table:
            Applicable volume of renewable
            fuel
            ‘‘Calendar year: (in billions of
            gallons):
            2006 ………………………………………..4.0
            2007 ………………………………………. 4.7
            2008 ………………………………………. 5.4
            2009 ………………………………………. 6.1
            2010 ………………………………………. 6.8
            2011 ………………………………………. 7.4
            2012 ………………………………………. 7.5

            This is the so-called Renewable Fuel Standard.

            And then, in 2007,

            The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) further amended the Clean Air Act (especially the new subsection (o) that was inserted in 2005 (see above). It added some new definitions, including these:

            “TITLE II—ENERGY SECURITY THROUGH
            INCREASED PRODUCTION OF BIOFUELS
            Subtitle A—Renewable Fuel Standard
            SEC. 201. DEFINITIONS.
            Section 211(o)(1) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7545(o)) is
            amended to read as follows:
            ‘‘(1) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:

            ‘‘(B) ADVANCED BIOFUEL.—
            ‘‘(i) IN GENERAL.—The term ‘advanced biofuel’ means renewable fuel, other than ethanol derived from corn starch, that has lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions, as determined by the Administrator, after notice and opportunity for comment, that are at least 50 percent less than baseline lifecycle greenhouse gas
            emissions.

            ‘‘(F) CONVENTIONAL BIOFUEL.—The term ‘conventional biofuel’ means renewable fuel that is ethanol derived from corn starch.”

            see:http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-110publ140/pdf/PLAW-110publ140.pdf (SEC. 201. DEFINITIONS. pgs. 29 and 30 or 1519 and 1520)

            The definitions of “ADVANCED BIOFUEL” and “CONVENTIONAL BIOFUEL” were needed because the EISA of 2007 added production requirements for “ADVANCED BIOFUEL” to the Renewable Fuel Standard beginning in 2009.

            The overall volumes in the Renewable Fuel Standard were greatly increased for 2008 and subsequent years as well, but starting in 2015, it limits “CONVENTIONAL BIOFUEL”, aka ethanol from corn, to 15 Billion gallons/year.

            You can see this very clearly in the chart titled “RFS Schedule under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007” contained in this link (the first one in my post):

            http://www.ethanol.org/index.php?id=78#Renewable%20Fuels%20Standard

            Hope that helped.

          • Gregg Smith

            As long as Iowa is the first caucus we’re stuck with Ethanol. 

    • hennorama

      RWB – It’s definitely not smart to be converting food crops into ethanol used in transportation fuels.

      Clearly, until cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, and advanced biofuel production ramps up, a large part of U.S. corn production will be converted to ethanol, supporting higher corn prices. Corn growers have figured out that this “quiet” support via the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is much better than the “loud” subsidies and tariffs, which is why those expired with nary a peep at the end of 2011.

      And as you said, the resultant higher corn prices have had a worldwide impact, pushing food prices up around the globe. This has led to increased inflation, higher poverty rates and more malnutrition and disease associated with food shortages. Angry citizens have rioted over price hikes on staple foods, leading to political instability.

      Higher food commodity prices have different impacts for those living in low-income countries vs. those in the US and other high-income countries. For some perspective, consider the following:

      A 2008 article from the USDA Economic Research Service concluded that a 50% rise in the prices of food commodity staples, with 60% of the rise passing through to retail prices would result in

      “less than a 1-percentage-point increase (rising from 10.0% to 10.6%) in share of income spent on food for high-income [countries] but … low-income [countries would] spend over 10 percent more of their income on food (rising from 50.0% to 60.5%).”

      Again, for emphasis – USDA indicated that a hypothetical consumer in a low-income country spends 50% of their income on food, which might rise to 60.5% under their rising commodity price scenario. This has largely come true already.

      This is true largely due to the fact that most food consumed in the US and other high-income countries is highly processed, so the cost of the actual food commodity makes up a small part of the total price. In contrast, people in low-income countries tend to buy the actual raw commodity, then process it into food themselves. This makes the price of the commodity a much larger share of the total price of food consumed. Think of the difference between buying corn flakes and grinding corn into meal by hand.

      Source:http://webarchives.cdlib.org/sw1vh5dg3r/http:/ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/November08/Features/FoodPrices.htm

      Let’s hope we get better results out of the non-corn renewable fuels soon, or these problematic trends will continue.

      • John_in_Amherst

        Even cellulosic ethanol is considered to be a waste.  By the time ethanol is extracted and refined from fermentation processes, it has consumed too much energy (with current and near-term foreseeable future technologies) to be an energy efficient source of power.

    • John_in_Amherst

       I agree with your assessment of corn based ethanol.  How about taking up the idea with the predominantly GOP farm state legislators who LOVE those corn subsidies?

    • StilllHere

      This has Obama’s and Durbin’s fingerprints all over it.  I wonder if Durbin’s lobbyist wife and kids are benefiting as well.

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

        Your half-point is eroded by ignoring the avalanche of RealMurkin congresscritters on each side who won’t stick their neck out against this.

  • 1Brett1

    No mention of increasing penalties for straw purchases of guns in any talk of potential legislation? 

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

      there was that was one part of the compromise. what are the penalties now and what do you think they should be?

      • 1Brett1

        Where, specifically, was that in the compromise? Which, the language is still being worked out by Toomey and Manchin; and, of course, it hasn’t gone to legislation yet… 

        Also, I provide a link, here…I was going to provide another one that was an actual video instead of text (thought that might be easier for you), so I hope you can make it through…

        http://www.federalobserver.com/archive.php?aid=319

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

          it was discussed in the media during the discussion of the discussion the senators had. i am not sure if you think wbur is credable or not but i put a link for you. see where it says ” strengthen laws against illicit gun trafficking” i think thats what you were worried about right? your article confirms 2 important things. people are not being prosecuted to the full extent of the law now for purchasing guns for felons. that guys girlfriend knew he was unable to buy a gun there fore would never ever submit to a background check in the first place because she knew what whe was doing was wrong. what she is doing now is very illegal (10 year penalty) making it more illegal is not going to make that woman in the story do anything differently.  
          http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/04/11/senate-debate-guns
          i also have to wonder from your post, why the condescending petulant attidude?

          • 1Brett1

            It’s true that sentencing has been light when people get convicted of straw purchases, and that needs to changed/be enforced with the maximum and more. The current max is 10 years (the average upon conviction is a fraction of that). If someone, however, provides a felon with a gun and that felon uses the gun to murder, then I feel it should be more than 10 years for the purchaser. 

            That one case is not the issue, but the many and the mish-mash of laws across the country; laws for straw purchases are different from state to state. That should change. If straw purchases represent a third of illegal transactions, then…

            I’ll have to read the article; thanks for the link. 

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

            i think thats what annoys people when we have laws that could be used to deal with straw buyers but are not and then there are people calling for more new laws. brett if someone provides a gun for someone and its used to murder they can be charged as an accessory or even conspiracy and do just as much time as the murderer under the laws we have now but its up to  prosecutors to do so and from your article it said that the cops don’t even bother with the cases because they can get more people in jail longer (which i guess is their goal) by working on drug cases. yet another reason to end the failed war on drugs so the cops can focus on dangerous criminals like gun runners

          • 1Brett1

            As you know a straw purchase is a very specific kind of illegal purchase, there are many other kinds of illegal purchases. The language mentioned in the very brief article from your link simply makes a general statement about illegal purchases. 

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

            like you said the exact details have not been hammered out yet but that seems to address your concern at this point anyways

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

            you should read some of the horror stories about over zealous managers at places like dickssportinggoods trying to call people straw buyers

  • StilllHere

    Obama’s tax rate is less than Buffett’s secretary!  So unfair!!

    • jimino

      Of course it is.  But that’s the way you want it, right?

      So are you complaining about it, celebrating it, or just spouting mindless drivel?

      • StilllHere

        Just pointing out the usual Democrat hypocrisy that Obama takes to another level.  I encourage him and other 1%s to send a check in if they feel undertaxed.

        • Duras

          When have liberals said that people shouldn’t do what they can within the law? 

          I’m sick of this stupid idea that if rich liberals don’t volunteer more tax dollars than are necessary than they are hypocrites.  A voluntary tax system doesn’t work.  We just want to change the law. 

          Particularly, change the law back to the rates that helped this country become great.

          • Fredlinskip

            Letting  corporations “regulate themselves”, as Greenspan espoused, didn’t work out so swell either.

    • OnPointComments

      And the Bidens kept up their tradition of donating just over 1% of their nearly $400,000 income to charity.

      • hennorama

        OPC – you would have been much more accurate had you written “just under 2%” rather than “just over 1%”, unless you think that something that is more than 86 percent greater than 1% qualifies as “just over 1%”.

        [My calculator, primitive though it is, gives a result of 1.867% when dividing the Biden's 2012 Schedule A Line 19 Gifts to Charity amount ($7,190) by their 2012 Form 1040 Line 37 Adjusted Gross Income amount ($385,072)].

        Much more to the point – so what?

        Is there some level of monetarily quantifiable charitable contributions that are required of politicians? What if, in addition to donations of money and property, they also use their time and influence to work on behalf of charitable organizations? Just curious.

        And seeing as how we are discussing trivial matters … another question – have the Romneys amended their 2011 tax returns yet, to claim the approximately $1.75 million in charitable contributions they made but did not deduct, in order to reverse-engineer and manipulate their effective tax rate for political gain? Alternatively, have they promised to never claim those deductions?

        Not that it matters to anyone, really, since ol’ Mitt is finished as a candidate. Unless the Mittster decides to otherwise come back into the public political spotlight, of course. Although he seems to do his best work in private, where he needn’t worry about making remarks “spoken off the cuff” and that are not “elegantly stated”.

        At least 47, 48, 49 percent of the time he needn’t worry, that is.

        • OnPointComments

          What do you think of generosity as a character trait?  Should it be admired?  Based on the information that is available to us, would you characterize the Bidens as a generous couple?  How about the Romneys?

          • hennorama

            OPC – TY for your response. I enjoy our interactions, and respect and appreciate your views.

            Before answering your queries, I feel obliged to point out that you left my five questions unanswered. Given my stated views on avoiding direct questions in a debate, I’ll answer yours in sequence:

            1. Generosity is a positive character trait.

            2. “Admired” is too strong a word in my view. I would use “respected” or “valued”. As stated above, generosity is a positive trait. I also quibble with the word “should” as it implies a requirement. One can respect or value generosity, but need not do so.

            3. The Bidens are indeed generous, and as implied in one of my questions to you, they seem more generous with their time and influence, which never shows up as something quantifiable on an income tax return, compared to their easily quantifiable donated money and property.

            4. The Romneys are indeed also generous with their property (some of which was acquired for little or no actual money), their money, and their time and influence. Their church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to its website, promotes tithing “a tenth of their ‘increase,’ or income, annually.” Further, “In addition to tithing, most faithful members donate fast offerings, which consist of at least the money saved by fasting for two meals each month.” Given that Mr. Romney has been reported to be an elder/bishop in his church, it would be a bit embarrassing for the Romneys to not give at least 10 percent of their “increase” to their church.

            Surprisingly, they gave their church 7.05 percent in 2010, and 8.14 percent in 2011, according to their Federal income tax returns.

            Source of above quotes:http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/tithing

            I look forward to your answers to my questions, as well as any other comments. Thank you again for your response.

          • OnPointComments

            Just over 1%, just under 2%, you’re quibbling over tenths of a percent; either way it’s a stingy record of caring for your fellow man, especially when the Bidens make hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.
             
            I searched for “Biden generosity” and ” ‘Joe Biden’ and ‘charitable organizations’ ” on the web for proof that the Bidens are “indeed generous,” as you stated, whether with time, money, or influence.  I didn’t review all 8.8 million hits, but the first 15 pages of hits didn’t provide anything to support your assertion.  The closest support was a piece in the Huffington Post in which the author stated “I am sure time and time again, throughout his career, that Vice President Biden has followed the dictates of Matthew and secretly and confidentially helped others in need,” but of course he couldn’t support the statement that he fabricated.  There were many, many articles about the Biden’s paltry record of charitable giving, including one from “National Review” that stated “In nine out of the ten years for which tax returns were released, the Bidens gave less than $400 to charity; in the tenth year, 2007, when Biden was running for president, they gave $995 out of an adjusted gross income of $319,853.”  From 1998 to 2007, the Bidens reported nearly $2.5 million in income, and made charitable contributions totalling $3,690 during the 10 years.  I won’t bother calculating the percentage.  While you may think that the Bidens “seem more generous with their time and influence,” it doesn’t seem that way to me, or the 8.8 million web hits.
             
            I considered your question about the Romney’s amended returns to be rhetorical, since it is something you dreamed up and have no way of proving or knowing.  Perhaps you were projecting what the Bidens would have done in the same situation, that is, had they ever made any material charitable contributions, which they have not.
             
            I don’t know whether the Romneys have fulfilled their pledge to the Mormon church, and neither do you.  I’ve had many clients over the years who have fulfilled their tithes to their church by paying the tithe in advance, sometimes many years in advance.  Perhaps the Romneys did the same, or maybe they didn’t, either way, I bet their consciences are clear.  Not so much with the Bidens.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’ve heard the Bidens called a lot of things but charitable is not one of them. 

            Of course she says “time and influence” because she had to make up something. As she wrote: “… which never shows up as something quantifiable …”

          • OnPointComments

            I wouldn’t be surprised if Joe Biden said that he believes Dickens got the ending to “A Christmas Carol” all wrong, Ebenezer was just fine as he was, and it was the priest and the Levite who should be admired in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, not the Samaritan who helped the injured man.

          • hennorama

            OPC – Thank you for your response. I respect and understand your views.

            Here’s the thing – my view is that charitable contributions are very personal choices. I also define generosity as ANY giving of one’s time, money, property, influence, or any other resource to others. It seems judgmental in the extreme to compare one person’s generosity to that of another; all generosity should be respected. Again, in my view, someone donating a moment of their time, or a penny of their cash, is just as respectable as another who devotes their life to charitable works, or who gives away their entire fortune.

            Clearly, some feel otherwise, and feel qualified to judge the relative worthiness of the charitable contributions and works of others.

            Given my viewpoint, I interpreted your initial comment as a negative comment about the Bidens and their generosity, implying that you felt they should have been more generous. This made your comment fair game for dissection, which prompted my examination of its accuracy.

            You made your views of the Bidens’ charity quite clear by writing “…it’s a stingy record of caring for your fellow man, especially when the Bidens make hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. “ You certainly have a right to this sort of judgmental view; I merely have a different perspective.

            Both the Romneys and the Bidens are to be commended for altruism and their charitable contributions, in my view.

            Again, other seem to differ. Witness the blog post from American Enterprise Institute blogger, Dr. Mark J. Perry from Friday, which reads, in part:

            “Now that Vice-President Biden’s tax returns are coming under public scrutiny, he’s suddenly feeling a bit more charitable than the former, rather uncharitable Senator Joe Biden, whose tax returns probably received little attention, if they were even released at all.”

            BTW, this blogger, “a full professor of economics at the Flint campus of The University of Michigan” essentially showed that the Bidens’ monetarily quantifiable donations are in the range of normal expectations, as he says they are “25% below average for his income”. Strangely, the professor seems to think that VP Joe Biden is the only one with income. This is untrue of course, as Dr. Jill Biden earned over $82K from Northern Virginia Community College.

            Dr. Perry’s original post was misleading, which I commented on. He subsequently updated it (although the update itself contains an error), making his the second national blog post that was changed subsequent to comments I made pointing out discrepancies. But I digress; apologies for the bragging.

            See:http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/04/vice-president-biden-is-becoming-a-lot-more-generous-than-senator-biden-but-is-still-25-below-average-for-his-income/

            Speaking of Dr. Jill Biden – her work as an educator, including working with emotionally disturbed children, could itself be thought of as charity to an extent. Certainly her position (per wikipedia.org) as “president of the Biden Breast Health Initiative, a nonprofit organization begun in 1993 that provides educational breast health awareness programs free of charge to schools and other groups in the state of Delaware” demonstrates her commitment to good works. You might try searching for her as well as the VP.

            See:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jill_Biden#cite_note-nyt082508-8

            Now as to your other comments:

            Indeed I was asking some rhetorical questions and messing with you about your “just over 1%” comment. I was tweaking your nose a bit with the questions as well as when I pointed out that you hadn’t answered my questions. Just the usual sparring, with no ill intent, truly.

            And as to the Romneys and their church – indeed I have no idea, and don’t care, whether they, as you said “fulfilled their pledge to the Mormon church”. My remark used the phrase “according to their Federal income tax returns”, which is demonstrably true. They certainly may have made other contributions that don’t show up on their tax returns, or as you helpfully pointed out, were not made in the same year as their income. My comment was based on the limited information available. Regardless, I found it surprising.

            The thing about the Romneys and their considerable charitable work and donations is that they used them for political gain. While their charity is commendable, using it for political gain is not, in my view.

            Thanks again for your responses, and again, mine had no ill intent toward you.

          • OnPointComments

            I agree that charitable contributions are very personal choices; I also believe that the personal choices people make says something about their character.
             
            You are correct that my comment on the Bidens and their lack of generosity was negative, and that I feel they should have been more generous.  Concerning charitable contributions as reflected on their tax returns, the Biden’s record is pitiful; I doubt there are many people who would interpret this record of giving as generous.
             
            I reviewed several years of the nonprofit tax returns filed by the Biden Breast Health Initiative, and I’m not impressed with the organization.  Jill Biden is listed on the 2006 Form 990 as president of the organization devoting zero average hours to her position; by 2010 she is no longer on the board of directors.  It is surprising to me that the Bidens have no desire to financially support the organization that bears their name.
             
            My opinion is judgmental; perhaps I’ve succumbed to the constant rhetoric coming from President Obama of knowing what someone’s fair contribution is, how much of the income that someone earns is needed, and comparing what one person pays to another.  The Bidens come up lacking.
             
            I searched for an article that discussed the Romneys using their charitable work for political gain, and I found NONE.  There was a plethora of articles and opinions from others, including an abundance of snarky ones from the usual liberal sources, but I didn’t find a single one where the Romneys were bragging or touting their charitable work for political gain.  I found this quote from Ann Romney:  “Mitt doesn’t like to talk about how he has helped others because he sees it as a privilege, not a political talking point.  And we’re no different than the millions of Americans who quietly help their neighbors, their churches and their communities.  They don’t do it so that others will think more of them.  They do it because there is no greater joy.”  I’m sure you’ll provide links if there was something I overlooked.
             
            Thank you for your response, and like yours, mine has no ill intent toward you.

          • hennorama

            OPC – TY for your thoughtful response.

            It seems to come down to a difference in how one views charitable behavior. You seem to think that when it comes to generosity, that the more one gives, the better one is as a person. Please correct me if I’ve mischaracterized your views.

            I have, and please pardon the pun, a more charitable view – that one is generous if one donates any amount of one’s time, money, property, influence, or any other of one’s resources. Generosity is a YES/NO proposition to me. It is a positive character trait, to be sure.

            That doesn’t make either of our views right or wrong. Rather, they are simply different, and both are equally tolerable.

            As to the Romneys’ charitable works – I should have more narrowly focused my remarks on the issue of their contributions of property and money to charities, and their associated income tax deductions. Those contributions and tax deductions were clearly used as part of the campaign narrative, while their various charitable works, both public and private, generally were not. Most likely this was strategic, as Romney’s advisors were concerned about how the Mormon religion would be perceived, and much of his charitable work was related to his duties as an elder/bishop in his church.

            The sole exception was at the Republican convention.

            According an latimes.com article “Romney’s convention organizers decided to put Clint Eastwood on stage in prime time, pushing a carefully crafted biographical video about Romney out of the hour being broadcast on network television. Even if Eastwood had not turned in so unusual a performance, the absence of the video would have been a significant loss for the campaign.

            “The most powerful statements on Romney’s behalf came even earlier in the evening from two couples whom Romney had helped during family crises. Their accounts of how he had stood with them during the hardest moments of their lives delivered an emotional punch that the convention otherwise lacked. Unfortunately for the campaign, few people outside the convention hall saw them.”

            See:http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/31/news/la-pn-republican-convention-reaction-20120831

            These are examples, written in response to another poster, of Romney politicizing their monetary charitable contributions, and their associated income tax deductions:

            [[Mr. Romney said this after the release of his joint 2010 federal tax return “ ... every year I’ve paid at least 13 percent and if you add in addition the amount that goes to charity, why the number gets well above 20 percent."

            At the time, Romney also said that he wouldn't release more tax returns because he didn't want his religious contributions to be made public. What a joke! He crowed about how much he contributes, then said (according to Parade magazine) "It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church."]]

            Romney was trying to have it both ways, in effect saying “Look how charitable I am,” and “I can’t talk about my charity, since it’s a private and religious matter.”

            Hope you had a good weekend, and thanks for your thoughtful comments.

          • Gregg Smith

            You really are quite amazing. On one comment you rag Romney for not reporting all his charitable deductions and then you turn round a claim to know the percent he tithes. I’m not a Christian but I would rather Romney gave as much money as possible to his church if the choice is between charity and taxes. Many not only think the opposite, they resent it.

          • hennorama

            Gregg Smith – thank you for your kind words and for your response. I understand your views and appreciate your having taken the time to respond to my posts.

            As said I’ve said on multiple occasions in other posts, I commend the Romneys for their altruism and considerable charitable work and donations.

            However, Mr. Romney lied about various aspects of his taxes during his campaign, and his charitable contributions were part of his lies. He said “I never paid less than 13%,” then had his accountants reverse-engineer his joint 2011 Federal income tax return in order to comply with that remark.

            There is no doubt that the Romneys’ 2011 tax return was reverse-engineered for political purposes. Mr. Romney’s hand-picked personal financial trustee, Brad Milt, said so:

            “The Romneys’ generous charitable donations in 2011 would have significantly reduced their tax obligation for the year. The Romneys thus limited their deduction of charitable contributions to conform to the Governor’s statement in August, based upon the January estimate of income, that he paid at least 13% in income taxes in each of the last 10 years.”

            Mr. Romney said this in January 2012:

            “I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more. I don’t think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes. I’d think people would want me to follow the law and pay only what the tax code requires.”

            And during an ABC News interview, these were his exact words:

            “I don’t pay more than are legally due and frankly if I had paid more than are legally due I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president.”

            Both of those statements are lies, as shown by the fact that the Romneys paid more taxes in 2011 “ than are legally due”.

            In addition, the conflation of charitable contributions and income taxes is nonsensical, unseemly, and hypocritical.

            Mr. Romney said this after the release of his joint 2010 federal tax return “ … every year I’ve paid at least 13 percent and if you add in addition the amount that goes to charity, why the number gets well above 20 percent.”

            At the time, Romney also said that he wouldn’t release more tax returns because he didn’t want his religious contributions to be made public. What a joke! He crowed about how much he contributes, then said (according to Parade magazine) “It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church.”

            Yet another example of Romney trying to have it both ways. And you wonder why he lost.

            All of the information and calculations about the Romneys’ contributions to their church are accurate and are sourced from their 2010 and 2011 Federal income tax returns. You can look it up for yourself. Unfortunately, that is much more difficult these days, since the original links to the disclosures are no longer directly available at mittromney.com.

            Thanks again for your kind words.

      • Gregg Smith

        They made tens of thousands by charging rent to the Secret Service, that’s generous.

        • hennorama

          Gregg Smith – one question – why do you have a problem with free enterprise?
          BTW, here’s part of a foxnews.com article from August 01, 2011, when this issue was first reported:

          “Though taxpayer watchdogs questioned the arrangement, it may be a matter of convenience.

          “Having our command post in close proximity to the vice president’s residence affords us a level of security that we wouldn’t have otherwise,” Service spokesman Edwin Donovan told FoxNews.com.

          “Biden’s mother used to live at the cottage before she died in early 2010. According to the Times, Secret Service agents assigned to Biden had previously been renting properties in the area, but a year later the Service approached him about renting the cottage instead.

          “While the arrangement is rare, Secret Service agents apparently rented property from the Clintons in Chappaqua, N.Y., a decade ago — however, the Clintons reportedly declined to accept payment from the Secret Service at the time. “

          No mention was made about how much the Secret Service was paying for the other rental properties, plural, or whether the Bidens actually saved the government money with this arrangement. Regardless, the enhanced security for the VP due to closer proximity is important, and is a clear and legitimate goal of the Secret Service.

          See:http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/07/31/biden-charges-secret-service-rent-for-using-cottage-next-to-his-home/

          • Gregg Smith

            I love free enterprise but many think it shows a lack of generosity. 

          • hennorama

            Mr. Smith – what about you – do you “think it [free enterprise] shows a lack of generosity”?

            Please explain your remarks. For example, your remarks bring a couple of other questions to mind:

            Do you think that the Secret Service shouldn’t pay for occupying someone’s property?

            Do you think that being a politician means that one shouldn’t collect fair and reasonable rent for one’s property?

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

      Yawn. What shite.

      • StilllHere

        You know shite, mostly because yur full of it.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    If you don’t understand “chained CPI”, here’s the basic idea. Suppose the price of hamburger rises. You might think that would increase senior’s cost of living. But no! That’s old thinking! It ignores that they can just switch to catfood. See? No increase in cost at all.

    Pretty class warfare-y, huh? Even worse, health care is increasing faster then hamburger, it’s seniors’ main expense, and there is no analog to catfood in that area.

    Even more worse, why is BHO talking about SS at all? It doesn’t contribute to the deficit and it’s the soundest program on the planet, good for 20 years and then, worse case, able to pay out 75%. Why does cutting such a paragon of strength come up when we’re in the midst of a short term jobs, growth and inequality crisis? I know the real answer – class warfare – but I’d like to hear them at least try to present a good con.

    Our rising inequality, measured by the gini coefficient (#1 in developed world) is one of our worst problems. “Cutting Peoples Income” for the seniors on the bottom will only make it worse. Thanks a lot BHO.

    Time for pitchforks and torches yet?

    http://static1.businessinsider.com/image/50dde60cecad045b4800001d-612-459/screen%20shot%202012-12-28%20at%201.33.12%20pm.png

    • Kiep99

      The WH doesn’t suggest removing the income cap on FICA taxes & simply running the same rate right up the income ladder. 

      The BLS has a CPI-E for elderly COLA for the disabled/elderly running “off-line.” That measure is very complete, including food & energy which the current CPI measure doesn’t + the fact that so much of disabled/elderly spending is tracked via CMS/Medicare, SNAP, HEAP & state social service agencies.

      This year’s COLA increase is wiped out by premium increases for Parts B/D which are paid out of benefits.
      1.7% increase vs. 5% Part D increase + 15%+ for Part D.  That’s before co-pay increases.

  • JGC

    Coursera is having a 5-week class in “Citizenship and U.S. Immigration”, offered through Emory University.  Starts on April 29, free.

  • StilllHere
  • Radical___Moderate

    Nortyh Korea can now put a small nuke on a warhead???? My arrs they can!!! Even John Kerry knows better. This is a Pentagon trick (shades of Gulf of Tonkin, South African Uranium etc.) to justify revving up “ye olde” war machine and to argue for more money in this time of sequesters and budget battles. What those warhawks won’t do to keep feeing their grotesque greed for money, lives, and power.
    Don’t get my wrong, the people of North Korea are suffering greatly under a maniacal regime. But what the need is humanitarian aid and help, not warfare.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      North Korea is about to attack US destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. And, “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud”. Remember the Maine! Let’s make Grenada safe for US medical students.

      Hey, I was distracted. Where did my SS COLA go?

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

      the whole missile thing seems so oldschool and unnecessary. i thought we were concerned about a small plane or a shipping container?

    • StilllHere

      It’s the Pentagon that said they couldn’t so try again.

  • nj_v2

    Except the gun nuts rights advocates don’t want guns to be regulated or insured the way cars are.

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

      show me your federal drivers license and federal registration please. insurance is also up to the states, some do not require car insurance at all.  i am sure a federally run DMV would never cause anyone any headaches-great idea.

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

       Gun grabbers don’t believe in civil rights.  There is no room for compromise on core ideals. 
      They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
      Ben Franklin

  • marygrav

    Colonialism ended in 1914 with what Lothrop Stoddard in the Rising Tide of Color called the First White Civil War.  WWI was the dividing line that ended in WWII where the colonies of Asia freed themselves.  However, the West has never accepted this.

    Post WWII the US visited the old colonies and accused them of being Communist for wanting to be free of Euro-American rule.  After all, it was Marx-Engles and the Marxist that told the Natives that they should be free.  But the West saw this in public as a sin against God because the Communists were “godless,” therefore could not guide the Native into White Paradise where they could continues to serve their masters and earn the priviledge of being white as snow.

    When the West learns that Colonization is over and done, and that the Natives are too well armed to be recolonized, then we will have world peace.  The Native is so well armed because it was the West that armed him or her.  The Bomb was invented in the US, not Asia.  MacArthur was an ass who ordered his own men killed for asking for their bonuses.  And he thought that taking Korea would make him president, but Truman showed him better.

    Napon was first used in Korea, not in Vietnam.  And the North Koreans know this, while the American public remains ignorant of this fact.

  • Duras

    Obama offers the “CPI” cut to social security even though social security doesn’t contribute to the deficits.  

    Perhaps, it is political strategy to make Obama look centrist–but the election is over so why doesn’t he get in the progressive’s corner and win a war of ideas instead of this cowardly bs democrats have been doing since Reagan…?

    • StilllHere

      War of ideas, you’re kidding right.  He’s only got a pea-shooter.

      • Duras

        You are perhaps the last person who should comment about ideas. 

  • Kiep99

    Major Garrett should find out some facts about SocSec before he comments. He obviously doesn’t have any facts.

    The current CPI-W COLA measure doesn’t include food, energy & other basics & underestimates inflation for disabled/seniors.
    As remarked elsewhere, this year’s 1.7% COLA is “eaten up” by the 5% Part B premium rise & the approx. 15% Part D premium rise.

    BTW, it’s only approx. 2 years since the end of a 3 year benefit freeze that occurred even though benefits went to pay for increased Part D premiums, deductibles & copays.  The COLA in the years since the freeze do not include any adjustment for the combined inflation during the 3 year freeze.

    The CCPI would immediately trigger higher morbidity/mortality among disabled/elderly as each year they are less able to pay for food, medicine, medical care.

    Also, the BLS has an “offline” CPI-E COLA measure which accurately reflects the true spending of disabled/seniors. These are very easy to track due to monitoring by CMS/Medicare + the HEAP, SNAP programs as well as state social service agencies.

    Just remove the salary/wage cap from FICA. Let the rate run flat right up the whole salary ladder, but include “carried interest” as regular taxable income.

    • JGC

      I like that last paragraph, in particular. The carried interest give-away has got to go.

      I wonder if there is a more pertinent CPI that could be designed for the (mainly) senior retirees who have paid into the system over their working lives, and now depend on Social Security to provide a baseline to a dignified retirement.  There obviously needs to be a major healthcare component to the “Soc. Sec. CPI”, maybe this is the overriding factor, and one that has been strangely overlooked (or avoided).  And also a component for utilities (heating, air conditioning, water, phone/internet connection).  They need to be able to stay in their homes, as long as possible, so anything to bolster a comfortable and safe home is essential. Food, yes, of course, but I also do volunteer work  for Meals on Wheels, and to tell you the truth, the seniors like to eat well, but they do not eat a lot. So it is more of a quality, nutritious meal component rather than overflowing abundance. The CPI should not be generic to the whole population, but based on the population the government benefit serves. And contributions into this system should be based on expected needs at the end of the pipeline. 

      I worry about how the original concept of Social Security has been degraded over time:  my assumption has been, I pay into the system all through my working years, the money I paid in earns enough or more back to at least  compensate for inflation, and then I withdraw it gradually during my retirement years, ’til death do us part.  But there has been an expansion of the definition of who qualifies for Social Security over time, and it is not necessarily people who have paid in to the system through their labor. The Disability component is very troubling, and is eroding the system.  It does not have a strict gatekeeper, and has evolved into a de facto bridge from employer-aborted working years to the Golden Years, because of age discrimination and the still glaring gaps in health care and household income for the older unemployed. The right-to-work states are especially egregious in pushing their older and vulnerable populations into the federal benefit system, then dusting their hands while demanding more cuts to federal taxes. That has got to stop, along with the carried interest give-aways mentioned at the beginning. 

      What have I missed?  I want a transparent and fair system.  We obviously have to rein the costs, so knowing that, how do we better manage Social Security?

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

      i dont have an opinion about this issue but when you say SocSec it make me think of IngSoc for some reason

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

    Beatty’s attempt to besmirch Thatcher with his snide “character” reference reflects more poorly on him then the target.

    • StilllHere

      Beatty is as low as they come.

  • Satwa

    I’m sick of all the anecdotal evidence being brought up by both sides of the gun debate
    Its statistics that count, not your anecdotes

    • hennorama

      Satwa – Here’s one, from slate.com:

      “How Many People Have Been Killed by Guns Since Newtown?  Matched Deaths: 3,413 or more.”

      See:http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2012/12/gun_death_tally_every_american_gun_death_since_newtown_sandy_hook_shooting.html

      Note to those who wish to comment – the terminology “Killed by Guns” is not mine. I am merely accurately quoting the above-referenced article, so please don’t bother complaining to me about the terms the authors used.

      • Satwa

         Exactly,
        I wish the media pundits would call out anyone who uses an anecdote to prove their point, and point out the real statistics instead
        There is a epidemic of anecdotes surrounding this gun debate

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

        thanks for pointing out how absurd that headline is

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

      the problem with only looking at statistics is you lose the human element. someone posted a story about a woman who had bought two guns for who boy friend who later got into a confrontation with the police with them. clearly she knew she was violating the law by giving him the guns because of the circumstances of the story.  if you dont consider that sort of thing and look at cherry picked statistics you might think requireing more back ground checks would prevent people from getting guns who should not have them. the statistics can help us to determine the scale of things that go on to some extent but you need examples to see the mechanics of how things work in the real world. like the old “no one has 2.5 kids” statistics can be misleading.

      • Satwa

        That’s the whole point Futo Buddy, the anecdotes do not tell you anything about the important overall situation that society needs to deal with
        Your anecdote says nothing about the effects of background checks, it could be an insignificant outlier, and is un-important, all it does is tell us one possible scenario, which we should look at statistically, and this one has been dropped very quickly in the course of research as being statistically insignificant
        The statistics are not cherry picked, there are a few statistics and they tell us where to put the attention, and not waste time on statistically insignificant occurrences

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

          if you dont understand how things work you cannot know what statistics are relevent. we hear over and over that “background checks prevented x number of illegal purchases” as justification for their expansion. however there does not seem to be any data about how many of those people go on to buy a gun in another way and how many people just skip the background check in the first place. i think when a lot of people hear that statistic they think every one of those people would commit a crime with that gun and we do not have any data about that. if people just look at that one statistic and we do not actually have the other ones we cant make a reasonable policy. just like how you applauded someone who put up a statistic of how many people were killed by people with guns.(even though the article they quoted said the people were killed by guns) without knowing how many people died in many other ways its a useless statistic. also without knowing how many of the guns were legally owned and how many illicit how can we inform our policy? is the scenerio described an outlier? i hope you have the statistics to back that claim.

          • Satwa

            Anecdotes do not tell you how things work, statistics do.
            I am British, 30 years vegetarian, don’t want a gun, but I am not against guns, or responsible hunting, however, the statistics are overwhelmingly against the pro-gun lobby

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

            thats whats funny about statistics you can use them to prove anything you  want. i think the statistics show the opposite.  “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

          • Satwa

            You just threw most  of modern science out of the window
            Science always wins in the end
            Goodbye

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

            sure, go look up paradigm shift.

        • Gregg Smith

          I’m pretty sure a very large percentage of people who eat carrots have been in car accidents. I wonder of it’s worth looking into?

  • gslouch

    I don’t know diddly about economics, but i have been in the health care field for 25 years.  Many,many seniors depend on SS as their sole source of income.  If we and the Republicans really care about Americans we have to be very careful about fiddling with this safety net.   This reliance on SS is not going to change. Talk,talk and talk as much as you want to,but it is not going to change.   If you’ve worked in retail or as a nurses aide all your life you are not going to have a nest egg.  Just not going to happen! 
         I’ve got to believe that the Republicans care about America,but their philosophy is so off kilter with respect to middle class America.  They call them “entitlements,” but when a senior cannot even purchase a shower chair to assist with the basic self care task of showering it is a pitiful scenario. 
        I was disappointed to see the president put SS on the table for his compromise budget, but at least he is trying to reach a middle ground.  In a sound bite on radio, Paul Ryan,again, said that this was a nice gesture by the president, but that it didnt go far enough.  What!!  this of course is the pattern the Republicans consistently follow to block job creation and economic progress for political reasons.
        I’m afraid,unfortunately, we are going to see a president who has the potential to be great serve his second term with his potential stifled by the party of “No.”  I know they are good people with families they love, but if they truly wanted “Bring back America” or whatever their mantra is, they would behave like responsible adults with reponsible governing.

    • brettearle

      There was an uproar when Clinton revised welfare benefits.

      His secretary of Labor–one of my ideological heroes–was against it.

      But in the long run, did it contribute to reducing the deficit?

      I haven’t researched the answer to this–but it has been my understanding that Clinton balanced his budget.

      Nevertheless, I do not necessarily support reducing entitlements–even if its out of deference to financial solvency.

      In this continuing debate over making adjustments, of all kinds, to improving the economy, I do not believe that a definitive case has been made, on a bipartisan basis, as to what it would take for this improvement.

      If people lose a safety net, why won’t that, in the long run, cost this country more?….if we simply let disadvantaged people wind up on the street and let them face the possibility of impending death, before we make a last-ditch effort to save them and spend money to do so.

      Of course, for some it might be too late; they die before there’s intervention–thereby saving the country money

      I call that blood Money.

      For some, this sort of demise already happens every day, in this country.  

  • Gregg Smith

    Thankfully the EPA has delayed imposing more regulations on new power plants. 

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/04/12/its-official-epa-delays-climate-rule-for-new-power-plants/

    This is surprising given how out of control the EPA has gotten. We should get rid of the entire department. I’m sure many would conclude that means a dirtier world but it doesn’t. Just like abolishing the Department of Education would not make stupider kids. The FDA should be shown the door too.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       The EPA has way too much power and has been politicized.  The EPA has 18,000 employees.  I’m all for clean air and water but this is ridiculous.

      • Gregg Smith

        You’re right. And I don’t think the air and water would be any dirtier without them.

        • JGC

          http://www.lib.unc.edu/blogs/morton/index.php/2011/04/donorians-and-the-good-willmington-mission/

          “Before there was an EPA, before there was an Earth Day, before Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring, there was Donora.”- W.Michael McRabe, U.S. EPA, 1998

          “It’s funny,however, that while growing up in western PA I never heard about the “Donora Death Smog” of 1948; that is until a few weeks ago when I saw the Hugh Morton photograghs made in Wilmington, North Carolin – and came to learn something about my own regional heritage.” – Stephen Fletcher, 5 Apr 2011

        • hennorama

           Gregg Smith: you are the latest nominee for “Clueless Comment Of The Year” based solely on this comment referring to the EPA and its employees –

          “And I don’t think the air and water would be any dirtier without them.”

          Congratulations, April Fool.

      • JGC

        I agree, the EPA has been politicized, but that does not make it any less necessary. When you wrote the EPA has 18,000 employees, I thought, “Only 18,000?  Gee, that’s depressing.”

        So I looked up, just for example, General Electric, because they are big and I hold stock in the company. They employed 134,000 Americans in 2009, with plans to hire another 16,000 American workers. And that is just one company. GE’s  plans to hire an additional 16,000 American workers for just their company is near the entire employment for the whole EPA!

        WFTC, Gregg Smith and StillHere:  If you are for clean air and clean water, what is wrong with this scenario?  Would you want to live in an environment like Shanghai, where they are only starting to get a grip on the environmental catastrophe?  Do you trust companies to be altruistic and voluntarily keep our environment clean, even though it affects their bottom line? If you are for clean air and clean water, how do you propose this be enforced?

        • Gregg Smith

          I’ll bite. 18,000 paychecks are coming from taxpayers to pay the EPA employees. If taxpayers pay a dime for private business’ hiring then they shouldn’t. GE could pay a tax or two but that’s different issue. I get it though, 18K is not a lot in the big picture, it’s the power of those 18K that bugs me.

          But you asked me some questions, I’ll skip the first (…wrong with this scenario?) ’til last. 

          No, sorta’ but not really, by the rule of law.

          The thing wrong with this scenario is the assumption we need a government bureaucracy to breath clean air. We already have a representative legislature and a fairly healthy agreement that clean air is better than dirty air.

        • JONBOSTON

          I’m still trying to understand the basis and relevance for your comparing GE’s hiring plans to the number of employees working for EPA. GE contributes to the economic wealth of the country. EPA creates zero economic wealth . It merely issues regulations that have an enormous cost to the public. Taxpayers get skinned twice–they pay for EPA and then pay the increased cost of regulatory compliance passed on by companies. Also you need to consider the many agencies and employees dedicated to environmental enforcement  that do not work for EPA. Many federal agencies have departments responsible for some aspect of environmental oversight (recall the State Dept is reviewing the  Keystone pipeline; Dept of the Interior , etc). You also need to include all of the state and local agencies dedicated to environmental enforcement. You probably don’t know this but the bulk of day to day enforcement occurs at the state and local level.

          Finally I laugh when those on the left spout their cartoon impression that big business could care less about environmental compliance. Totally clueless.

          • JGC

            GE “brings good things to life” and so does the EPA, or at least the EPA tries to mitigate the bad things that have happened as a result of rampant industrial pollution.  If big business cares about environmental compliance, it is because that compliance has often been forced on it. 

          • JONBOSTON

            The problem with your point of view is that it reflects what may have been the state of affairs from the 70′s and 80′s before Superfund and RCRA. Today major corporations don’t even debate environmental compliance– it is assumed as a cost of doing business, acted upon and funded. 

          • JGC

            The EPA is not only about industrial compliance with environmental law – there is also a homeland security component with research into effects and response to bioterrorism attacks, for example. There are  many health concerns for citizens, not just economic health of the companies.  

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           I agree we are better off with certain regulations.  Our air and water quality has improved dramatically over the last 40 years.  However, there are many regulations that don’t make sense.  They aren’t justified by reasonable cost benefit analysis.

          Regulations gave us the MBTE debacle.  Now it has been replaced with the horrible ethanol mandate.

          My biggest issue with the current EPA is their drive to limit CO2 emissions. CO2 is not a pollutant.

  • Gregg Smith

    How many gazillions did Rush raise for Leukemia yesterday? I know he kicked it off with $500K. 

    • OnPointComments

      Did he get a contribution from Joe Biden?  My guess is no.

    • hennorama

      Gregg Smith – no doubt it was “gazillions” of “gazillions” and no doubt Rush “OxyMoron” Limbaugh will tell the world all about it.

      Just like he humblebragged the other day:

      “I never want to make myself the focus of this, but I want to go ahead and do it now because I do want everybody to know that it continues to be a cause that my family cares about greatly and deeply. So Kathryn and I have decided that our “kick-starter” donation, if you will, for the Cure-A-Thon this year is a half a million dollars.”

      Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  His joint  generosity with his spouse is commendable.  But mentioning his own donation?  Not so much.

      Source:http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2013/04/12/rush_and_kathryn_donate_500_000_to_the_2013_leukemia_and_lymphoma_cure_a_thon

      • Gregg Smith

        He mentions it every year and ups it every year. He’s been very open about why. Don’t listen.

        • hennorama

          GS – as I said, the contributions made by the Limbaughs are commendable. I simply find his saying, in effect, “You know it’s not about me. Now let me tell you about me …” to be behavior that’s both unseemly and tasteless. This of course is perfectly in keeping with Mr. Limbaugh’s usual behavior, so it is not surprising in the least.

          • Gregg Smith

            You know nothing about his usual behavior, that much is plain. Whatever.

            He does not ask people to do what he doesn’t. I would admire the hell out of Mr. Ashbrook if he told us what he was giving to NPR during pledge week… but he doesm’t.

          • hennorama

            Gregg Smith – I was trying to remember all the selections from the Gregg Smith Response-O-Matic, but failed.

            Is the correct response here [Okie dokie], [Cherry picking], [Semantics], [Obama is destroying ____ (fill in the blank)], [It's not about me], [Whatever], [I can't answer because your premise is whacked], [That's sick] or something I’ve forgotten?

            Whatever. I’m going with Okie dokie.

          • Gregg Smith

            Okie Dokey works but “You’re right, I have no context to base that opinion on besides what I read”, would have been better.

          • hennorama

            Gregg Smith – [Alrighty then]+[Semantics]+[It's not about me].

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

      almost as much as his pill budget

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

      Funny how I’m not so trusting of any “truth” which starts at “Breitbart” and gets passed by you.

      Plenty of coverage, as I linked to below. But very little of our
      “mainstream media” was so liberal as to connect the dots between, say,
      Penna’s new tea-bagger lege and gov, and harrassing abortion clinics out
      of business with TRAP laws. Nobody so liberal to remind us that when
      abortion became legal in NYC the maternal mortality rate dropped by
      half. (http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/97may/abortion.htm)

      But the rightwing schiesstormers have got it in their head that “this is undercovered cos the media is too liberal”, and our mainstream press is helpless to do anything but whip themselves in a mea culpa for those who will never accept every apology.

      The barriers to abortion that are an inconvenience for middle-class
      women are like climbing mountains for poor and immigrant women. So it’s
      understandable that a back alley abortion provider would rise up in a
      poor neighborhood to provide late-term abortions for women who have
      missed the short window in which they could get a legal abortion.

      Congratulations, Penna Teabagger government: Your predictable harrassment of safe abortion clinics and their patients has ended up in this predictable place.

      To put it bluntly, part of me would love for Megan McCain to wake up pregnant in a world without her money and her name, just to see her reaction when all that privilege she’s been swimming in, and assumes all the people who matter enjoy, is disappeared. When it’s “have the rapist’s baby or skulk off to a quack like Gosnell”.

  • Gregg Smith

    As they begin confiscating guns in NY (and ya’ll said never), here is a man who knows of which he speaks. 

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/04/13/Media-Acknowledge-Blowing-Gosnell-Story-Pledge-Extensive-Coverage

    • hennorama

      Gregg “April Fool” Smith – I find it interesting that you got a reflexive [Like] from someone, despite the fact that the link in your post says absolutely nothing about “confiscating guns in NY”.

      • Gregg Smith

        It went right over your head.

        • hennorama

           G S – indeed, absent your edited explanation, there was absolutely no way of knowing what your words, juxtaposed with a link to an article on a completely different topic, meant. Even with your explanation, your meaning remains somewhat obtuse to this reader.

          • Gregg Smith

            Some things speak for themselves. Most get it.

          • hennorama

            Gregg Smith – [Alrighty then]+[I can't answer because your premise is whacked]

          • Gregg Smith

            Gee Wiz, how many useless comments can you make? The last several have offered nothing. You just call me a few names and tell me I’m clueless or something. I just don’t get it, but cool.

            Here’s the thing, the video is a moving testimony of historical importance. I regarded it as worthy of consideration for my friends and you too. I happen to think honest debate is good. 

            It’s a shame you have overshadowed what I feel (you don’t have to) is an important perspective with whatever it is you are amusing yourself with.

  • StilllHere

    I’m concerned about the government breaking its contract when it comes to the tax treatment of IRAs.  This seems like a bait ‘n switch. 

    I also think that that Republicans should just let the sequester play out as written over the next 10 years.  We don’t need a budget, obviously, we haven’t had one for years.  Republicans should just pass continuing resolutions for spending at levels consistent with the previous fiscal year and let the sequester hits come.  Not pretty, but gets the job done the only way we can.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Spending in 2008 was $2.7T and it is now $3.7T.  Continuing resolutions locks in this  high level of spending.

      • StilllHere

        I hear ya, just not sure it’s even possible.

  • Anthony Amiewalan

    I think the Republicans should work with the President and Democrats and pass a budget. It is there job.  

    http://www.thejumping-offpoint.com

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

      they should all work together or we should fire them

  • davecm

    America is headed down the road of repeated history.
    Government is spineless and gutless to do the right thing, therefore; impotent!!!
    Americans are so entitlement minded they are clueless of the fact they are being herded into political pens!!
    We are murdering our own unborn using stupid excuses to do so.
    We are allowing an invasion of ILLEGALS/LAW BREAKERS or undocumented Democrats into our country.
    We retitle immoral lifestyles to make it more palatable. 
    We add more laws on top of existing laws to control guns with no intention of enforcing them either.
    We make the guns the source of the evil and not the evil that uses them to break the tons of laws that govt. is spineless to enforce!
    We show Ryan pushing granny in a wheelchair over a cliff at the mention of entitlement reform, BUT!!! when Obama talks about it, it becomes a needed course of action!
    Democrats have’nt passed a budget in the Senate in 4+ years and we blame the Repubs.????
    Obama’s 2016 budget, if trends continue, will be the first in history, 4 TRILLION!!!!!
    Those who fell to learn from past history, will repeat the mistakes of past history.
    Just ask England, Spain, France, Germany, Russia, Japan and soon the USA.
    All tried over history to rule the world but imploded under their own stupidity!!
    Just a few thoughts from someone who sees storm clouds rising in the not so distant future.

    • hennorama

      davecm – thank you for your persistent  passionate punctuation.  It is unfailingly entertaining.

      • davecm

        hennorama – I hope the entertaining of my passionate punctuation does not turn into a horror movie. We are repeating the mistakes of past so-called great nations.

  • JGC

    I am taking a behavioral econ course through a MOOC, and here is a puzzler I never would have imagined:  people that do a perceived altruistic deed are more likely afterward to do something selfish, a behavior they call “licensing”, as in, I just did this good thing, and so now I have a license to ignore my better angels for the next thing. There is a non-existent level of awareness for this behavior, of course. I think this explains a lot of actions on both sides of the political divide, although, as they say, “more study is needed”.  

    • JGC

      P.S. I just want you all to know that I strive to respond in honest stead and in good humor to posts; I definitely refrain from name-calling and other pejorative actions; and now that I feel so good about myself, I feel like I deserve the chance to slag Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz, at least for a little while this week. 

      • hennorama

        JGC – one would expect no less, but much more.

        BTW – “slag” is a verb few will likely recognize here.  You may wish to use “diss” in its stead.

      • Gregg Smith

        You deserve it but please don’t, although they are big boys in the political arena. The name callers are running rampant. 

    • hennorama

      JGC – this same sort of behavior is manifested in dieting and exercise for weight loss.  “I just walked three miles, so I can have ice cream insead of an apple”.  Just humans being human.

      • JGC

        Sort of, but those are inwardly directed examples. The thing that surprised me, which I didn’t explain, was, in their test, a person who selects “green” merchandise feels validated, and in a subsequent trial feels less inclined to share a money reward with a stranger, than a person who was just previously shopping for “regular” products.  I just thought that a person who did moral things, pretty much did moral things across the board. I never realized it could be felt as a bargaining chip with self-perception.

        • Gregg Smith

          This is where I could go on a rant about the things people do that make them feel like they are doing good. Wear a pink ribbon, drive a Prius, go to church, ban assault rifles, advocate soaking the rich, and on and on.  

        • hennorama

          JGC – TY for the internal v. external clarification. Best regards.

  • Gregg Smith

    Hennorama, I could not understand what you were getting at below other than just reiterating that I’m shady or clueless or whatever. That’s your usual fare. I just now realized the link in question was the same link that I posted on another comment about the same time and not the right video. Here is the correct video which also has nothing to do with the gun news in NYC.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1ABw6IMKn0&feature=player_embedded

    My apologies at the top of the page for the error. 

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