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Week In The News: Southern Freeze, State Of The Union, So Long Bernanke

A southern deep freeze. State of the Union. Bye, bye, Ben Bernanke. Our weekly news roundtable goes beyond the headlines.

In this aerial view looking at I-75 north at Mt. Paran Rd., abandoned cars are piled up on the median of the ice-covered interstate after a winter snow storm Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Atlanta. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said early Wednesday that the National Guard was sending military Humvees onto Atlanta's snarled freeway system in an attempt to move stranded school buses and get food and water to people. Georgia State Patrol troopers headed to schools where children were hunkered down early Wednesday after spending the night there, and transportation crews continued to treat roads and bring gas to motorists, Deal said. (AP)

In this aerial view looking at I-75 north at Mt. Paran Rd., abandoned cars are piled up on the median of the ice-covered interstate after a winter snow storm Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Atlanta. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said early Wednesday that the National Guard was sending military Humvees onto Atlanta’s snarled freeway system in an attempt to move stranded school buses and get food and water to people.  (AP)

The State of the Union, a little sour this week. Small bore. No White House expectation of help from Congress. The President says he’ll go it alone if need be. The South, ice shock — “Ice-lanta” — as a cold wave crawls through. A farm bill in Congress. Fresh immigration reform talk. And talk from Congressman Michael Grimm of throwing a reporter off a balcony. Grim. Ben Bernanke’s wrapping up. Stock market’s stumbling. A death penalty call in the Boston Marathon bombing. And Pete Seeger’s gone. Turn, turn, turn. This hour On Point: our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David Wessel, director, Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution. Contributing correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.  (@davidmwessel)

Kelly O’Donnell, Congressional correspondent for NBC News. (@KellyO)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Interstate-clearing focus turns over 2,000 abandoned cars — “More than 2,000 cars still left abandoned on metro Atlanta interstates as of Wednesday evening, and with road conditions now passable city-wide, state officials were turning their focus Thursday to getting those cars safely off the roads.”

Reuters: Households, trade keep U.S. economy humming in fourth quarter – “Gross domestic product grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the final three months of last year, the Commerce Department said on Thursday, in line with economists’ expectations. While that was a slowdown from the third-quarter’s brisk 4.1 percent pace, it was a far stronger performance than had been anticipated earlier in the quarter and welcome news in light of some drag from October’s partial government shutdown.”

The Economist: Praying for peace — “Only  a few weeks ago the dismissal of the Ukrainian government by President Viktor Yanukovych and his offer to appoint an opposition leader as the country’s new prime minister would have had an electric effect. It would have been cheered by protesters on Kiev’s Independence Square (the Maidan) as an important victory. It might even have persuaded them to unblock the roads in the capital. Not any more. On January 28th Mr Yanukovych at last surrendered Nikolai Azarov, a long-serving but ineffectual prime minister. But that was met with a shrug of the shoulders by those manning the barricades in Kiev. “

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  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Obama: Clapper ‘should have been more careful’ in congressional testimony

    http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/197060-obama-clapper-should-have-been-more-careful-in-congressional

    It will be great to see Snowden and Clapper together serving their time.

    We can count on Obama to pursue Rule of Law.

    Defenders of the elite, lawless ruling class, from Banking, NSA, Trade deals, etc, should be ashamed.

    • HonestDebate1

      I think it was Diane Sawyer who outed Clapper as a puppet completely out of the loop. He’s the perfect fall guy.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        It would be a start….

  • 1Brett1

    Flash mobs are terrorizing communities all over the US; it’s at epidemic proportions! In this report, they’ve even kidnapped an elderly cellist! Oh, the humanity!

    http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/video-ikea-shoppers-beethoven-flashmob/

    • Ray in VT

      Oh the humanity!

    • HonestDebate1

      I love those things but I’ve seen better. That one looked too contrived. The really good ones start out of nowhere and take a while for people to realize it’s planned. There was one at a food court that was great but it’s been a few years. I’ll see if I can find it.

    • hennorama

      1Brett1 — does that one count? There don’t seem to be any dark faces.

  • HonestDebate1

    Kudos to Reince Priebus for threatening to boycott NBC unless he got an apology which he did. The left, as epitomized by NBC and elsewhere, operates on a false premise. Their views of the GOP are based on a fictional caricature they made up out of thin air. And they aren’t the only ones.

    • NewtonWhale

      “Fictional caricature”? That’s no way to talk about Mayor Bloomberg:

      Michael Bloomberg: Bill De Blasio running ‘racist’ campaign in NYC

      Outgoing New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg laced into surging Democratic mayoral frontrunner Bill de Blasio in an interview published Saturday, saying he’s run a “racist” campaign with just three days left in the primary race.

      The remarks from Bloomberg about de Blasio, the city’s Public Advocate who has showcased his biracial family on the campaign trail, came as the frontrunner is within striking distance of clearing the 40 percent mark in the primary vote that would prevent a runoff three weeks later.

      “… there’s Bill de Blasio, who’s become the Democratic front-runner,” New York Magazine’s Chris Smith asked Bloomberg early on in a wide-ranging interview. “He has in some ways been running a class-warfare campaign …”

      “Class-warfare and racist,” Bloomberg interrupted him.

      “Racist?” Smith asked.

      “I mean he’s making an appeal using his family to gain support,” replied Bloomberg. “I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing.

      http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/michael-bloomberg-bill-de-blasio-campaign-nyc-96408.html#ixzz2rz8tGa1j

    • NewtonWhale

      I can’t imagine where the left got the idea that the GOP is the party of angry white guys and the rich. Oh, wait…

      “The demographics race we’re losing badly,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.). “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2012/08/29/b9023a52-f1ec-11e1-892d-bc92fee603a7_story.html

      Team Romney White-Vote Push: ‘This Is the Last Time Anyone Will Try to Do This’

      A Republican strategist said something interesting and revealing on Friday, though it largely escaped attention in the howling gusts of punditry over Mitt Romney’s birth certificate crack and a potential convention-altering hurricane. The subject was a Ron Brownstein story outlining the demographic hit rates each party requires to win in November. To squeak out a majority, Mitt Romney probably needs to win at least 61 percent of the white vote — a figure exceeding what George H.W. Bush commanded over Michael Dukakis in 1988. The Republican strategist told Brownstein, “This is the last time anyone will try to do this” — “this” being a near total reliance on white votes to win a presidential election.

      http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2012/08/2012-or-never-for-gops-white-base.html

    • Don_B1

      If every Democrat who was the recipient of equivalent or worse from Fox News, and Fox News actually provided the apology, Fox News would have no time to run its programs as the time would be taken up with the apologies.

      • HonestDebate1

        You’re making up boogie men. It actually happened at MSNBC and this is twice now. Where do they get the idea that the GOP has anything against biracial families? It’s a caricature, it’s illogical, it’s sick.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        no need to defend Fox, but citations please.

  • Ray in VT

    Oklahoma State Representative Mike Turner proposed a bill to get rid of all regulation or recognition of marriage in the state rather than allow marriage equality.

    • northeaster17

      Next thing to do is to outlaw hunger and get rid of foodstamps. That should work nicely.

    • MrNutso

      In a twisted way, that’s what I’ve argued for some time. Get government out of religion and religion out of government. Everyone has to go before a Judge or other designated person to get legally united. Afterwards they can go to the house of worship of their choosing to get married. This way, marriage does not convey greater benefits on some, but not all.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        But how do we win elections without stamps of approval?

      • Ray in VT

        I think that part of the problem on this issue is that we have linked the set of purely legal benefits associated with the civil contract that is a state recognized marriage with the religious institution. Sometimes a marriage is both. Sometimes it is only one or the other.

  • alsordi

    Just a reminder.
    Jet fuel cannot melt steel girders…period.
    The 9-11 crime goes unsolved and unpunished.

    • JGC

      From Popular Mechanics:

      Jet fuel burns at 800 to 1500 degrees F, not hot enough to melt steel (2750 degrees F). However, experts agree that for the towers to collapse, their steel frames didn’t need to melt, they just had to lose some of their structural strength – and that required exposure to much less heat.

      • alsordi

        Then Popular Mechanics should have explained why pools of MOLTEN METAL as red as lava remained on the site months after 9-11. Firemen describe streams of it flowing from the building before it collapsed.

        • JGC

          The Warren Commission has never adequately explained what exactly you were doing there on the Grassy Knoll, the 22nd of November, 1963…

          • alsordi

            Why don’t you explain the flows of molten metal instead of reverting to ignorant flailings and name calling??
            You are the one that brought up Popular Mechanics. I thought you might have more technical insight.

          • JGC

            I refer all questions regarding technical insight to my cyber-civil-engineer, AC.

          • HonestDebate1

            I notice y’all have the same last name, any relation?

          • JGC

            Not that I know of. And even if we were, I don’t know if AC would admit it!

            But guess who I really am related to – you get three guesses, and if you guess correctly I will make a small donation to your NPR station. (Hint: Southern political figure) Anyone can play!

          • HonestDebate1

            Newt!?

            WFAE Charlotte.

          • JGC

            That gave me a little shiver there! No, not Newt.

          • HonestDebate1

            Allen West?

            WFHE is their affiliate in Hickory.

          • JGC

            You’re getting colder! Must be because of that global-warming-generated polar vortex that came through your neighborhood this week. Not Allen West.

          • HonestDebate1

            C’mon JGC at least give me a hint. Male or Female? Bill Clinton?

            On my my mother’s side I’m related to Robert Morris who signed the DOI. He lent the government lots of money that was not repaid. The lore is we are owed with interest. On my dad’s side I’m related to Harriet Beecher Stowe who wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”.

          • JGC

            I had to look up the history on Robert Morris. That is a sad story. No wonder you want the government to keep its hands out of your pockets! Although,on the other hand, one of the most interesting quotes I read (from a Albert Southwick column) was “If you combine Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner and Bernie Madoff, you get an idea of Robert Morris in the early years of the Republic.”

            No, not Bill Clinton. It is cousin Michelle Nunn, future Senator from the Great State of Georgia! All her Republican opponents are trying to out-Tea-Party each other in circular firing squad fashion, so I am hoping she will have a good chance to win the election.

          • Steve__T

            So long as she remembers to duck, when they shoot. I wish her luck.

          • HonestDebate1

            Doesn’t that make Sam Nunn your uncle?

          • JGC

            I would call him a cousin also, rather than an uncle, from the Ivey side of the family, I was told. You know, these Southern families branch out so far, they are probably seventh cousins, twice removed, or something like that. Still, family is family!

            I had to double-check the Nunn relationship with my real uncle, the family historian (85-years old) in Atlanta, Georgia (my mother’s brother). You’ll appreciate this: I started off my email to him with an apology, hoping he and his wife were surviving our worst Canadian export – our weather. Here is what he wrote back: “Thanks for your concern. We hibernated with the bears for a couple of days so didn’t have any truck with the black ice. It is all melted today and good riddance! We have put your weather in the same category with your system of Obamacare and hope both will go away and never darken the door again.”

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s a hoot JGC, thanks.

            As partisan as Sam Nunn was (not that he’s not still with us), he was a great politician and a honorable Democrat. We could use more of his kind.

          • Don_B1

            The report on the 9/11 indicated that it was the huge supply of paper that burned with the continuous intensity to raise the temperature enough to melt some of the metal, not necessarily the vertical beams.

            What I found interesting was the fact that if the airplanes had struck much higher, the weight above the weakened steal would not have been enough to collapse the vertical beams, and if they had struck much lower the vertical beams would have been strong enough (they were thicker and bigger lower down) so that they also would not have collapsed.

            But you are absolutely correct in that the vertical beams did not “melt,” they softened, warped and then broke under the weight of the structure above.

          • stephenreal

            Purdue University engineering dept. has a great piece on that point

            http://www.purdue.edu/uns/x/2007a/070612HoffmannWTC.html

        • alsordi

          Curious as to where the down votes come.
          Here I am proposing the re-investigation of the murder 3000 innocent people which facilitated a war that murdered over a million people and disrupted an entire region of the world.
          And there are those that oppose this ??
          Dov Zakheim is that you??? George W???

          • JGC

            Just for the record’ I did not downvote you, alsordi. I find your paranoia rather charming. Why did you delete your original post at the top of this thread? Now all our replies are like motherless children.

          • 1Brett1

            I don’t generally down vote, but I do sometimes make exceptions, and for you I will always hold out that option…and, YOUR WELCOME! I’d tell you about the other down votes, as it has been a concerted effort, well coordinated months in advance of this moment, but people have been silenced before…BTW, we drew straws to see who would introduce the topic and JGC picked the shortest straw.

            So, now your curiosity is satisfied. Soon we’ll reveal to you who REALLY killed the Lindbergh baby!

      • MrNutso

        Quite right. The main support structure of the towers was a center core and exterior support walls. What looked like architectural finishing of the exterior was actually a main component of the structure. Once the exterior steel became plastic from the heat the floors above collapsed setting off a chain reaction.

      • 1Brett1

        Uh-oh, you had to go there. ;-)

        On 9-11, I lived about a thousand yards from the Pentagon and worked for Arlington county government (my office was next to the ACFD station who were the first responders). I lived in a high-rise facing the Pentagon; neighbors saw the plane, and there were about 150 eyewitness accounts of the plane.

        On Point did a show on 9-11 conspiracy theories a couple of years ago; it was amazing how many theorists said it was a missile that hit the Pentagon/nothing hit the Pentagon and it was a bomb from inside the building. They dismissed the eyewitness accounts as hysteria or a concerted cover-up.

        One can’t reason with ‘Truthers’ as evidenced below…

        • JGC

          Speaking about folks with crackpot cause-and-effect theories, where is my cyber-theologian Ed75? Isn’t it time for him to come on and blame the black ice in Atlanta on Roe v. Wade?

          • 1Brett1

            He too busy talking about priests exorcizing demons this morning.

      • hennorama

        JGC — respect for using Popular Mechanics as a source, and thanks for triggering a trip here:

        “Here’s Why Scientists Are Shooting Rockets at an Aurora

        The best way to study the Northern Lights? Travel to Alaska with a big rocket loaded with scientific instruments.”

        See:
        http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/space/rockets/heres-why-scientists-are-shooting-rockets-at-an-aurora-16441412?click=pm_latest

        • JGC

          That was a nice link, and it even came equipped with a haiku at the end!

          • hennorama

            JGC — thank you for your kind words, but all the credit is rightfully yours.

            I especially enjoyed the image of the ethereal, spectral aurora reflecting in the lake, against the contrast of the backlit tent colors.

            Some aspects of life in the northern latitudes are worth experiencing in person, and an aurora is one.

            aurorae aroar
            solar wind oh curtains wave
            eyes on lovely ions

  • Coastghost

    AG Holder’s announcement that the Feds will pursue death penalty for Rolling Stone’s favorite Tsarnaev brother: is this announcement intended to focus Chechen/Dagestani ire and rage on neighboring Sochi as the curtain rises on the Olympics? Great timing, stupendously so.

    • MrNutso

      Hardly. It’s supposed to carry on our tradition of hyping terrorism. It would be much simpler to have a trial quick straightforward trial and lock him up for the rest of his life.

  • northeaster17

    The response to the storm that hit Atlanta by the Government is the problem Governor of GA was just perfect.

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

      And the poisoned water tragedy in West Virginia continues.

      • MrNutso

        If you mean what I think you mean, I don’t think it’s the same. The only fault I find in GA is that the Gov. should have declared a state of emergency in advance, and closed down the state for the duration. It’s likely the mentality is that government should’nt tell citizens they have to stay home if they (citizens) don’t want to.

        • northeaster17

          I think the Gov did not want to spend the money to close offices and pre treat the roads. He gambled and lost. All that trouble including kids stuck in schools for days could have largly been prevented. But that costs money and who needs govt anyway. It’s a teaparty thing

      • northeaster17

        The 2nd spill that has been reported has an interesting twist. The company will not say exactly what spilled. It’s proprietary. Just amazing.

      • HonestDebate1

        Do you think coal production should stop?

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

          Yes, I do. Mountaintop removal is terrible.

          • HonestDebate1

            I agree about mountain top removal, I’ve been to Kentucky. But that’s not the only way to mine coal. We cannot survive without coal at this time. No way, no how.

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

            We can manage just fine without coal.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Mix that energy policy with your vote for anarchy, and we’ve got a fine situation shaping up!

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

            Whatever …

            I said nothing about anarchy.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            My apologies, I thought earlier you suggested we should ignore laws we don’t like.

          • Don_B1

            If you agreed to begin, right today, a phase-out, and cancel all contracts for export of coal, i could agree that current coal mining, which is declining because of the drop in coal usage so no new coal plants are being built and current ones are being taken out of service, wind down with the lifetime of the plants and as the cost of pollution cutting devices makes them uneconomic.

          • HonestDebate1

            Obama is the reason for no new coal plants. We get more electricity from coal than any other source. We depend on it.

          • Don_B1

            The reason for no new coal plants is the drop in price of natural gas and even the cost of biomass, which gets mixed in with coal to burn more cleanly.

          • HonestDebate1
          • hennorama

            Don_B1 — the phenomenon of declining amounts of electricity generated from burning coal has been in place for almost a decade. The economics of coal fired power plants, new or not, have changed significantly due to falling natural gas prices, rising construction costs, and the threat of increased regulation. According to a Feb. 2013 article on sciencemag.org, :

            “Although the United States has long generated the bulk of its electricity from coal, over the past 6 years that share has fallen from 50% to 38%. Plans for more than 150 new coal-fired power plants have been canceled since the mid-2000s, existing plants have been closed, and in 2012, just one new coal-fired power plant went online in the United States. To investigate the reasons for this decline, David Schlissel, an energy economist and founder of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis in Belmont, Massachusetts, dove deeply into the broader economics of the industry and the detailed finances of individual power plants.

            “Schlissel, who serves as a paid expert witness at state public utility board hearings for both utilities and advocacy groups that oppose coal plants, found several reasons for coal’s decline. Over the past decade, construction costs have risen sharply, he said. For example, when the Prairie State Energy Campus in southern Illinois, which opened last year, was first proposed, its then-owner, Peabody Energy, said it would cost $1.8 billion to build. Instead it cost more than $4.9 billion, Schlissel said.

            “In addition, since the mid-2000s, the price of natural gas has plummeted, and Schlissel found that when coal-fired power has to compete with natural gas on its economic merits, it struggled. For example, profits from the subset of the nation’s coal-fired power plants that sell electricity on the open market plummeted from $20 billion in 2008 to $4 billion in 2011, Schlissel said.”

            See:
            http://news.sciencemag.org/2013/02/coal-plants-are-victims-their-own-economics

            It appears that “the market decided.”

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    The Decline and Fall of ‘Hope and Change’
    President Obama’s achievements are many. But he has utterly failed to keep a promise core to the rationale for his candidacy.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/01/the-decline-and-fall-of-hope-and-change/283454/

    With Clinton, I thought, well he has to do what he has to do, he must be good inside. Thanks for the housing bubble with Rubin.

    Bush, no surprises.

    Obama, I got sucked into the gestalt of hope and change too, looking for transparency, his open “round tables”, “calling people out” for gaming the system. I actually thought he might be anti-establishment….

    What a joke. I voted for Nader, Paul as principled protests…

    I’m in my early 40′s. I bet older folks are laughing, saying it took you long enough….

    But the failure/corruption? of the Dems as much as the Repubs to move us away from our corrupt, technocratic, Wall St driven, “just trust us”, cabal status quo, is what pushes me toward the more libertarian populist angle that demands less lawless elite interventionism in the name of progress, and wants more power and decisions to be diffused to the People.

    There are plenty of Constitutional avenues to a basic legal framework against corruption, theft, collusion, and secrecy, if we insist that the core function of limited government focuses there. That is up to us, as self-governing people.

    Could it be any clearer that trust and reliance on highly unaccountable elites has failed us? With arrogant ineptitude at best, and pure corrupt system rigging at worst?

    The modern “liberal” or progressive dream of righteous technocrats or executives, who know better, have better compassion, are smarter, ARE better, to get a shot at power to lead us to the promised land, has been a robust, and divisive failure. Take our top down prescription or nothing. Disagree that top down elite management as opposed to the collective choices of the people is the best way forward, and you are a racist, right wing nut.

    Just as religious social conservatives need to keep their self righteous beliefs in there personal lives, so should utopian minded modern liberals and DNC apologists.

    Progressive personal principles, Constitutional libertarian economic & governance principles.

    Step 1. Recognize we are Government/Banking Serfs.

    • stephenreal

      or that you really stink at managing your personal finances

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        What’s that? You enjoyed the financial swindle? Participated in it? I missed the part where we get to line up at the open Fed window, for direct payments, in the name of saving the economy. Why didn’t you forward the invitation to us?

        • stephenreal

          just kidding. if you need a stock tip? just ask bro. investing ain’t easy

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            nope, not with all the market and currency rigging.

          • stephenreal

            only trying to help you out bro.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            thank you.

    • Don_B1

      You make an impressive start, linking to Conor Friedersdorf ‘s piece in the Atlantic.

      But from there on your post is all downhill.

      I suspect that President Obama thought he could pass healthcare reform with a bipartisan majority; he certainly allowed Congress to try to work together on it for almost a year, and all he got from the Republicans was their equivalent of Muhammad Ali’s “Rope-a-Dope” technique where the process was stretched out with the bill distorted by Republican “poison pills,” etc.

      That same process scared Senate Democrats into rejecting the climate bill that had passed in the House, and any possible “change” in the way Washington worked was set to be away from what the President wanted, right from the beginning.

      Admittedly, if President Obama wanted to reinvigorate his “Change and Hope” message, the best thing he could do would be to start talking up and working strongly to change the way campaigns are financed. Without campaign finance reform there will be no change in the way Washington works.

      Falling on nice statements of “principles,” etc. will be only that; people need to get down in the trenches and work for campaign finance reform, where Lawrence Lessig is working.

  • stephenreal

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should not, deserve the right
    to, have any “end of life” privileges that should be reserved only for the sick and dying and not for homicidal maniacs.

    Was not there enough murder? so why go down the road of the stupid just like this dillweed and his brother? Why would Boston want to have a Satanic human sacrifice?What are we hillbillies?

    I know you people like human sacrifices but maybe we had enough murder to worship on for one day

  • stephenreal

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev does not deserve the right
    to have any “end of life” privileges that should be specifically reserved for the sick and dying only and not for homicidal maniacs.

    Wasn’t there enough murder that day? So why go down the road of the stupid just like this dill-weed and his brother? Why would Boston want to have a Satanic human sacrifice?What are we hillbillies?

    I know you people like human sacrifices but maybe we had enough murder to worship on for one day

  • Fredlinskip

    For all the build up to the State of Union Speech, the game has not changed;

    We still have a President in the most positive manner as possible trying to engender positive change for citizens of the nation he loves against arguably the most obstructionist Congress in history.

    That’s the definition of Progressivism- attempting to improve the lives of Americans through positive change.

    All other reactions you will here to speech is pretty much simply spin. There are some “news” outlets out there that do zero actual investigative reporting and therefore are not news but “spin” outlets. They are the political equivalent of The National Enquirer speaking of spaceships and fictions as if fact.

    But I must give credit where due, the supposed decidedly “liberal” (??) media has managed to negate Obama administration so effectively that approval ratings are low despite all accomplished against unparalleled obstruction.

    I thought most interesting thing about speech was watching Boehner’s expressions..

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      “That’s the definition of Progressivism- attempting to improve the lives of Americans through positive change.”

      Great intentions. Did it ever occur that regardless of the finest intentions, some things just do not work out empirically, or have unintended consequences, and we may have to think of other ways, while not perfect of achieving our progressive goals, while not creating civil strife due to too much coercion, or economic harm from unintended consequences, or things like outrageous debt spending?

      While I felt that way too not too long ago, I am still amazed at how guttural the notions are that of course our progressive principles and manipulative economic models are “right”, and that anyone who disagrees is dumb or evil.

      Steady progress through maximum freedom and Rule of Law, is a more peaceful way forward than the boom and bust and social strife of implementing authoritarian utopian models from left or right.

      Is the gestalt effect of the peoples choices perfect? No. Is it perfectly efficient? No. But especially today, the feedback is swift, and our ability to correct should be strong, unless massive bureaucratic forces are in place that prevent that from happening.

      By all means punish criminals, and be sure that corruption and collusion is illegal.

      Otherwise, let the people run this country.

      • Fredlinskip

        Appreciate the points for “good intentions“.

        As the last several decades has shown, “unregulated” capitalism does not seem to work out well for our economy and vast majority of American citizens.
        Government is not a business and has a definite function to protect Americans from the forces of unrestrained greed and to do what it can to promote the welfare of citizenry.

        (and no I didn’t give you any down votes)

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Appreciate the response.

          We don’t have unregulated capitalism. We have loop-hole ridden, crony capitalism, and administrations that refuse to punish Wall St. folks, in shocking contrast to the S&L crisis.

          Mostly because they know Wall St. was just carrying out the Technocratic wishes of folks like Greenspan, Rubin, Summers, Paulson etc. who play academic games with our economy and our lives, to placate their own egos, and to maintain the lawless Washington/Wall St. cabal that really runs the world and doles out scraps for us along the way.

          That, is a far cry from the unregulated capitalism you suggest we suffer from.

          Bail outs and collusive monetary policy/Wall St speculation is the antithesis of free, competitive, markets.

          • Fredlinskip

            “Greenspan, Rubin, Summers, Paulson etc” sought to deregulate, no?

            And did so fairly effectively.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Greenspan was libertarianism BEFORE he came to the Fed. Then he became a monetary policy stooge, which is antithetical to preventing malinvestment bubbles, which he did brilliantly.

            I see no reason why fundamental rules of the road laws like Glass Steagall are incompatible with an otherwise more free market, libertarian approach.

          • J__o__h__n

            Most libertarians are opposed to Glass Steagall.

          • Government_Banking_Serf
    • HonestDebate1

      Do you think intensions trump results?

      • Fredlinskip

        No but intentions for positive change is the place you start unless you think everything about your country is perfect.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          I’m sincere when I, a former Nader voter, throw out my little, Progressive Personal Values, Constitutional libertarian economic/governance Principles, line.

          Remember flamers, Rule of Law, not Men is a far cry from Anarchy and lawlessness, and we couldn’t get any more lawless than we are in the elite Washington/Wall St ruling class right now.

        • HonestDebate1

          If your intention is to fundamentally transform America then what’s a better way than to convince the gullible that you are warm and fuzzy?

          • Fredlinskip

            A bit incoherent- are you drinking and typing again?

  • Ed75

    ‘Gimme shelter’ excellent movie about homes for pregnant women in New Jersey. The incident in Indiana where a mother and her son are probably possessed – whom did they call? The only person who can deal with this, a Catholic priest. (A funny incident in the N.T. when someone not a priest confronts a demon, the demon says ‘We know of Paul, who are you?’ Then they thrash him badly.)

    • J__o__h__n

      There are no such things as demons.

      • stephenreal

        isn’t that what they said about the Higg’s Boson?

      • 1Brett1

        Tell that to Linda Blair!

        • stephenreal

          pea soap dude!

      • Ed75

        Interesting idea. Jesus seems to speak of them quite a bit.

        • J__o__h__n

          The evidence on him isn’t much better.

          • Ed75

            He appears in the secular histories – Tacitus and Joephus, plus the Gospels and all the letters about him. He is the most documented life in the ancient world. We even have his death shroud (Shroud of Turin) and face (Veil of Montipello). But the strongest evidence is what his Church has done since then, built on the evidence and deaths of his apostles.

    • JGC

      There you are! I have a question for you: Do you think Pope Benedict decided to “retire” from the papacy because of the mental burden of having to sign off on the dismissal of 400 priests from the Church due to abuse of their parissioners? That is my theory, anyway. Did he ever give a reason as to why he left?

      • Ed75

        Pope Benedict, even when he was in charge of the CDC, worked hard on the abuse crisis. I don’t think there was a mental burden about dismissing 400 priests, as he said ‘we have to take the filth out of the Church’. He really did retire because situations are very dire in the world and he is just too elderly to have the energy to do what he sees as necessary, as we see Pope Francis doing.

      • Ed75

        PS That is the reason he gave at the time, that he was getting too elderly to do what was required. And that he would pray for the Church as pope emeritus, which he has been doing, on the Vatican grounds.

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

    In addition to the bully Grimm making actionable threats to a reporter doing his job, the general lack of civility and decorum by several other members of Congress is striking.

  • stephenreal

    it’s a group delete by being flagged one too many times

    • HonestDebate1

      I just hope it wasn’t Mr. Moderator.

      • stephenreal

        on Tom’s site? No way. it’s a free for all as long as one ain’t too rude.

  • Pax Bobrow

    The advantage of living here in the Big Easy is that nobody here has any problem with the mayor telling everyone to just stay home and don’t go to work for a day or two. We had an eighth to a quarter inch of ice on the Causeway, but our folks just shut it all down way in advance. The reason we’re not in the news is because we have experience with kicking back when Mother Nature has a fit.

  • JGC

    Did anyone read the Tom Perkins letter to the WSJ “Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?” He started off by writing, “…I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its ‘one percent’, namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich’.” and ended with “This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent ‘progressive’ radicalism unthinkable now?”

    • MrNutso

      Yes. The 1% percenters are crying, because somebody called them a name.

    • Pax Bobrow

      Ah, someone is fishing for a flaming war.

      • JGC

        An agent provocateur, I guess, but no more so than the WSJ editorial board that published that paranoid and divisive letter in the first place, and then followed up with their own editorial on the 29th supporting him, for good measure calling their column “Perkinsnacht: Liberal vituperation makes our letter writer’s point”.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Yes interesting reading. Like this from a Nobel Laureate:

      http://lamar.colostate.edu/~grjan/hayeknaziism.html

      Deals with issues of using socialistic sympathetic ideas, which are understandable, but how they are co-opted, and have unintended, if not intended, consequences.

      Attn all: Be sure to down vote BEFORE you read it, and DO NOT reply with specific criticism and logic.

      • Don_B1

        Your link to Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom” shows a rewriting of history and then misinterpretation of the remainder.

        But it is a common myth that the inflation in Germany during the 1920s led to the rise of Adolf Hitler, but actually, it was the actions of Chancellor Heinrich Brüning to impose austerity policies (much as Tea/Republicans are doing now to a much less extent in a much better economy) to pay off the war debts that caused immense economic distress among all but elite Germans. Thus the NAZI party got more support in the following elections than they would have under any other scenario. It was not socialism that led to NAZI takeover. It was autocrats imposing austerity on an economy in a big depression.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          With all respect, why should we take your version of history over Hayek’s? He was there.

    • hennorama

      JGC — Mr. Perkins’ use of these ridiculous and inflammatory comparisons appears designed solely to draw attention to his views. Had he used a different comparison, such as discrimination against non-Muslims in Turkey, one doubts that as much attention would have been paid to his screed.

    • hennorama

      JGC — Mr. Perkins might have a point if “the American one percent, namely the ‘rich’ ” were in any way under threat of being rounded up, sent to concentration camps, starved and worked to death, executed en masse in gas chambers, and their corpses incinerated or dumped in mass graves.

      It is possible that my view is colored by a recent stint of viewing The Diary of Anne Frank, Schindler’s List, Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust, John Rabe, and the six-part documentary series Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State, but I doubt it.

    • Don_B1

      MrNutso Pax Bobrow Government_Banking_Serf hennorama

      What might be even more amazing is that the WSJ actually defended (while weakly saying it was over the top) the letter!

      But Jonathan Chait at New York magazine has the ultimate putdown: “Godwin help us.” See:

      http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/01/wsj-obama-isnt-hitler-but-hes-pretty-hitler-y.html

      The point is that all too many of the super wealthy actually feel that they are god’s gift to humanity and need to be treated as gods so the rest of us can survive, as demonstrated by that attitude in the WSJ editorial office. They consider criticism equivalent to persecution, two totally separate things.

  • MrNutso

    I’m waiting for a President who dispenses with the faux pageantry of the current SOU speech and just sends in a report. We had the Presidents speech and 4 rebuttal speeches.

  • MrNutso

    There are no deals to be done, unless it’s only giving Congressional Republicans what they want.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      or vice versa.

      What is this a Representative democracy or a Monarchy?

      God help us if the establishment GOP ever gets its hands on all this executive power.

  • hennorama

    dfg — I was hoping for someone to say “Meh. Could be better, could be worse.”

  • OnpointListener

    The panel is obviously uninformed. President Obama has used fewer executive orders than any President since FDR.

    From Upstate NY

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Empty threat?

    • Fredlinskip

      Obama intends to use executive order to improve education for preschoolers.
      Whoa— Sounds dangerous!

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        The point is NOT the intentions. The ends do not justify the means.

        Isn’t that Governance and Lessons of History 101?

        Nobody (I at least) am not afraid of a pre-K mandate, but what will a more corrupt, or nutty person do with the power in a future administration?

        GW Iraq not bad enough?

    • HonestDebate1

      There is nothing wrong with EO’s if they are within the constraints of the Constitution.

    • merlin1935

      The panel Is well-informed; they just don’t want to speak the truth, perhaps for fear of being labeled.

    • NewtonWhale

      GOP Slams ‘Imperial’ Obama After Fewest Executive Orders In 100 Years

      Congressional Republicans threw a fit when President Barack Obama said during his State of the Union address this week that he would issue executive orders to forward policies if he couldn’t reach an agreement with Congress.

      “He’s not a king,” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said, warning that House conservatives might just sue Obama if he followed through on his pledge. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) bemoaned Obama’s “imperial presidency” in the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal.

      But, as the chart above shows, Obama has been downright thrifty in issuing executive orders by historical standards.

      His 168 executive orders come out to less than 0.1 for every day he’s been in office. FDR, by comparison, was cranking out close to one per day as he faced the Great Depression and World War II. The first half of the 20th century was the prime time for execution action, at least when measured by executive orders per day in office. Herbert Hoover, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge rounded out the top five by that metric.

      Note: Republicans average MORE Executive Orders than democrats.

      http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/presidents-most-executive-orders

  • stephenreal

    Executive order is small ball of the worst kind.
    He’s boxed himself out of the Hill.

    • northeaster17

      He was never in.

      • stephenreal

        He was aloof.

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

          Do I hear a dog whistle?

          • stephenreal

            Not in the beltway bubble. he won’t even hear it.

        • northeaster17

          Guess that subverts the will of the people. The Repups have proven again and again they will not work with him.
          I remember McConnell saying that their biggest most important job was to deny his reelection. What the heck does aloof have to do with that.

          • stephenreal

            I do not believe the West Wing ever called Mitch McConnell’s office. keep it real dude. going on eight years of boobkus.

          • northeaster17

            I do not believe you have any idea what did or did not happen.

          • Don_B1

            At least some calls were made but quite a number of them were not returned.

  • stephenreal

    Speaker Beohner has his own sins to dream about besides beating back the Tea party folks.

  • coyotejazz

    Tom, I am wondering if your guests will be interested in discussing the environment/energy elements of the SOTU speech? Most in the MSM act as if these are not subjects worthy of discussion. Just not on the radar screen. Bread and butter issues and social justice issues are SO much easier to discuss. The looming climate catastrophe will make all of those issues moot.

  • Markus6

    Does the panel not know the difference between the deficit and the national debt. Do people on this forum not know?

    If you owe 11 trillion (and are paying interest on that debt) and the deficit is anything above zero, the debt is still increasing. So, the fact that deficit is being reduced is good, but it means the debt is still increasing.

    So, the question is really does being 11 trillion in debt (and going up) matter? Does anything think this doesn’t?

    BTW, I can see why congress wants to move this to the side. First, most people don’t understand it. Second, they can keep bringing home the bacon.

  • merlin1935

    I wish President Obama had not said he was going to use executive orders. He should have just done it whenever he needed to without much noise.

    Now, because he said it, every executive order he issues will be scrutinized in the media and litigated by his opponents. The fact is, he has no choice, and has actually issued much less orders than his immediate predecessors.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      So now the ends justify the means, especially if you keep them secret!

      Go NSA!!! Go Bailouts!!!! Go Trade Deal!!!

      • merlin1935

        FYI, there’s nothing illegal about exec orders, and there’s no requirement to mention it in the State of the Union.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          “there’s nothing illegal about exec orders”

          I think that statement is contingent upon something……

          • merlin1935

            Upon what? And what do have to say about past presidents who used it much more extensively than Obama?

          • MrNutso

            Not to mention signing statements that basically say “I’m ignoring this part of the law”.

          • merlin1935

            Well, show it to us where he signed such statement.

          • MrNutso

            I meant in a general sense.

          • merlin1935

            You really have no point.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            If a bill, a law, passed by Congress says “do X, Y, Z.”, the Executive branches duty is to EXECUTE the law. Not say, I don’t like Z, so I’ll do X and Y.

          • merlin1935

            Constitutional lesson for you: the president has authority to veto bills put forward by congress. Obama is not the first and will not be the last to do so.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            I don’t think he vetoed the ACA over the employer mandate.

            He “waived” it.

          • merlin1935

            Again, he has the constitutional power to do it. He’s not the first and will not be the last.

          • pete18

            A vetoed bill has the opportunity for Congress to over ride the veto, an executive order does not.

          • merlin1935

            Exactly. If you don’t like it, blame the framers of the constitution, not the president who follows the constitution.

          • pete18

            You seem to be suggesting that there is no debate about the constitutional line of the executive order and how Obama is using it.

          • merlin1935

            And you’re also making this argument based on the erroneous presumption that Congress is always right the president is always wrong.

          • pete18

            No, I’m making this argument about the constitutional balance of powers for making law, as well as the limited powers of each branch. Something that people on both sides of the aisle shouldn’t want to see get corrupted because they support any particular outcome or politician

          • merlin1935

            Fair argument, provided it is made whether or not we support the president in power or the ruling congress.

          • pete18

            Yes, it has no value unless it’s equally applied.

          • Don_B1

            MrNutso is referring to President George W. Bush.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            I say 2 or 3 or 4 wrongs don’t make a right.

            Is that too quaint for us now?

            Contingent on what they are ordering, and whether they have the Constitutional authority to order it with the separation of powers.

          • merlin1935

            The president has constitutional authority to issue exec orders. If you think that’s wrong, then change the constitution.
            Look, just admit it – you want to use a different standard for a president you don’t like. Sorry you can’t.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Why do you ascribe that to me or those who say what am saying? Of course if what he orders is Constitutional, it will fly. Its possible that precedent on this issue has drifted too far if folks are getting uncomfortable with what W and O are/have/might do.

            The main point is that the Executive cannot make or negate law out of the blue, like a king.

            If they try, we speak out on principle. It has nothing to do with “liking” anybody.

            Reverting to that kind of defense is so counterproductive to the dialogue in the country today.

          • merlin1935

            You’re arguing the negative. Presidents have constitutional authority to issue these orders, and they can only be overturned by themselves or by new presidents.
            You can argue the merits or otherwise of exec orders from a larger perspective, but you should not blame one president or another for using the power as prescribed in the constitution.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Are you arguing that they can issue an executive order of whatever they want? They can make orders, and there is no limit on what that order demands? That is what most are arguing, and trying to define that limit, constitutionally.

          • merlin1935

            Again, you can make a legitimate argument about abuse of exec orders by presidents generally. You will find that Obama will be judged favorably, so far, compared to his predecessors.

            The problem with your argument here is that you cannot prove an abuse, and you just don’t want a president you dislike using his constitutional powers.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            How can we argue against abuse, when the point you are making is that there is no such thing as abuse?

            What is the line for abuse. Is it a constitutional line. That is what we are discussing for the sake of the country, not because we are Facebook friends with a President or not.

          • merlin1935

            I never said that there is no abuse of exec orders by presidents. I said your argument is faulty that Obama, or any president, should not use it even if they follow constitutional procedures.

            I hope you’ll make the same argument when a president you love comes to power and faces severe congressional opposition as this president is experiencing.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Why wouldn’t I? Why wouldn’t you? Do you love your partisan personalities more than your country? I doubt it.

          • merlin1935

            It’s our duty as patriots to challenge our leaders without bias. I voted for Obama twice, but if there was anything like a third term I would vote against him and also campaign against him, because I disagree with many of his recent policies.

            Unfortunately, most Americans love ideology and partisan personalities more than their country.

            I just did not see objectivity in your previous arguments, but I’m glad you’re coming around.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            I may have misspoke, but what happens here 75% of the time, is that people pigeonhole you based on their favorite catchphrases and presumptions, and lose the ability to see any objective or logical points.

            Try posting using the word liberty, socialism or nazi, in exploring empirical history, and see how quick the down votes pile up as people scramble to dissociate themselves from their preconceived notions of how only nuts could use such language.

            Goes both ways of course.

            This board is about 90% partisan boxing and knee jerking and self righteous stroking, and 10% open logic discussion.

            Appreciate your time.

          • merlin1935

            Thanks, my compatriot!

    • TFRX

      And it wouldn’t have without the President’s saying so?

      His opponents fly off the handle at everything he does, and a good number of things he doesn’t even do.

      I sympathize with you main gist, but at some point we have to realize we’re not dealing with my parents’ generation’s Republican party. These people don’t have any punishment for throwing their little tantrums, so they’ll just keep acting out.

    • StilllHere

      He needed to rub Congress’ nose in it, he’s petty like that.

  • stephenreal

    President Obama gave up on the Congress in that SOTU speech. total political small ball.

    • Don_B1

      I disagree where it comes to immigration reform. President Obama was careful to say only good things on this issue as he apparently still has hopes for getting something done on the issue.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    If it is hard to get reelected with the slogan “It would have been worse without me in charge” why are all the execs at companies that have a bad year able to use the same BS line to not only keep their jobs but also get big bonuses?

    • JGC

      You must be referring to Jamie Dimon getting a huge raise to $20-million this year.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        Among many others. I researched Diamon a couple of years ago. He should have been fired in 2007 (I think that was the year) based on the performance of the bank under his “leadership”. Instead he is still there getting paid disgusting amounts of money regardless of the bank’s performance.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Bushobama bailed him out instead of finding a way to prosecute him and let those who invested with him suffer the natural consequences.

          A good slap of reality will do far more in changing how people invest and do background research, than a bailout with finger wagging, and a perpetuation of our Zero-Accountability culture.

  • stephenreal

    Bernanke saved the world economy. Do not look to Congress.

    • Don_B1

      What is painful to all, and I am sure to Mr. Bernanke, is that his actions on QE would likely have not been necessary if the Congress had been able to pass more stimulus, which would have lowered the unemployment rate by at least an additional 1% if not close to 2% by now. But the Tea/Republicans opposed every issue supported by the President, which has kept unemployment high and the recovery slow.

      Every investment bank makes projections of how the economy will perform, and they always point out how the austerity forced by the House of Representatives is hurting economic growth in this country.

  • stephenreal

    President Johnson looks like a rock star from this position in history.

  • ian berry

    sure ben bernanke was a success, he created a new gilded age for all his friends and every person that he will EVER have to deal with for the rest of his life.

    • stephenreal

      he saved us from a massive great depression.and not just a great recession. macroeconomics 101 bro

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      The crows of his money printing and our debt will come home to roost, and guess who’s head they will $h!t on?

    • Don_B1

      Please see my post to stephenreal two (sub)threads away.

  • PAUL J. YOVINO

    Attorney General in Eric Holder’s decision to seek the death penalty for
    Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev only make our daily lives more unsafe. Holder’s action will do nothing more than create other monsters who will try to seek revenge for the death of Tsarnaev. The goal must be to increase public safety and not to put the general population in a more dangerous position

    • stephenreal

      total agreement.

      Dzhokhar Tsarnaev does not deserve the right
      to have any “end of life” privileges that should be specifically reserved for the sick and dying only and not for homicidal maniacs.

      Wasn’t there enough murder that day? So why go down the road of the stupid just like this dill-weed and his brother? Why would Boston want to have a Satanic human sacrifice?What are we hillbillies?

      I know you people like human sacrifices but maybe we had enough murder to worship on for one day.

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

    On immigration: we have bad laws, so we need to punish those who are trying to survive? What happened to our heart?

    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

    “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

    With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,

    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    • VinceD2

      The statue of liberty welcomes LEGAL immigrants, and please remember that not all who arrived were allowed in.

      Also, American was a vast unpopulated land then. Unfortunately times have changed. If we don’t stabilize our population at sustainable levels, Nature will eventually do that for us.

      We have massive unemployment, wages are declining. Now is not the time to increase immigration.

  • William

    The Death Penalty is too expensive to carry out so life in a Supermax Prison is a better choice for the Muslim terrorist that attacked Boston.

    • stephenreal

      His brain is not even completely formed yet.

      • JGC

        I have to admit that is true…

    • HonestDebate1

      It’s really a shame the cops didn’t just take him out.

      • tbphkm33

        Ah, the veneer of civility.

        • HonestDebate1

          Wouldn’t it have been better?

        • hennorama

          tbphkm33 — this “veneer of civility” is similar to Sen. Rand Paul’s comments last year, regarding the use of UAVs:

          “Here’s the distinction: I have never argued against any technology being used when you have an imminent threat, an act of crime going on,” Paul said. “If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50 in cash, I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him.”

          Except that when Mr. Tsarnaev gave himself up, he was seriously wounded, and did not present an imminent threat.

          Advocating for the police acting as judge, jury and executioner is abhorrent.

          See:
          http://www.businessinsider.com/rand-paul-drones-2013-4#ixzz2rzyxhDmp

          • HonestDebate1

            And it’s a shame those police inflicted wounds didn’t kill him. They weren’t shooting him to wound him, police shoot to kill. That is hardly advocating for the police to be judge, jury and executioner.

          • Steve__T

            That’s Sick

          • HonestDebate1

            How so?

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            “Advocating for the police acting as judge, jury and executioner is abhorrent.”

            But surely hen, you are not saying that Rand Paul advocates what you say in that quote. He and his father are some of the strongest proponents of rule of law and constitutional protection and you know that, as politically inconvenient as it might be.

            Apologies if I am mistaken, but you have pushed for accuracy in attribution here. Best Regards.

          • hennorama

            Government_Banking_Serf — thank you for your response, and apologies for the lack of clarity.

            My comment was a reference to the post to which [tbphkm33] had replied, which I viewed as similar in a way to Sen. Paul’s comments, which themselves are rather cavalier in describing a situation in which a hypothetical suspect was killed by “a drone … or a policeman.”

            The post to which [tbphkm33] had replied effectively advocated for summary execution of Mr. Tsarnaev by the police.

            Senator Paul’s comment comes close, but is different in that he was describing a hypothetical situation rather than expressing regret that Mr. Tsarnaev, a real living person, was not killed by the police.

            Thanks again for your response, and apologies again for the lack of clarity.

          • HonestDebate1

            “The post to which [tbphkm33] had replied effectively advocated for summary execution of Mr. Tsarnaev by the police.”

            You seem to think that by using the word “effectively” that it prevents your comment from being a lie. It doesn’t. I advocated no such thing. I lamented the fact that their shoot to kill policy failed. Police act as judge, jury and executioner every day. It’s part of the job. They had already made that decision before they fired the first of many shots.

  • Kate Middleton

    Though I am not against the death penalty, in this case it will only make the terrorist a Martyr, and fuel future attacks.

  • Guest

    I am an immigration lawyer and wish to address the misunderstanding about current immigration law that is expressed when people complain that undocumented people “jumped the line” for legal entry and should not be rewarded at the expense of people who “are doing it the right way and are patiently waiting in line.” Immigration law has many different visa categories for people to come to the US temporarily or permanently as vistors, business people, temporary workers, to reunite with family, or for humanitarian reasons. Most people who enter the United States would never be granted any of the visas in any of the current categories because the categories favor higher skilled workers and people who have significant assets in their home countries. It makes no sense to complain about people skipping a line when those people never got a place in the line in the first place.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      So now we reward breaking of the immigration law because we just don’t like it? If what you say is true, the law intended to not let them immigrate here. Like it or not, that was the law the nation had.

      My god, can you imagine the chaos of just ignoring laws you don’t like?

      We’d could end up with a massive financial swindle for example. Or some vast government agency spying on you unconstitutionally. I know, sounds extreme, but better safe than sorry.

      Why does Rule of Law mean nothing to anybody?

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

        Slavery was once the law.

        Inter-racial marriage used to be illegal.

        Only land owning white men used to be able to vote.

        What’s your question again?

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Your vote for Anarchy duly noted.

          I will continue to support Rule of Law and Constitutional Self Government.

        • tbphkm33

          Economic slavery is once again the unwritten law of the land. Servitude to the corporate banking system and Wall Street. A system that is extolled up by a bunch of old white men – namely Tea Baggers.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            How dare you call Mrs. Clinton a “Tea Bagger”, or worse, “old, white man”.

          • warryer

            It’s not bigotry when you are talking about old white republican men.

          • VinceD2

            Yes it is.

          • VinceD2

            With you till the old white men part. As an old white man, I protest! Ageism and racism aren’t needed here. It’s big $ and it really doesn’t matter what race we talk about the rich in ALL countries act like this.

          • pete18

            No worries, the guilty middle aged white men can set up the new underground railroad right to the Occupy Movement tents and set the people free.

      • jimino

        I would think a true Libertarian would oppose artifucal restraints on the ability of workers to be engaged for employment where their best opportunity exists.

        Why should capital be deployable everywhere, without restriction, but labor be artificially limited, from the Libertarian point of view?

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          That is a very lively debate. Open borders or not. In theory, as you suggest, why wouldn’t the goodness of markets, freedom etc benefit all of us?

          It could IF the rest of the participants had Constitutional protection, Rule of Law stable environment, etc.

          Since I respect the non-aggression principle, I do not support taking over the world to deliver that. I do hope peoples in other countries move toward that, and that we can freely associate and trade as that occurs.

          This relates to the unfairness and corruption of the trade deals we discussed.

      • Don_B1

        I believe the guest was making a point about the argument that undocumented people “jumped the line,” not whether they should be admitted or not. It is an argument that just does not apply to many of the undocumented.

    • William

      We don’t need the massive unskilled/uneducated illegal immigrants that have flooded into this country the last 10-20 years. Our economy has changed and the low skilled jobs are easily filled. Additionally, by keeping the illegals will only keep wages low for legal low skilled workers.

    • VinceD2

      Immigration is not a right! We have ZERO obligation to simply allow everyone in. We have aresponsibility to limit immigration to skills that we need, and numbers that do not harm the employment prospects of citizens.

      As an immigration lawyers, your job is to get the system to “yes”. A paperwork laden “path” is good for your employment. Got it.

      The system is not that difficult. My wife is a legal immigrant. We did all or the paperwork ourselves, saw no need for a lawyer. It went smooth as silk, but she stayed on the LEGAL path fro the time she applied for a student visa in Beijing.

  • hennorama

    From the Dept. of Good News:

    “10-year-old boy being called a hero after his hunch and persistence lead to finding fallen senior”

    FTA (from Warren, MI, a northern Detroit suburb):

    “She said she kept praying to the Blessed Mother and she just kept thinking.. if someone doesn’t find me I’m going to be dead,” said Sandy St. Onge-Mitter about her mother who had slipped on some ice in her garage at night and prayed someone would find her in the bitter cold temperatures in time.

    About an hour and a half later, 10-year-old Danny DiPietro and his dad were driving home from a hockey game and Danny spotted what he thought was a dog out of the corner of his eye.

    “It was late at night and super cold out and their garage was open and something just didn’t feel right,” Danny told 7 Action News.

    Once he was home, Danny kept thinking something should be done about what he thought was a dog, so he asked his mom if she could go check it out.

    Dawn DiPietro told her son there was no need to worry because no one would leave their dog outside in such cold temperatures. But Danny wouldn’t let up. He wanted her to go look to make sure.

    So, Dawn bundled up and took their dog for a walk by the condominiums where Danny said something just didn’t seem right.

    Halfway to the condos, Dawn could see someone on the ground of the open garage waving their hands.

    “I was so scared, but happy she was alive,” said Dawn.

    Dawn raced back to her home with their dog, Bailey, to alert her husband and call 911.

    See:
    http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/10-year-old-boy-being-called-a-hero-after-his-hunch-and-persistence-lead-to-finding-fallen-senior#ixzz2rzfIjEgr
    ================
    “From Warheads to Cheap Energy

    Thomas L. Neff’s Idea Turned Russian Warheads Into American Electricity”

    FTA:

    As the Cold War ended in the late 1980s and early ’90s, a new fear arose amid the rejoicing and relief: that atomic security might fail in the disintegrating Soviet Union, allowing its huge stockpile of nuclear warheads to fall into unfriendly hands.

    The jitters intensified in late 1991, as Moscow announced plans to store thousands of weapons from missiles and bombers in what experts viewed as decrepit bunkers, policed by impoverished guards of dubious reliability.

    Many officials and scientists worried. Few knew what to do.

    That is when Thomas L. Neff, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, hit on his improbable idea: Why not let Moscow sell the uranium from its retired weapons and dilute it into fuel for electric utilities in the United States, giving Russians desperately needed cash and Americans a cheap source of power?

    Last month, Dr. Neff’s idea came to a happy conclusion as the last shipment of uranium from Russia arrived in the United States. In all, over two decades, the program known as Megatons to Megawatts turned 20,000 Russian warheads into electricity that has illuminated one in 10 American light bulbs.

    See:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/28/science/thomas-l-neffs-idea-turned-russian-warheads-into-american-electricity.html?_r=1

  • jimino

    Here’s a link to the real state of the union, which begins:

    “The state of the Union is crap. 20% of the country is doing OK. 1% is doing fantastically. 0.001% is doing so well it’s criminal,
    literally. They don’t own everything yet but they do own all the
    politicians, judges, regulators, academics, and reporters. So they’re getting there. The other 80%, the rubes, the muppets, the serfs, are mired in an undeclared, ongoing depression.
    50 years on.
    I can safely state that the War on Poverty has been won.
    The poor have been defeated, the middle class conquered. They just don’t know it. . . .”

    http://www.correntewire.com/the_real_state_of_the_union#more

  • Don_B1

    In a sense, though the regular suspects here will not agree, President Obama did say that by omission, specifically leaving the government out of his praise. Not that doing something by omission is a strong statement, but it is better than nothing.

  • marygrav

    Its seems that the United States media wants to ignore the fact of Davos and its meetings on income inequality. All the talk on President Obama Status of the Nation is about his Executive Order of $10.10. This shows both the mentality of the media and the ignorance of the people to world events. The people seem to be picking the T-Party to do its thinking in believing that the international community does not matter to the welfare of the US economy.

    The T-Party/GOP are so centered on an update of Smoot-Hawley undermining the confidence of the American people in its own economy. The U.S. economy depends on its people for 70% of its income. By the T-Party/GOP cutting of unemployment benefits and reducing Food Stamps, spending is reduced.

    None of the great intellects in the T-Party which is the tail wagging the GOP, seems to take in that Agism is a great cause of unemployment. The U.S. has been for sometime been a Youth Oriented society, i.e., The Pepsi Generation. When you hear the voices of the long term experienced unemployed, they are over 40. Yet no commentator seems to want to point this out.

    If more people took time to read the US Constitution, including Tom, there would be less speculation as to Article II Section I as to Presidential Duties. The President’s first duty is to the American people and their welfare. His is the only office that has to swear an oath to the Constitution itself. The others just picked it up for style, just like Flag Worship and worshipful patriotism as secular religions.

    I listened to that Representative Grimm threaten to “break Obama like a board,” and then state what his Italian grandmother would say. It would be a good idea for him to read George De Stefano’s An Offer You Can’t Refuse as to why Mario Matthew Cuomo had to give way to Bill Clinton to run for President of the US. I have some sociology text from the early 20th century on criminology. The only two ethnicities listed are Italians and Negroes. Mafia is always tagged to Italians and their descendents thugs. Now Grimm has threatened the life or welfare of the President.

    Ted Cruz is foreign born and the only way he can be President is in the same way that George W. Bush became President: Through an Executive Order of the US Supreme Court. I have been told that Cruz is just a throw-away candidate that the T-Party/GOP is using as a “sacrifice” candidate because in the end some “genius” will read the US Constitution in it “Originality.”

    And when it comes to Immigration, the T-Party/GOP must realized that all illegal immigrants are not Brown and slipping across the Rio Grande. Some are Irish living in New York City and in the heart of Boston.

    The Tide Has Changed. It Obama cannot get Cooperation, he owes it to the American middle/working class to Go It Alone. And too Al Qaeda’s or Bin Laden’s motto: Bring them out and bleed them. Dead though he is he still seems to be winning with his allies in the House of Representative.

    70% of the US economy depends on Americans spending, and don’t forget this. One of the reasons for the Civil War was that Slaves had no money to spend. And a slave wage is no way to live in the richest country the world has ever known.

    • Don_B1

      A few points:

      1) The Tea/Republicans are not in favor of restoring any form of Smoot-Hawley that I am aware of. They are the ones that want every new “free trade” bill that can be negotiated, except one that might have to adequately compensate the displaced workers. They have fought Dodd-Frank tooth and nail and just think that those big investment banks should just go bankrupt when the next disaster occurs, and heaven take those who are hurt in the collapse of the economy, much like homeowners were left much to their own devices when the financial crisis hit in the fall of 2008.

      2) Ted Cruz can be elected president in the same way that Senator John McCain could have been elected president when he was born in the Panama Canal Zone, but of American parents. All it would have taken for President Obama to have been elected president no matter where he was born (in Hawaii in real life) was to have an American mother (or father).

      But the main point is higher wages are necessary for the United States to have a strong growing economy as has been the case since the end of WWII up until around 2001 or 2002, when the lack of growth of workers wages in the lower two to three quintiles led too many people to treat their homes as ATMs. They took out money to maintain the appearance of a life where they could help their children learn and have a better life. And when housing prices collapsed, that path to a strong economy was shown to be unsustainable.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Massive bankruptcies on Wall St. would have done orders of magnitude for changing future behavior than any BS bill passed by our Washington/Wall St crowd (enough keywords to placate those wanting action, enough loopholes to be sure donors don’t really get hurt, and enough inefficiency to warrant expanded government agencies.

        The excuse that we poor masses could handle the full failure of that whole crooked economic sector is nonsense.

        I bet many would endure eating PB&Js for a decade just to see it actually happen.

        The next crop of SEC members and corporate boards would be much more chastened and the Institutional investors WAY MORE critical as they should be, about what is going on in the casino, had the $h!t been allowed to hit the fan.

        • Don_B1

          Those massive bankruptcies would have stopped the business lending that most small businesses depend on for months or maybe years. The unemployment rate would have gone to 25% easily and maybe higher, except that the general public would have demanded action to get the banks back at work, and that would have been a bailout, just one that would not have prevented a whole lot of damage to the economy with business failures, high unemployment, etc.

          If Dodd-Frank is just BS, why are the big banks spending $millions in legal fees to oppose the writing of the regulations it called out?

          I have yet to figure out your dream world, but it must be nice; if only the real world worked that way.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            If we continue to have no accountability to the elites who abuse us from the Fed, to the NSA, to the Trade deals, why should we be surprise at how prone we become?

            How can you defend the lack of elite accountability?

            And why do you think it is without consequence?

            The real dream world is the one where people believe in people like Rubin, Summers, etc etc to use their unaccountable power benevolently and with great wisdom and prudence, given that apparently we don’t trust the people with more control of our future.

            When nobody is accountable to failure we get….

            “What difference at this point does it make?”

            And history repeats…

      • marygrav

        Go back to the Reagan administration and read some Kevin Phillips and investigate Irving Kristol and his Neo-conservatives. Still quicker, read America Alone by Halper and Clarke. Nothing has happened by happenstance but by deliberate planning by the Neo-conservatives.

        We the People blame each other before we go back to the root cause. People used their homes because they were encouraged to do so, not because they were greedy or averistic.

        • Don_B1

          The top 1% started pulling away in getting a bigger share of the economic pie right after Reagan’s tax reform that lowered the top marginal income tax rates. The one thing it did right was put capital gains in the same class as earned income. But President George W. Bush “corrected” that!

          But “divide and conquer” has always been the way the elites rule!?!

    • William

      Unemployment insurance is paid by the employer so by keep extending it will force the cost of the insurance to go up and keep companies from any new hiring. SNAP/Food stamps is a program out of control and needs to be reduce. NC reduced unemployment payments and the unemployment rate decreased. Keep paying people not to work and they won’t look for work.

      • marygrav

        Have you investigated how agism plays it nasty part in unemployment. I keep hearing that the world is in a Recession, but I know better. It is unemployment payments and SNAP that prevents the apple selling on the sidewalk like in the First Great Depression. Keep in mind that NC was and to some extent still a Slave State.

        Everything cannot be measured in financial cost: We know the cost of everything, but the value of nothing. The child you undernourish today will not be able to defend his country tomorrow. It is always the children of the poor who must defend the materialism of the wealthy.

        • tbphkm33

          Mary – I agree with you, but remember, some of the trolls on this discussion board are incapable of grasping what you are saying. They are so brainwashed by the Nopublican/Tea Bagger cabal that until its them on the street without a penny, they will not understand.

          • brettearle

            Realistically, now, aren’t you truly pointing out a mentality that has been in this country since 1776?

            We don’t need the malignancy of the Tea Party to recognize this time-honored diseased system.of belief.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes we do! But why do you consider it a malignancy? We are Americans with a voice concerned for the future of our nation. We deserve a seat at the table.

          • jefe68

            So you’re a tea party member.

            Yeah, you deserve a seat, that does not mean what your saying is worth listening too.

            From Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here: “But he saw too that in America the struggle was befogged by the fact that the worst Fascists were they who disowned the word ‘Fascism’ and preached enslavement to Capitalism under the style of Constitutional and Traditional Native American Liberty.”

          • HonestDebate1

            Yadda yadda.

          • brettearle

            I AM REFERRING TO THE SIMPLISTIC MENTALITY OF THE RIGHT WING:

            THAT THE RIGHT WING BELIEVE THAT ALL OF AMERICANS’ MISERY–OF THOSE WHO ARE ACTUALLY MISERABLE–ARE BECAUSE OF:

            Lassitude

            Self-Loathing

            Hatred of Traditional US values–Values that go back to the Founding Fathers

            Lack of Motivation

            Contempt

            Addiction

            Crime

            Entitlement

            In ALL of these matters, COMBINED or INDIVIDUALLY…..

            THESE ISSUES DO NOT FIT A FORMULA OR A STANDARD OR A STRATEGY OR AN EDICT THAT CAN ENABLE….
            THE TEA PARTY, OR ANY OTHER RADICAL RIGHT WING FACTION…
            TO WAVE A MAGIC WAND OR SNAP THEIR FINGERS AND SAY, “ABRACADABRA”….

            “ALL THESE MISCREANTS…WAKE UP NOW! AND PULL YOURSELF UP BY YOUR BOOTSTRAPS! AND CLEAN YOURSELVES UP AND JOIN OUR DEFINITION OF THE HUMAN RACE!”

            It….doesn’t….work….that….way

            It….doesn’t…work….that….way

            It…doesn’t….work…that….way

            It….doesn’t…work….that….way

            DESPITE the ignorant beliefs of the Right Wing….

            It doesn’t work THAT way because, TA! DAH!…..

            …..Human Nature and Human Behavior and Human Infirmity CANNOT BE PLUGGED INTO A FORMULA OR CATEGORY.

            It’s IMPOSSIBLE.

            Too may people are part of being the ODD MAN OUT FOR MANY MANY REASONS–all of which you know:

            –Cultural Environmental Exposure
            –Social Environmental Exposure
            –Upbringing

            –Personality Traits and Tendencies

            –Luck//Bad Luck
            –Medical Issues of All Kinds

            –Overall View of Life

            Life is becoming more complex than ever, for many complex reasons.

            For THE RIGHT WING not to accept and to ROLL UP THEIR OWN SLEEVES AND TRULY DIG RIGHT INTO THE PROBLEM–without looking for simple, formulaic answers that were VALID FOR THE 18TH CENTURY (and weren’t even fully valid then) is

            AN UTTER OUTRAGE

            AND YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW IT.
            AND YET YOU DO KNOW IT.

            Sad. Tragic. Outrageous.

            *A notable Part of our
            Country’s Downfall*

          • HonestDebate1

            I disagree completely and IMHO you are reacting to a caricature of the right wing and the Tea Partiers that could not be farther from the truth.

          • brettearle

            Go punch in your Time card.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t get it. The Tea Partiers are not evil, shallow or vindictive. They are not what you say they are, thats all.

            Why do you reply at all with such irreverent irrelevancy? And why did you ignore my thoughtful reply to you regarding the NC unemployment rate? My guess is that the only reply would have to be, “Why yes Mr. Debate, I see your point. You are correct”. You can’t do that so you do this instead.

            Someone once told me that if you look for enemies you will surely find them, it’s better to look for friends.

          • pete18

            Brett,

            You’re doing a great job punching those straw men. Their jaws always break more easily when hit with capital letters.

          • brettearle

            At least you read it.

          • pete18

            I’d be much more interested to read your thoughts and ideas about what the Tea Party ACTUALLY believes and the reasons why they do.

          • brettearle

            Fill me in.

            It’s the best I can do.

          • pete18

            So which part of the crazy and treasonous Tea Party agenda below are you guys against?

            1. Eliminate Excessive Taxes

            2. Eliminate the National Debt

            3. Eliminate Deficit

            4. Protect Free Markets

            5. Abide by the Constitution of the United States

            6. Promote Civic Responsibility

            7. Reduce the Overall Size of Government

            8. Believe in the People

            9. Avoid the Pitfalls of Politics -

            American politics is burdened by big money from lobbyists and special interests with an
            undue influence on the peoples’ representatives. The Tea Party movement is seen
            as a threat to the entrenched political parties and thus is the continual
            target of smear campaigns and misrepresentation of its ideals. We choose not to
            respond to these attacks except to strongly and explicitly disavow any and all hate speech, any and all violence as well as insinuations of violence, and any and all extreme and fringe elements that bring discredit to the Tea Party Movement. We are a peaceful movement and respect other’s opinions and views even though they do not agree with our own. We stand by the Tea Party beliefs and goals and choose to focus our energies on ensuring that our government
            representatives do the same.

            10. Maintain Local
            Independence

        • JGC

          I really like your second paragraph, marygrav. Very powerful and true.

      • Don_B1

        It would be inhumane to not extend unemployment, but also more stimulus spending must be approved to create the jobs that will properly lower the number of unemployed so that the cost of the insurance you are so worried about can go down.

        There is nothing out of control with SNAP that a lower unemployment rate will not fix.

        When NC reduced its unemployment insurance, it only drove the unemployed off the unemployment rolls, not into jobs (that do not exist!). The people so hurt are now unable to search for work, even.

      • brettearle

        Your formulaic beliefs can result in both homelessness and death.

      • hennorama

        William — two points:

        1. Three states (Alaska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) collect unemployment taxes from employees.

        2. During 2013, virtually all of the decline in the number of unemployed people in North Carolina (120,043 out of 130,736, which is 91.8 percent) was for unemployed people who left the NC Labor Force.

        Sources:
        http://esesc23.esc.state.nc.us/d4/LausSelection.aspx

        http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/pdf/uilawcompar/2013/financing.pdf

        http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1466#_ftn22

  • HonestDebate1

    Here in NC we did not extend the practice of paying people not to work, lo and behold the unemployment rate is plummeting. Go figure.

    • Don_B1

      It has been shown that all that was accomplished was to take those people out of the workforce so they are no longer counted for being willing to work or not employed. Call it head in the sand actions!

      • HonestDebate1

        While I am not unsympathetic to that argument that is not “all that was accomplished”. People found work and jobs were added.

        • Steve__T

          got stats, proof, charts, anything? How many found work and how many just disappeared.

          • HonestDebate1

            Of course I do.

          • Steve__T

            Great comeback, Did you post them with invisible ink?

          • HonestDebate1

            No, I didn’t post them at all.

          • Steve__T

            That figures.

      • hennorama

        Don_B1 – According to North Carolina state seasonally adjusted data, during 2013:

        The number of officially unemployed persons decreased by 130,736 (28.8 percent). That looks good, right?

        Except … the number of officially employed persons only increased by 10,693 (0.25 percent).

        Where did the rest of the formerly officially unemployed people go?

        As you said — out of the workforce: the number of persons officially in the labor force decreased by 120,043 (2.51 percent).

        This shows up in North Carolina’s state Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR), which declined 2.2 percentage points, from 63.4 percent to 61.2 percent. For comparison, the overall U.S. LFPR, including the outsized negative impacts from North Carolina, decreased by 0.8 percentage points, from 63.6 to 62.8.

        In other words, during 2013, NC’s LFPR fell nearly three times as much as the overall Federal LFPR, and is now 1.6 percentage points below the Federal rate.

        Curious how this was unmentioned by someone who repeatedly decries the decline in the U.S. LFPR, isn’t it?

        Sources:
        http://esesc23.esc.state.nc.us/d4/LausSelection.aspx

        http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000

        • HonestDebate1

          The universe of jobs went up unlike the 9 million shrinkage nationally. That is the difference. Read that again slowly.

          It’s hilarious that for you the LFPR means everything unless it means nothing. That is why you hold the trophy for the most disingenuous commenter on this blog. You really should make up your mind.

    • tbphkm33

      We shall wait until “HonestDebate” is on the down and out to see if he is as cheerful about the lack of a social safety net. Don’t smirk and speak boastfully until you have walked the walk and talked the talk.

      • HonestDebate1

        Dude, I am the walk; I am the talk. You have no idea. Have you ever been hungry, I mean really hungry? Have you ever been homeless? Have you ever worked for $40 a week and been thankful? I have never used the safety net. It never occurred to me. But that’s just me.

        Where did you get the absurd idea that I am opposed to a safety net? A couple three years of being paid not to work is way way beyond a safety net.

        • jefe68

          Man you should right country tunes…
          with Telecaster twang.

          • HonestDebate1

            I do.

          • 1Brett1

            Can one do chicken pickin’ on piano?

          • HonestDebate1

            Holstering the snark gun in the interest of my interest.

            Unfortunately no but I have friends. I am also a crappy singer. If I wrote only songs that I could sing then I’d be severely limited in my writing. I wish I had Stevie Wonder’s voice. What a writing tool that would be!

            We keyboard players have access to every sound that has ever been heard and that is a challenge because it’s not the sound that makes the sound. I cannot strum a piano matter how realistic the guitar sound is. I used to play “Rocky Top” with a terrific banjo sound. I actually studied fingerpicking patterns and split my keyboard so that there was the equivalent of a high G string on the lower part of the keyboard. It kicked but still it’s not the same. I got good a sax sounds using MIDI signals in real time to add lip ups, growls ands stabs on certain notes. I absolutely played the hell out of the sax solo of “Pick Up The Pieces’ but still could not hold a candle to a real sax player. Right now I am finishing work for my second short film project and have reproduced an orchestra with Violins, Violas, Cellos, Contra Basses, various Woodwinds, French Horns and Piano. There are over 30 tracks and it sounds great but it’s not an orchestra. Post production starts Wednesday.

            Still, I love this stuff with a passion I can’t put into words.

          • 1Brett1

            Keyboard players definitely have the most range of sounds at their disposal, and that really comes in handy sometimes when a particular sound is called for; but, like you say, it’s not quite the same (although, I have heard keyboard players come close in instrument imitation). And, even if it is different in sound than the real instrument/just a reasonable facsimile, it is still kind of cool and to be respected…on the down side, we’ve all heard electronic keyboardists who make imitative sounds and really cheese/sleaze it up!

            I mostly play acoustically anymore (of course everything is still plugged in somewhere!). I used to play a lot of electric guitar and experiment with sounds; I also had an electronic drum set, oh, 20 years ago…I have a great electric guitar player who accompanies me on certain gigs; he is a very quiet, tasteful player who really is just there for a certain color/shading. He does get a great pedal steel sound out of an electric guitar, though. He is a great player, and I love having him play with me. He can sing, but he only wants to accompany on guitar and sparingly sing some harmony. He also sometimes plays rhythm in parts of songs so I can do a lead break on acoustic here and there…I pay him well because that kind of person is hard to find.

            (BTW–and not to be political, it’s just what I do–I always pay my accompanists well and ahead of the gig, no matter what the gig is paying; I see it as treating employees well, and it defines what I expect/what their worth is to me. I give them something extra at the night’s end if I can. This approach has built a lot of trust and has given me a reputation of treating accompanists well. I have a rolodex of about 8 or 9 people I can call on depending on what I need. It also gives me people to call on when I record. I pay people a rate in those settings, as well. I’ve even paid people to rehearse before, too. Another effect of my work habit is that it helps to fully define who’s the boss!)

            I still play electric guitar almost everyday, but just to keep my chops tight. On occasion, I’ll play electric in a band setting, especially to fill in for a guitar player who can’t make a gig. That’s usually fun, but at the least it is challenging. I play drums but mostly doing either swing or bebop; I know a couple of jazz bands who call me when they need a drummer to fill in. I also teach drums. I sometimes play drums on my own recordings, but that’s usually brushes/percussive. I don’t have the electronic set anymore.

          • HonestDebate1

            I am more on the other end and rarely put gigs together. I’m just not that interested anymore in playing live although I do enjoy it and it is essential. A player’s got to play. Most of the time I am getting the call and not making the call. I appreciate when people treat me as you describe your treating your musicians. I do feel that it does not happen in a bubble and like your guitar player, I like to think I have something to do with it. Once I commit to a job, I will give every effort to make it a success no matter the pay and I think that’s one reason I get called back. I don’t think I’m all that great of a player but as you probably know that’s only part of it. So I respect your approach.

            Having said that, I got screwed on New Years Eve. I did a 1 hour set with a singer named Rosa Russ. We played from 9:15 to 10:15 between two sets by a 17 piece swing band. I had worked with her before as well as the promoter that hired us. I’ve known the promoter for years and never had a problem. We’re friends. It was an easy and well paying (or so I thought) gig only 20 minutes from home. I told him to just catch up with me the next week because things were crazy when I left a little before eleven. Since then I have not heard a thing, there’s nothing in my mailbox, no emails in my inbox, my messages go unanswered and he is nowhere to be found. I can’t remember that ever happening before. It kinda sucks.

          • 1Brett1

            Man, that really sucks about the New Year’s Eve gig…I hate to hear about players getting screwed like that, and I hope there is some reasonable explanation and he will make good. Promoters and venue owners make a lot of money on that night, and musicians make those evenings a success; they need to get paid!

            I feel fortunate to be part of a network of musicians and venue people who are honest and understand how important it is to keep regional music and venues thriving.

            I got screwed a few years ago when the owner of a venue promised me a certain amount (also on a New Year’s Eve gig) but advertised in the local paper half the cover that was agreed upon. He also removed a person I had hired to work the door for me and put one of his own people at the door. He lied about how many people had paid to see the show, and he paid me about 2/3 of what we had agreed upon. I could see what was happening as it happened, but I also was playing the gig, running sound, trying to mingle with the crowd during the breaks, etc., and I had to keep a lid on things during the night. I paid the accompanists what I said I was going to pay them and didn’t really concern them during the gig with what was going on, although they could see for themselves what he was doing. I let him know at the end of the night that his maneuver undermined his reputation and that I was going to let other people know what he did. We argued, and so on…Long story short, I’ve never played there since. The incident was talked about for a bit in the following weeks, and people knew that I had paid my musicians what was agreed upon but that I hadn’t gotten paid what was promised me; and, whenever something like that happens, it gets spread around the grapevine like wildfire, so that helped a little.

            It happens sometimes, but people have to realize that looking at the small dollars and cents and not living up to agreements is bad for business all the way around.

    • brettearle

      That doesn’t include the men and women who are losing part time jobs, as we speak; or can only find part-time jobs, instead of subsistence jobs that they likely need, more than simply part-time jobs; or have given up, looking for jobs, altogether.

      • HonestDebate1

        That is true I just wish people would apply the same criteria to Obama. But the fact is things are getting better here.

      • HonestDebate1

        ..

  • Zack Smith

    Jim in Dubuque Iowa nailed it. Bernanke will go down in history as the worst Fed chairman in history, superseding even Greenspan. The current debt bubble’s destruction will cause severe repercussions. David Wessel’s Bernanke sycophancy is revolting.

  • lobstahbisque

    It is so gratifying to see all those climate deniers stuck in traffic…more damned tea baggers per square mile… there I said it… Schadenfreude!

    • brettearle

      Not only that but the gridlock increases pollutions–which, in turn, worsens the GW.

      A vicious cycle by those who are vicious.

    • pete18

      I’m sure all that ice and snow that created the traffic mess made them wish there was global warming.

      • lobstahbisque

        No stoopid, the ice and snow were caused by rampant homosexual behavior, EVERYONE knows that.

  • VinceD2

    Immigration reform, yes. Immigration surrender, no.

    The House (non)principles are basically the same promises that were made with the 1986 amnesty. The ink was barely dried on that bill before the enforcement was gutted. Sorry no sale.

    Mandate E-Verify! Jail illegal employers!

    End birthright citizenship for the children of non-citizens. The citizenship/immigration status of a child should mirror that of the mother. The 14′th was never meant for anchor babies or maternity tourists.

    Lower legal immigration levels to sustainable levels. (Economic and ecological sustainability which liberals should be pushing for!)

    We simply cannot keep on ballooning our population and undermining our workers.

    • brettearle

      How do we weed out the men and women who believe in your positions–based on what a number of people regard as legitimate issues that you raise above?

      versus

      The men and women who support your positions–simply for `Ethnic Purity’ reasons?

      Or do you care?

      • HonestDebate1

        It makes no difference.

        • brettearle

          Your response is an especially unfortunate response.

          But especially.

          • HonestDebate1

            No it’s not. It is not prudent to base immigration laws on the perceived thought of other. What is prudent is the rule of law and the Constitution.

            I’ll give you an example. In response to the endless and persistent narrative that blacks like Trayvonn Martin are not safe to walk the streets because of stalking racist murderers, I have posted actual statistics. They show, when taking into account the fact that blacks represent only 12-13% of the population, that whites are far far more likely to be victims of violence perpetrated by blacks than vise versa. It’s not even close. The rape numbers are unbelievably lopsided. It is what it is which is a huge problem in the black community. Black on black crimes are through the roof.

            So if some idiot racist with a website wants to take these facts and shout from the mountain tops that blacks are violent by nature because they’re black then that does not change the facts nor should it prevent me from stating those facts. We should not hide the truth because someone may exploit it for nefarious reasons.

          • Steve__T

            I’ll post this again just in case you missed it. I believe you to be intelligent enough to understand what he is saying, but what matters, is if you believe what you understand, and can entertain and except that truth.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YN8pmhQwcnY

            Tim Wise has given several lectures over the years. You may want to listen to him,
            Somehow I doubt you will, but I will continue to try, to get you to SEE.

          • HonestDebate1

            I appreciate your concern, really I do. And I think it’s laudable especially compared to those who just want to berate each other. I also want to try to get people to see.

            However, your first inclination is probably correct. I probably won’t watch it. It’s an hour that I am not really willing to devote to a topic that is so so over debated. And I don’t agree with the premise to begin with. I strongly believe racism is not an excuse for anything in this day in age. I strongly believe all men are created equal and I absolutely refuse to judge people by the color of their skin.

            Having said that I am happy to defend what I wrote and am also more than willing to respond to any synopsis, in your words, that you want to posit.

          • Steve__T

            Synopsis:Your to much like your charges, But I imagine they are actually smarter.

            BTW how many hours do you listen to Rush Limbaugh?

          • HonestDebate1

            I gave you a sincere answer and you give me crap. Why? Do you want honest debate or senseless berating? Will you invest an hour if I give you a link? How about 5 minutes? I doubt it.

            BTW, you should listen to Rush half as much as I listen to NPR… or stay in the echo chamber.

          • Steve__T

            I gave a sincere synopsis, It is you who wont give anyone an honest debate.

          • HonestDebate1

            BS, you just gave me insults and that is not honest debate. And then you evoked the Rush monster, why didn’t you mention Fox? It’s silly.

          • Steve__T

            No I insulted your horses, by the comparison. And the question about.Rush was time spent, You called him a monster not me.

            ” I probably won’t watch it. It’s an hour that I am not really willing to devote to a topic that is so so over debated.”

            Yes that is a great statement to garner an honest debate.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

          • jefe68

            I think hennorama has the right idea.
            Ignore this guy. He just twists any idea into his juvenile libertarian informed mind set.

          • HonestDebate1

            There are, as of now, 14 comments in response to my reply and they are all about me, I prefer honest debate. And that includes the henpecker who cannot seem to get me out of her head and also seems to think her silly game is laudable for some reason.

            So I echo your sentiment, please ignore me. It’s a nice thought but it won’t happen.

            No one addressed my point except for one person, you. So despite your insisting I am on a racist screed I appreciate the attempt.

          • brettearle

            `uninformed’

          • hennorama

            Steve__T – thank you for sharing the link to this interesting lecture.

            Good luck with your merry discourse with someone who writes gems such as “the fact that black on white racism is a far worse problem today that the inverse. Blacks are 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against whites than vice versa.”

            This unequivocal claim that “Blacks are 39 times …” is a misquote of a pseudo-statistical claim from a 2005 publication titled “The Color of Crime” (TCOC), from the New Century Foundation. The New Century Foundation was founded by Jared Taylor, a well-known self-described “white separatist” and “racialist” who has written such things as:

            “Blacks and whites are different. When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears.” — American Renaissance, 2005

            The individual who you are trying to “get … to SEE” is willfully blind, yet believes he is omniscient.

            For fun, try plugging the phrase [Blacks are 39 times more likely] into the On Point search box, to see what pops up.

            One result is the June 21, 2013 OP forum, in which this person wrote, “Some don’t believe my claims. That’s not unusual. What is unusual is the lack of curiosity,” and then posted this link, apparently as evidence for his claims:

            http://www.examiner.com/article/federal-statistics-of-black-on-white-violence-with-links-and-mathematical-extrapolation-formulas

            This linked article refers to the publication above, by the white separatist/racialist Jared Taylor’s New Century Foundation.

            As I do not directly engage with this individual, if you are so inclined, please ask him to back up the claims in his post, that

            “whites are far far more likely to be victims of violence perpetrated by blacks than vise versa. It’s not even close,”

            “The rape numbers are unbelievably lopsided.”

            Again, if you are so inclined, ask for his sources, data, and methodology.

            Ask him what any data about interracial victimizations and/or offense data on crimes involving victims and offenders of different races or ethnicities shows about racism.

            Don’t hold your breath waiting, though.

            Best of luck with your admirable yet quixotic efforts.

          • Steve__T

            Yes, it like fighting windmills in a gale.

          • hennorama

            Steve__T – thanks for your response.

            It’s not always easy for me to not directly engage this individual. At times, certain of his comments to others prompt an entry into the discussion, which tend to generate gale force wind, so to speak, out of this windbag, some of which you have no doubt observed.

            Enjoy the merry tilting.

          • HonestDebate1

            If you have something to ask me then ask me yourself, coward. I stand by everything I wrote. You well know the FBI is my source.

          • jefe68

            Maybe hennorama is ignoring you because you’re not worth the effort.

            You post this BS way to much and then ask why you’re wrong. You skew the data to fit your agenda. What’s sick is how you really think your world view is correct.

            http://www.timwise.org/2013/08/race-crime-and-statistical-malpractice-how-the-right-manipulates-white-fear-with-bogus-data/

            Whites are 6 times as likely to be murdered by another white person as by a black person; and overall, the percentage of white Americans who will be murdered by a black offender in a given year is only 2/10,000ths of 1 percent (0.0002). This means that only 1 in every 500,000 white people will be murdered by a black person in a given year. Although the numbers of black-on-white homicides are higher than the reverse (447 to 218 in 2010), the 218 black victims of white murderers is actually a higher percentage of the black population interracially killed than the 447 white victims of black murderers as a percentage of the white population. In fact, any given black person is 2.75 times as likely to be murdered by a white person as any given white person is to be murdered by an African American.

          • HonestDebate1

            “Maybe hennorama is ignoring you because you’re not worth the effort”

            That’s the point, she is not ignoring me. I would rather she did because she is not worth my effort.

            The quote did not refute what I wrote. It confirmed it.

            “Although the numbers of black-on-white homicides are higher than the reverse (447 to 218 in 2010), the 218 black victims of white murderers is actually a higher percentage of the black population interracially killed than the 447 white victims of black murderers as a percentage of the white population.”

            You are the one torturing the data not me, I did not even cite any data. That was on purpose. Blacks are 12% of the population. If you want to look at the percentage of the overall population that are victims do you realize how many white victims there would have to be to equal the dynamic? Look at round numbers, lets say there are 12 blacks and 88 whites. If half of the blacks are victims and half of the whites are victims then the percentage of the respective populations would be equal but there would be 6 black victims compared to 44 white victims. Then Mr. Wise could say things are fair. It’s bizarre and a totally distracting stat unrelated to my claim.

            Further, take his 2010 stats. Over twice as many black on white homicides than the reverse and blacks are but 12% of the population. What I wrote is undeniable.

          • jefe68

            No it did, I guess you chose not to read this part: No more than 0.7 percent (seven-tenths of one percent) of African Americans will commit a violent crime against a white person in a given year, and fewer than 0.3 (three-tenths of one percent) of whites will be victimized by a black person in a given year;
            * Whites are 6 times as likely to be murdered by another white person as by a black person; and overall, the percentage of white Americans who will be murdered by a black offender in a given year is only 2/10,000ths of 1 percent (0.0002).

            What you wrote is skewed to help you make your race tinged screeds, period.

          • HonestDebate1

            Dude, the percentage of the victims by population of the races is irrelevant. I explained that. 0.7% of of blacks is a far smaller number than 0.3% of whites. It’s not close. The significant factor s the number of people who are dead. I don’t care what color they are, why do you?

            By ignoring the real numbers you are making a hideous and racist comment. I am not calling you a racist, I don’t think that is your intent but the fact remains.

            Every life is precious. I do not consider there to be a difference in the value of a black life or a white life. I absolutely refuse to judge people by the color of skin. Now if a scumbag piece of crap is a victim I do value them as less precious than a honorable and innocent victim. I will judge by the content of character.

          • jefe68

            Oh the inanity of your race tinged memes seems to know no bounds.

          • HonestDebate1

            ***Update***

            It’s now 17 comments all about me. When does the trolling stop and the ignoring start? It’s obvious no one can dispute my contention.

          • hennorama

            jefe68 – thanks for the mention, and for the link to the aptly named Mr. Wise.

            The individual to whom you replied doesn’t care about victims; he has an agenda about various things that “Blacks are …” He has several posteriorly inserted insects related to the Zimmerman case, Paula Deen, “white guilt,” racism, etc., and has been squirming around trying to show various things that “Blacks are …”. A few more of his gems:

            “I conclude blacks are far more likely to rape whites than vice versa”

            “if you are white you are far far more likely to be the victim of a violent crime perpetrated but [sic] a black than vise versa [sic].”

            “Blacks are 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against whites then [sic] vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit a robbery.”

            “blacks are more likey [sic] to victimize whites than vice versa.”

            “A white woman is far far more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted [by a] black man that the opposite.”

            “A white person is far far more likely (about 39 times, 50 by per capita) to be a victim of violent crime perpetrated by a black.”

            “a great case for the fact whites are far more likely to be victims of black violence than vice versa.”

            “the fact that if you are white you are far far more likely to be the victim of a violent crime perpetrated by a black than vise versa. The numbers are especially shocking when you consider Blacks comprise only 12 or 13% of the population.”

            “What I am concerned about is violence. The epidemic of blacks forming mobs and spreading mayhem is troubling. I believe it is enabled by a lack of outrage rooted in white guilt making excuses. Blacks are not expected to be good citizen by liberals.”

            “Time after time the perpetrators are black,”

            To more clearly understand his perspective, put the word “ALL” in front of any use of the phrase “Blacks are …”

            And remember that his original comments are in a thread about immigration reform.

            BTW, I found this paragraph from Mr. Wise to be an excellent summation:

            “In other words, given general offending rates which are indeed higher for blacks than whites (but which still indicate that the overwhelming majority of blacks are not violent criminal offenders), and given the likelihood of interracial encounters between whites and blacks (and which are especially rare for whites encountering blacks), the rates of black-on-white interracial crime are either pretty much exactly what would be expected without any racial targeting whatsoever, or they are even lower than random chance would predict.”

            Thanks again for the mention, and the link.

          • jefe68

            It’s amazing how the right wing, as we have just witnessed in this exchange, reminds one of a mule with blinders on.

          • Steve__T

            A mule with blinders on can still see, and can be helpful and carry heavy loads.
            This guy is blind as a bat with eyes wide shut.

          • jefe68

            He wont.

          • Steve__T

            And he didn’t

          • OnPointComments

            There’s nothing that makes white liberals feel better about themselves than feeling guilty for being white.

      • VinceD2

        Well I tried to respond earlier and my response was completely non-offensive so I have no idea why it didn’t get through.

        Brett, you bring up a good point. Yes, there are racists on the anti-amnesty/excessive immigration side and those folks make all of us targets for the open borders crowd to play the race card on. I wish the bigots would simply shut up and not tarnish the debate.

        That said, I have also heard lots of racism from the open borders side as well. For some reason, that never seems to be called out. Racism is racism, the La Raza folks are a perfect example.

        So anyways, when I encounter these racists from either side, I simply try to steer back to a logical rather than emotional argument. Sadly, these folks usually don’t have anything to offer.

        • northeaster17

          The commonly used number for how many illegals live in this country is 12 million. The current population of the USA is about 313 million. That puts the number of undesirables at less than 4%. We in this country have always needed a group or groups to demonize. That need is deeply ingrained in our history. Nothing has changed. When I speak with those who are so concerned about this ruinous tidal wave the conversation most always turns to the race issue. It’s amazing as well as sickening.

          • VinceD2

            Well, we really don’t know how many illegals are here. 12? 20? 30? M?

            I hear you, and racism on BOTH sides contaminates the discussion.

            The ones who truly deserve to be “demonized” are the illegal employers.

            But if you look at the facts, it becomes obvious that too much immigration, like too much water, is not good.

            We have massive unemployment, why are we not slowing immigration until the jobs situation improves?

            Immigration is the driver of our huge population growth, If we keep going, this country will look like China.

            Remember that the citizens decided that population stabilization was desirable in the 70′s, but congress at the behest of big business vastly increased immigration.

    • hennorama

      VinceD2 – let me see if I understand your concerns.

      -Lax enforcement on employers of unauthorized immigrants (those persons you describe as “illegals” in another post)

      -Children born in the U.S. whose mother is not a U.S. citizen or legal resident. You describe these children and their mothers as ”anchor babies or maternity tourists,” and feel that these children should not automatically become U.S. citizens.

      -legal immigration levels that you view as economically and ecologically unsustainable.

      -immigration is “ballooning our population”

      -immigration is “undermining our workers”

      Please correct any errors.

      Taking the above one point at a time:

      1. I agree that there is a very stubborn fact regarding undocumented workers — without employers who are ready and willing to break the law by hiring illegal workers, few of these workers would take the considerable risk of crossing the border. These employers are motivated by economics, as they believe their net employment costs will be lower if they use undocumented workers. If this is true, then which party is responsible for what you describe in a later concern as “undermining our workers,” the illegal employer, or the undocumented worker?

      2. Your comments about ”anchor babies or maternity tourists,” imply that you believe a significant number of women come to the U.S. for the sole purpose of having their child obtain U.S. citizenship, and that they then return to their country of origin. Do you have any data indicating that this is a major phenomenon? If so, please provide it.

      3. Exactly what do you mean by the term “legal immigration levels”? Are you referring to legal permanent residents (LPR) or some other persons? If you are in fact referring to LPRs, the Dept. of Homeland Security’s Annual Flow Report (March 2013) indicates that “In 2012, a total of 1,031,631 persons became LPRs … The majority of these new LPRs (53 percent) already lived in the United States …” The 2012 figures are in line with those from 2010 and 2011, all of which show that slightly less than half of new LPRs (under 500,000 annually for 2010, 2011 and 2012) were new arrivals. Using the round figure of 500,000 annual new LPRs who were new arrivals, this works out to a tiny fraction of 1 percent of total U.S. population (roughly 0.16 percent). Even if we use the rough figure of 1.0 M annual new LPRs, this still is tiny when compared to the overall population.

      4. As to immigration “ballooning our population,” see above re: legal immigrants. In addition, DHS estimated that as of January 2011, there were 11,510,000 Unauthorized Immigrants living in the U.S. Of these, they estimated that 86 percent (9.93 M) entered the U.S. before 2005. This means that for the period of 2005–2010, an estimated 1,580,000 entered the U.S. without authorization. Not exactly a “ballooning [of] our population.”

      5. As to your statement that immigration is “undermining our workers,” here is some info from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that many do not realize:

      In 2012, a bit over 25 million (25.026 M) foreign-born individuals were in the U.S. labor force, with a bit over 23 million (23.006 M) Employed. This leaves a bit over 2 million (2.021 M) Unemployed. Unemployed foreign-born workers therefore represented only 1.3 percent of the total civilian labor force (2.021/154.975 M).

      Foreign-born workers, especially foreign-born men, participate in the U.S. civilian labor force at a significantly higher rate than native born workers:

      “Labor Force

      “The share of the U.S. civilian labor force that was foreign born was 16.1 percent in 2012; it was 15.9 percent in 2011. (See table 1.)

      “In 2012, the labor force participation rate of the foreign born was 66.3 percent, compared with 63.2 percent for the native born. The labor force participation rate was 78.5 percent for foreign-born men and 68.6 percent for native-born men. Among women, 54.8 percent of the foreign born were labor force participants, compared with 58.2 percent of the native born.

      AND

      “The labor force participation rates for foreign-born blacks, Asians, and Hispanics were higher than for their native-born counterparts, while the rate for foreign-born whites was lower than the rate for native-born whites.”

      See:
      http://www.bls.gov/news.release/forbrn.nr0.htm

      The BLS information above includes foreign-born workers who are in the U.S. both legally and illegally.

      I look forward to your response.

      Other sources:

      http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/aug/06/lindsey-graham/illegal-immigrants-anchor-babies-birthright/ (Fact-checking the claims about ‘anchor babies’ and whether illegal immigrants ‘drop and leave’)

      http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/ois_lpr_fr_2012_2.pdf (U.S. Legal Permanent Residents: 2012)

      http://www.multpl.com/united-states-population/table

      https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/ois_ill_pe_2011.pdf (Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population Residing in the United States: January 2011)

      • VinceD2

        Hi Hennorama,

        Thanks for the conversation and links.

        1) On illegal workers and employers: BOTH are to blame! I have seen estimates of 7 million full time, non-agricultural jobs taken by illegals, or as you correctly point hired by illegal employers. Jobs such as construction, hospitality, food prep and packaging, landscaping, meat packing etc. Jobs that Americans will do for a fair wage, if offered the chance. And yes the illegal employers are the root cause of this, no doubt. Those clowns need to be in jail.

        2) Maternity tourism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birth_tourism
        Anchor babies: http://www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/parkland.asp

        http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/aug/06/lindsey-graham/illegal-immigrants-anchor-babies-birthright/

        “Graham is right on that point. According to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center, a think tank that has done extensive research on immigration policy, 3.8 million undocumented immigrants have at least one child who is a citizen. “Most children of unauthorized immigrants — 73 percent in 2008 — are U.S. citizens by birth,” the center says. That’s up from 63 percent in 2003.”

        There are many more articles, just google them.

        Drop and leave is a relatively small number, but that number should be zero. “Stay and drop” is the real problem The child citizen of illegal aliens makes the bleeding hearts go nuts about family separation, making deportation more difficult. Of course the option of the family “re-uniting” in the home country is never mentioned… ;^)

        Bottom line is that we need to change this policy. Even our very liberal (in a smart way!) neighbor to the North is considering changing their birthright citizenship policy.

        3) And 4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muw22wTePqQ Roy Beck from NumbersUSA showing the effects of excessive immigration on our long term population growth. He uses census department projections. I am old enough to remember when we hit 200M, we were concerned then about sustainability. Business wants an “ever expanding marketplace” so they lobbied congress to quadruple immigration rates. Here we are!

        4) You are comparing foreign born vs. native born labor participation rates which is interesting. I do not doubt that in general they are hard workers and used to living on less than the typical American worker. I’ve seen the Mexicans in Colorado pile 10 people into a single wide trailer, when you are willing to live like that you can afford to take a rock bottom, under the table wage that would be illegal for a citizen to be paid.

        My point was that importing so many people has bumped American workers for the workforce and depressed wages. Go out West and you see illegals working in the above mentioned jobs, those jobs used to pay a decent wage. Now if you want a foreman’s position you need to know Spanish because most of the workers don’t, or barely, speak English.

        And this is not just at the lower skill levels. H1B visas have harmed technical workers, which was the reason Greenspan backed them. Apparently, he thought engineers are too highly paid.
        http://www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2007/03/14/greenspan_let_more_skilled_immigrants_in/ Where I used to work, they were bringing in Indian engineers on H1B’s while sacking Americans. Best and brightest? No, but exploitable. One of those guys was working 60-70 hours a week, if he didn’t’ like that he’d be sent home. He said he was paid $20k.yr. No benefits. This is all about wage depression. Tech wages have been flat and many of us had our careers ended early as cheap H1B workers entered the market. Sure, there are laws against exploitation, those laws are largely ignored.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-immigrant in fact I married one. I simply believe we need to adjust our legal numbers to sustainable levels, assure that immigration does not harm those already here (legally), and I see absolutely no reason to accommodate those who break our laws, illegal aliens or their illegal employers.
        Hi Hennorama,

        Thanks for the conversation and links.

        1) On illegal workers and employers: BOTH are to blame! I have seen estimates of 7 million full time, non-agricultural jobs taken by illegals, or as you correctly point hired by illegal employers. Jobs such as construction, hospitality, food prep and packaging, landscaping, meat packing etc. Jobs that Americans will do for a fair wage, if offered the chance. And yes the illegal employers are the root cause of this, no doubt. Those clowns need to be in jail.

        2) Maternity tourism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birth_tourism
        Anchor babies: http://www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/parkland.asp

        http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/aug/06/lindsey-graham/illegal-immigrants-anchor-babies-birthright/

        “Graham is right on that point. According to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center, a think tank that has done extensive research on immigration policy, 3.8 million undocumented immigrants have at least one child who is a citizen. “Most children of unauthorized immigrants — 73 percent in 2008 — are U.S. citizens by birth,” the center says. That’s up from 63 percent in 2003.”

        There are many more articles, just google them.

        Drop and leave is a relatively small number, but that number should be zero. “Stay and drop” is the real problem The child citizen of illegal aliens makes the bleeding hearts go nuts about family separation, making deportation more difficult. Of course the option of the family “re-uniting” in the home country is never mentioned… ;^)

        Bottom line is that we need to change this policy. Even our very liberal (in a smart way!) neighbor to the North is considering changing their birthright citizenship policy.

        3) And 4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muw22wTePqQ Roy Beck from NumbersUSA showing the effects of excessive immigration on our long term population growth. He uses census department projections. I am old enough to remember when we hit 200M, we were concerned then about sustainability. Business wants an “ever expanding marketplace” so they lobbied congress to quadruple immigration rates. Here we are!

        4) You are comparing foreign born vs. native born labor participation rates which is interesting. I do not doubt that in general they are hard workers and used to living on less than the typical American worker. I’ve seen the Mexicans in Colorado pile 10 people into a single wide trailer, when you are willing to live like that you can afford to take a rock bottom, under the table wage that would be illegal for a citizen to be paid.

        My point was that importing so many people has bumped American workers for the workforce and depressed wages. Go out West and you see illegals working in the above mentioned jobs, those jobs used to pay a decent wage. Now if you want a foreman’s position you need to know Spanish because most of the workers don’t, or barely, speak English.

        And this is not just at the lower skill levels. H1B visas have harmed technical workers, which was the reason Greenspan backed them. Apparently, he thought engineers are too highly paid.
        http://www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2007/03/14/greenspan_let_more_skilled_immigrants_in/ Where I used to work, they were bringing in Indian engineers on H1B’s while sacking Americans. Best and brightest? No, but exploitable. One of those guys was working 60-70 hours a week, if he didn’t’ like that he’d be sent home. He said he was paid $20k.yr. No benefits. This is all about wage depression. Tech wages have been flat and many of us had our careers ended early as cheap H1B workers entered the market. Sure, there are laws against exploitation, those laws are largely ignored.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-immigrant in fact I married one. I simply believe we need to adjust our legal numbers to sustainable levels, assure that immigration does not harm those already here (legally), and I see absolutely no reason to accommodate those who break our laws, illegal aliens or their illegal employers.

    • VinceD2

      Well, some of us TRIED to have a discussion here…

  • Cacimo

    O’Donnell’s assertion that the media has just not done a good enough job of foisting their view of illegal immigration on the American public is insulting. The notion that media should function as a apparatchik of the government rather than a news service for the people is why journalists are held in about the same regard as congress. This is also why so much old media is failing. We do not want indoctrination but information from our news sources. Time for O’Donnell to learn that.

  • HonestDebate1
  • HonestDebate1
  • Don_B1

    You are basically correct, but it should be made clear what kind of load change caused the collapse:

    When the first set of vertical support beams weakened and fractured, the total (static) weight on the lower beams did not change, but the collapse of the upper structure which was no longer held up came down with accelerating speed, which created an impact, or dynamic, load which can be many times the static load.

    It is not a perfect analogy, but a glass table can support a steel sledge hammer set on it, but not support that sledge hammer if it is dropped from a four to ten foot height (depending on the weight of the hammer).

    When you view the collapse of the towers, the collapse seems to accelerate as the top of the building moves down, as the amount of moving mass increases with each floor hit, snapping the support of the floor below. This may be just an optical illusion and I don’t know if anyone has actually determined the time increments between each floor.

  • http://www.CayerComputing.com/ Melissa A. Cayer

    Tom asked, what do you think about the state of the union?

    Unfortunately, I cannot evaluate the state of the union because the equations to Estimate Property Value for the purposes of generating property tax are not available. Do any of you understand how property value is estimated? Can you explain it with a mathematical equation and concrete examples?

    Unfortunately, the people in charge of the equation are not responding to me with the details. When I do a spot check on the estimates there seems to be an element of randomness to the dollar amounts.

    On this quest, I’ve been given superficial information, sent on infinite loops, ignored, squelched, and threatened.

    I do not mean to blame anybody and I apologize for not maintaining my math tools for this.

    • HonestDebate1

      Tax values are really meaningless. Property is worth what you can get. The market decides.

    • Don_B1

      Property assessors generally make property evaluations based on the sales prices of “equivalent” homes in your neighborhood or town, etc. There is thus both a rigorous use of recent sales, given that there are enough of them, and the subjective determination of “equivalency.”

      Some jurisdictions require updates of the house value at regular intervals while others prevent updates except after sales or modifications or other special occasions. Then the values of all the properties, of each type, residential, commercial, etc., in the town are added up and the rates of taxation fixed, working either from rates that do not lead to taxes being too high on property owners or so as to raise the needed money to cover the desired town/city budget.

  • davecm

    Immigration reform solution
    It is like the in-laws over staying their welcome, ask them to leave.

    It is like finding someone in your house when you come home, you make them leave.

  • HonestDebate1

    The California health care exchange has hired child abusers, thieves and forgers to help people sign up for Obamacare. What could go wrong?

    • Fredlinskip

      Rupert and Ailes of Fox “News” hired commentators to deliberately twist the truth and misinform the weak-minded, who tune in for “infotainment”.
      What could go wrong?

      • HonestDebate1

        Oooo the Fox monster.

        • Fredlinskip

          Just another futile attempt to point out the obvious to the oblivious.

    • Don_B1

      Other than totally unreliable (and that is being generous!) claims from Rep. Darrell Issa (R, CA-49), your comment seems to be unsupported by any facts, probably why you did not provide any links to a source that is believable.

      • HonestDebate1

        No, I didn’t get it from Issa. It’s not a secret, it’s out in the open and defended.

        http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2014/01/31/covered-california-stands-by-enrollment-counselors-with-criminal-pasts/

        • Steve__T

          “It’s about the Civil Rights Act,” he said. We cannot just wantonly say that we’re not going to hire or certify an individual just because they have a criminal background.”

          Yeah those dirty criminals should never work again. Even if they have paid their debt to society. Who do they think they are human beings?

          • HonestDebate1

            I disagree with you. I think it is laudable to give people a second chance if they demonstrate they deserve it. But there are limits and there is prudence.

          • Steve__T

            And there is a thing called sarcasm.
            Whoosh is the sound it made as it went over your head.

          • HonestDebate1

            You mean you weren’t serious? Seriously? Whoda’ thunk.

          • Steve__T

            Obviously, not you.

    • jefe68

      Nice trolling there bud.

      • HonestDebate1

        So sorry the personal records of so many means noting to you.

        • jefe68

          This is what was in the article you linked. 31 of the nearly 4,000 working to sign up people for new policies have convictions. One was for harm and injury to a child. A second was convicted of two counts of forgery, while a third has burglary and forgery convictions spanning two decades.

          First off it was 31 out 4000 of whom one had a charge of harm and injury to a child. That does not mean they were child rapist. You post stuff and it’s all about being a troll as this is a perfect example.

          Instead of using any commonsense you skew the facts into a meme against the ACA. What is objectionable is how you consistently use this forum to post reams of right wing memes.

          • HonestDebate1

            Thanks but I read it before I posted. Who said anything about child rapists? Not me.

          • jefe68

            Stop with the coy act buddy.

          • HonestDebate1

            The Obamacare website is not secure. A 15 year old kid can get 70,000 peoples personal records in 15 minutes. This is a concern. California’s decision to hire these people is not prudent.

          • HonestDebate1

            And quit lying about what I wrote. If you don’t think harming and injuring a child is abuse then I can’t help you.

          • hennorama

            jefe68 — again, enjoy your merry discourse.

            According to the SacBee reporting, any convictions are at least a decade in the past.

            In addition, there is NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER of any wrongdoing. All that remains is innuendo and insinuation, as in the words “…sorry the personal records of so many means nothing…”

            One also is reminded of the cautionary phrase, “Past performance is not an indication of future results.”

          • HonestDebate1

            “In addition, there is NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER of any wrongdoing.”

            They are ex-cons, that means they were convicted of wrongdoing.

            “Past performance is not an indication of future results.”

            I agree, a non-sequitur but I agree. But it only goes so far as I’m sure you would agree. An ex-felon can never own a gun, do you support that?

          • brettearle

            I think it’s fairly clear that what jefe68 has pointed out–and what Hennorama underscores–is what you do chronically, in this Forum:

            You capture a small, or smaller, part of the picture, magnify it, and swear it as Gospel Truth–with a kind of declarative aplomb, that is, at once, manipulative.

            It’s bogus and it’s truly–on a subtle and yet crystal-clear level–contemptible.

            And what’s even worse is that you take hidden delight in doing it….seemingly, (almost) without even acknowledging it to yourself.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — TY for the mention.

            It’s not unreasonable to be concerned about convictions that are serious, recent, and related in some way to the activities a potential employee is to perform.

            But these convictions are reported to be both misdemeanors and felonies, from at least a decade ago, and include alcohol and drug-related offenses.

            Finally, the unequivocal statement beginning “California’s health care exchange has hired ….” is false. These individuals are not employees of Covered California.

            So much for being “honest” in a “debate.” Perhaps this dishonesty should be a disqualifying act as far as further participation in this forum goes.

            Thanks again for the mention.

          • HonestDebate1

            Are you kidding me? Why does it matter when the offenses occurred? It’s about trust in the system. And what do you mean they weren’t hired by Covered California? Who hired them? Why is Covered California defending them? They have access to personal records, if you are claiming they are allowing people they have not hired access to personal records then it’s even worse. They are counselors for Covered California. WTF are you even talking about? I gave a link and so did you but you removed yours, why? I demand you put it back.

            [edit: I now see a link on another comment (I generate many many comments from you and others) so maybe I was mistaken about the link in the above, I'm not sure. If so, apologies. The headline in that link is "Lawmakers criticize hiring of Obamacare enrollers with criminal records"]

            And finally, if you come here be prepared to defend your claims in the arena of honest debate. And go ahead and try to gather allies in your silly game, I don’t care. You have no credibility.

          • Steve__T

            You have no credibility.

          • hennorama

            Steve__T – in support of your statement:

            The very first sentence of this thread is false, based on the reporting, as follows:

            -the subject individuals are not employees of Covered California
            -there has been no report of “child abusers” plural

            When he discovers his own error, after writing this to [hennorama]:

            “I gave a link and so did you but you removed yours, why? I demand you put it back,”

            he edits his comment to remove the above, and adds a self-serving non-denial denial and a non-apology apology, thusly:

            “…so maybe I was mistaken about the link in the above, I’m not sure. If so, apologies.”

            When inaccuracy is pointed out, he continues to espouse the same inaccurate views:

            “And what do you mean they weren’t hired by Covered California? Who hired them? The [sic] have access to personal records, if you are claiming they are allowing people they have not hired access to personal records then it’s even worse. They are counselors for Covered California. WTF are you even talking about?”

            And this is after he had opened the linked L.A. Times article that reported, “These enrollment counselors aren’t government employees. Rather, they typically work at nonprofit groups, clinics and other community organizations that help sign people up through the state marketplace.” (He must have opened the link, as that is the only way to discover the article’s headline, which he noted in his edited comment.)

            See again:
            http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-california-exchange-background-checks-20140129,0,2072750.story#ixzz2sHo8Ng9I

            (You might also notice that the other reports talk around this fact. They use phrases such as “insurance counselors with Covered California,” and “31 of the nearly 4,000 working to sign up people for new policies,” and “Covered California insurance counselors,” and “its representatives,” all of which give the misleading impression that these subject individuals are employed by Covered California.)

            Then we have the ultimate in hilarious irony, directed at [hennorama], from someone who is so concerned about “honesty” and “credibility” that he accuses others of lacking them, and does not fully acknowledge and address his own lack thereof:

            “You have no credibility.”

          • HonestDebate1

            “he edits his comment to remove the above”

            Liar.

          • brettearle

            Henn–

            See my comment, just above yours, with regard to this little contretemps above.

            i haven’t checked to see if you saw my comment about the President and Reverend Wright, in a response to you.

            I would interested in your opinion.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — as always, TYFYR.

            2nd thing first: read it and will reply once time for reflection and cogent response formation is available.

            1st thing last: well said.

          • HonestDebate1

            I disagree. First, it’s not about me. Second, what I wrote is true. Third, what Jeffe wrote I implied was not true. Third, Hennorama made a claim the she will not clarify, will you?

            “An ex-felon can never own a gun, do you support that?”

            Fourth, I posted the article and hid nothing. Fifth, Don accused me of bogus info but it was not. Sixth, the preservation of the confidentiality of personal records is indeed a concern. Seventh, Obamacare is toast if the system does not have integrity. Eighth, all the cyber experts say the system is easily hacked and it’s been proven. Ninth, never in a million years did I think people here would defend this or that my comment was in any way not relevant.

          • brettearle

            You are nothing more, nor less, than the man that Chief Counsel Joseph Welch addressed, in 1954, in front of a live television audience and importuned,

            “Have you no sense of decency?”

          • HonestDebate1

            What’s your beef Brettearle? What have I written that is not true? What have I written that should not be debated? Where have I been dishonest? Where have I not shown decency? Which of my 9 points is so outrageous?

            Do you realize what you guys are defending? Is there nothing y’all won’t defend? Does it matter if it was one or 1000 ex-cons with access to personal records? Even the forgers? Is ideology that important?

            I get berated for advocating the repeal of Obamacare instead of wanting to make it work but y’all are the one’s satisfied with the lack of integrity in the system without a care in the world.

            What is so hard about honest debate? Why are all, every one, of your comments on this thread about me?

            My comment is relevant, honest, important and completely above board in every way, why the hate? It only defines you not me, I don’t hate. I am all about honest debate.

          • Steve__T

            ” I am all about honest debate.”
            You lie!

  • hennorama

    ‘Philip Seymour Hoffman Dead at 46′

    What a waste. May he rest in peace, and condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones.

    Source:
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/philip-seymour-hoffman-dead-46/story?id=22335771

    • brettearle

      Great talent.

      Intentional suicide or de facto suicide?

      • hennorama

        brettearle — I’ll leave such speculation to the tabloids and others, and instead simply regret the loss of life and waste of talent, regardless of the cause.

        • brettearle

          Yeah, you’re right.

          Too soon for me to think about that.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — it’s never too soon for a writer to think about those things.

    • davecm

      Just another death in this age of drug tolerance,
      A shame, there will be more,

      • hennorama

        davecm — you might want to express your thoughts more clearly. If the present time is some sort of “age of …,” then any and all deaths in said “age of …” would be “Just another death in this age of…”

  • davecm

    Some good deeds done during the ice storm in Alabama.
    Birmingham, AL.
    Chick-Filla hands out hundreds of free meals to stranded motorists on hwy. 280.
    Doctor walks 6 miles in the ice storm from one hospital to another hospital to do brain surgery on a patient after car gets stuck in ice.
    Two thumbs up!!!

  • hennorama

    Early Super Bowl Haiku XX entries:

    Rocky Mountain low
    Colorado winter blues
    and Dylan shillin’

    ‘Hawk Legion boomed
    Emerald City triumph
    Now what’s a Ghibli?

    • JGC

      Joe Namath’s coat:
      hundred furry groundhog pelts.
      Six more weeks til spring

      • hennorama

        JGC — that really was quite a sight!

        Coincidentally, I had toyed with the line,

        “Six months not weeks despite Phil”

        as the last line of my first effort, alluding to the time until Denver’s next game in the 2014 preseason.

        (And sorry for the quibble, but you’ve clocked in at 4-7-5.)

        • JGC

          Epic fail! (although not as epic as the Broncos’)

          P.S. Note to Roger Goodell: After that sorry Super Bowl, I want a refund on my 2013 one-billion dollars in stadium and 501(c)(6) tax subsidies.

          • hennorama

            JGC — no worries. How about:

            Broadway Joseph’s coat
            PETA picked a plasma pint
            Technicolor rain

            One might substitute “pelt” for “rain,” too.

  • pete18

    “Obamacare Will Insure Fewer People, Cost More Jobs: CBO”

    Nothing to see here, move along.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/obamacare-insure-fewer-people-cut-201300841.html

    • HonestDebate1

      The administration is saying 2.5 million less people working is a good thing. It’s crazy.

      • pete18

        The world turned upside down.

  • pete18
  • HonestDebate1

    A few days ago I posted about Covered California hiring forgers, child abusers and thieves to help people enrolling the exchange. Evidently it’s much worse according to the resident schoolmarm. These folks with shady backgrounds don’t even work for Covered California. That’s right, strangers off the street with past felonies have access to your personal records in CA. You don’t even have to be hired. Never mind that Covered CA is defending the hires that they didn’t hire as the schoolmarm insists. Evidently all is well because they really are not government employees, you see they work for non-profits who CC hired or didn’t hire or something.

    • OnPointComments

      Everyone deserves a second chance, but not any second chance or every second chance. Someone who has a felony conviction for “significant financial crimes” (as reported for 3 California navigators) should not have access to information that might enable identity theft.

      I had a client whose brother-in-law was a raging alcoholic, but he eventually sought help. The client told his wife that he was glad her brother realized his problem and went to AA, but that didn’t mean he’d hire him to run his liquor store.

      • HonestDebate1

        Bingo.

  • pete18

    I’m amazed that all the people who spout off about economic inequality wouldn’t react to the Obama administration’s reaction to the CBO report as evidence of a group that is completely fraudulent and phony. What other examples would you need to have to see Obama and his administration as members of an elite class, who really don’t give a damn if anyone has a job or not and are so desperate to defend the bad results of a stupid policy that they would use such an insulting piece of utter garbage as spin.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/kylesmith/2014/02/05/heres-proof-the-obama-administration-doesnt-care-whether-you-work-or-not/

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