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Week In The News: Ukraine In Flames, WhatsApp, Minimum Wage Debate

Cold War echoes. Kiev, Caracas on fire. Facebook buys a $16 billion dollar app. The minimum wage and jobs.  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

An anti-government protester holds a firearm as he mans a barricade on the outskirts of Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. Fierce clashes between police and protesters, some including gunfire, shattered a brief truce in Ukraine's besieged capital Thursday, killing numerous people. (AP)

An anti-government protester holds a firearm as he mans a barricade on the outskirts of Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. Fierce clashes between police and protesters, some including gunfire, shattered a brief truce in Ukraine’s besieged capital Thursday, killing numerous people. (AP)

Who knew we’d look to Sochi and see the young women of Pussy Riot be horse-whipped by Cossacks in the street?  In 2014?  But this week we did.  In Ukraine, blood and crisis.  A whiff of Cold War.  On ice, a tough U.S. women’s hockey loss to Canada.  In high-flying business this week, Facebook pays $19 billion for an app.  WhatsApp.  At the other end of the economy, the Congressional Budget Office says a $10.10 minimum wage could cost half a million jobs.  And in North Korea, the U.N. says, hell.  This hour On Point:  our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Michael Hirsh, chief correspondent at the National Journal. (@michaelphirsh)

Ben White, Chief Economic Correspondent for POLITICO and author of the “Morning Money” column. (@morningmoneyben)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: Ukraine Gets Ugly — “The protests in Ukraine took an ugly turn Tuesday as thousands of demonstrators rioted in Kiev, torching cars and buildings and hurling bricks and Molotov cocktails at police, who responded with rubber bullets and stun grenades. At least 18 people were confirmed dead as we went to press, and scores were injured in the latest clashes over the Yanukovych government’s Russian rapprochement.”

New York Times: Study Finds Greater Income Inequality in Nation’s Thriving Cities — “If you want to live in a more equal community, it might mean living in a more moribund economy. That is one of the implications of a new study of local income trends by the Brookings Institution, the Washington research group. It found that inequality is sharply higher in economically vibrant cities like New York and San Francisco than in less dynamic ones like Columbus, Ohio, and Wichita, Kan.”

Bloomberg: Facebook to Buy Messaging App WhatsApp for $19 Billion – Facebook Inc. (FB), the world’s largest social network, agreed to purchase mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp Inc. for as much as $19 billion in cash and stock, the biggest Internet acquisition in more than a decade. The accord includes $12 billion in stock, $4 billion in cash and $3 billion in restricted shares, Facebook said in a statement yesterday. It’s the largest Internet deal since Time Warner’s $124 billion merger with AOL in 2001, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. WhatsApp has more than 450 million members, with 1 million users being added daily.

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  • StilllHere

    Between ACA and the minimum wage, the president seems intent on increasing the ranks of the unemployed. Why does he hate America so much?

    • John Cedar

      This month I had a $45k manager quit.
      When two of my $8.50/ hr employees were approached to see if they had interest, they were both unwilling to attempt to do the job starting at $35k, because they would then have to pay toward their health coverage. They also declined to work more than 20 hours for the same reason. Neither of them would have been capable of doing the job without extraordinary assistance. I ended up transferring another manager from a top heavy location.

      • StilllHere

        Thanks, it’s always helpful to get some perspective from someone who lives and breathes this stuff as opposed to the non-practitioners that dwell here and don’t even know what an income statement is.

      • hennorama

        John Cedar — it’s interesting that you identify both your manager and two other employees by their rates of compensation.

        • keltcrusader

          I wonder why the $45k manager quit in the first place with what sounds like no notice?

          • John Cedar

            The manager quit because of child care problems. Our government made it an easy choice.
            I wonder why you wonder why the manager quit?

        • HonestDebate1

          Why? It’s his point.

        • John Cedar

          It would be in poor taste to identify them by name, and not to the point.

          • hennorama

            John Cedar — indeed. It’s probably not a significant point that the first thing you mentioned about them was their compensation and not their job title or duties.

    • Don_B1

      Did you even think about the million or so workers who will earn more money and thereby be able to purchase more of your goods and services?

      If you have to raise the cost of your goods and services a bit, your competitors will also, and the amount you raise prices will be less that the extra earnings you will make because of the increased income your workers’ spending and other workers’ spending, leading to an improved economy for everyone, not just you, and without more demand, even your business will eventually suffer slowing growth. See:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/03/business/the-middle-class-is-steadily-eroding-just-ask-the-business-world.html?_r=0

      Just how long can all businesses grow when those in the middle class for incomes keep shrinking?

      Estimating the number of jobs not created, as the CBO has attempted, has a large variance over different economic conditions, and the current economy is not a lot like the previous economies where the majority of studies were conducted. Thus there are good reasons to not rely too heavily on those studies for the current economy.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        So some workers go from 7$ to $10 and some go from $7 to $0.

        But then again, they appreciate the “liberation” I’m sure.

        • The Last Moderate

          1) Other workers would go from $10 to $12 with the floor pushing upward. 2) Nobody would lose a job; it’s a matter of slower hiring. 3) Yes, getting out of poverty and off of government aid should count as liberation.

    • Jasoturner

      Surely we can squeeze Benghazi in here somehow, too…

      • StilllHere

        It’s sad how little value you place on human lives.

        • Jasoturner

          How ungenerous! Surely a little leg pulling is allowed on a Friday morning…

          • StilllHere

            I don’t see what’s funny about people dying.

          • Don_B1

            But you see no problem denying healthcare to people unable to get it until the PPACA passed!

          • StilllHere

            No one was denied healthcare that truly needed it.

  • John Cedar

    The left wing socialists really ought to drop the word “income” from their equality nonsense. The larger factor for inequality, is not the income that folks like the Kennedy cartel and John Kerry enjoy, as much as it is the assets they hold. Lets get rid of the death tax and just apply ordinary income tax rates to the beneficiaries.

    • J__o__h__n

      Or cap inheritances.

    • Yar

      Why not just ask God to allow you to take it with you? Work by people has value, income equality will come from the masses demanding a living wage. Read the parable of the workers. The farmer who paid all for a day’s work is far wiser than any “smart” business leader today.

      • HonestDebate1

        There can only be income equality if there is equality of effort, intelligence, strength, integrity and loyalty. There isn’t.

        • Yar

          Are you smart enough to pick tomatoes all day? The poor work far harder than most of us. Many work for a country that won’t even offer them citizenship for their work. They only hope their children are treated better than they are.

          • HonestDebate1

            I am smart enough not to pick tomatoes all day. In my late teens and early twenties I did plenty of farm labor in tobacco and cabbage fields. It was great at the time then I made myself more valuable and nurtured skills in other vocations.

          • Yar

            God blessed your birth, why do you waste it with arrogance? You act as if the path to success is equal in America, many have no choice but to take the lowest wage jobs, don’t they deserve a living wage?

          • HonestDebate1

            I disagree with your premise. In America no one is chained to the station in life they were born into. And no, no one deserves a living wage… whatever that means. It is earned. People do have choices. The arrogance is in the notion they don’t.

          • Yar

            Not paying a living wage is stealing the body and soul of the person doing the work. It is mining the worker for profit. If a job can’t be done right then it shouldn’t be done at all.

          • HonestDebate1

            Workers are not forced to take any job at any pay. They can only be exploited if they allow themselves to be exploited.

          • Yar

            You are telling yourself lies. HonestDebate is an oxymoron.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who forces you to work at your job? Who determines if you do drugs or drink? Who determines your skill set? Who determines your reliability? Who determines how hard you work? Who?

            Honest debate is not n oxymoron. No contradiction.

        • J__o__h__n

          If we had a level economic playing field at birth, I’d agree. I’m fairly certain you have a higher IQ and work ethic than Paris Hilton but who is rich?

          • HonestDebate1

            I coud not care less how much brains, work ethic and money Paris Hilton has. God bless her.

        • Don_B1

          The issue is decreasing the size of the inequality, not eliminating it. When the inequality is too large, it tends to hurt equal opportunity, which supposedly all Tea/Republicans recognize as a value worth preserving.

          • HonestDebate1

            Inequality has no meaning. Equal opportunity is sacred. Equal outcome is hideous and cruel.

          • Don_B1

            “Inequality has no meaning” ? ?

            And where did anyone say this was to guarantee equal outcomes? Inequality is usually due to a lack of equal opportunity.

      • John Cedar

        And where is your class ranking in relation to the farmer and business leader?
        The masses gave up demanding a living wage years ago in favor of just demanding a living entitlement.
        “Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.”

        “Avoiding long-term poverty isn’t exactly rocket science”:
        http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/02/10/4681765/avoiding-long-term-poverty-isnt.html#.Uwgrr84WlyE

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Rose Kennedy avoided the 18% MA death tax by simply declaring Florida residency despite not leaving Massachusetts for the last 12 years of her life.

    • Jasoturner

      I would propose that income inequality is a symptom. It should not be treated in the abstract as something that needs to be “fixed”. What needs to be fixed, if anything, is any underlying system that may rig the game.

  • HonestDebate1

    So now the FCC wants to put feds in the newsroom. Terrific. Kudos to the Commissioner for blowing the whistle.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304680904579366903828260732

  • JONBOSTON

    Tom Ashbrook;
    The Ukraine is in flames, Syrian peace talks have collapsed, Israeli -Palestinian talks were stillborn, Iranian nuclear disarmament discussions are going nowhere fast, Iraq and Afghanistan torn apart by terrorism and John Kerry is in Indonesia assailing climate change skeptics as if that was the most pressing international issue. I thought I was watching a Saturday Night Live skit with Kerry doing his windsailing off Nantucket. With all of these things happening we have Obama’s national security team of Susan Rice, Chuck Hagel , and John Kerry. A dupe, a dope and a doofus . How comforting for our adversaries.

    • J__o__h__n

      What is the US supposed to do about Ukraine? Syria isn’t something we should become involved in. Israel/Palestine is still going to be a mess in fifty years or more likely much longer. The previous national security team didn’t finish the job in Afghanistan and needlessly created the mess in Iraq.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        How about announcing that any military commanders who order firing on peaceful protesters will be tried in the Hague for war crimes?

        • J__o__h__n

          Is that our jurisdiction?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Hmmm. It would have to be done in conjunction with the EU. Isn’t that happened in Bosnia?

          • Don_B1

            How about the International Criminal Court, where we have refused to join because right-wingers falsely claimed that it could be used against our citizens.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Is that the same crowd that gives out the Nobel Peace prize for leaders with Drone hit lists?

          • The Last Moderate

            No, the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by the Nobel Committee.

      • JONBOSTON

        Diplomacy succeeds only if our adversaries believe there will be consequences if they fail to adheed to our redlines. And they don’t. Obama’s empty rhetoric and useless threats has caused leaders in Russia , Ukraine , Egypt, China, Iran, Syria , Iraq, and Afghanistan to simply ignore whatever banalities come from Obama’s mouth and pursue their own self-interests. Obama would be better served as Secretary General of the UN than president of the US where his platitudes could fall on deaf ears. If Obama was respected and feared, I doubt that Putin would have tried to advance his interests in the Ukraine. Now that it’s blown up, there’s little that can be done. Why do you think China is now asserting itself in the Sea of Japan? Or Iran doing its rope a dope over disarmament? Or Syria dragging its feet on destroying of nerve gas or Assad pursuing more agressively the murder of his countrymen? As far as Iraq is concerned, the war was won until Obama decided to abandon the country to Iran. Afghanistan seems to be headed in the same direction. Finally , why on earth did Obama even concern himself with the Palestinian issue when more pressing issues like Iran were on the table.

        • J__o__h__n

          Putin and China weren’t aggressive under Bush? Iraq and Afghanistan were always going to fall apart as soon as the US left. Both sides in Syria are awful. Bush’s foolhardy Iraq war strengthened Iran.

          • JONBOSTON

            Putin and China were not aggressive during Bush’s presidency. Putin began Russia’s domination over the Republic of Georgia once Obama was elected and is now asserting himself in the Ukraine. China has only recently asserted itself against Japan. You make my point about Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama’s failure to negotiate a status of forces agreement with Iraq after Bush’s surge brought a successful end to the Iraq war created a vacuum that Iran has filled. Finally, Obama’s incompetence in Syria allowed Russia to assert itself not only in Syria but the broader Mideast.

          • Don_B1

            Again, you have your history misaligned!

            The Russian interference in Georgia erupted into open conflict in the summer of 2008, well before President Obama took office!

            Right at the beginning of President George W. Bush’s first term, China forced down an American plane and engaged in tough negotiations before finally releasing it.

            Just two examples of many!

          • Euphoriologist

            At the time, the plane incident was widely seen as an aggressive insult and provocation without historical precedent, and even an invitation to war between the US and China. I remember those fevered times well.

          • JONBOSTON

            I stand corrected regarding the Georgia incident. It occurred several months before Obama’s election. But your choice of the Hainan Island incident and the Georgian incursion is interesting because in a broader sense, they support my point , namely that our adversaries become much more aggressive when they sense weakness in an American president, and with Obama I believe they sense a weak , indecisive, and incompetent president. The Hainan incident occurred shortly after Bush’s election when he was largely untested and still recovering from bruising legal battle. The Georgian incident occurred when Bush’s popularity was at a low ebb, the US public was unwilling to engage in another foreign affair, and several months before the Lehman Bros meltdown. If ever there was a time to for Russia to advance into Georgia, it
            was in August 2008. Today Obama is in his 5th year in office and has been tested by our adversaries . And I’m sorry to say I believe all of our adversaries see weakness, vacillation, and a failure in leadership.

    • HonestDebate1

      The Ukrainian Defense Ministry refuses to take calls from Hagel. Pathetic.

      • JONBOSTON

        Greg,
        A good debate for this morning’s On-Point conversation would be which is more incompetent, inept and damaging to our country- Obama’s domestic policies or his foreign policy ( if he even has one!) ? I shutter to think how bad things will be domestically and in the world by the end of his term in 2016.

        • HonestDebate1

          It’s gotten to the point where it’s just overwhelming. I’m beyond pulling my hair out. This is awful.

      • Coastghost

        Let’s not forget Obama’s refusal to place a call: no, instead our Commander-in-Chief directs our Vice President to place the call to Kyiv. “Delegation from behind”, we could call it.

  • Ed75

    I was going to say what is said below about the MIddle East situation: quickly falling apart completely and becoming a source of global terror. Add the Congo, Nigeria, Egypt, Liberia. I don’t think the pope will go to Lebanon this spring.
    During World War I artists used the Apocalypse as the setting to try to find meaning in an otherwise incomprehensible situation. Now, with the destruction of species and all the flat out slaughter
    it seems the setting for understanding it is the Crucifixion.

    • J__o__h__n

      This is a Catholic version of Rexella Van Impe.

  • Ed75

    And our government seems most concerned about same sex marriage and giving people more access to contraception and abortion. It’s even refusing to execute existing laws because it deems them unconsitutional. (‘President Obama is the president President NIxon always wanted to be.’)

    They are even trying to pass an FCC rule where they can monitor media outlets – clearly unconstitutional.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Excellent essay by the Hammer on ”

    “The myth of ‘settled science’ ”

    “Climate-change proponents have made their cause a matter of fealty and faith. For folks who pretend to be brave carriers of the scientific ethic, there’s more than a tinge of religion in their jeremiads.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-the-myth-of-settled-science/2014/02/20/c1f8d994-9a75-11e3-b931-0204122c514b_story.html

    • HonestDebate1

      At first I thought Tom Delay was writing editorials.

      “the most recent computer projections suggest that as the world warms, California should get wetter, not drier, in the winter.”

      I did not know that. I have asked many times if AGW causes floods or droughts, now I have my answer.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Just another “inconvenient truth”. :)

        • Don_B1

          It certainly would be inconvenient for you if you ever had to acknowledge the fallacious ideas that you disseminate.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Here’s my motto:

            Scientific method: good
            Propaganda: bad

            Do you disagree?

          • Don_B1

            It’s just that you label anything that doesn’t fit your ideology propaganda no matter how well it fits the facts.

            Which shows that you really don’t understand the scientific method.

      • The Last Moderate

        Both, and perhaps even in the same region, perhaps even in the same year.

        • HonestDebate1

          The models predicted a wetter California in the winter. They were wrong.

          • Don_B1

            In what way were the models wrong?

            California has for decades and probably longer had a wet season in the December to late January or February had a wet season. That does not mean that a climate model that predicts a wetter winter than the summer is wrong when some dryer winters come along, when the model is predicting the total precipitation level to decline.

            Just stop trying to find partial sentences to back up your false climate change story.

          • HonestDebate1

            The models were that predicted flooding in CA because of AGW were wrong.

    • NewtonWhale

      I read his piece. He is being intellectually dishonest. He cites a report by Britain’s national weather service on a slowdown in the rate of rise in global temperatures to support his argument. He then ignores their conclusion in the same report:

      “the recent pause in global surface temperature rise does not materially alter the risks of substantial warming of the Earth by the end of this century. Nor does it invalidate the fundamental physics of global warming, the scientific basis of climate models and their estimates of climate sensitivity.”

      http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/recent-pause-in-warming

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Dr. K reported on the data in the report. We could call the data an ‘inconvenient truth’. Unless a problem is found with the measurement techniques (like sighting of temperature stations) the data is the data.

        The MET offices ‘conclusion’ does nothing to bolster the idea of ‘settled science’. In fact, they are pointing once again to the flawed computer models.

        • Don_B1

          The operative word would be “Dr. K selectively reported..”

          It is called cherrypicking with intent to deceive !

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Where was the cherry picking? He ignored the propaganda and stuck to the data.

          • Don_B1

            He reported some of the data and provided his own interpretation of it without putting it in the context.

            His false description of how computer models are developed and verified is atrocious, ignoring the way successive models have added more details about how the atmosphere works as the theories have been proven accurate.

            Most of the “errors” generated by the models have been an underestimation of the warming and climate changes that they indicate. The predictions are for changes that are happening even faster than they were expected to happen.

            Anyone can cite models that don’t predict well for small geographic regions, but for larger regions and hemispheres, etc., the results are proving quite accurate.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “His false description of how computer models are developed and verified …”

            He was quoting a recent WSJ article written by two climate scientists. They have a nice chart that shows actuals vs. predicted. This is the first claim I’ve seen of an ‘underestimation’ of warming. So now YOU know better than the climate scientists?

            http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303945704579391611041331266

            #SettledScience

          • Don_B1

            Try reading this where it is shown that climate scientists were being overly conservative about projections of the effects of climate change:

            http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-scientists-esld.html

            You clearly need to broaden your literature search, but I suspect that you will only use it in a distorted way.

      • jefe68

        Oh come on now, you can’t have little things such as fundamental physics and climate models get in the way of your political dogma…

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          There is nothing wrong with fundamental physics. However, the climates models do have a problem. Funny you mention dogma since there appears to be a lot of dogma in continuing to defend the flawed models.

          • jefe68

            Yeah, I guess vast majority of Climate scientists are wrong, at least in your view.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Not at all. I wouldn’t go that far. There’s good science and bad science. The ‘consensus’ meme is a myth. Also, the science is far from settled.

          • The Last Moderate

            It is true that the polar ice caps are melting faster than the models predicted.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Actually the antarctic ice is growing and that is baffling some scientists.

            #SettledScience

          • The Last Moderate

            There is a big distinction between continental ice shelfs and sea ice.

            http://phys.org/news/2013-10-antarctic-sea-ice.html

          • Don_B1

            WRONG AGAIN !

            See:

            http://www.skepticalscience.com/antarctica-gaining-ice.htm

            where you will learn that Antarctic LAND ICE is decreasing while SEA ICE is increasing, for important reasons that agree with climate change theory.

      • TFRX

        Hey, isn’t it just too easy to type

        I read his piece. He is being intellectually dishonest.

        about anything by Krackhammer?

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

      Ocean acidification is well documented and settled, so whether you want to believe in “climate change” or not, the increasing introduction of carbonic acid into the oceans needs to be addressed, since it is damaging to corals and shell fish in even modest amounts. Broader impacts on the ocean ecosystem are being evaluated now, both in situ and in lab settings, but generally the savaging of the lower orders on the food chain trickle up in a meaningful way.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Really? Didn’t coral evolve when CO2 levels were much higher?

        Did you see this peer reviewed paper?

        “This natural variability has prompted the suggestion that “an appropriate null hypothesis may be, until evidence is obtained to the contrary, that major biogeochemical processes in the oceans other than calcification will not be fundamentally different under future higher CO2/lower pH conditions””

        It appears the science isn’t as settled as you claim.

        http://joannenova.com.au/2012/01/scripps-blockbuster-ocean-acidification-happens-all-the-time-naturally/

        • Don_B1

          Note that the variation in pH that is discussed in your link mostly occur over short periods, compared to continuous increases. While changes in pH will affect aquatic life, if the changes are over a short enough timespan, they might not be mortal, even if they cause problems.

          Also, the current changes in pH are at a much higher speed than the Earth has experienced in known history.

          I will await a deeper analysis from ocean biologists before accepting that the “short-term” variations in pH allow the steady increasing of the mean pH to be discounted.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yes, more research is needed.

          • Don_B1

            I didn’t say more research, I said a deeper, more complete response from someone who is intimately familiar with the current research.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Is our assertion to be that humanity cannot, because it should not, influence the environment?

            Do we really believe that is even possible?

            Its not fun to think about, but we are real, we are obligate consumers and waste producers, and we will influence our environment.

            Personally I believe in anti-toxic pollution laws and wish we would voluntarily lower our population levels.

            Too much coercion however will always lead to violence however, so we have to pick our poison so to speak.

          • Don_B1

            Tea/Republicans generally support property rights.

            Can you imagine those living in the most expensive gated community accepting the building of a power plant that would dump arsenic, mercury and other heavy metals on the land where the their children play?

            The emission of CO2 from power plants and vehicles used for transportation are effectively doing to every human on Earth as that CO2 will change the climate, leading to larger more damaging storms that will destroy property, raise insurance costs and take sea shore property from owners due to the coming rise in the level of the oceans.

            Those whose activities benefit themselves but cause financial or other harm to others are inflicting what economists call negative externalities, for which they are responsible even when their activities do not involve the costs of those activities.

            I do not know of any population group that has not reduced its rate of growth, even to negative growth rates, as the population has grown a strong middle class with educated women who participate in work outside the home. That would seem to be the way to get “volunteering” into population reduction.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        How dared those cyanobacteria altering the environment with all those O2 emissions! Can they look their grandchildren in the eye?

        I wish we were more like trees, but, were not.

        • The Last Moderate

          That was funny.

        • Don_B1

          And the planet Earth will continue to orbit the sun and most likely various bacteria will continue to live, changing the Earth’s climate back to some semblance of the current one after thousands of years of CO2 reduction, though human civilization will be long gone.

          If you don’t care about the survival of human civilization, then your cavalier attitude can lead to that happening.

  • Coastghost

    Postscript to the earlier program (Monday?) on efforts to litigate against “Big Food” because of purported “food addictions” the industry allegedly promotes: surely, just before or just after such efforts begin to gain momentum, surely a distinct push to begin litigation against “Big Media” has to come to pass: all these internet addictions, all this mindless technophilia, the pandemic of passivity that has ensued, hours/weeks/months spent on fruitless gaming, daily addictions to television/cable/satellite fare . . . American tech addicts cry for relief!

  • Yar

    19 billion for a work around of the corrupt pricing for text messaging by phone companies. Cell companies can zero out the value of Whats App by simply changing their pricing of text messages. Text doesn’t cost a phone company anything, they can easily manipulate the market anytime they want. Tulip mania is in full bloom this February.

    • MrNutso

      Perhaps, but I don’t think the cell companies care even if the text buisness drops. In think almost every plan is unlimited everything, and unbundling text probably doesn’t give enough savings for people think or worry about.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Verizon charges $.20 text — each way. Little bandwidth is required so it is almost all profit.

    • Jasoturner

      The cell companies frequently have over sized showrooms located in prime real estate locations from what I have seen. The ratio of customer charges to actual cost to deliver service must be mind bending…

  • creaker

    Surprised it’s not here – after Kansas shot down a “right to discriminate against gays” bill, Arizona has passed its own and has sent it to the governor’s desk to sign.

    • MrNutso

      Had not heard about AZ. It’s getting hard to keep track of who wants to be the fastests to discriminate against gay people.

      • TFRX

        First, make a list of Tea Party and GOP-run state leges. Then point out the ones who ran on “making jobs job 1” but can’t help making jobs job N+1.

        Oh, I thought you were serious about keeping track of the crayzee.

        • hennorama

          TFRX — the only jobs that are ‘number one’ with most politicians are their own.

          • keltcrusader

            so true!

          • TFRX

            Yeah, but again: I can’t abide the almost immediate turn from balloons and confetti and victory speeches to hippie punching, gay bashing laws, predatory TRAP laws against womens’ health clinics, ensconcing fake “religious rights” which deny my rights, and voter scrubbing laws.

            And that’s not a BothSides thing.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            I hope you are a Constitutional lawyer, because fighting for Rule of Law is needed these days, and you seem like you would be tenacious.

            Some of your activist ideas would likely get shot down at Supreme level, but you would help keep the system honest.

    • brettearle

      If Brewer signs it, I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t be successfully challenged in the Courts.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        That’s how Constitutional Rule of Law Government works. That’s why we don’t have to ban people or ideas or have revolutions every decade to kill the bad people.

        If liberals could find a bit of patience, they would find that Constitutional Self Governance and Rule of Law will work just fine, and that an impatient jump to benevolent dictator-like models is not necessary.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          What is someone disagreeing with? You don’t believe in the Bill of Rights and Constitutional Protection of your liberties?

          Are you arguing they don’t work and we DO need benevolent dictators?

          Make the argument!

          The knee jerkiness here is pathetic.

          • hennorama

            Government_Banking_Serf — there is no rhyme or reason to the Votes, making them mostly irrelevant.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            I know, I know. Its just frustrating to not have folks engage in a substantive exploration of ideas, but now I’m being Utopian.

          • hennorama

            GBS — understood.

          • The Last Moderate

            At about the same time you were saying this to @Government_Banking_Serf:disqus, I was saying basically the same thing to @ecgberht. http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2014-02-21/friday-news-roundup-domestic#comment-1254928406

            And for some reason, someone voted down this: http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014/02/21/whats-app-ukraine-venezuela-kiev#comment-1254935486

          • The Last Moderate

            What do you, this got downvoted too.

          • HonestDebate1

            I swear I think an algorithm does it, likes too.

          • The Last Moderate

            Who knows where all those “Guest Votes” come from?

          • HonestDebate1

            And they’re so fast, I’ve had them appear virtually immediately.

          • J__o__h__n

            And now the downvotes have disappeared. Instead of making them public, now they have no function.

          • The Last Moderate

            You’re right, they have. I’m tempted to say the whole system is out of order.

          • Don_B1

            I find that the count of names in an “upvote” do not always agree with the number in the total.

          • dust truck

            I suppose they still have ‘weight’ in determining where a comment appears.

          • hennorama

            The Last Moderate — TY for your response.

            In sum, there’s no accounting for taste, or distaste.

          • The Last Moderate

            Nope, there isn’t. Assuming that it actually is about people’s tastes, and not (as @HonestDebate1:disqus suggests) a random algorithm that downvotes one in three comments to keep people from getting too uppity.

          • HonestDebate1

            It could be both. OP has a sordid history here but that all got better a couple of years ago. I’ve had up and down votes appear as soon as I hit post. It would have been impossible to read them that fast, so it may be like the Mr. Cheney first name eliminating algorithm. Maybe there is a random sprinkling just to get things going. Who knows?

          • The Last Moderate

            Ooh, here’s a fun update! New this weekend: downvotes are now completely hidden. Try it. What do you think of this development?

          • brettearle

            We don’t wish to see politicians try to trample the rights of individuals, simply because these politicians disagree with certain individual lifestyles.

            Someone’s moral outrage has no place in the Legislature–unless one’s moral outrage is against behavior that violates criminal law.

        • brettearle

          If Conservatives would stop Grandstanding and playing Martyrdom, not to mention taking up the Court’s time, unnecessarily–by passing Legislation that will inevitably be shot down–then an “impatient jump” to self-righteous Blather would not be necessary.

  • hennorama

    Some good news for the U.S. Treasury:

    ‘Fannie Mae profits push taxpayers into black on housing bailout’ — Reuters

    FTA:

    “Fannie Mae said on Friday it would soon send the U.S. Treasury $7.2 billion, a profit-related dividend that makes taxpayers whole for the 2008 bailout of the mortgage-financing giant and its sibling company Freddie Mac.”

    AND

    “Before returning to the black last year, Fannie Mae had suffered five years of losses totaling $164 billion, and it had drawn $116.1 billion in taxpayer aid.

    “Freddie Mac, which lost $94 billion between 2007 and 2011 before it turned things around, was supported by $71.3 billion in bailout funds. While Freddie Mac has yet to report fourth quarter results, it has already paid $9 million more in dividends than it received in aid.

    “The dividend payment to Treasury by Fannie Mae means that combined with Freddie Mac, they will have more than repaid the government, paying dividends of about $192.5 billion compared to the $187.5 billion they have drawn for their 2008 bailouts.

    “To avoid having to rescue them again, the Obama administration and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have vowed to revamp the housing finance system and do away with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as they are currently constituted.

    “It’s good news for taxpayers that Fannie Mae is profitable and sending dividends to the Treasury,” said Mayopoulos. “But I don’t think that our profitability should be interpreted as a reason for delaying housing finance reform.”

    See:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/21/us-usa-housing-fanniemae-idUSBREA1K0WL20140221

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Has the FCC visited the NPR newsroom yet to verify editorial ‘bias’?

    • The Last Moderate

      The FCC doesn’t do that anymore. The Fairness Doctrine is no longer in place. Also, what do you mean by “the NPR newsroom”? The studios at WBUR?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Oh you are so behind the news.

        You might be excused because NPR decided NOT to cover it.

        http://www.cjr.org/united_states_project/fcc_revamps_controversial_study_of_tv_newsrooms.php?page=all

        • The Last Moderate

          Thanks. That was an interesting read. Of course, this is something completely incomparable to the Fairness Doctrine, and if they actually do this small study of the media market of Columbia, South Carolina, they’ll look at the local public radio station as part of it.

          • Don_B1

            I suspect that the main point is to flog liberals for any trumped up charges that they think might stick.

            Such a study should be conducted, but clearly it can’t be done under FCC auspices.

  • MrNutso

    How about some discussion on the dramatic jump in earthquakes in Oklahoma, that may be the direct result of fracking; and renewed pollution in WV and NC?

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Are Social Cons Saving Liberalism? Roger L. Simon Thinks So, Sees Libertarian Shift as Future of Conservatives, GOP

    http://reason.com/blog/2014/02/09/are-social-cons-saving-liberalism-roger

  • hennorama

    WhatsApp? I thought that was what UNC basketball fans were yelling to Duke fans after last night’s come-from-behind-by-11 points-in-the-2nd half-to-win-by-8 victory.

    Now I find out it’s a texting alternative. My bad.

    Go Heels!

    • olderworker

      I used to get e-mails from WhatsApp and always deleted them, thinking they were junk!

  • Coastghost

    Russian military intervention in Ukraine remains a distinct possibility: under Obama’s Presidency, US/EU relations are at perhaps their lowest level since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. No one is in position to stay Putin’s hand should he opt to intervene in Ukraine, we still rely on the Russians for our diplomacy with both Syria and Iran.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Rise of the Libertarians
    10 reasons why Slate, Salon and the progressive media are afraid

    Read more: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/rise-of-the-libertarians#ixzz2tyDILcOd

  • AI CP

    Please don’t forget Venezuela once again… this is close to home– same continent, even– and is also turning more and more violent. Please.

    • AI CP

      This is very unfortunate– I have gone to other sites, and found even more frightening information. Apparently Maduro threatened to kick out CNN? The commentator might have a good point… While the US may not want to be directly involved– among other things it can give more fodder to Maduro’s charges– what can the world community at large do to pressure the government to not hurt protesters? (and to help the economic & political situation there, etc.) Obviously one thing to do is to communicate the current situation in the country. Guys, apparently Amnesty International already put out a statement re Maduro’s actions. Alas, whether Maduro is originally from Colombia… not the best phone call to pick. What’s the best place to get news about this? Sadly a large crowd doesn’t seem to be interested.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Hayek On Keynes: “Economics Was A Sideline For Him”

    Keynes will be remembered as “a man with a great many ideas that knew very little economics,” Friedrich Hayek notes in this brief interview and when challenged on his ‘parochial’ knowledge of economic history he was “not sheepish in the least… he wasmuch too self-assured.” Hayek’s perspective casts Keynes in a very different light than his fan’s apostolic adoration might suggest, “he was utterly contemptuous of anything that had been done before.” While Hayek describes Keynes as one of the most intelligent people he had known, he perhaps sums up the man’s work in this brief phrase – “economics was just a side-line for him.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-17/hayek-keynes-economics-was-sideline-him

  • Jasoturner

    Here’s a question. If I own a small business, I can decide to pay my employees minimum wage. Because my employees earn so little, they may be eligible for medicaid and food assistance funded by the state. Is that not, in some sense, the state subsidizing my business? I mean, I reap the profits, the state covers the benefits…

    • hennorama

      Jasoturner — of course it is.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      It is. And if the entitlements were reduced to true poverty assistance levels, you would actually feel the market and moral pressure to raise the wages of your valuable employees, instead of shirking that with a tragedy of the commons type decision. Of course the main thing to prevent low wages is to have labor be more scarce by having more jobs. And for that it needs to be easy for people to start businesses. But of course we make it harder, in the name of controlling evil business people, and instead opt for the illusion that the State can support us all.

      • Don_B1

        If employers do not see people with enough money in their pockets to buy their goods and services the employers will not hire new workers or start new businesses.

        Would you start a new business if you did not see customers for the goods and services your business was going to provide?

        There are a lot of businesses with a lot of cash on hand (nearly $2 trillion, total) who are not hiring new workers or extending the hours of current employees because they don’t see customers.

    • StilllHere

      That is, if you can attract employees.
      Maybe it just means the thresholds for getting assistance are way too low.
      Moreover, your profits will be taxed.

      • Jasoturner

        In regards to your last sentence, I guess I could reply, “Sure, but they’re MY profits…”

        • StilllHere

          “You didn’t earn that.”

          • lobstahbisque

            You didn’t build the infrastructure….. Let it go, it’s getting old. You know, like Mission Accomplished.

    • OnPointComments

      Why would anyone with a skill level that warrants greater than the minimum wage want to work for you when you’re only paying minimum wage?

      • olderworker

        Maybe because they’ve lost their high-paying job, due to being older? So working a minimum wage job is one way to meet some basic expenses?

    • HonestDebate1

      It can be more profitable to pay excellent, reliable workers more money. Anyone who is an adult and has not nurtured the skills to be worth more than minimum wage and is willing to game the system as you describe is a loser and not worth having on the payroll. This is more true if all your employees are losers. A company full of losers is not a good business plan for profit.

  • Coastghost

    Jay Carney believes that increasing minimum wages INCREASES levels of employment? And Obama (Carney’s employer) believes this, too?

  • William

    Obama has to.kill jobs in order to create jobs.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      When the administration and the media will report “new jobs created” or higher wages, when NET jobs are decreasing, What Me Worry?

      • William

        Obama economic policies remind me of the British and French Generals in WW I. They kept sending tens of thousands of men “over the top” despite knowing that most would be killed and nothing gained

    • StilllHere

      Jobs are on Obama’s kill list and his drone is limitless government programs.

    • hennorama

      William — nonsense.

      Total nonfarm All Employees (in thousands), Seasonally Adjusted

      Jan 2008 138,365 (pre-Great Recession peak)
      Jan 2009 133,976
      Feb 2010 129,655 (post-Great Recession low)
      Jan 2014 137,499 (preliminary)

      See:
      http://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cespeaktrough.pdf

      • HonestDebate1

        It takes something like 80K new jobs a month just to keep up with population growth.You are citing preliminary numbers (sure to be downgraded) that are lower than the “should have been a blip” recession at it’s peak. This is 6 years out. The numbers are horrible.

      • William

        The sad reality is real people are being destroyed by a failed President.

        • Don_B1

          They are being destroyed by the policies that Tea/Republicans that you support are forcing on the country. Additional stimulus is what is needed to provide the demand for new goods and services that would put more people to work and create more aggregate demand.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Well he killed insurance policies to create Obamacare enrollees. 5 million policies canceled and now Biden claims the new goal for Obamacare is 5 million enrolled.

      Wow. What a great central planning scheme.

  • creaker

    Raising minimum wage – why don’t they ever talk about the jobs that will be created by people bringing home bigger paychecks to spend?

    • HonestDebate1

      Because there will be fewer jobs.

      • Euphoriologist

        Did the number of jobs decrease or did they increase after past minimum wage increases?

        • HonestDebate1

          Decrease. Most of the studies find that the poor are hurt the worst with minimum wage hikes.

          • The Last Moderate

            Whoa! Anybody who calls him or herself “HonestDebate1″ should not be out there talking about the economic effects of minimum wage increases and using the phrase “Most of the studies.”

          • HonestDebate1

            I could say virtually all of the studies and still be accurate. I would not say all, there are a few that disagree. They are hard to find. If you find one please post it.

            Most of the studies find that the poor are hurt the worst with minimum wage hikes. If you can dispute that please do and I will profusely apologize.

          • The Last Moderate

            I should think that the poor might also be hurt by being paid a low legal minimum. But since there’s such parity between the masses of studies, how about this: I’ll cite a study that supports one point of view for every study you cite that supports the other.

          • HonestDebate1

            See my link to Euphoriologist above. Add the latest CBO findings. Your turn, you owe me two.

            [edit] “I want to make clear that our analysis is completely consistent with the latest thinking in the economic profession.” CBO honcho Elmendorf

          • The Last Moderate

            Here’s a start: http://www.epi.org/files/2013/bp357–federal-minimum-wage-increase.pdf

            Aren’t the latest CBO findings that approximately 900,000 people would be lifted out of poverty?

          • HonestDebate1

            The CBO said 500K jobs would be lost. Those would be the poor. If it lifts anyone out of poverty then it’s a high price to pay for the poor who are out of work. My point stands.

            And since you like EPI:

            http://www.epionline.org/minimum-wage/

          • The Last Moderate

            The “high price to pay” cuts both ways. Maybe keeping 900,000 people in poverty is too high a price to pay for creating an extra 500,000 jobs.

            http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/min-wage-2013-02.pdf

          • HonestDebate1

            I can’t agree with your premise. No one is kept in poverty. No one is forced to accept a subpar wage. And it’s 500K jobs that will be lost not created.

            Your link is drifting from my claim. Minimum wage hikes hurt the poor.

            http://www.epionline.org/study/minimum-wages-and-the-business-cycle-does-a-wage-hike-hurt-more-in-a-weak-economy/

            http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/364671/how-minimum-wage-hurts-poor-people-mario-loyola

            http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/18/raising-minimum-wage-hurts-those-it-claims-to-help/

          • The Last Moderate

            Your links here are certainly drifting. Two of them aren’t studies at all, and one of them is from the Washington Times. (Now there’s a paper with a reputation–of some sort or another.) The opinion from the National Review is either not well-thought-out or purposefully misleading, with lines like “Apparently, as long as all those unemployed people can live off welfare
            or other kinds of forced transfers, we’ve achieved ‘social justice.’”

            But that doesn’t matter anyway. The point I am trying to prove here is that there are as many serious studies supporting the one point of view as there are the other. This one is really interesting: http://www2.gsu.edu/~ecobth/IZA_HKZ_MinWageCoA_dp6132.pdf?

            If you’re getting tired of this game, we can quit anytime. We’re not even trying to convince each other of the contents of these studies, just that these studies exist.

          • HonestDebate1

            Again, my claim is a hike hurts the poor most. I do not maintain there are no benefits to anyone. I think my links all support that claim. It seems yours are making different arguments.

            And what is a study? Your link from the German group begins: “Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and not those of IZA. Research published in this series may include views on policy, but the institute itself takes no institutional policy positions.”

            Although it looks like a study to me. The Washington Times and NR pieces cited verifiable facts. But they were just gravy, I gave you a study.

            http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/PA701.pdf

          • The Last Moderate

            Oh–! I think I get it now. So your point is that most studies show is that, relative to the rest of the population, the poor are hurt the most by minimum wage increases.

            You’re absolutely, entirely right.

            It’s also absolutely, entirely right that most studies show that, relative to the rest of the population, the poor are helped the most by minimum wage increases. Why? Just because the minimum wage mostly makes a difference to the poor.

            (edit) As long as we’re still at this, these people have some interesting studies to share: http://www.raisetheminimumwage.com/pages/job-loss

          • HonestDebate1

            I wrote: “Most of the studies find that the poor are hurt the worst with minimum wage hikes.”

            You wrote: “So your point is that most studies show is that, relative to the rest of the population, the poor are hurt the most by minimum wage increases.”

            I see no difference in meaning.

            That’s my main thing, it’s an emotional issue of little relevance. It’s about politics, it doesn’t matter if it hurts the poor as long as it sounds good.

            And no, most studies show a hike helps only some poor. The poor and minorities are disproportionately impacted in a negative way. They are who we’re supposedly trying to help.

            And I haven’t even gone into studies showing the effect on prices which also disproportionately hurt the poor.

            You may disagree but it’s my opinion Obama doesn’t care a wit about the poor. He cares about being perceived as their champion so he can exploit them. He cares about painting the opposition as enemies of the poor and himself as their savior. I hope I didn’t lose you there, maybe I did. It’s my honest opinion. I remember him being confronted in 2008 with the fact that a Capital Gains tax hike will create less revenue and he acknowledged it was true. He said it was a matter of fundamental fairness. Same thing.

            Finally, You asked for a reference elsewhere. It was Ken Tomlinson Who was Bush’s appointee as Chairman of CPB. It wasn’t the head of the FCC. Here’s is a reference but I remember seeing him interviewed or reading an editorial he wrote or something. I will try and fill in the blanks as this seems relevant.

            http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4659805

          • The Last Moderate

            It’s just a question of whether you meant that, for better or worse, this question is about the poor, and almost all studies agree on this; or whether you meant that a minimum wage increase would hurt more than it helps, and most studies agree on that (which they don’t–they’re split).

            Indeed, most studies show a hike helps only some poor. But most studies show a hike only hurts some poor. (“Most” and “most” add up to more than 100% because of significant overlap.) The poor and minorities are disproportionately impacted in a negative way. And disproportionately impacted in a positive way. They’re disproportionately impacted (there’s no argument about this).

            Half the studies reach the conclusion that, overall, raising the minimum wage would be a good thing. But half the studies reach the conclusion that, overall, raising the minimum wage would be a bad thing. There really is no consensus on what the outcome would be.

            I think it’s a bit harsh to say the President “doesn’t care a whit about the poor.” I’m sure he cares. Of course, he also cares a lot about having something else to blame the opposing political party for, and getting on the right side of public opinion if he can. (Even if he’s not running for reelection.)

            Finally, thanks very much for that reference. I’ve just downloaded the MP3 and will listen to it today.

          • HonestDebate1

            I realize my opinions of Obama’s tactics are harsh but they are not knee jerk and I do not enjoy making them. I am addressing that portion of your comment first because when it comes down to, it that’s the disagreement I have with proponents of the hike. As I have already written I think a modest hike is really inconsequential.

            My problems are philosophical and political. I do think the data supports my view but I recognize, and often argue, the complexity of statistics and the myriad of factors that influence them. With that in mind I’ll sum it up this way: Presidents Obama’s minimum wage proposal is not good for the economy, it is not good for the unemployment rate and it hard to argue it is fair to the poor as many who need work the most will lose their jobs.

            You’re welcome for the reference and I appreciate your reply to Hennorama above. I am a little embarrassed, albeit unapologetic, about my approach to Hennorama but there is a history and at some point my heartfelt passion for vigorous, passionate, honest and last but certainly not least civil without getting personal debate requires me to come out of my comfort zone.

          • The Last Moderate

            Well, thank you. I’ve enjoyed this conversation very much, and I’m glad to have “met” you.

            It’s a belief of mine that nearly everybody is a reasonable person at heart, and proof of this keeps showing up in the common ground that people agree on. Here we have “a modest hike” as something that we’ll both say “Sure, that sounds okay” to.

            You may feel otherwise, but I’d say you’re a stripe of the political sensibility I call “progressive conservative.” Add in the passion for good debate (which I wholeheartedly agree with and endorse), and you’ve got something good.

            This has been my first foray into the comment boards of On Point, a show I frequently listen to–at least the rebroadcast at night that my station carries–but have so far not visited the website of. (I hope I won’t get censored for saying that I mostly comment on the other NPR call-in talk show.) I’m happy to find that good conversations go on here, as well.

          • HonestDebate1

            Well, I’m glad you jumped in and I hope you stick around.

            I came hear after listening to On Point for many months and finally getting fired up enough to call. That’s when I learned I was listening to a rebroadcast. So I came here.

          • The Last Moderate

            I’ll certainly drop in occasionally. And you would be welcome to hang around over at the Deep-seated Rivalry’s website, as well (capital letters represent veiled reference, as in Marvel Comics mentioning the Dreaded Competition).

            Stay sharp.

            –The Last Moderate

          • HonestDebate1

            Got it. I usually try to catch the friday round ups and enjoy you know who.

          • Don_B1

            All your links/references have a dog in the argument, just like you, and do not give both sides an equal presentation of the facts.

          • HonestDebate1

            What’s the minimum wage in Germany?

          • Don_B1

            More dishonesty from [Dis]HonestDebate1:

            The Employment Policies Institute referenced is a group founded in 1991 with NO economists directly employed but gets studies farmed out to support employers, mostly the restaurant industry, while the Economic Policy Institute, founded in 1986, is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank that studies the effects of economic policy on all workers, particularly low- and middle-income workers.

            Your inference that the two links are to the same group as referenced by @the_last_moderate:disqus shows why the Employment Policy Institute chose its name, to confuse the results of an advocacy group with those of a group with the reputation of unbiased research.

            The CBO said that some 500,000, plus or minus 400,000, jobs would not be created, not that people would lose their jobs. That means that some unemployed people would wait longer to find a job, but note that with a higher minimum wage, the job they eventually find will pay significantly more.

            And some 16.5 million workers will benefit directly from the wage increase, some 1 million being raised out of poverty and an additional 8 million will participate in the”spillover effect” of the wage increases of workers currently earning less getting a raise.

            Republicans always scream about the trade-offs of benefits and costs, but when the benefit is not directly to them they only complain about the costs, no matter what the indirect benefit might be.

          • hennorama

            Don_B1 — in addition, those who work for wages at or near the FMW are not universally either low-income or “the poor.”

            Since this is the case, there is no way to determine (assuming the CBO’s central estimate and its “two-thirds chance” actually comes to pass) exactly who among those who might be adversely affected by a FMW increase are “the poor,” or “the rich” for that matter.

          • HonestDebate1

            I assure you I did not realize the distinction. Thanks for the correction.

            It was hardly the only link I gave. I was also debating Euphoriologist at the same time who did cite EPIonline.

            Minimum wage hikes hurt the poor the most according to most studies. My point stands.

          • The Last Moderate

            Two “EPI”s! Fascinating. Thanks for that important piece of info.

          • HonestDebate1

            It surprised me too but I have to say both seem credible.

          • Euphoriologist

            In that case, can you point out a few moments in the past when this occurred? Do you have a meta-survey of labor studies we can see supporting your claim that the consensus is what you say it is?

            To be more accurate, let me amend my question to: When aggregate demand has taken a giant hit, inflation is below target, unemployment is still way higher than normal, and companies aren’t spending the mountains of cash they’re sitting on…have past minimum wage increases killed jobs or have they instead spurred the economy on net?

          • HonestDebate1

            I claimed the the poor are hurt most. I did not claim it had a large impact on jobs because so few work for that wage. It’s the poor whose jobs are lost.

            http://mercatus.org/publication/effects-minimum-wage-labor-market-complex-perspective-working-paper

            The economy is complicated but to answer your question, a few moments were the last two hikes where jobs were lost. But that was July 2008 and July 2009 so I doubt the wage hike was the leading factor.

          • Euphoriologist

            It is complicated, I’ll give you that. But we know MW has an effect on all workers making at the bottom of the wage scale due to supply and demand pressures. MW is about the millions of workers making low wages in general, not just those the portion making the exact MW.

            Your paper is an elaborate theoretical model of what they theorize should happen. Yet, in all the studies done on what actually happened, MW increase was found to have no effect on employment among the poor. In the largest and most famous MW study ever done, Card and Kruger found that employment among MW workers increased!

            http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2118030?uid=3739696&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21103433214711

            Also see Reich: http://www.irle.berkeley.edu/cwed/briefs/2012-01.pdf

            And Sabia: http://www.epionline.org/study/r141/

            Even The Economist agrees increasing MW is a good thing:

            http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21591593-moderate-minimum-wages-do-more-good-harm-they-should-be-set-technocrats-not

          • HonestDebate1

            I disagree but it’s funny because it’s for the same reasons. I think there is a whole lot of what you describe going on regarding static studies. In a static world if you raise wages people have more money but the real world is not static.

            And no, it’s not “all the studies done on what actually happened”. Your first link is about a very specific area in one sector 22 years ago with a hike of $.80. It cost $10 to read the whole thing.

            The second link is about Medicare D. I think is was mistakenly posted.

            And I already posted Sabia:

            http://www.epionline.org/study/minimum-wages-and-the-business-cycle-does-a-wage-hike-hurt-more-in-a-weak-economy/

            And I agree with the Economist article.

          • Euphoriologist

            Hmm. I had to answer a call and made a snap decision to post what I had written without proofreading as. My mistake and I accept your corrections (at least without getting into dynamic vs. static equilibrium models of full employment at this late hour).

            Here’s the full Card & Krueger paper for free if you have the patience to let it download: http://davidcard.berkeley.edu/papers/min-wage-ff-nj.pdf

            And if we both agree that the likely employment effects will be negligible (whether positive, negative, or zero) after adjusting MW for inflation, then I’m glad because it was my main point. I had others but now I am way too sleepy to make them. So, see you Monday.

  • MrNutso

    Yes, lets possibly save 500K jobs by keeping everyone in lower paying jobs.

    • creaker

      Or, by that reasoning, create millions of jobs by cutting the minimum wage.

      • The Last Moderate

        Actually, I know some people who think the minimum wage should be abolished.

        • HonestDebate1

          It absolutely should be abolished.

          • The Last Moderate

            Right, as I was saying, some people think…. I also know some people who think the minimum wage should be tripled.

          • HonestDebate1

            The thing about it is it’s largely irrelevant issue. Hardly anyone works for minimum wage. Lowering it would have little affect. The same is true for raising it to a degree. If it was raised to say $8 it wouldn’t matter much because most everyone is paying that already.

            But when we go from $7.25 to $10.10 for unskilled labor then businesses will have to pay 2 employees what they used to pay 3. Most of the time the 3rd person will be let go. I think there is an assumption that employers are just hoarding the money.

          • The Last Moderate

            A lot more people work for almost minimum wage (e.g. $7.40 per hour) than do minimum exactly. But I believe most proposals for raising the minimum call for just such smaller increases as you mention, gradually pushing up the floor to a point where you just lock it to inflation and leave it alone.

  • Chuck P

    I don’t see how raising the minimum wage won’t just raise the price of everything else. Also is this not the reason we had so many jobs outsourced to cheaper labor markets?

    • MrNutso

      Most minimum wage jobs are in the service industry. GAP has said they plan to raise their minimum wage to $10/hr by 2015. Sales jobs in GAP, Old Navy and Banana Republic can’t be outsourced. Could prices increase? Perhaps, but how many fleece items does Old Navy have to sell at say 10 cents more per item to match the wage increases?

  • MrNutso

    The ACA report was not damaging. It was good new for those who felt they were trapped in their jobs, because they needed health insurance. Republicans have turned this into the ACA lets Americans be lazy.

  • TFRX

    “They (Dems) had felt they needed to take this hard line” about the minimum wage.

    Yea, boo hoo. As in: Hey, when’s the last time Politico had a bad word to say when the GOP took the hardline?

    And Jack, the CBO thing about reducing the hours worked by people who are just hanging on to a crummy job for the healthcare is only the bonanza for the right when every savvy Beltway Inbred says so.

    Didn’t you recognize that at one point? What happened to your recognition of the freedom of workers not to be tied to jobs merely for the health insurance?

  • StilllHere

    Obama’s also backtracking on the SS cpi-adjuster designed to bring reality into another entitlement. This is vote-buying pure and simple.

    • MrNutso

      Or, every time Republicans demand something of the President to negotiate spending reductions, Obama agrees to it (including chained CPI) and Republicans refuse to sit down and negotiate.

      In this instance, the President said, I don’t need this BS. If Republicans aren’t willing to negotiate, why should I keep upsetting my own party?

  • Coastghost

    Which deputy is going to refer to this 400-page “Wanted” poster to arrest North Korea’s Dear Leader? In which decade does anyone think this will this occur?

    • Euphoriologist

      I’d put money on this decade.

      Though they won’t admit it formally, China is absolutely appalled and embarrassed on a daily basis due to it’s support of NK. Chinese citizens hate NK, the politicians hate NK, and they only prop it up now to keep the entire country from exploding into a giant, insoluble headache right on their doorstep.

      But they have the military and geopolitical ability now to neuter and dissolve the regime if they really, really wanted. Reports like the UN’s latest make this more likely. China craves respectability lately almost as much as it does endless natural resources.

  • Ed75

    The only liberation we can hope for … is from God.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Lets start with liberating ourselves from arrogant and fallible central planners, technocrats, and progressive “ends justify the means” benevolent dictator apologists, and you can worship as you see fit in the privacy of your home and place of worship.

      • Coastghost

        Sounds as if secularists have displaced “liberation theology” in favor of “liberation teleology” , , , ,

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Ok…….

        Lets EMBRACE arrogant and fallible central planners, technocrats, and progressive “ends justify the means” benevolent dictator apologists, and impose religious ideas in the public and political sphere.

        Can you “like” me now?

    • J__o__h__n

      I’m liberated from god.

  • Ed75

    Not born in Venezuela … sounds familiar.

    • olderworker

      Yes, it does! Like the same people who accuse Obama of having been born in Kenya.

  • MrNutso

    Ah, the FL case. How can you actually kill someone, be guilty of attempted murder, but not actual murder?

    • hennorama

      MrNutso — it is, indeed, your surname.

    • OnPointComments

      The prosecutor overreached in charging first degree murder.

      • MrNutso

        I think other degrees of murder were also considered and he was still found not guilty.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Really? Was the jury interviewed?

          My speculation was there were holdouts for 1st degree and some for 2nd degree and at least one person wouldn’t budge.

          He was not found “not guilty”. It was a mistrial.

          • MrNutso

            Your right about the mistrial. I was just thinking that how could hold outs find him guilty of attempted murder, but not some murder charge. From what i’ve heard, the holds were thinking along the lines that Dunn saw no other recourse to firing initially. Of course, he could have just driven away.

          • TFRX

            Of course, he could have just driven away.

            And lose his manlymanness in front of those darn kids who won’t get off his lawn and their loud music?

            Now you’re just dreaming.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            I thought he was going to jail? Did they acquit him?

          • TFRX

            If you want to nottroll, you can start any time.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Can you define trolling for me, seriously? So a snarky reply to your snarky comment is a “trolling” event?

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            I swear. Remember those psychology experiments where people could anonymously shock people, and how bananas they went with the power?

            I can only imagine what you would do with a magic button to remove the folks who you politically/philisophically
            disagree with.

            I like Liberty, Diversity and Rule of Law equally applied to protect Constitutional Rights. Because the alternative is the not-so-magic button.

          • The Last Moderate

            Are you aware of the Internet “Filter Bubble” that you may be encased in by your search engine, whether you want it or not? dontbubble.us

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            thanks for link

          • The Last Moderate

            You’re very welcome. This is an issue that concerns me particularly–I wouldn’t like to think that my search engine is giving me a politically biased piece of the Internet just because it thinks I’d like that.

            Seriously, Ann gets MSNBC, Elaine gets Fox News? Scary.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            I tried it though and got pretty standard results… have you tried and seen any difference?

          • The Last Moderate

            Well, that’s the point, isn’t it? You don’t know. Google and Bing hopefully don’t know too much about me, and I hope I don’t have any biases that would show through to them anyway; but I personally don’t want anybody spinning my view of the Internet, and I’m not running the risk. You may feel differently. The big search engines wouldn’t do this if they didn’t think people would like it (http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/personalized-search-for-everyone.html ).

          • The Last Moderate

            Hey, TFRX, how do you get the strikethrough effect?

          • OnPointComments
          • The Last Moderate

            Nice! I only knew emphasized, strong, and underlined. You can bet I’ll be using some of these in the future! Thanks!

          • TFRX

            It’s a greater-than and less-than around a lower-case “s” at the start. Then a greater-than and less-than around a slash lower-case “s” at the end.

          • The Last Moderate

            Thank you! @OnPointComments:disqus directed me to a full list of HTML formatting options. http://disqus.com/pages/dashboard/#comment-1255078111

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Unless we hear from the jury we don’t know their thinking.

            I still think it is likely a 1st vs. 2nd degree split. I did hear one theory that the second round of shots after a delay were the reason for attempted murder verdict but their might have been a holdout that believed his self defense story.

          • MrNutso

            I heard that too.

        • OnPointComments

          “But according to Mitch Stone, a Florida defense attorney and former prosecutor, charging Dunn with first-degree murder in the first place was a “mistake.” A second-degree murder charge, he said, might be a better approach on re-trial.

          “Dunn’s mindset was “more along the lines of overreacting to a situation as opposed to, “I want to kill these guys for playing loud music,” the evidence showed, according to Stone.”
          http://www.cbsnews.com/news/did-prosecutors-overcharge-accused-loud-music-shooter/

        • Jason

          The jury was “hung” on the murder charge so they never got to “lesser included” offenses like 2nd degree… the State can still re-file the murder charge.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Not quite. They were hung on count one which covers the lesser includeds.
            You could have one or more jurors who vehemently believed in 1st degree so wouldn’t settle on a 2nd degree verdict.

      • hennorama

        OPC — based solely on the evidence I personally have seen and heard, I agree.

    • Jason

      He was not found “innocent” of murder, it was a mistrial so there was no “finding” at all, which could have arrived at the “lessor included offense” of second degree murder instead of “first degree murder”. He was found guilty of attempted murder because the jury did not buy his self defense argument. They can go back and re-try him on the murder charge with a new jury.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Stand your ground was not part of the case. Why do they keep bringing it up?

    • OnPointComments

      I’m tired of having to endure multiple articles asserting it’s “open season on blacks” each time there’s a relatively rare occurrence when a white person murders a black person. I read three of these articles yesterday. All of these articles usually have this in common: they ignore that blacks murder blacks at ten times the rate of the next nearest offender, and they invariably cite “Stand Your Ground” laws as the problem even though SYG laws were not asserted as a defense.

      • The Last Moderate

        I think it’s the whole “not guilty of murder” thing that upsets people.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          But he wasn’t “not guilty”. It was a mistrial.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Details. Stick with the emotions.

          • The Last Moderate

            Yes, I’m aware of that. My point is that jury did not find him guilty of murder.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            If the jury is split between 1st and 2nd degree murder and that is reason for the mistrial, isn’t people being “upset” with the lack of verdict irrational? Let’s blame the media for shoddy reporting.

      • hennorama

        OPC — in Florida, jurors in homicide cases receive standard instructions that include language from the Shoot Your Gun law, regardless of whether or not the Shoot Your Gun defense is used.

        [PS] See:
        http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/jury_instructions/chapters/chapter3/p1c3s3.6.f.rtf

        (JUSTIFIABLE USE OF DEADLY FORCE)

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          I think his point is not that the jury may get instructions about SYG, its that all the talking heads and political typists inaccurately start linking SYG to the particular cases that aren’t using it.

          I trust the judges/juries are smart enough to understand the law, and to know whether or not they can/should apply it.

          Otherwise, what exactly are people suggesting here, that we give up judge and jury of peers justice system and let the White House make executive decisions on these cases, and we keep voting for Presidents who will benevolently dictate as we agree with?

          Until the other half of the country gets so PO’d they fight, like Venezuela or Ukraine?

          • hennorama

            GBS — thank you for your response.

            Again, the reason many are, as you wrote, “linking SYG to the particular cases that aren’t using it,” is that the defense does not need to assert “Shoot Your Gun” as a defense for the jury to be subject to provisions of the law, via the standard Florida jury instructions.

            Therefore, it is not inappropriate for those you described as “the talking heads and political typists” to raise the issue.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Its a great narrative! Got to keep the emotion flowing! Got to get the knee-jerk votes! Useful idiots.

      The real law is taking care of this. The guy is going to be put away.

    • hennorama

      WftC — the reason is that the standard jury instructions in homicide cases in Florida include language from the Shoot Your Gun law related to the justifiable use of deadly force.

      [PS] See:
      http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/jury_instructions/chapters/chapter3/p1c3s3.6.f.rtf

      (JUSTIFIABLE USE OF DEADLY FORCE)

    • Euphoriologist

      Because Stand Your Ground was EXPLICITLY used by the defense in the case! How could you possibly have missed Mr. Dunn’s lawyer’s closing statements to the jury before they convened?

      “His honor will further tell you that if Michael Dunn was in a public place where he had a legal right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force.”

      http://reason.com/blog/2014/02/16/did-floridas-stand-your-ground-law-hang

      And that doesn’t even include the judge’s opening instructions about SYG to the jury, as mentioned by some.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Venezuela! Look at all the peace and prosperity delivered by trying to impose Socialist order on people!

    Funny (sad really) how armchair socialist sympathizers here overlook the cyclical killing and destitution that results from the inevitable violence that occurs in societies that try to coerce people into giving up their freedoms and swallowing the mediocrity and indignity that always accompanies it.

    Majorities or strong minorities of people will NEVER give up their spirit of freedom, and they have no recourse but violence when things get corrupted or bankrupted enough by the politburo.

  • MrNutso

    Of course the SYG law is not serving the purpose intended, because there never was a purpose.

    • Jason

      The purpose of SYG is very simple: Laws regarding use of force in self defense include a “duty to retreat” if possible before you can use force (if you can get away to safety instead of using force, you are obligated to escape instead of shooting the attacker). All SYG does is remove the duty to retreat. It leaves all the rest of the analysis intact (such as “reasonable fear” and “imminent injury”). The purpose is to protect victims of violent crime who, in the frantic adrenalin-fueled split seconds around an assault, have a reasonable “fight” response to “fight or flight” and don’t end up in jail for protecting themselves. Remember, SYG was not even an issue in the Zimmerman or Dunn cases.

      • hennorama

        Jason — repeating from below, in Florida, jurors in homicide cases receive standard instructions that include language from the Shoot Your Gun law, regardless of whether or not the Shoot Your Gun defense is used.

        See:
        http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/jury_instructions/chapters/chapter3/p1c3s3.6.f.rtf

        (JUSTIFIABLE USE OF DEADLY FORCE)

        • Jason

          Pretty harsh laws down there… it appears that “fear of death or great harm” is ASSUMED in a home invasion scenario! May be nice weather but I’m a lawyer and after reading the little that I have of Florida Criminal Laws, I would not ever put myself within the jurisdiction of that State’s “justice” system… thankfully international airports are Federal Jurisdiction so I can still make connecting flights!

          • HonestDebate1

            In Georgia, a female police officer was serving a probation warrant, knocked on the door and when the 17 year old kid answered she thought his Wii controller was a gun and shot him dead.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Sounds like she should go to jail.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Stop, just stop. That heartless and reality-based narrative is harshing my “knee-jerk” vibe.

  • nj_v2

    Selected right-wing, regressive, repulsive jacka**ery, idiocy, hypocrisy, and general inanity of the week…

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/16/montana-county-attorneys-office-to-mother-of-5-year-old-rape-victim-boys-will-be-boys/

    Montana county attorney’s office to mother of 5-year-old rape victim: ‘Boys will be boys’

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a letter on Friday to the Missoula County Attorney’s Office in Montana detailing a “disturbing pattern of deficiencies” in how rape cases are handled.

    According to the DOJ, county attorneys routinely behaved inappropriately when dealing with the victims of sexual assault. One deputy county attorney allegedly quoted religious passages to a woman, which made her feel like she was being judged.

    The mother of a 5-year-old girl who had been raped by an adolescent boy claimed that county attorneys told her that the her daughter’s assailant only received two years of community service because “boys will be boys.”…

    (snipped)

    http://grist.org/list/this-utah-lawmaker-might-be-the-most-delusional-climate-skeptic-ever/

    This Utah lawmaker might be the most delusional climate skeptic ever

    Utah Rep. Jerry Anderson (R) wants his state to stop regulating carbon dioxide, because it’s just a harmless gas occurring naturally in the atmosphere.…

    Anderson’s bill, HB 229, would stop gases like nitrogen and oxygen from being considered “air contaminants” and prevent his state from regulating carbon dioxide unless it hits 500 parts per million (ppm). Slightly more credible sources, like former University of Utah engineering professor Joe Andrade, say that 500 ppm is much too high; that level of carbon dioxide would “acidify the oceans to a devastating degree.”…

    (excerpts)

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/arizona-senate-anti-gay-discrimination

    Arizona Senate Passes Bill Allowing Anti-Gay Discrimination

    The Arizona Senate passed a “religious freedom” bill Wednesday, which would effectively allow businesses to deny services to LGBT people.

    The bill passed on a party line vote, according to the Arizona Republic. The Republican House majority has already recommended passage of a similar bill in that chamber.…

    (snipped)

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/02/19/3306631/100000-people-lose-health-care-arkansas-terrible-constitution/#

    96,000 People Are About To Lose Their Health Care Because Arkansas Has A Terrible Constitution

    Giving money to people who took up arms in a treasonous war to preserve slavery requires a simple majority vote in the Arkansas state legislature. But preventing tens of thousands of Arkansas from losing health coverage they already have requires a massive supermajority.

    This matters because yesterday, 70 of the Arkansas House’s 100 members voted to appropriate the money required to continue Arkansas’ compromise plan to expand Medicaid. Currently, approximately 96,000 people are covered through this expansion, and close to a quarter million are eligible. If this appropriation does not pass, the nearly 100,000 men and women current insured through this program will lose their coverage on July 1.

    But when 7 out of 10 lawmakers support a bill, that’s means it’s probably going to become law, right? Well, not in Arkansas:

    (snipped)

    http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2014/02/19/iowa-bill-allow-women-sue-physicians-regret-abortion/

    Iowa Bill Would Allow Women to Sue Physicians If They Regret Their Abortion

    A bill passed by an Iowa house subcommittee Thursday would create a new “cause of action” against abortion doctors—a legal justification to sue them. HF 2098, which was sponsored by Rep. Greg Heartsill (R-Melcher-Dallas), would allow a woman to sue a physician to “recover damages for any physical injury or emotional distress” that results from the “physician’s negligence or failure to obtain informed consent.”

    (snipped)

    http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/02/19/alec-exxonmobil-proposed-fracking-fluid-disclosure-bill-moving-through-fl-legislature

    ALEC’s Fracking Chemical Disclosure Bill Moving Through Florida Legislature

    The American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) model bill for disclosure of chemicals injected into the ground during the controversial hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) process is back for a sequel in the Sunshine State legislature.

    ALEC’s model bill was proposed by ExxonMobil at its December 2011 meeting and is modeled after a bill that passed in Texas’ legislature in spring 2011, as revealed in an April 2012 New York Times investigative piece. ALEC critics refer to the pro-business organization as a “corporate bill mill” lending corporate lobbyists a “voice and a vote” onmodel legislation often becoming state law.…

    (snipped)

    http://www.foreffectivegov.org/blog/anti-government-koch-donor-landed-more-100-million-federal-contracts

    Anti-Government Koch Donor Landed More Than $100 Million in Federal Contracts

    …While being a leading political supporter of smaller government, Haworth, the business man, was busy soliciting U.S. government contracts. The company continues to be one of the leading suppliers of office systems and furniture to the Defense Department, General Services Administration, and other government agencies.…

    (excerpt)

    http://rt.com/usa/science-education-survey-americans-178/

    D’Oh! 1 in 4 Americans don’t know Earth circles Sun

    …Out of a total of nine questions on subjects related to physical and biological sciences, the average score in the survey was a narrowly passing 6.5 correct answers, according to a survey of 2,200 Americans conducted by the National Science Foundation. The result was announced at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held Friday.

    For example, only 74 percent correctly answered that the Earth revolved around the Sun.

    Meanwhile, fewer than half (48 percent) of study participants were aware that human beings evolved from earlier species of animals, the celebrated scientific nostrum first demonstrated by British naturalist Charles Darwin in his 1859 book, “On the Origin of Species.”…

    (excerpts)

    • jefe68

      Wow, that office needs some house cleaning.

  • Coastghost

    The “three amigos summit” or the “ménage a trois summit”?

  • TFRX

    Wasn’t Facebook more popular 2-3 years ago with “The Youngs”* than it is now?

    PS Looks like the guest stole a march on me.

    (*I am not in this demographic.)

    • hennorama

      TFRX — and MySpace before that, etc.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Make money by selling other people’s privacy. That is the business model of some of our biggest market companies. Like tobacco, they are free to try, but I would hope consumers make better choices.

    We could insist on reigning in the NSA while we’re at it, or is that old news now.

    Accountability for the Financial Crises was forgotten long ago. NSA gone already too? Facebook et al. not even an issue?

    That Frontline special was pretty disturbing, especially where the kids did not even know what “selling out” means.

    Good lord, we are being farmed so effectively.

    • The Last Moderate

      So goes my joke: I don’t use Facebook, or let Facebook use me.

  • Bigtruck

    Florida Apartheid at work. You know this verdict would never happen the other way around. Imagine a bunch of redneck kids blasting Hayseed Dixie out of the dirty windows of their pickup truck and an uptight forty something year old black guy empowered by the bravery of a gun shot and killed them…

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      What’s your point? He’d probably go to jail too.

      • Bigtruck

        For murder

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Lets discuss when it happens. Of course we will be upset if the law is not being applied equally. Who around here, or in the VAST majority of the country, is arguing AGAINST equal application of law, A.K.A. Rule of Law.

          Interestingly, its self-described “liberals” and “progressives” who these days are most dismissive of Rule of Law.

          And we wonder where the chaos comes from.

          • Bigtruck

            It has happened more than once, hence the discussion.

            Your self-described “liberals” stuff is just nonsense.

            The chaos comes from little men with guns.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            throw the little men in jail when they break the law.

          • Bigtruck

            Seriously!? Both parties are corrupt when it comes to “unaccountable Executive appointees and technocrats, and elite government (NSA) and banking folks”.

            Scalia?

            The banking folks are definitely weighted away from “progressive” ideals.

            But back to the point “throw the little men in jail when they break the law.” You are correct

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            As are you with regards to Both parties are corrupt.

            Join me in pining for a return of Rule of Law not Men Classically Liberal values, and accountability to elites.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Disrespect for classical Rule of Law by “liberals”, to be replaced by unaccountable Executive appointees and technocrats, and elite government (NSA) and banking folks who are above the law, is far from nonsense. It’s a depressing reality that the hatred of conservatives and libertarians by “liberals” is so strong that the baby of Constitutional Government and Rule of Law not Men, is thrown our with the bathwater of otherwise justified contempt for social conservative activists and authoritarians.

            That is what I think sadly happens with the masses, sort of a naive mistake, while a true disdain of Classically Liberal values by elites and a desire to replace them with secretive arrangements that let them really control our lives, is what we have at the highest levels of power.

  • StilllHere

    The prosecutor messed up and will get another chance. Move on.

  • OnPointComments

    When I read this article, my first thought was: is there no part of the US Constitution that this administration will uphold?

    THE FCC WADES INTO THE NEWSROOM
    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304680904579366903828260732?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304680904579366903828260732.html

    By Ajit Pai, a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission

    Excerpt:

    The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.

    Unfortunately, the Federal Communications Commission, where I am a commissioner, does not agree. Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run.

    The FCC says the study is merely an objective fact-finding mission. The results will inform a report that the FCC must submit to Congress every three years on eliminating barriers to entry for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the communications industry.

    This claim is peculiar. How can the news judgments made by editors and station managers impede small businesses from entering the broadcast industry? And why does the CIN study include newspapers when the FCC has no authority to regulate print media?

    • hennorama

      OPC — the FCC is doing a study.

      Big. Deal.

      • OnPointComments

        ECHOES OF THE IRS IN THE FCC SNOOPING SCANDAL
        http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/371602/echoes-irs-fcc-snooping-scandal-david-french

        Excerpt:

        Last week, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai disclosed the existence of the FCC’s new “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” a study that would send FCC researchers (monitors?) into newsrooms across the nation to determine, among other things, whether news organizations are meeting citizens “actual” as opposed to “perceived” information needs.

        The Obama governing philosophy combines the regulatory state with an intolerance of dissent. Taken together, this means an extreme level of government intrusion into private activity.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Not their job.

        When the regulator is studying your editorial biases it can have an effect. Leave the studies to the academics — and on their own dime. We don’t have an extra $1M for this Orwellian crap.

        • OnPointComments

          As a commenter on a another website noted, I think we’d be better served to have a legitimate reporter in every government office instead of having a government employee in a newsroom.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            That is the smartest thing said here all day. Get them in the NSA, SEC, Federal Reserve, etc etc etc.

            Our embrace of total backwardness, trusting elites and despising our fellow citizens as being able to self-govern today is astounding and frightening.

          • StilllHere

            Except many of the “reporters” act like government employees.

          • HonestDebate1

            I saw someone on TV suggest that. I think it was Judith Miller.

      • OnPointComments

        A sitting FCC commissioner is concerned about the intrusion into the newsroom. I think I’ll give more weight to his conclusion that it’s worthy of our concern than your conclusion that it’s irrelevant.

        • hennorama

          OPC — please note that I never wrote that the study is “irrelevant.” Commissioner Pai is entitled to his opinion, but he seems to be pre-judging this study before it is even concluded.

          • OnPointComments

            He thinks it is a big deal.

          • hennorama

            OPC — Mr. Pai’s last sentence sums up my views on this topic:

            “But my opinion shouldn’t matter more than anyone else’s merely because I happen to work at the FCC.”

          • OnPointComments

            Mr. Pai is being modest. He is an FCC commissioner, and as such he has far more insight into the machinations of the FCC than the man on the street.

          • HonestDebate1

            For the sake of clarity, please define “irrelevant” as it relates to “Big. Deal”. And please give any justification for the “study” given the FCC’s jurisdiction over the content of news which is zip. Please square it with the freedom of the press as enunciated in the Bill of Rights. And while you’re at it, please reflect on the historical use of state propaganda to empower tyrants.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            I have a hard time believing that you do not honestly believe that a large part of the intent of this program is to instill a chilling, or guiding, effect to news reporting.

            Freedom of Press is so fundamental. Apologizing for meddling with it seems very shortsighted, with respect.

            “Chicago style politics” or whatever else we want to call abuse of power to manipulate the people outside the channels of our Constitutionally-defined system of Government and Checks and Balances, is very real, and not an imagined bogeyman.

          • OnPointComments

            The FCC, which decides whether a station’s FCC license will be renewed, will be asking questions of news reporters about the content of topics they select for coverage.

            Would the Obama administration dare to intimidate reporters? Would the Justice Department seize the phone records of AP reporters? Would the Justice Department name reporter James Rosen as a co-conspirator in espionage to seize the reporter’s correspondence and phone records?

            The answer to all of the questions is yes.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Details, details. Just leave the Good tyrants alone, and we’ll be fine….

          • hennorama

            GBS — thank you for your response.

            From yesterday’s ‘A Brief Guide to the FCC Newsroom Invasion Panic’ by Arit John of The Wire (previously known as The Atlantic Wire. All of the following are directly FTA):

            - FCC chair Tom Wheeler replied that it “has no intention of regulating political or other speech of journalists or broadcasters.”

            - the Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs would, according to a letter Wheeler sent to Rep. Fred Upton, seek “to identify whether potential market barriers exist and, if so, whether those barriers affect diversity of media voices.” This spring, the FCC would ask eight stations in Columbia, South Carolina about their news philosophies.

            - Wheeler has said that the FCC is open to comments and may change the parameters of the study.

            - the study, which hasn’t been finalized, also hasn’t taken place yet. It’s a little too early to tell how this will go.

            See:
            http://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/02/brief-guide-fcc-newsroom-invasion-panic/358343/

            As to what you describe as “the intent of this program is to instill a chilling, or guiding, effect to news reporting” — that IS possible, but do you seriously think some questions from a survey will get the media conglomerates to kowtow to the FCC or anyone else?

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Every bit helps. A thousand paper cuts etc etc. There is just no need for it. The press is a non-governmental affair. It is a “free” press, and particularly in this day an age, anyone, with anything to say, that gets the collective support of readers who find it compelling and trustworthy, will have a voice.

            Since there is no need or place for Government in a Free Press, its only purpose can be to create pressure to voluntarily or involuntarily conform, or be “shamed” into taking the preferred propagandist line, whatever that may be at the time given who is in power.

            The Government wants to be sure the right messages are getting out to the people. If they want to do that, they can make PSAs. They have no business compelling a Free Press with Free Speech to do anything,

      • HonestDebate1

        The Commissioner disagrees.

      • OnPointComments

        The government wants to place people in news rooms to study the news philosophy of the station, find out who decides which stories are covered, and uncover perceived station bias. What could possibly go wrong with this plan? “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom…of the press…” That’s what could possibly go wrong with the plan.

        • The Last Moderate

          Actually, the Constitutional amendment you cite suggests that nothing bad could come out of this.

        • u.r.tripping

          My only clear radio signal is NPR talk. Morning Edition, BBc, On Point, VT edition, Here and now… that’s been my day for 3+ years.
          Anyone who says NPR is objective and unbiased is fooling themselves. I love NPR, but they are blatantly progressive and Eurocentric. My collective NPR thought bubble would read “If only WE were more like Sweden… or Denmark…”.

          • HonestDebate1

            I am a longtime and loyal listener to NPR and I agree with you. BTW, the AM dial is pretty cool too.

  • NewtonWhale

    So the GOP, aided and abetted by commentators like Jack, are getting excited over the last two CBO reports.

    The first of these said that Obamacare would make workers more secure and lead to some of them changing or leaving their jobs. That is not a “loss” of jobs: it’s the loss of job lock. As CBO director Elmendorf testified: that’s a good thing.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-job-lock-20140205,0,2101794.story#axzz2tyRZMIsP

    The second report says:

    “The increase in the minimum wage would have two principal effects on low-wage workers,” the CBO said in the report. “The LARGE MAJORITY would have higher wages and family income, but A MUCH SMALLER GROUP would be jobless and have much lower family income.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/minimum-wage-hike-could-kill-500000-jobs-but-help-alleviate-poverty-cbo-reports/2014/02/18/d171c130-98de-11e3-80ac-63a8ba7f7942_story.html

    This is also A GOOD THING.

    Jack and the GOP argue that raising the minimum wage will cost some jobs, and this is bad. If you want to follow that argument to its logical conclusion, you must conclude that reducing the minimum wage would create jobs, and eliminating it would create even more. Pay people little enough and soon we would have an unlimited supply of impoverished “workers”. Does Jack really think that’s a good thing?

    The majority of Americans understand that it’s not, which is why raising the minimum wage is more popular than capitalism itself:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/06/minimum-wage-poll_n_4733302.html

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      They passed the ACA with the help of the CBO and the “ten year scoring” rules.

      Live by the CBO; die by the CBO.

      • NewtonWhale

        Are you constitutionally incapable of responding to an argument by addressing its merits?

        Or do “large majority” and “much smaller group” mean the same in your mind?

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Suck it up single mom! You just got fired so a zit-faced teen can afford more Doritos!

          I know, I know, we can print enough money for everybody….. If we aren’t stimulating Demand for Doritos, what kind of Keynesians are we?

        • pete18

          I’m sure those 500,000 people who get fired won’t mind the sacrifice they are making for the other group’s raises.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — you are misinformed. The CBO report did not state that “500,000 people [will] get fired.”

            The CBO report titled “The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income” indicated the following, on page 9:

            “According to CBO’s central estimate, implementing the $10.10 option would reduce employment by roughly 500,000 workers in the second half of 2016, relative to what would happen under current law. [10] That decrease would be the net result of two effects: a slightly larger decrease in jobs for low-wage workers (because of their higher cost) and an increase of a few tens of thousands of jobs for other workers (because of greater demand for goods and services). [11] By CBO’s estimate, about 1½ percent of the 33 million workers who otherwise would have earned less than $11.50 per hour would be jobless — either because they lost a job or because they could not find a job—as a result of the increase in the minimum wage.”

            [10] A central estimate is one that uses values at or near the midpoints of estimated ranges for key inputs.

            [11] In this report, phrases referring to changes in the number of jobs are used interchangeably with phrases referring to changes in employment. Technically, however, if a low-wage worker holds multiple jobs and loses one of them, that would represent a reduction of one job but no change in employment (because the worker would remain employed). About 5 percent of low-wage workers will hold more than one job under current law, CBO projects. Therefore, for any given reduction in employment, the reduction in the number of jobs will be slightly larger.”

            The report also indicates significant uncertainty in the estimates, as follows (same page):

            “In CBO’s assessment, there is about a two-thirds chance that the effect of the $10.10 option would be in the range between a very slight decrease in employment and a decrease of 1.0 million workers; thus, there is a one-third chance that the effect would be either above or below that range. The most important factors contributing to the width of the range are uncertainty about the growth of wages over the next three years (which influences the number of workers who would be affected by the minimum-wage increase, as well as the extent to which the increase would raise their wages) and uncertainty about the responsiveness of employment to an increase in wages.”

            See:
            http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44995-MinimumWage.pdf

          • pete18

            Edit: I’m sure those 500,000 people who get fired or won’t have future jobs available to them won’t mind the sacrifice they are making for the other group’s raises.

            There, I’m sure they will feel much better about their sacrifices now.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — TYFYR.

            You write as if there is certainty to the CBO’s estimates. There isn’t.

          • HonestDebate1

            The actual numbers will be worse. Remember Obamacare cost only $940B according to the first CBO estimate.

          • pete18

            If their estimates don’t matter why spend all that time researching the subtle distinctions in their numbers?

          • hennorama

            pete18 — TYFYR.

            Please note that I have not written “their estimates don’t matter.” I am simply pointing out some of what gets missed in the rapid reactions to this and other reports.

            Fixating on the 500,000 figure is perilous at best, as it is merely (in this particular instance) the CBO’s central estimate. The uncertainties involved in this and other economic estimates are myriad, and “a two-thirds chance” is quite low as far as confidence levels go.

            The report is interesting, but it’s far from the final word. If the effects of raising the FMW were clear and proven, there would be no need for such estimates.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s not rocket science. Many of us here have been saying the same thing all along, way before the CBO report.

          • pete18

            It is a given that there is uncertainty in all estimates, but since almost all public policy debates use estimates to make arguments for and against certain actions, they are fair game to comment on. I certainly take the CBO report to carry more weight in the discussion on minimum wage than a random slew of economists that Obama quotes (the CBO has to use real numbers in their estimates) or the emotional righteousness of many on the left. If there is some validity in the CBOs number, it is a fair question to ask if taking away the jobs or future jobs of that many people to give a larger group of people a guaranteed raise, is morally sound or economically wise?

            What is your answer to that question?

            Take it as a hypothetical if you are uncomfortable with the uncertainty of estimates.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — TYFYR.

            Your question is the other side of the arguments used by those who oppose firearms regulations and healthcare reform. The opponents of such changes criticize the impacts on the many in the name of improving the circumstances of the few. They criticize the idea of “If we could save just one life …,” for example.

            Here, your question implies that certain (which you describe as “guaranteed”) benefits to the many, at the expense of an estimated few, is both immoral and unsound.

            Using the CBO’s central estimate of a change in employment of 500K, their estimates indicate 33 times as many workers (16.5 Million) “… Whose Earnings Would Increase in an Average Week” would benefit.

            The CBO also estimates that 900,000 people would be lifted above the official poverty level, and that there would be an increase of $17 Billion in the Real Income of those whose income is under three times the poverty threshold.

            The report says “Changes in real (inflation-adjusted) income include increases in earnings for workers who would receive a higher wage, decreases in earnings for workers who would be jobless because of the minimum-wage increase, losses in income for business owners, decreases in income because of increases in prices, and increases in income generated by higher demand for goods and services,” so these figures account for both the reduced income of those who are adversely affected as well as those who benefit.

            If these estimates turn into actual outcomes, then the policy is both “morally sound [and] economically wise.

            ——–

            The estimates from the CBO report do “use real numbers,” but their modeling is based on theory and meta-analysis of prior research. Again, if the effects of raising the FMW were clear and proven, there would be no need for such estimates.

            As to what you describe as “a random slew of economists that Obama quotes,” the CBO report draws from more than 60 different research reports, including one titled “Does Employment Respond to the Minimum Wage? A meta-analysis of recent studies from the New Minimum Wage Research.”

            This is the conclusion of that meta-analysis:

            “The conclusion is that the effects are statistically detectible but small, even when restricting attention to the effect on either youth or the food and drink sector.”

            “the effects are … detectible but small” sums up the CBO report.

            See:

            http://www2.gre.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/824377/Dale-Belman-and-Paul-Wolfson-Does-Employment-Respond-to-the-Minimum-Wage-a-meta-analysis-of-recent-studies-from-the-New-Minimum-Wage-Research.pdf

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Let’s see, the CBO says we can marginally increases the wages for some lower income folks by devastating 500,000 by reducing their income to ZERO.

          Reducing the number of entry level jobs cannot be good. In fact, delay of entry into the workforce can have a lifetime impact on total earnings.

          The correct way to increase wages is to grow the economy and eliminate competition from the illegal workforce for these low wage jobs.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Tyranny of the Majority baby!

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Maybe I missed a recent show, but would think a whole On Point episode devoted to exploring what it means for us that, as shown in the recent Frontline documentary, The “like” Generation, that many young people who are fully immersed in this, and will be our future, do not even know what the phrase “selling out” means, would be interesting.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      that they don’t know/appreciate they are being sold out by Zuckerberg et al whose model is to use people, and are internalizing that as our economic model going forward.

      Sounds like “voluntary” serfdom and people farming to me.

      Of course not that different from Madison Ave stuff we have all been through, but to not have the new generation have a skeptical and critical attitude is disturbing.

      I guess with the other disturbing trends being accepted today, like Executive power, and Lawless elites running the world in a way that is surely best for us, I could just run for President, and then Ban Facebook outright.

  • HonestDebate1

    I got to thinking about the FCC thing and seem to remember an FCC Commissioner (not sure if it is the same one) during the Bush years suggesting NPR should make an effort at balance. They screamed bloody murder.

    • StilllHere

      He should have funded a study, then NPR would have ignored it.

    • The Last Moderate

      Could you provide a reference?

      • HonestDebate1

        I’m fuzzy on it and was hoping someone else would remember. I’ll try to find it.

      • hennorama

        The Last Moderate — don’t hold your breath waiting for one.

        • HonestDebate1

          Do you remember it? Do you think I make this stuff up?

        • HonestDebate1

          First, get me out of your head.
          Second, it was a request from TLM not a demand.
          Third, I owe you nothing.
          Fourth, it’s none of your business, why do you care? Is it just pettiness?

          And finally, if you scroll down enough and expand enough of my comments you will find that I did give said reference to TLM on another thread a day ago. I did it there in anticipation of your schoolmarm, indirect reply. I did so for the express purpose of playing you like a fiddle. You make it too easy and that is not because you are dumb, it’s because I’m in your head.

        • The Last Moderate

          Actually, on Friday, February 21st of 2014 at 4:16 PM EST (less than four hours after promising to provide,) @HonestDebate1:disqus very kindly linked me to the story in a reply elsewhere. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4659805 My thanks to him or her. I did not mind waiting and it wasn’t too long at all (I didn’t try to hold my breath in the meanwhile).

          Thank you for your comments.

          • hennorama

            The Last Moderate — thank you for your response.

            Unlike the DishonestPontificating1, I knew exactly what he was referring to, and that no FCC commissioner was involved. The post to which you had replied is merely another in the long line of examples involving faulty memory, factual errors, and reading comprehension issues.

            Another example: today he linked to a story about a proposed NFL rule, then wrote about the proposed rule as if it was already agreed to (“…I wonder if the new rule will be levied across the board.”).

            If one were truly interested in honesty in debating, would one leave an inaccurate post uncorrected, as the DishonestPontificating1 has done and continues to do?

            So, you and everyone else are still waiting for a reference to “an FCC Commissioner … during the Bush years suggesting NPR should make an effort at balance.”

            Thanks again for your response.

          • The Last Moderate

            It is true that it was the CPB, not the FCC, that was involved.

            You know, I like very much the way you’re so polite as far as thanking people. Why not extend that sensibility to the question of name-calling? It doesn’t do anything to the person you’re insulting, and it does reflect poorly on yourself. What good does it do, for example, to talk about MESSNBC and Faux News? None; it just makes people feel reluctant to pay attention to you.

            Thanks for reading this comment, especially if you take my advice.

          • hennorama

            The Last Moderate — thank you for your thoughtful response.

            One point of which you likely are unaware: I do not directly engage with this individual, despite his frequent replies to my posts. Without further explanation, let’s simply say “we have a history.”

            It is not always easy to maintain such a stance, as you might imagine, and at times certain of his comments to others prompt an entry into the discussion. These entries tend to generate gale force wind, so to speak, out of this windbag, some of which you have no doubt observed.

            Your characterizations of “name-calling” and “insulting” are yours to make, of course. I would instead describe them as accurate portrayals, especially as a counterpoint to such an hilariously inapt moniker.

            In the post in question, if one were truly interested in honesty in debate, one might do a simple web search prior to firing off such inaccurate musings. And failing that, when one discovered one’s own error, an immediate acknowledgement and correction would be expected from someone truly interested in honesty in debate.

            As nonesuch has occurred, a conclusion as to dishonest pontification is readily made.

            But that’s just me.

            Thanks again for your thoughtful response.

          • HonestDebate1

            Dude, I made no hard claim to correct. My point was just as valid, my point was accurate. I asked for help with the name. And a quick google search was NOT all that was required. I had to dig it up. Any google search using the FCC brought up a gazillion results about the current situation. I did not know the year it happened so a date specific search was little help. It wasn’t the FCC head so that made it more difficult yet even though I did eventually find it searching with the FCC. I didn’t have a name. I posted as quick as I had time to dig into it, as if it mattered.

            And somehow you make it a matter of honesty? That’s ridiculous and extremely rude. Have you ever corrected the record when you said Obama never claimed he didn’t have the power to end certain deportations by EO? When I proved it uneqivicably you gave me BS and tried to parse but you misunderstood the moderator was asking two questions. I showed you how wrong you were, unquestionably wrong, and then you said you weren’t going to comment to show solidarity with the Sandy Hook victims. I might look it up because I know the date.

            Did you set it straight when you claimed Bush said God directed him to go to war? Or any of the other numerous times I backed you into a corner leaving you silent?

            But still, I never called you dishonest, just disingenuous. You’ve called me every name in the book, some were vile and disgusting. You stalk me, get me out of your head.

            Don’t expect me to not challenge you when you write something untrue or misleading. Collapse my comments and leave me alone if you don’t want to engage me. But the charade is silly.

          • HonestDebate1

            Then why play the silly game? I said “I seem to remember”; in another post I said I was fuzzy on it; and in my reply to GBS above I named the name and the position. It was almost a decade ago. If you knew the issue, which I doubt, then why not just tell me I was referring to Ken Tomlinson? I would have deeply appreciated it.

            And I am sorry you inferred incorrectly that I thought the NFL rule was passed and that you didn’t read the link I provided that made it clear.

          • HonestDebate1

            Oh and BTW, thanks for letting me know you read my comments but there is a little minus sign that appears when you mouse over it, it’s on the top right. You can simply collapse my comments any time you see Honest Debate.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      I don’t think that one was instigated by Steny Hoyer’s daughter.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      I remember that. Back in those days I think I was still a screamer. At least a mumbler.

      • HonestDebate1

        It is interesting. I am surprised it has not been brought up, especially by the left. On the surface, it’s the perfect “yea but Bush did the same thing” argument. Of course that’s just on the surface.

        The person I remember was Bush’s chairman of CPB, Ken Tomlinson. I’m going to dig into it when I get time.

    • nj_v2

      Everything should be fair and balanced like on Fox!

  • tbphkm33

    So, we are down to the last two days of the Sochi Winter Olympics. Its been an interesting two weeks – at one point the US east coast, and even Atlanta, was receiving more snow than Sochi. Most notable is that the massive security operation has held up (cross one’s fingers for the last two days).

    Plus, Norway still leads the metals count with the most gold. Impressive for a country of 5.1 million, up against the US at 314 million and Russia at 145 million.

    • brettearle

      Do you think American Conservatives should take away, from the Games, a scowl–vis a vis, how a socialist society, against all odds, can trample larger Powers.

    • twenty_niner

      US leads with overall medals at 27, and I would suspect that the % of US citizens that participate in winter sports is much lower than that of Norway. Norway is not exactly a powerhouse during the summer games.

      • tbphkm33

        The US does have more bronze medals than Norway. I would dispute that the % of US citizens participating in winter sports is relevant. True, Norway is much more of an outdoors society than the relatively sedative lifestyle in the US. Yet, across the northern half of the 48 and Alaska, you still have 100 to 150 million+ people residing. 20 to 30 times the total population of Norway. Surely on a population basis, the US has a larger segment participating in winter sports.

        I would venture to guess a majority of Norwegians would gladly lose the Super Bowl. American football is a sport loved only in the US. NFL has tried to export it to both Europe and Asia without any results. Whereas American’s complain about the low total score of football (soccer within the US), the rest of the world complains about American football spending more time standing around than moving.

        • twenty_niner

          Norway excels at trudging through snow; shocker. They cross-country ski to school as well, which I would be all for, but the lawyers would never allow it here. Plus, one snow flake blowing around can shut down a good portion of the schools in this country, probably because of the lawyers. Maybe we could agree on killing all of the lawyers.

          Americans excel at flying through the air; that’s where we win big. I do admire Norwegian marksmanship – they do seem to dominate the biathlon.

          Ok, so we need to get the kids skiing to school with target rifles, shooting at lawyers. Now we’ve got a plan for 2018!

          • tbphkm33

            FINALLY, something I can agree with twenty_niner on :)

            You know, I keep coming back to the Baby Boom generation. In this case, not their fault; but US society lost its ties to the farm and nature after WWII. It was headlong into the “Jetsons” space era in the ’50′s and ’60′s. Result today is that the population is out of touch with nature and the world. People don’t know how to farm (even a vegetable garden), fix things, or interact with nature. The masses expect things on a sliver platter and walk away when things are difficult. Maybe it is this lack of commitment that keeps the USA competing with one of the smallest nations, Norway, in the Olympics.

          • notafeminista

            Lack of commitment to what precisely? I’d say they’re plenty committed to that which provides for them.

    • TFRX

      My local NBC affiliate has a sportcaster in Sochi. I wonder for how many NBC affiliates are there jokes about the Russian winter there.

      Highest temp I’ve heard during an outdoor event was 61F for one of the XC skiing races.

      • hennorama

        TFRX — let’s get real: these are the Sluschi Games.

        • TFRX

          Slushee games?

          I don’t know if the Slushee people are on board as official sponsors.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Warm weather has always been a concern for the Olympics at Sochi. Note, Sochi is on the same latitude as Nice, France and is also on a large sea.

      Regarding Norway, sardines have always been underrated as a winter training food.

      • tbphkm33

        … don’t forget Linie Akevit. Keep the bottle in the freezer, don’t hesitate if you feel a cold or other illness coming on.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Some merit to that concept of course, but suggesting the truth is close to the middle is not necessarily accurate, or a formula for success.

    For example:
    Are Constitutional Rights a Good thing?

    Opinion 1: Yes

    Opinion 2: No

    Is there a moderate position on having Constitutional Rights?

    A lot of these Classically Liberal issues are like that, where a halfway version of something, makes no sense, and would be counterproductive, even though I think we have done it a lot.

    Id rather have Ralph Nader OR Ron Paul, before I would take John McCain or John Kerry.

    Sometimes, in the mechanics of liberty or self-government or representative democracy or Rule of Law, PRINCIPLES DO MATTER, and being asked to accept the halfway point is silly, and counterproductive.

  • tbphkm33

    True, true. FYI – the US actually has a population 64 times larger than that of Norway.

  • marygrav

    When are WE going to have internal trail for CRIMES AGAINST THE AMERICAN PEOPLE? All the bleeding hearts for Ukraine should make Americans ashamed because we have not risen up against a Congress that is willing to starve our children to make points with the T-Party.

    I though Third Party Wars were over. The Cold War was nothing but BS to begin with. When the West though Communism was dead, it busted Unions and cut the Safety Net that prevent abject poverty and homelessness. Do you believe that the T-Party/GOP would be so against Obamacare if the Soviet Union was in its prime. We got every social program including Social Security and Medicare because of the Soviet Union. The US was in Competition with the USSR and was willing to treat its people as though they were human being, not statistic to bring down the Deficit.

    Tom is straight out of Melville’s Benito Cerano. He is Captain Delano–hail and hearty, not understanding that people suffer and lose their lives and home in revolutions. But if he just waits a little while he will have one in his backyard and will understand that Talk is Cheap and action demands a certain control. “Don Benito, what troubles you?” Will then be his mantra.

    I like Tom, but sometimes I think he is an ignorant fool. He has lived overseas but the time he was living there he must have had his head up….. People want American understanding; not it sympathy. Because if you get its sympathy, you will find F14 and drowns flying overhead and a US General telling you how to live in your own land. Tom needs to take this into account.

    Before the Ukrainians fall too much in love with the EU they should take a lesson from Greece and what is happening to its economy. And listen to how the US Congress does not want its workers to have a living wage. So-called freedom is great, but this also means that you have the freedom to starve to death and be told you deserve it because you have not taken self-responsibility.

    Lies are always told about raising the minumum wage. These lies were told when the wage was $3.25 along with the lie about the Welfare Queen. Americans lost their jobs when the 1% sent them to China and other cheap wage nation, and down to the American South where there were no Unions.

    Why are we so worried about North Koreans mistreating its people, when the US has more of its citizens incarcerated than any industrialized nation. Does it have anything to do with the fact that we have more right wing religion than any other industrialized nation. Liberate yourself before you try to liberate the world.

    • twenty_niner

      Somehow you remind me of Tokyo Rose. Of all of the squirrel-in-the-backyard posts on this forum, these are most entertaining.

      • tbphkm33

        Ah, the Tea Bagger motto – “see sand, insert head.” Ignore the valid points of others.

        A perfect score of 10 for following prescribed Nopublican propaganda and brainwashing.

        • twenty_niner

          “Tea Bagger”? “Nopublican”?

          These are the best you have?

          I recommend pumpkin and flax seeds. They’re high in thiamine, zinc, vitamins A and E, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which will help boost your mood and brain functionality.

          • tbphkm33

            LOL – your response tells me that “Tea Bagger” and “Nopublican” are working great. They are only used to solicit a response from you… and to de-humanize the opposition, a basic necessity of any warfare.

          • twenty_niner

            “de-humanize the opposition”

            You know your play book.

          • HonestDebate1

            I would laugh if you weren’t so right.

          • pete18

            Actually, it’s called having no argument.

    • tbphkm33

      Tom means well, but often sees things from the unique perspective of an American expat journalist who’s returned to the homeland. Lets be honest, journalists from any nation will report news back in the unique propaganda and nationalist bent of their home country. How else is anyone going to publish their reports.

      I know a fair amount of journalists and diplomats, the unique “problem” with their perspective of the world is that they can never rise above nationalism. In fact, there are few who truly see the world as one planet and humans as one race. It is the fault of the rest of us to parade them around as global experts.

      Interestingly, I do suspect a great number of journalists follow OnPoint and this discussion board for perspective and ideas.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Maybe the time has come for Jonestown 2.0?

    • JONBOSTON

      very compelling lucid arguments

  • u.r.tripping

    The most interesting caller on today’s news roundup was a guy named John. He (in an overly kind and gentle manner) made the point that while observing events in the Ukraine, Thailand, and Venezuela, we may be overlooking the very real possibility of a revolution in the USA. He was thanked for his call… but no response.

  • William

    Actually, the policies the President enacts will either hurt or help employment. This is why he delayed Obama-care for the business community for several more years. He knows it is a job killer and wants to be long gone when it hits the business community.

    Our economic system is being strangled with government regulations and is death by a thousand cuts.

    The private sector will lobby government for bad regulations to keep or create a monopoly as we saw with MSFT and now Google. The government does have a role to not do everything the business community asks for but like we saw with companies like Fisker, government is corrupt and will back losers given enough money.

    Yes, blame Obama. He is the President and he asked for the job so he gets the blame. Just like he demonstrated by blaming President Bush for the first four years in office.

    Peel a few layers off the Obama onion and you will see he is a failed President.

  • StilllHere

    Does anybody care what Obama thinks about business and how they should be run? This guy knows nothing about business at all, and obviously not much about governing either.

    • tbphkm33

      LOL – let me guess, you still champion GW Bush’s great business experience. Obama has done more for US business than GW ever dreamt of.

      How quickly they forget which party (not-so-Grand-Old-Party) tanked the US and world economy between 2000-2007 – brining us the Great Recession.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Let’s see. Bush the younger was good for Halliburton (at least that is what the left keeps telling us).

        Obama was good for Solyndra (that’s what we hear from the right).

        Ben Bernanke — that is a different story.

        • tbphkm33

          :) … so you are saying we are screwed any way you look at it :)

          I admit, there is some truth to that. We do place too much emphasis on the “President” and tend not to distinguish what the political underlings do. Case in point, Governor Christi – not a great socialist to me, but lets be honest, a good guy. He be good for the country.

          Who out there would not love a Biden/Christi independent, 3rd party, ticket??? They would win hands down. Two politician’s the “handlers” hate, but neither one is scared of saying it the way it is. Would do the “empire USA” a ton of good. Might even make the USA a real country again… instead of a post-colonial empire.

          Maybe Biden/Christi in 2016, then Christi/Biden in 2020; or vice versa. You laugh, but there’s truth in this.

          • HonestDebate1

            For what it’s worth, I would not love a Biden/Christie ticket at all.

          • pete18

            Biden? Seriously? Good lord.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Interesting. I didn’t think anyone took Biden seriously (D, R or I). He is a running joke. Worse than Quayle. Dumber than McCain. And why would we want another 4 years of a President that has ZERO executive experience?

            Christie has one attribute that makes him attractive. He is willing to cut through the BS to solve problems. There is certainly a lot of BS in Washington, DC. Would he put those skills to use to lead us to a balanced budget? If so, he would make a good President.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Lord help us. From the Chicago politics pan into the Jersey politics fire.

            Lets try some good old representative self government and transparent rule of law for once. Its on the books, we should use it.

      • JONBOSTON

        Please explain your comment that Obama has been good for American business. I am most interested.

        • Coastghost

          JON: I see you’re still waiting for the vowel-averse tbphkm33 to reply. (You might want to intercede with hennorama, who moonlights as a timekeeper when it comes to such matters.)

          • HonestDebate1

            Chuckle chuckle.

          • JONBOSTON

            Maybe he’s taken this long to respond because he’s such a deep thinker. I can’t wait to hear him explain how Republican policies or capitalism has anything to do with success in Sochi. Just mind boggling stupidity

      • pete18

        So exactly what did Bush and the GOP do to bring on the Great Recession? I’m curious.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    I’m glad you agree that the science isn’t settled.

    As for your straw men; we’ll have to leave that for another day.

    btw- Dr. Krauthammer IS a Harvard trained MD.

    • Don_B1

      Then you also believe that the Law of Gravity is also not “settled”!

      The theoretical physicists are still trying to reconcile Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity with Quantum Theory, because neither Theory works in the other’s main domain.

      There are senses that the lack of understanding of Dark Matter and Dark Energy are just as important as the lack of final resolution on the value of the Climate Sensitivity number, which is the major important value in the uncertainty of climate models.

  • HonestDebate1

    I am largely uninterested in the Olympics this year for some reason. I went in ’96 and it was cool, I missed the bomb by a day, but I don’t get all that worked up about it. I haven’t seen a minute of Sochi.

    However, reading some of the comments below, there seems to be a gaggle actually rooting for America’s failure and basking in the glory of other nations. That’s just weird.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Sporting events on tape delay is always tough. However, I’m always up for good athletics and competition.

  • HonestDebate1

    Wow, I just saw an incredible commercial for New York, kudos to Governor Cuomo. What is his plan to stop the hemorrhaging population? Tax free zones.

    http://startup-ny.com/

    • John Cedar

      You would fall for a commercial run by a totalitarian democrat?

      • HonestDebate1

        Yea, it’s for real. 10 years tax free for new start ups in NY. I think it’s hilarious. NY is in big trouble.

        As to the totalitarian Democrat, the guy is as responsible as anyone for the banking crisis. As head of HUD he invented the policy of affirmative action lending. I have no love for him.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Have you read the fine print? For instance, I hear he doesn’t want any conservatives in his state.

        • John Cedar

          Its not very real. Very selective in what businesses will qualify and only on SUNY campuses.

          In the mean time, cuomo raised taxes and called it a tax cut. The sycophant MSN repeated the lie. The only tax cut that increases revenue in a static analyses. Then he raided the pension fund and called it “pension smoothing” Again the lap dog media repeated the lie like a good boy.

          I just spent thousands on professional labor hours to comply with the new “wage theft” law. I now have to justify why I don’t hire felons. And I just spent thousands on audits that got my state zero revenue in spite of their heavy handed attempt.

          That is the REAL business climate in NY under HUD bankrupter, AG extortioner, Cuomo.

          • HonestDebate1

            Are you in NY?

            I’m not defending Cuomo, I’m just saying when a liberal is in a pickle because of liberal policies, their only way out is to go to conservative ones. I don’t know the details and I don’t doubt it’s limits in scope and hidden trap doors. The fact is a radical Democrat is proposing tax free incentives for a decade. That doesn’t happen.

  • X-Ray

    In discussing the purchase of WhatsApp, Tom mentioned several times that the sale made the 55 employee rich. I don’t know if this is an employee-owned business, but that is not how Capitalism works. The sale enriches the Owners or Stockholders. The employees are not rewarded and may even be out of a job.

    • William

      The original investors should and will be rewarded since they took most of the risk.NBC reported most if not all the employees will become pretty well off too

      http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/whatsapps-55-employees-are-rich-so-now-what-n34851

      • X-Ray

        I agree, the people who take the risk (owners and stockholders) should be the ones rewarded. My comment was to highlight the appanent lack of understanding of how Capialism is actually set up and works.

        • William

          It is amazing how much was paid.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        All I know is I don’t want another round of bailouts when the social media bubble bursts. Whoever tools the risks can have the profits, as long they suffer the losses when the music stops as well.

    • JONBOSTON

      Many key employees in start-ups get stock grants/options in lieu of salaried compensation. Cash is scarce and venture capital groups want key management to have skin in the game. You can be sure that these employees are most probably now millionaires.

  • Coastghost

    No economist I, but from reports I’ve read, many or most minimum-wage earners are under age 25 and (these days, esp.) likely continue to live with parents.
    Some fair number of minimum-wage earners earn minimum wage as supplementary income (a second or third job): well less than half, perhaps well less than a quarter, of minimum-wage earners earn minimum wage as a single source of income.
    I continue to wonder about investigating the prospects for “means testing” whenever raising the minimum wage is discussed: twenty-somethings living with parents presumably don’t face the spending restrictions faced by a min. wage earner for whom his min. wage job is his sole source of income.
    I remain suspicious of your assertion that businesses would necessarily be “required” to hire more workers should min. wage earners begin spending their higher wages more freely: too many questions about productivity rates within certain sectors and the increasing frequency of automation displacing human workers would seem to help vitiate your argument.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Did you hear about the Kansas Representative (D) who want to let you and others hit your kids the point of bruising?

    I guess now we know how Democrats plan on getting young people to sign up for Obamacare……

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Now, now. I understand your inclination to emphasize the D party affiliation because that is what the liberal media does all the time to republicans. But in this case I don’t believe it is a party ‘thing’; it is just a stupid ‘thing’. :)

      • John Cedar

        Infrequent corporal punishment, in very small doses, as a last resort, up until age 9 or so, has a proven track record of helping to raise the best citizens. “Time outs” are a proven failure.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        What was funny was I saw that in a Huff Post tweet, and the bottom noted its recent edit: Originally the article mistakenly said a “Republican representative”. When they edited it, they wrote it as simply “a representative”

        Just hilarious where we are today.

    • jefe68

      Ding, ding, ding… you get the award for the most inane comment of the day. Mind you the day is not done.

    • hennorama

      From the Reasonable Heads Prevail desk, another dispatch:

      “A bill intended to define corporal punishment and ease restrictions on spanking in Kansas has died in committee.

      “An official with Rep. John Rubin’s office said Wednesday that the bill “will not get a hearing” in the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee. Rubin, R-Shawnee, is chairman of the committee.”

      Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2014/02/19/4834744/kansas-spanking-bill-will-not.html#storylink=cpy

  • HonestDebate1

    Supply comes first.

  • hennorama

    From the Reasonable Heads Prevail desk:

    OXFORD, Miss. — A fraternity chapter at Ole Miss has been indefinitely suspended by its national organization and three of its freshman members were kicked out because of their alleged involvement in hanging a noose on a statue of James Meredith, the first black student to enroll in the then all-white university in 1962.

    In a written statement Friday, Sigma Phi Epsilon said it suspended the Alpha Chapter at the University of Mississippi and the chapter voted to expel all three men and turn over their identities to investigators.

    See:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/higher-education/3-students-to-be-questioned-in-statue-vandalism/2014/02/21/e788a664-9b13-11e3-8112-52fdf646027b_story.html

    • notafeminista

      Hum. Looks like there may have been a ridiculously stupid and distasteful act committed and campus policy might even have been violated.
      Nothing in any of the articles availble thus far indicate anything remotely resembling a criminal act.

      • HonestDebate1

        It’s certainly not a Federal offense. The only thing I hate more than stupid racist is the notion of prosecuting thought.

        • jefe68

          So in your opinion what these rubes did is a form of free speech.
          I beg to differ.

          • HonestDebate1

            They are no more hideous than the Westboro clan and they are protected by free speech. It is unclear to me whether they damaged the statue.

          • brettearle

            There are certain forms of speech that are not protected and therefore are not Free.

            Is it not true that the Westboro outrage is being explored for legal suppression?

          • brettearle

            Speech is not always protected as Free Speech. There are certain forms of speech that clearly are not protected.

            Isn’t it also true that the Westboro outrage is being investigated for the possibility of imposing legal suppression on such demonstrations?

          • HonestDebate1

            The Supreme Court ruled in Snyder v. Phelps that Westboro was within their Constitutional rights.

          • Coastghost

            The statue itself seems not to’ve been damaged, else the University would be charging the miscreants with vandalism.

      • hennorama

        notafeminista –there’s no “Looks like” or “may have been” about this incident.

        There’s no doubt that tying a noose around the neck of the statue of James Meredith, and placing an old Georgia flag with a Confederate battle emblem on it, are stupid, distasteful, vile, reprehensible, shameful and disgusting acts.

        You very well might think that “Nothing … indicate[s] anything remotely resembling a criminal act.” I couldn’t possibly comment, as I have not seen or heard the evidence, and am not a member of law enforcement.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      “suspended the Alpha Chapter at the University of Mississippi and the chapter voted to expel all three men and turn over their identities to investigators.”

      Sounds like the system is working. Thats good.

      Or are we supposed to be disappointed that we haven’t perfected the Future Crimes Unit yet?

      • hennorama

        GBS — as indicated, this was a post “From the Reasonable Heads Prevail desk.”

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Thanks hennorama, it was more of a rhetorical post, I appreciate your reasonableness.

          • hennorama

            GBS — understood, and backatcha.

  • davecm

    Another week and another rush to spin by the bobble heads in Wash.
    CBO report on the $10.10 increase in minimum wage and effect on jobs.
    Of course it is wrong, there will be no loss of jobs, just like the lie told about Obamacare causing job loss, just like you can keep your current insurance and doctor, just like premiums would go down by $2500, just like IRS targeting conservative groups, just like Benghazi attack was caused by a video, just like NSA never spies on us, just like FCC was going to monitor newsrooms, just like a large percentage of Obama voters wished they had not voted for him the second time around, just like the fourth hospital in Ga. closing due to Obamacare, just like the Nat’l debt topping 20T by 2016, just like Pelosi stating thousands of new jobs would be created when Obamacare went into effect, just like Harry Reid, who cares about what he said, just like I could go on and on about all the lies told about this leadership in Wash. Time will tell, sadly the ship may have already sunk by the time most realize it! Wake up folks!!!

    Listen to this from 1964, does it sound scary??
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w13Vynj2bWA

    • HonestDebate1

      Man, it’s scary when you lump it all (or some of it) together. It amazes me that people are still defending this travesty. And Paul Harvey was prescient as hell.

      • davecm

        Some people’s reasoning is kind of like arguing over the arrangement of the blue and red deck chairs on the Titanic.

  • HonestDebate1

    I don’t know if there will be a show but Shirley Temple died this week. She was amazing. Just last month I was working putting music to a scene for a short film that had a man at a piano with two little girls singing a few measures of “Oh My Goodness” from “Poor Little Rich Girl”. The research required sent me on a trip down Shirley Temple memory lane. I knew about her and had seen clips but until I immersed myself I had no idea how remarkable she was, and at such a young age. She never went bad as so many child stars do. She came along at a time when America’s collective psyche needed her. She went on to serve her country as an ambassador. She was a masterpiece of talent. May she rest in peace.

  • SlackerInc

    I really appreciated Jack Beatty’s lament that there no longer is such a thing as liberation of the innocent from evil. I find myself pretty lonely as a progressive hawk, someone who favours using military intervention for humanitarian purposes. So it is a shot in the arm to hear from someone like Beatty, although at the end of the day he is right that those who feel like us are nowhere near the majority or even a large minority.

    • brettearle

      One major religion in the world believes that, unless you make a major spiritual commitment within your soul, no innocents can be liberated from evil.

      I do not necessarily believe that myself. But millions certainly do.

      Of course, Beatty meant, what he said, in a totally different context. I am simply trying to add an ironic dimension to the Idea.

      The issue of military intervention for humanitarian reasons can be fraught with uncertainty.

      Intelligence may be faulty and therefore intervention can, sometimes, I would think, backfire dramatically:

      For example, though unlikely, it is still possible that these scenarios could obtain:

      Eventual Retaliation by those leaders who engage, for example, in political famine–if the military intervention’s goal is not Regime Change.

      Misinformation that might have actually excessively demonized any culprits who, presumably, are jeopardizing the lives of any of the indigenous in the region.

      • HonestDebate1

        “There is at least one major religion in the world, that believes that, unless you make a major spiritual commitment within your soul, no innocents can be liberated from evil.”

        I would be vey interested to know who believes such nonsense. Please elaborate.

        • brettearle

          I may have created confusion by not being clear enough.

          It is the person himself who can’t be liberated from Evil, unless he does this.

          I am not referring to some symbolic act for all mankind.

          Although, the original progenitor surely meant it to be a symbolic act for all mankind..

          • HonestDebate1

            Thanks, that helps but I’m still not sure who you are referring to. I thought maybe Muslims because they believe non-Muslims are infidels. Many interpret the Koran to say infidels must be killed. That does fit your original quote a little closer. Christians believe that unless you are “saved” then you will go to hell. Maybe you were talking about the after life.

          • brettearle

            The concept of every human being, being a sinner–from the standpoint of Christianity–is a fundamental reason for why God sent Jesus, via Immaculate Conception, to Earth.

            It’s an exquisite and remarkable epic of Genius. [But whether it's true, or not; or whether it's true for one sector of Mankind, is another matter, as far as I am concerned.]

            That having been importantly said, God [according to Christianity] determined that, via Free Will, Humans were screwing up.

            Screwing up is jargon for committing sins.

            Sins are inevitably connected to Evil in human behavior.

            To me, therefore–and I believe to many Christians and perhaps to many non-Christians, who view it from the periphery–committing sins, from the standpoint of Christianity [and, therefore, committing evil], is a function of that which is intrinsic in the human soul….to wit, “all men are sinners.”

            To accept Jesus Christ as one’s personal savior, therefore–because he died for Mankind’s sins–is to therefore make a major
            spiritual commitment within your soul–so that you, yourself, can be liberated from Evil.

            I believe that the soul exists in every man; and I believe that there is good and evil in every man’s soul–or the potential for good and evil–in every man’s soul.

            But I, myself, do not try to work out my `stature’ as a human being, based on Christianity.

            I believe that God is there for all venerable Religions that have lasted since time immemorial or thereabouts.

            I also believe that God exists, for you, even if you don’t practice a specific religion.

            But it doesn’t mean that God always provides, doesn’t provide; protects, doesn’t protect; or listens, doesn’t listen…..

          • HonestDebate1

            I see where you are coming from now but I guess my disagreement is equating being a sinner with being evil. As you say we are all sinners but I don’t think we are all evil. Therefore I don’t view being delivered from sin as the same as being delivered from evil. Maybe it’s just semantics. I appreciate the reply.

            BTW, it’s my view that Mary did the nasty.

          • brettearle

            You mean Mary had sex?….

            And we aren’t all Evil. We often simply behave in a variety of ways that could be argued as severer or lesser forms of evil.

            I see sin to be often–maybe not always–synonymous with evil.

            So we can be evil, at certain times. And other times we can `practice random acts of kindness’.

            People are equipped and capable of both. And the same person can, and DOES, do both sometimes.

            Evil is a hot-button word (pun not intended) that can be blown out of proportion.

            Deceit, betrayal, rage, violence, addiction, theft, adultery, for example, can all be construed, I think, as evil; or can also be regarded as varying degrees of sinful behavior..

            I happen to believe that it’s a stretch to claim that, for example, adultery is a form of Evil.

            Indeed, I think adultery can, under some circumstances, be an acceptable practice.

            Nevertheless, any of these behaviors, I think, can be construed as synonymous with sin or with evil.

            I think the problem you have with Evil is that it sounds and feels and seems so primordial–and therefore it has the worst kind of taboo, associated with it.

            But I would argue that subtle and overt examples of mild evil, happen every day–as the result of human behavior.

            When you, or I, are given back too much money at the check out counter, or at the cash register–and we don’t say anything about it–technically, that’s deceitful; indeed, technically, that’s a crime. [Even though short-changing the cashier can make up for eating Dole lettuce, that we buy at the same market, that is laced with Listeria.]

            Technically it’s either a sin or it’s a mild form of evil.

            But many of us do it….

            And please….don’t forget THE fundamental prayer, the Lord’s Prayer…..`Deliver Us from Evil’

            which is preceded by Lead Us Not Into Temptation.

            ‘Temptation’ is also clearly associated with Sins.

  • HonestDebate1

    Germany is often cited around hear as a model for economic sanity. Their unemployment rate is 5.2%. Pop quiz: What is the minimum wage in Germany?

    • jefe68

      Germany will introduce a minimum wage of €8.50 an hour from 2015, which will effect about 17% of the German workforce, mainly in the service sector. Most wages are currently set in negotiations between companies and unions, and there is no statutory national minimum.

      Which is about $11.50 dollars per hour in US currency.

      They also have virtually no student debt crisis and a national health care system. Plus strong unions. What’s your point? (on a side note you should read VW’s reaction to the anti-union vote in TN)

      Trying to be coy? Trying to create some kind of false equivalency?

      http://www.social-europe.eu/2014/01/german-minimum-wage/

      http://money.cnn.com/2013/11/27/news/economy/germany-coalition-economy/

      As long as your touting the minimum wages of other nations, Australia’s is $16.88 and there economy is doing quite well. Plus they have universal health care.

      • HonestDebate1

        Nope, fail. There is no minimum wage in Germany.

        What is the minimum wage in Finland, Norway, Austria, Iceland, Italy, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland?

        • jefe68

          Did you read what I posted?
          They will be introducing one in 2015.
          Which means that they don’t have one now, but will. Also it only effects 17% of there workforce. Did you do any research into how the wages are set in their economy? Because if you did you would have seen that for the majority of workers the need for a minimum wage is pointless. Why? Because they have strong unions, that’s why.

          The failure here is your lack of comprehension skills.

          You should be careful when you start asking questions about countries with strong social democracies, you might not like how you end up looking like a fool. Wait, you already do look like a fool. Well I’m done here.

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t ask what it will be, I asked what it is. Comprehend?

            Also, as you know the vast majority of those earning minimum wage are young, unskilled workers. How are they doing in Australia?

            In June, Australia’s unemployment rate for workers age 15 to 19 was 16.5%.

            Last December, 63% of all jobs lost were jobs for young, unskilled Australians.

            http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/stossel/blog/2012/07/13/australian-minimum-wage-myth

          • jefe68

            If one points out that Germany will be starting a minimum wage in 2015, one could think that it also implies that they did not have one before. Comprehend? I know you do, your just playing an insipid right wing meme game.

            Fox news, and John Stossel meh.

            Stossel is the poster boy for juvenile libertarian ideology and an open advocate for social Darwinism.

            By the way you forgot this little tidbit: American youth unemployment rate is at a high of 24 percent. About 10% higher than in Australia. Gee, and there overall unemployment level is 5.7 percent. Yeah, that high minimum wage is killing their economy.

            http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/stossels_poor_logic_on_minimum.php

          • HonestDebate1

            What a bizarre reply.

          • jefe68

            Oh, so you find it bizarre to have Stossle’ BS shown for what it is?
            You’re the one who used his story, not me. You’re the one who posted cherry picked figures. Not me.

            The only bizarreness here is that you post links to anything to do with Stossel.

          • HonestDebate1

            What’s Stossel got to do with it? Do you dispute the numbers he sourced?

            http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/ausstats/meisubs.nsf/0/866EB53A3517BC58CA257A3800169F46/$File/62020_jun%202012.pdf

            http://www.smh.com.au/business/young-workers-hit-by-rising-unemployment-20120124-1qevx.html

            Don’t you think honest debate would require further analysis than simply saying, “Australia’s is $16.88 and there economy is doing quite well”?

          • jefe68

            You posted a link to his website.
            Again, read the articles I linked.
            If you don’t get that Australia’s minimum wage has had very little effect on it’s economy then your blinded by ideology.

            Also what I posted also broke down the wages, which you negated, due to laziness.

            http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/stossels_poor_logic_on_minimum.php

          • HonestDebate1

            Stossel had the links in his piece. The numbers have elevated since the hike. That’s the point you missed. The hikes always hurt those at the bottom most. That’s been my point all along. Just what is it that you think I’m arguing?

          • jefe68

            That minimum wages are not good for job creation. It’s clear that they don’t have any real effect over the long run or the short. The economics of wages, which have been flat in the US for decades, seems to escape you.

            My point, and this is for the last time so pay attention, is that you and Stassel are cherry picking stats to back up false claims about the minimum wage.

          • HonestDebate1

            Evidently you added a rant since I replied. What do those number have to do with my point?

          • jefe68

            They have everything to do with your point.

          • hennorama

            jefe68 — thanks for the accurate posts and links.

            Enjoy your merry discourse with the Omniscient One, who has exhibited symptoms of RC issues (at least from a layperson’s perspective) for quite some time.

            Anagrams of his moniker reveal some interesting truths about Stone, Bone and Head, of which he is aware.

          • HonestDebate1

            Thank you for the kind words, please refer to me as the “Omniscient One” anytime. I am too humble to make such a claim myself.

            I don’t dispute jeffe’s facts that were completely unrelated to my comment.

            I’m still waiting for your apology on the nasty and completely erroneous edit down the page. A retraction would be sufficient. I won’t hold my breath. Maybe you can apologize to The Last Moderate instead.

          • Coastghost

            So you accept “hear no man” as a compliment, correct?

          • hennorama

            Coastghost — thank you for your inquiry.

            Being a non-fan of rabbits, I prefer “Man .. No Hare!” but I naturally accept other anagrams of my moniker.

            Of course, one might interpret your choice as an observation on a superior ability for listening to women, were one so inclined.

            In a similar vein, I would not consider Got Hot Sacs or Sac Got Shot as particularly apt, were I you, and might prefer Gotcha, Sots!

          • The Last Moderate

            I may regret asking this question, but what do you make of my name?

          • hennorama

            The Last Moderate — firstly, you are hardly “The Last.”

            If you are asking about other fun things found via anagrams, allow me to offer these few examples:

            Latest To Dream, Eh?
            Latest To Dream, He
            TEA Methods Alert
            Hot Tamales Deter
            Tame Head, Lest Rot
            Totem Alerts Head

          • The Last Moderate

            Wow!

            Yeah, I know I’m not the last. Thought I was back when I first started, though, and it still works better than “One of the Several Remaining Moderates”.

            Looking over those anagrams: Some of them are very weird (Totem Alerts Head?!) (What does TEA stand for?), but I truly am deterred by hot tamales, so there’s something in it.

            How do you do these?

          • hennorama

            The Last Moderate — thank you for your response and inquiry.

            I have an unusual quirk whereby I “see” words differently than most. As such, I “see” a word or two immediately, then use online anagram generators to do the vast majority of the brute force work.

            In the above, I immediately “saw” DREAM, TEA (an acronym for Taxed Enough Already, à la the TEA Party Movement), TAMALE, TAME and HEAD, then viewed various anagrams that included those words.

          • The Last Moderate

            Online anagram generators! I should have thought of that. You mean like wordsmith.org/anagram, which I just discovered? Of course.

            Still, recognizing that there’s something in there to look for is impressive. (Actually, trying to look at the name that way, I spot Latest, Mode and Rate. Those last two probably don’t count.)

            I might add that I think the Tea Party movement has an entirely different origin for its name, and that I’m not big on town hall events or shutting the government down. But there’s cause for self-reflection there.

            And hey, sincerely–thanks.

          • hennorama

            The Last Moderate — you’re welcome, of course.

            The wordsmith.org site is very good, especially its Advanced Anagramming features.

            As the the TPM — the TEA acronym has been widely used, but as you wrote, it is not recognized as their origin story.

            As to my particular quirks/abilities — these are mostly innate, so I don’t view them as “impressive.” They just are. Of course, practice results in greater speed, as some patterns emerge.

            As these quirks/abilities can also be symptoms of various disorders, I have undergone testing, and, as Yogi Berra famously said, “The doctors x-rayed my head and found nothing.”

            Here’s one more:

            Thee, Me: Astral Dot.

            Have fun.

          • Coastghost

            Of course, I might interpret my choice as an imputation or embellishment of your perceived feminist credentials.

          • hennorama

            Coastghost — indeed.

          • jefe68

            He’s a piece of work, that’s for sure.

          • HonestDebate1

            None of the Countries I mentioned have a minimum wage.

      • William

        Australia has a min. wage based on age and New Zealand just went to the same scale. In Australia a person under 16 gets 5.50 an hour and wage tops out at 15 dollars an hour at the age of 20. It’s pretty expensive to hire people in Australia. The employer has to pay a 10 percent payroll tax for healthcare, 9.25 percent surcharge tax, sick leave, overtime penalty, and holiday loading (must be holiday pay). The mining and real estate sectors are booming but the last auto maker (Toyota) is leaving by 2018.

        • jefe68

          And yet Australia has a thriving economy. Of course a lot of this is due to their luck of having a lot of raw materials that China needs.

    • OnPointComments

      Let’s call the minimum wage what it really is: a stealth indirect tax that redistributes money from businesses.

      • HonestDebate1

        I agree whole heartedly… but it’s a lot of typing.

  • HonestDebate1

    I found this interesting:

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/10500657/nfl-expected-penalize-players-using-racial-slurs-games

    I am not a fan of taunting penalties and such. i don’t like penalties for end zone celebrations either. I do appreciate the players who don’t parade around but it’s an emotional.

    Leaving all that aside, I wonder if the new rule will be levied across the board. If so, it will be interesting to see if it’s blacks or whites who will be most penalized.

  • tbphkm33

    It’s official: Sorry you Yanks, #4 in the Olympic medals count, well, is a no show on the podium :) Ouch, nationalism bites both ways.

    #1 Russia
    #2 Norway
    #3 Canada
    #4 United States

    30+ years of crony capitalism and Nopublican “ideology” really has lowered the USA to become the leading 2nd world nation.

    • pete18

      A very funny way to measure the success of Capitalism.
      Oh wait, I forgot, you’re just doing the Alinsky thing to dehumanize the opposition and rile everybody up. Boy you are the clever one.

    • The Last Moderate

      You call us “Yanks.” Please tell us where you’re from so that we can respond in kind.

    • Coastghost

      Regularly and at every occurrence, I do not follow the Olympics, but in the days leading to the Sochi competition, I could not help but hear that members of Team USA (or: its media cheerleaders) were more devoted to expressing public support for homosexual welfare than any eagerness to win Olympic medals (or “Olympic metals”, as at least one of your prior posts put it).
      Surely you’re not willing to argue that Russia’s domestic social and political regard for homosexual welfare explains Russia’s victories, just as you surely would be unwilling to argue that Team USA’s homosexual athletes lacked the requisite competitive edge.
      (Mere metrics have hungry teeth of their own, ‘twould seem.)

      • HonestDebate1

        That’s a great point illustrated nicely.

        As an aside, I have long noticed but never commented upon your clever use of contractions. ‘twould is good even if it’s not your best. I like the ones that combine three words with two apostrophes.

        • Coastghost

          I’d’ve been remiss not to reply with gratitude.
          One good thing about Disqus is the “Edit” functionality we are permitted.
          “‘Twould” is good . . . would be one editorial solution to handle citation of my prior usage. Gets complicated once you quote the entire sentence, viz.:
          ‘”‘Twould” is good even if it’s not your best.’

          • The Last Moderate

            SPOILER ALERT

            John, where James had had “had”, had had “had had”. “Had had” had had the teacher’s approval.

          • Coastghost

            And a semicolon would obviate the additional capitalization, but otherwise, si oui ja da and yes. (Some might argue the use of quotes obviates the italicization, too.)

          • The Last Moderate

            Why not put the second half in parentheses?

          • Coastghost

            That would work, too: if you divide into two separate sentences, the second in its entirety would occur within parens, but if you retain the single sentence structure, the period would go outside the closing paren.

          • The Last Moderate

            Affirmative. (Parens! Well abbreviated. This’d be an example of the clever contractions and abrevs you’re apparently famous for.)

          • HonestDebate1

            Let’s eat Grandma.

            Let’s eat, Grandma.

            Punctuation saves lives (I saw it on a tee shirt).

          • The Last Moderate

            Have you read “Eats, Shoots and Leaves”?

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes, loved it.

            BTW, I did check out the new down vote thing you mentioned. It makes no sense to me. A couple of weeks ago I posted a comment about the down votes with a link to disqus for comments about it. I gave my input that I think they should be identified. Their reasoning was they wanted to keep things positive but that makes no sense to me. Anonymity just creates more down votes. I guess their answer is to do away with the tallies.

          • The Last Moderate

            It bothers me because sometimes somebody will post some kind of really offensive comment which doesn’t violate the site’s rules, so flagging it doesn’t help. All you can do is vote it down. But if the offensive comment is the only comment at its level in the thread, and there isn’t anywhere “down” for it to go, at least you can see “12 downvotes” and the community’s reaction is clear. Now, Disqus would have these downvotes be completely fruitless. And if the real purpose is truly only to determine the ranking of comments on a page, then why does Disqus leave evidence of upvotes?

          • HonestDebate1

            “I’d’ve”, awesome!

    • jefe68

      What is the point of this comment?
      It’s pretty out to lunch in my opinion.

      • tbphkm33

        Ah, look at little bit deeper. The United States is no longer sending its best athletes to the Olympics. As economic stratification has taken hold – the 30 year war by the rich agains the middle class and poor – the United States today suffers from a missing generation of top athletes. The “athletes” that the nationalistic media parade around as royalty are in fact the second string. Kids of the upper middle class and rich who’s parents could afford to indulge their sports pursuits. Whereas the unknown top performers, who in a healthy society would have risen through the ranks, are struggling for survival at home. Names and individuals the world will never know.

        This is what happens to societies that fail and begin to see economic power increasingly concentrated in an ever smaller group. In fact the rich are now buying their kids tickets to be Olympic performers. Sure, you can point to individuals athletes that do not fall into this classification, but overall, the US Olympic delegation is bland and will continue to disappoint.

        The USA is today where Great Britain found itself in the 1950s, a once great nation. The sooner American’s can overcome nationalism, misplaced American exceptionalism‎, and bravado, the sooner it can transform into a nation that can restore itself. Until then, the US will continue to regress and be seen as a 2nd world nation by all.

        • jefe68

          I did not watch the Olympics too much.

          What I did watch, mostly snowboarding, was very good. I’m not sure where you’re getting your stats from, so instead of aligning it to the economics of the past 30 years, I would think if you had stats to back up one of the events, say slalom skiing, it might help your argument.

          • pete18

            Jefe, I think you’re obligated to give 33′s last post one of your “dumbest statements of the day” awards. His explanation is even more out to lunch than his assertion, which was already
            five-hamburgers deep into a Happy Meal.

            There’s more reasonable causality found in the thirty-year trend of the pornography industry than in the supposed war of the rich against the middle class and poor.

            However, it sure would be entertaining to see him try to thread that needle.

          • tbphkm33

            I rest my case, ignorance is abound.

          • jefe68

            I think he’s gone way beyond that award. He’s getting the gold inane meme award for the week…

          • tbphkm33

            Using the aggregate Olympic medal counts is perfectly valid in this larger hypothesis that the USA is suffering from a missing generation of top athletes. A situation traceable to the disastrous, discredited and failed socioeconomic policies introduced by Ronald Reagan, and further bolstered by the neocon/Nopublican/TeaBagger cabal starting with the accession of GW Bush to the throne (oh, I mean the “Presidency.”)

            Across the spectrum of metrics that measure societies, the United States is falling behind and showing up last of the industrial nations. So far that it is valid to classify the USA as a 2nd world nation. It is sad that the average American takes a nationalistic stance to defend the status quo, instead of a more constructive admission that change is needed. Without constructive appraisal of the situation at hand, The People only condemn the United States to further decline. There is no reason the nation as a whole should follow the not-so-Grand-Old-Party into irrelevancy.

          • pete18

            Obviously, Trotskyites don’t do statistics and analysis very well.

            1984 First Olympics after the Great War by the Rich on the Poor: US wins most medals and most gold

            1988 Olympics: US 3rd in total medal count

            1992 Olympics: US 2nd in total medal count, 1st in bronze

            1996 Olympics: US wins most medals and most gold

            2000 Olympics: US wins most medals and most gold

            2004 Olympics: US wins most medals and most gold

            2008 Olympics: US wins most medals and most silver and bronze

            2012 Olympics: US wins most medals and most gold

            There’s a trend line in there somewhere, I’m sure.

          • tbphkm33

            Actually, your assertion with total medals, is a metrics that is propagated by the US media, but in the currency of Olympic medals, Lincoln bronze pennies do not measure up to Kruger gold coins. Gold and silver measure more than bronze, the US has too many bronze.

            Making that claim is akin to a 5 years old arguing they have more money than their friend, because they have 28 pennies and their friend has 26 gold dollar coins.

            Here is the link to the official medal count: http://www.sochi2014.com/en/medals

            By the way, NBC switched last week from counting the way Olympic medals always have been counted to counting total medals. Keep the propaganda machine going.

          • jefe68

            Man you must be a lot of fun a parties…

        • HonestDebate1

          Alrighty then.

    • William

      Tell that to the guys that just got 19 billion for their four year old software company.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Don’t get 30 years of anything without the help of the Yesocrats as well.

      • tbphkm33

        Ah, yes, the argument that “wait a second, we did not managed to screw this up all by ourselves.” Not that convincing of an argument… Then again, Nopublican’s have a problem accepting blame, difficult when your head is stuck down in the sand.

        • HonestDebate1

          But then again, democrats did the Obamacare debacle all by themselves. That’s why it’s doomed.

    • hennorama

      tbphkm33 — you’ve only shown the country rankings by the order of the number of Gold medals.

      The U.S. finished 2nd in total medals, and 1st in Bronze medals. In addition, as was pointed out on usatoday.com,

      “Viktor Ahn, a South Korean speedskater who defected to Russia after the Vancouver Games, won three gold medals and a bronze in short track speedskating, making him the most decorated athlete in Sochi. Another foreign-born Russian athlete, American Vic Wild, won two golds in snowboard. Together, the Vic transplants would have finished a combined eighth on the overall medal count.”

      Congratulations to all the competitors.

      With luck, the IOC won’t award the Winter Games to a city in a temperate climate zone in the future.

      See:
      http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/02/olympics-medal-count-russia-sochi-united-states-most/
      http://olympics.si.com/olympics/medals

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Ah yes, the IOC keeps picking warmer and warmer venues. I’m waiting for the day that the Jamaican bobsled team has home field advantage. Any time now :)

        Despite the warm weather the games went off without many complaints by the athletes (maybe it was the chemicals used on the slopes?). I believe ’64 Innsbruck had severe lack of snow issues. They had to use the Austrian army to truck in massive amounts of snow for the alpine events.

        Regarding the Russian medal count, it appears you are accusing the Russian of being the NY Yankees of the Olympics by purchasing the ‘pennant’.

        • hennorama

          WftC — TY for your response.

          No accusations, just information.

          It’s not exactly a surprise that the Russian Olympic Committee would welcome talented transplants, and the phenomenon has a long history. The IOC no doubt also wanted the Russian hosts to do well, for both attendance and ratings purposes. This is true for all Olympics.

          As to Jamaican bobsledders, Canada had a Jamaican native on their team, and Canada led the Sochi Games with at least 9 confirmed non-native athletes.

          A bit more reporting:

          “A Pew Research Center data analysis finds at least 120 athletes, or 4% of the nearly 3,000 competing in Sochi, are competing for countries other than their birth nations. (For context, about 3% of the world’s people live in countries where they weren’t born.) About a third of athletes did not indicate their country of birth, so for the purposes of our analysis, we assumed they were born in the country they are representing in the Olympics.”

          See:
          http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/02/19/how-many-sochi-athletes-are-competing-for-a-country-that-is-not-their-birth-nation/

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Poor wording on my part. I couldn’t resist a dig on the Yankees.

          • hennorama

            WftC — no worries.

            And as they say in baseball, “hits happen.”

  • OnPointComments

    An editorial about the hypocrisy of liberals.

    EDITORIAL: Kochs vs. Steyer: When ‘evil’ campaign cash is OK
    Conservative contributors bad, Democratic donors good

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/feb/21/editorial-when-evil-money-is-ok/

    Excerpt:
    Democrats love to throw mud balls at the Koch brothers — David and Charles — because they’re successful entrepreneurs, and they’re generous with groups that promote the free-market values that enabled them to succeed.

    The Democratic message is that wealthy Republicans should stay out of politics. When Tom Steyer, the billionaire onetime hedge-fund manager, promised the other day to spend up to $50 million of his own money and to raise another $50 million for Democrats, the critics of “too much money in politics” fell silent. Silence is said to be golden, but this time the silence is only brass.

    The Koch brothers, despite their wealth and interest in politics, are not even in the major league of contributors to political causes. The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics compiled a list of “Heavy Hitters,” top political donors from 1989 to 2014, and the Koch brothers are in 59th place.

    Thirteen of the top 20 donor groups gave nearly all of their campaign cash to Democrats, with ActBlue leading the list with $97.2 million, all of it contributed to Democrats.

    Twelve others on the list were unions that contributed a combined $458 million, nearly all of it to Democrats. Only three of the top 20 donor groups gave predominantly to Republicans.

    Hypocrisy doesn’t even stop there. Mr. Steyer made his enormous fortune as a hedge-fund manager, the demonized trade that Democrats blame for the 2008 market collapse. That was then, and this is now. Political survival sometimes requires “situational ethics.”

    • davecm

      Democrats love to throw mud, they never tell you where they got that mud. It normally comes from their own pot.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Meanwhile In Non-Pro-Europe Ukraine

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-23/meanwhile-non-pro-europe-ukraine

    Interesting.

  • jmc

    I disagree with Michael Hirsh’s assessment of Venezuela. He states that the US has been on the receiving end of Hugo Chavez’s anti-American rhetoric and that we did not respond with any attempt to influence the political outcome there. In fact, the US abetted a presidential coup in 2002 and has funded opposition groups via the National Endowment for Democracy. It’s fair to say that it was US interference that precipitated the anti-American rhetoric. This is typical of the lack of understanding of US-Venezuelan relations that is ubiquitous in the US media.
    However, I agree with Mr. Hirsh in that the US should be on the sidelines in this issue. Venezuela is a democratic country. If the people don’t like their president, they don’t even have to wait for the end of his six-year term. They can vote to recall him half-way through his term, beginning April 2016.

  • hennorama

    Breaking news:

    Jason Collins signed a contract with the Brooklyn Nets, becoming the first openly gay athlete in the NBA.

    “The Nets announced the signing of Jason Collins to a 10-day contract on Sunday, making him the first openly gay athlete in NBA history.

    “The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision,” Nets GM Billy King said in a statement. “We needed to increase our depth inside, and with his experience and size, we felt he was the right choice for a 10-day contract.”

    See:
    http://nba.si.com/2014/02/23/jason-collins-signs-brooklyn-nets/

    • brettearle

      Interesting that the Owner is Russian.

      • hennorama

        brettearle — as usual, a very good point.

        Of course, Nets owner Mihkail Prokhorov is not exactly друг Владимира Путина (a friend of Vladimir Putin).

        On a related note — it was interesting to watch the open tryouts for the rest of NBA when the “Lakers” played the “Celtics,” wasn’t it?

        • brettearle

          Still owe you an examination of the Dunn case and “The Startle Response”.

          Please don’t tell me, `Fah-geddabowtittt’…..

          Since you certainly know I’m a Roundball guy, I’ve, nevertheless, been `Out-of-the-Hoop’ in recent days:

          Please expound on what you meant, regarding the NBA. I’m interested.

          Does this have to do with many potential off-season trades and all the draft picks?

          *****************

          Wow! You’re fleeewwww-ent in Russian, too?

          *******************

          I believe that some players, on the C’s, knew Collins was gay….

          I think Rondo’s Metrosexual.

          Can he sue me for that?

          [I could get some publicity out of it....Hah. Hah.]

          • hennorama

            brettearle — one gets to things when one gets to them.

            Rondo a Metrosexual? Only his stylist knows for sure ;-)

            Not fluent in Russian, but I “know a guy” who trained in Russian at Monterey “back in the day,” so I know a few phrases.

            As to LAL and BOS, they have so many players (esp. LAL) with expiring contracts that the rest of the season is like one long open tryout that the rest of the league can observe. And it’s not like they’re going to win, or seriously TRY to win, many more games.

            OK, time to get back to some recent videos on SI.com. Because: travel ideas.

            Irina shayk, and do svidaniya!

  • pete18

    Good point on Obamacare. Will the apologists ignore?

    “There are written rules that make an act legal, and unwritten ones that make it legitimate, and it is the latter ones this act fails. Medicare, Social Security, and the Civil Rights Act had four things in common that made them iconic: They embodied a popular consensus that was strong if not universal; they were passed by large margins with bipartisan backing, which meant their appeal crossed many factions; they were transparent and easy to follow, so the country and Congress could make
    informed judgments; and they were passed by the usual order of legislative business. The Affordable Care Act, on the contrary, was passed with public opinion running strongly against it; it was passed by the minimum number of votes in the House, with no Republicans voting for it; it was passed through the Senate via a loophole, as it could not
    have passed through normal procedures; and it was so complex, convoluted, and incomprehensible that its contents were a mystery both to the voters and the members who passed it, and remained so until last October, three and a half years after it passed.”

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/slight-case-bastardy_782750.html?nopager=1

    • HonestDebate1

      Yes, they will and already have ignored it. The apologist approve of the “by any means necessary” tactics. They say it’s the law of the land and that’s that. I’m not sure what law they are talking about because it is constantly in flux by decree. So now Obama has learned his lesson and bypasses the legislature altogether.

      • pete18

        Hah, good point.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      But weren’t we all Democratic Socialists back then? There couldn’t have been “free market” or “liberty” types back then that needed appeasing could there have?

      • pete18

        There have always been “free market types.” Then and now they are referred to as voters whose opinions are what are supposed to influence the direction of government.

        However, even if there weren’t, how would that have justified any of the shenanigans used to pass a law that the majority of the public didn’t support?

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          I am in full agreement, was being facetious.

          • pete18

            Sorry, my bad. I always confuse your moniker with one of the other more left leaning crew. You so nailed what one of them might have said.

  • HonestDebate1

    Piers Morgan’s show is being cancelled. Megyn Kelly forced the issue.

  • georgepotts

    #FreeJustina

  • pete18

    Three more cheers for central planning:

    “The news was dumbfounding. This is a woman
    who had an affordable health plan that covered her condition. Our lawmakers weren’t happy with that because . . . they wanted plans that were affordable and covered her condition. So they gave her a new one. It doesn’t cover her condition and it’s completely unaffordable.

    Though I’m no expert on ObamaCare (at 10,000 pages, who could be?), I understand that the intention—or at least the rhetorical justification—of this legislation was to provide coverage for those who didn’t have it. But there is something deeply and incontestably perverse about a law that so distorts and undermines the free activity of individuals that they can no longer buy and sell the goods and services that keep them alive. ObamaCare made my mother’s old plan illegal, and it forced her to buy a new plan that would accelerate her disease and death. She awaits an appeal with her insurer.

    Will this injustice be remedied, for her and for millions of others? Or is my mother to die because she can no longer afford the treatment that keeps her alive?

    Like every American, I want affordable health care, and I’m open to innovative solutions of all kinds—individual, corporate, for-profit, nonprofit and public. It will take all of these, and all the intelligence, creativity and self-discipline we have, as well as everything we can offer one another as families, neighbors, friends and citizens—and it still won’t be perfect. But it is precisely because health care for 300 million people
    is so complicated that it cannot be centrally managed.”

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303945704579390772732855560?mod=hp_opinion&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303945704579390772732855560.html?mod=hp_opinion

    This disaster cannot be repealed fast enough.

  • JGC

    I just got done reading the thread started by tbphkm33, with everyone parsing the Sochi medal count. Canada did very well overall, thanks first to their awesome athletes raised on a diet of maple-syrup-soaked Timbits, and then second, a tip of the skis must go to the Canadian athlete development agency “Own the Podium”.

    Here is the quintessential Canadian moment I heard last evening on “Q”, the CBC radio program hosted by Jian Ghomeshi (a cultural program similar in many ways to NPR’s “Fresh Air”): Ghomeshi had a sports writer on as a guest, and the two of them were doing a Soshi Olympics wrap-up. While discussing the bundle of medals collected by Canadian athletes and the progress in the Canadian medal count over the past 20 years or so, one of them said, “But what does this mean for Canadian underdog status?” The other one mused, “We may have to revise our views on that.” And then there was a long, depressing silence as they (and their Canadian audience) contemplated the miserable burden of being champions.

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