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Week In The News: CIA, Overtime, A Missing Airline

Prison sentences. Overtime pay. The C.I.A. versus the Senate. And Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

In this March 9, 2014 satellite image seen on the website of the Chinese State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, floating objects are seen at sea next to the red arrow which was added by the source. China's Xinhua News Agency reported Wednesday that the images show suspected debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner floating off the southern tip of Vietnam. (AP)

In this March 9, 2014 satellite image seen on the website of the Chinese State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, floating objects are seen at sea next to the red arrow which was added by the source. China’s Xinhua News Agency reported Wednesday that the images show suspected debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner floating off the southern tip of Vietnam. (AP)

The plane that couldn’t be found was all over the news this week.  Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.  Vanished.  But plenty more news very visible.  Russian troops, massed along Ukraine’s border – and many across it as Crimea prepares for a Sunday vote on secession.  Big threats from the U.S. and Europe.  Moscow, plowing ahead.  The CIA and the Senate at war.  The President pushes for more overtime pay for wage earners.  Eric Holder would trim drug offender prison sentences.  G.M. recalls.  A corner of New York explodes.  This hour On Point: our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Nancy Cordes, Congressional correspondent for CBS News. (@nancycordes)

Josh Lederman, White House reporter for the Associated Press. (@JoshLedermanAP)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today: CIA has a lot of explaining to do — “Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, isn’t one to throw bombs. Unlike congressional gadflies who abuse their oversight power to afflict their political enemies and make a name for themselves, the veteran California Democrat has been a responsible and low-key supporter of the intelligence community. So when Feinstein takes to the Senate floor to level explosive charges against the CIA, as she did on Tuesday, attention should be paid.”

The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Investigators Suspect Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane Flew On for Hours –”U.S. counterterrorism officials are pursuing the possibility that a pilot or someone else on board the plane may have diverted it toward an undisclosed location after intentionally turning off the jetliner’s transponders to avoid radar detection, according to one person tracking the probe.”

Mashable: How President Obama Ended Up on ‘Between Two Ferns’ – “As funny (and awkward) as the video may be at times, there was a larger goal in mind. The Obama administration is eager to find ways to engage with young Americans and get them to sign up for the Affordable Care Act. Between Two Ferns and its parent site, Funny or Die, are part of that effort.”

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  • stillin

    The passenger who’s wife was interviewed, as the stated, ” in case I don’t come back”…according to response I got on discs….was highly skilled in aircraft engineering etc. The reply also said the 20 employees of the firm on board, were trained in top secret warfare technology. I wonder where the plane is, and I wonder which government is responsible for it’s vanishing.

  • SteveTheTeacher

    A question:

    What were the CIA torture techniques that former CIA attorney John Rizzo found more disturbing than water-boarding. What he described as out of an Edgar Allan Poe novel?

    What chance is there that this will come out, even if the Senate report on CIA torture is disclosed?

    In the end, despite all the sound and fury between Senator Feinstein and CIA director John Brennan, torture was only part of the crimes against humanity committed as part of the US “war on terrorism.”

    Directly and indirectly, the US military attacked killed many innocent civilians (well over 100,000), the US military use of chemical weapons including white phosphorus and depleted uranium had and continues to have a devastating effect on civilians, and the US developed and implemented the practice of indefinite detention without charge.

    Former President Bush and all those in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches that took a leadership role in these war crimes should be brought trial in the Hague for their crimes against humanity.

    Unfortunately, President Obama staunchly adheres to the Faustian bargain he made as he came to office. He not only continues to protect these war criminals for being held account for their crimes, but he has come to embrace some of their practices including the use of drone killing, crowd killing, and, as was brought out by the case of Jehad Serwan Mostafa, pre-emptive killing.

  • SteveTheTeacher

    How about a process similar to the South African “Truth and Recognition” Commission to disclose the complete truth regarding the US “war against terrorism” including the use of chemical weapons, military and CIA torture, etc.?

  • Yar

    I am no fan of GM, but the coverage of their ignition recall is out of proportion to the issues caused by the ‘defect’. If GM is negligent then cell phone manufactures are certainly negligent for phones that cause (many more) auto accidents.

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

      As this chart shows, from 1990 to 2009, the number of fatalities per 100 million miles driven has declined from 2.1 to 1.1. Surely if cell phones were causing more accidents, then fatalities per mile would not decline nearly 50% in the same period that cell phone use went from rare (less than 15% cell phone penetration in 1996, let alone 1990) to ubiquitous.

      http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s1103.pdf

      • Ray in VT

        That would seem to assume that all others factors are equal, such as assuming that vehicles involved in crashes are equally good in terms of preventing catastrophic injuries now as they were in 1990 or that driver behaviors, such as seat belt usage, are the same now. One source I found said that seat belt usage rates were about 42% in 1987 as compared to 86% in 2012.

        http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811809.pdf

        An estimated 1.6 million accidents were caused in 2012 due to cell phone use:

        http://www.nsc.org/Pages/NSCestimates16millioncrashescausedbydriversusingcellphonesandtexting.aspx

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

          There is that troubling word “estimated”

          The estimate of 25% of all crashes — or 1.4 million crashes — involving cell phone use was derived from NHTSA data showing 11% of drivers at any one time are using cell phones and from peer-reviewed research reporting cell phone use increases crash risk by four times. The estimate of an additional minimum 3% of crashes — or 200,000 crashes — involving texting was derived by NHTSA data showing 1% of drivers at any one time are manipulating their device in ways that include texting and from research reporting texting increases crash risk by 8 times. Using the highest risk for texting reported by research of 23 times results in a maximum of 1 million crashes attributable to texting; still less than the 1.4 million crashes involving other cell phone use.

          So I question the validity of their “estimates” that cell phone use cause accidents.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m sure that you know far more about crunching the numbers than they do.

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

            Well it is a passion of mine.

            and by the way…

            Happy PI Day!

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi_Day

          • Ray in VT

            And to you as well. Perhaps you should endeavor to point out the error of their ways.

          • HonestDebate1

            I agree but I also wonder what the underlying implication is. Is there a push to ban cell phones in cars? Whiny kids, eating Big Macs and adjusting the radio can cause wrecks too.

      • hennorama

        RWB — this likely has more to due with the rise of the air bag as standard equipment than the use of wireless technology.

        IN 1988, Chrysler was the first US manufacturer to install driver’s side air bags as standard equipment on some models, and dual front air bags became mandatory in 1998.

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

    FTA:
    On Thursday Zuckerberg posted a statement on Facebook calling on the U.S. government to take more measures to respect users’ privacy and security. “The US government should be the champion for the internet, not a threat,” reads his statement. “I’ve called President Obama to express my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future. Unfortunately, it seems like it will take a very long time for true full reform.”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2014/03/13/zuckerberg-says-he-called-obama-to-express-frustration-over-nsa-surveillance/

    • John Cedar

      When Zuckerberg says the government is hurting “all of our future”, he must mean, by the government engaging in the same unscrupulous data collection practice that facebook engages in, it puts facebook’s ability to continue do so with impunity, at risk.

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

        Exactly!

      • keltcrusader

        the one time I agree with you!

      • OnPointComments

        Some people are finally coming to the realization that they’re not customers of Facebook, they’re the product that Facebook sells.

        • John Cedar

          This entire issue highlights the invasion of privacy that has been going on since the earlier days of the WWW
          It could be the catalyst that gets some public policy laws passed to stop people from unwittingly consenting.

      • StilllHere

        Except as a FB user you agree to it.

        • J__o__h__n

          Never miss an opportunity to sign all your rights away to your corporate overlords.

          • StilllHere

            What rights? The government already took them away.

        • John Cedar

          I don’t have a facebook account.
          Not sure that most of the users have any idea what they are agreeing to.

          • StilllHere

            The ad you see on this page may not be the same one I see based on what web pages you’ve been to or what you’re internet searches have been. That’s what makes the internet go ’round.

  • HonestDebate1

    So now Bart Stupek says he was hoodwinked with the meaningless signing statement. It was he and his crew that pushed Obamacare across the finish line. I knew at the time it was meaningless, Obama knew it was meaningless. Everybody knew.

    What is with these libs like Stupek, Jonathan Turley and the rest who are just now figuring this disaster of a President out?

    • Ray in VT

      I guess that if one thinks that contraceptives cause abortions, then one might think that one has been “hoodwinked”.

      • HonestDebate1

        It was his word not mine. And yes he considers some types of contraception to be abortion. He singled them out. It’s beside the point. The statement was a sham, the law was not passed with integrity.

        • Ray in VT

          Well, there you go then. Believe whatever you want. It did pass, as much sausage before it has. Just keep on sucking on those sour grapes. Maybe the GOP and pass another bill to repeal it.

          • HonestDebate1

            It was a sham that’s all. No bill this sweeping and transformative has ever been passed this partisanly or with more gimmicks. Now the President refuses to follow the law he railroaded through with lies.

            So sorry this doesn’t bother you.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure it was a sham. What were the lies? Let me guess, something about the CBO saying that the cost tripled?

            Right wing lies and distortions bother me far more than the machinations involved in passing a particular piece of legislation or the difficulties in implementing it.

          • HonestDebate1

            The original cost was certainly a lie. He lied when he said it was not tax. He lied when he said you could keep your plan. He lied when he said premiums would be lowered $2500. He lied on the meaningless signing statement.

            No bill this sweeping and transformative has ever been passed this partisanly or with more gimmicks. That is undeniable.

          • Ray in VT

            How was the original cost a lie? The law is not a tax. he certainly should not have made such an absolute statement about plans, but perhaps the government should have taken better steps to ensure that companies could not maneuver people out of plans that had been grandfathered in. Premiums may yet go down further. Options certainly exist for many to get insurance at rates lower than was previously possible. Contraception isn’t abortion.

            hey, if the GOP wants to line up and in lock step oppose something, then that isn’t the President’s fault. It’s funny how many Republicans supported an individual mandate until Obama supported it. “No bill this sweeping and transformative has ever been passed this partisanly or with more gimmicks. That is undeniable.” Please provide some research on that. I’m sure that you’re examined the history of legislation in order to determine how many “gimmicks” were in other pieces so that such a claim can be backed up.

          • HonestDebate1

            “hey, if the GOP wants to line up and in lock step oppose something, then that isn’t the President’s fault.”

            Yes it is. That is not the way Presidents lead and we’re seeing the results. And it wasn’t just Republicans.

            He lied when he said 4 million were enrolled in Medicaid. He lied when he told Hillary there would not be a mandate. He lied when he said more Americans would be insured. I can do this all day.

            Name one bill this sweeping that was passed like this.

          • Ray in VT

            No, it isn’t. I can’t make you believe facts and the President can’t compel people committed to opposing him to vote for something that he wants. If people are going to vote against the Violence Against Women Act, then I don’t think that anything could make them vote for health care overhaul.

            I’m pretty sure that more than 4 million people are enrolled in Medicaid. Policy positions change based upon realities. Fewer people are now uninsured. I’m sure that you can pass along your list of distortions all day.

            Please enforce the lie standard that you use for George W. Bush on Obama by showing intent. Not inferring.

            You made the claim. You back it up.

          • jefe68

            You sure have a lot of patience with this chap.

          • Ray in VT

            I just feel that blatant lies and distortions like “the CBO said that the cost tripled” and other such nonsense should be constantly refuted.

          • HonestDebate1

            Dude I proved it. Were the original cost claims accurate? They were a lie. Or did they not realize they were lying and actually believe the numbers that Rush and I said were bogus? Take solace in the delusion the cost only doubled if you like.

          • Ray in VT

            No, you did not. You cited numbers put out by the GOP in the Senate. You may believe it, but it is a lie to say that the CBO said that the cost tripled over a certain period of time.

          • HonestDebate1

            The numbers came from the CBO, just different report on the implementation costs. It’s true. The original cost claims were a lie. We can say doubled if you like.

          • Ray in VT

            Nope. They didn’t come from the CBO. The GOP took some CBO numbers from a different period of time, added in some of their own assumptions and made a faulty claim. How were the original cost claims a lie? Tracking of those original numbers I think show that that initial numbers should be less than predicted.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’ll stick with Jeff Sessions. Call him a liar all you want. It’s all a dodge anyway. The cost estimate was a lie. There target was under a trillion over a decide and they gave the CBO the numbers to make that happen.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure. Stick with the partisan lies. Please show how the 10 year cost estimate was a lie, given that that number has stayed stable or decreased over time. I forgot. We can only trust the CBO when we agree with it, because they only do what they are told, and right now they’re just doing Obama’s bidding.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’ve been through it a thousand times. The CBO uses the numbers they are given. If they are given an assumption of 5% GDP and a gazzilion young enrollees then that’s what they go with. The liars are the ones who gave them the i.e. in the sky numbers to project the predetermined outcome. The CBO is not to blame.

            The estimate was $940 billion as I recall. That was way off. Pick any 10 year period you like.

          • HonestDebate1

            There has never been a law the sweeping and transformative that was passed with a 100% partisan vote. Ever.

          • Ray in VT

            Ever? Please cite a source for that. Ever is quite a long time.

          • HonestDebate1

            I am just giving you a wide berth to disprove me. Maybe you can find something in ancient Rome.

          • Ray in VT

            Back up your claim if you can.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s more like 380K. He lied.

            There have been but a handful of laws in the history of the Republic so transformative and sweeping. Social Security, Medicare and a few others. They were passed bipartisanly. There was a debate. People actually read the bill.

            And no, the onus is on you. What am I supposed to do? Give you an example of a law that was not passed? There has never been a law the sweeping and transformative that was passed with a 100% partisan vote. Ever. Prove me wrong, it should be easy.

          • Ray in VT

            There are only 380,000 people enrolled in Medicare? Who knew.

            No. You made the claim. Back it up. I’m sure that you have thoroughly researched this, as you often claim to do, so then it should be easy to provide some evidence in support of your claim.

          • HonestDebate1

            He lied when he said 4 million were enrolled in Medicaid.

            http://nation.foxnews.com/2014/01/16/white-house-caught-another-massive-obamacare-liethis-time-about-enrollments

            Please name one single bill as sweeping and transformative as Obamacare that was passed by one party.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m pretty sure that Medicaid enrolls more than 4 million people.

            Prove the claim that you made with some sources or research. The onus in on you to do so. Back up your claim.

          • HonestDebate1

            What is your purpose Ray? It isn’t honest debate. Yes, Medicaid has more than 4 million. I was talking about the Obama lie. Don’t be obtuse.

            Please name one single bill as sweeping and transformative as Obamacare that was passed by one party.

          • Ray in VT

            Your purpose is not honest debate either, in my opinion. I had not heard that particular claim. It would not appear that 3.9 million new Medicare enrollees are directly attributable to the ACA. The administration says that some 4.2 million people have signed up for plans via the state and federal sites, and the number of people currently uninsured is down significantly recently.
            You made the claim. Please back it up. I made no claim.

          • HonestDebate1

            I gave a link.

            Take a stand, make a claim. Has there ever been a bill this sweeping and transformative passed by one party in the history of the universe?

          • Don_B1

            But by Rudy Giuliani’s definition of “leadership,” President Obama should have decided what he wanted to do and then done it, and let everyone else decide to support his decision.

            Not that President Obama did that, because many of the faults of the PPACA originated in the Democrats accepting Republican proposals, hoping that they would then support the bill, but of course as has been repeatedly shown, the Republicans “negotiated” in order to delay the legislative process and then walked out.

            But keep on making your disprovable claims.

          • JONBOSTON

            I’d love to compare the ACA as passed and what it is today with all the delays , changes and waivers. It’s become the legislative equivalent of a botched abortion.

    • Jay

      Wasn’t Stupek promised all kinds of goodies for his district if he voted for Obamacare?

      • HonestDebate1

        Maybe but you might be thinking of Ben Nelson or Mary Landrieu. Stupeck represented a gang of 15 or so pro-life Democrats concerned about Obamacare paying for abortions. Obama issued a signing statement with empty promises to secure their votes.

        • Jay

          Would that be the same Mary Landrieu who voted to cut benefits to veterans?

  • HonestDebate1

    The House passed H.R. 4138 which requires the President to follow his law. Obama has threatened a veto. Terrific.

    • Jeff

      I just read the bill, it is literally 6 pages long and it only demands that the president must follow the laws passed by Congress and signed by a president, how on Earth could he veto that? Why is the media not covering this law and veto threat?

      http://beta.congress.gov/113/bills/hr4138/BILLS-113hr4138rh.pdf

      • HonestDebate1

        It’s surreal.

      • Ed75

        The law makes sense since the president continues to make major changes in laws by executive order.

    • Charles

      So you’re telling me that Washington has become so ineffectual that they can’t even pass a law to enforce PASSING LAWS?

      I’m so fed up with the Government I could scream. Time to throw all the bums out.

    • MrNutso

      Does the law apply retroactively 1789 and undo any action taken or not taken by a President that did not enforce immigration laws?

      • HonestDebate1

        I hope so.

    • StilllHere

      He needed to pass it to figure out what was in it, and then he didn’t like it, so now he wants to change it.

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

    FTA:
    “The members know that serious climate change legislation stands no chance of passage in this divided Congress,” wrote the New York Times’ climate-change reporter, Coral Davenport. Beyond that, Democrats know that action on climate legislation would help Republicans take the Senate in 2014.

    So why occupy the Senate floor talking about the issue? In short: Faith, identity and cash.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/democrats-talk-about-climate-rake-in-billionaire-bucks/article/2545478

    • Ray in VT

      Informing the public.

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

        I would call it sucking up to Energy billionaire Tom Steyer but opinions vary.

        • Ray in VT

          Certainly it does. In fact much of the public opinion regarding this issue vastly differs from the conclusions of the scientific community.

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

            The truth will out…

            FTA:
            The Pew Research Center’s annual survey of policy priorities, conducted Jan. 15-19 among 1,504 adults, finds that the public’s agenda continues to be dominated by the economy (80% top priority), jobs (74%) and terrorism (73%). As in past years, the lowest-rated priorities are dealing with global warming (29%) and dealing with global trade (28%). (Click here for an interactive showing the public’s priorities since 2002.)

            http://www.people-press.org/2014/01/27/deficit-reduction-declines-as-policy-priority/

          • Ray in VT

            People aren’t too good at dealing with longer term issues in my experience. Most are more concerned with the most immediate and pressing matters,

  • JONBOSTON

    Tom and Jack:
    On its face , the executive order to extend overtime sounds great to the “low information ” types except it will cost jobs, raise prices, or shorten the number of hours worked by affected employees. Increasing the cost of hiring employees will result in fewer people being hired. That’s economic reality. Obama is either clueless about how the private sector operates or an economic illiterate. Employers need certainty in order to make future investment decisions and manage their business. These same employers are already reeling from the ever evolving fundamental changes to Obamacare, new and costly regulations impacting business, etc . Who even knows what the requirements of the ACA is today? How can there be any real economic growth and new jobs if private employers believe they’re constantly under attack by this administration?

    • HonestDebate1

      I don’t think economic growth is a concern with this administration.

    • Don_B1

      The economic innumeracy lies in the other direction, those that oppose the creation of aggregate demand, which is the only way that this economy can be strengthened to provide the growth and prosperity that this country should have.

      What President Obama is doing is the limited measures that he can take when the Tea/Republican members of the House of Representatives do everything in their power to prevent the economy from recovering.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        The corruption and abuse of Keynesian stimulus concepts into to a long term substitute for organic economic supply and demand is a disaster. The debt cannot by repaid. All we are waiting for is to see how the default will be “managed” and how the elite will “manage” to pad their nests with it while extracting huge pounds of flesh from the rest of us.

        Why Keynesian Political Economy Is Theft

        http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-02/guest-post-why-keynesian-political-economy-theft

        • Don_B1

          That response is all that is necessary to convict your of economic innumeracy because Keynesian stimulus is not “a long term substitute for organic supply and demand” and no current Keynesian macroeconomist of any standing proposes that.

          The reason that this slump has gone on for so long is that the initial ARRA was not large enough (or for a still short period, but long enough) considering the depth of the Great Recession. This country could have an unemployment rate at least 1.5 to 2% less than the current rate if a stronger stimulus had been chosen and the need for stimulus would be just about over.

          But just look at the economic performance over the last four years: every time that the economy showed signs of stronger growth, a new measure of the Tea/Republicans took effect, particularly from the budget agreement of 2011, which introduced cuts that deeply hurt the economy.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Do you believe we can mathematically repay our national debt?

      • JONBOSTON

        Why not just sign an executive order giving everyone a “living” wage of $100,000? Or give everyone a new car ( cash for clunkers)? I mean it’s just paper money anyway and the printing presses can print out anything we desire. I guess you’d regard food stamps, unemployment compensation, welfare payments of all kinds, etc as pro-growth economic policies.

  • Ed75

    What a disastrous interview for the president. How silly. As Miller says, ‘I still call it Obamacare. I’ll call it the Affordable Care Act when the president changes his name to Barack Affordable’. But the administration is in the process of postponing the whole law by itself.

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

    What about the separation of Church and State?

    FTA:
    Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero called on local clergy Tuesday to talk about Affordable Care Act insurance enrollment from a position of power: the pulpit.

    “Remember, healthy people show up for work, and healthy people show up for church,” Rogero said, laughing, at an informational breakfast for the faith community Tuesday morning at Mount Calvary Baptist Church. “Healthy people with affordable insurance put more money in the collection plate!”

    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2014/mar/11/mayor-rogero-calls-on-area-clergy-to-talk-up-aca/

    • hennorama

      RWB — religious leaders are free to discuss health care and health insurance with their followers, and such discussions do not imply state influence on any religion, nor any religious influence on the state.

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

        So you feel if a religious leader spoke out against the ACA it would not cross any lines of impropriety?

        • hennorama

          RWB — thank you for your response, and your question.

          It’s not improper for religious leaders to speak out on political topics. Their rights of free speech are well-protected under the U.S. Constitution, and it’s pretty common for religious leaders to speak out on various issues of public policy.

          However, in order to maintain tax-exempt status, religious institutions may not endorse or oppose particular candidates, or intervene in partisan campaigns by using the resources of their organizations..

          • HonestDebate1

            Many were preaching for Obama from the pulpit.

          • Salvor Hardin

            The prohibition by the IRS about religious leaders endorsing or opposing candidates is clearly unconstitutional. The conservative Christian group “Alliance Defending Freedom” (ADF) organizes an event every year called “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” where pastors are encouraged to talk about political issues including their views on candidates. They are encouraged to tape these and send the tapes to the IRS.

            The IRS has never done anything about this because the rule is plainly absurd. So religious leaders are certainly free to express their feelings for or against the ACA.

            Although that being said, if a pastor spent a lot of time on political issues instead of his job of preaching the gospel I don’t believe the pastor would be serving his congregation or the Lord. So political talk should be kept to a minimum and probably only in passing and they should stay focused on their Christian message.

          • hennorama

            Salvor Hardin — TY for your response.

            Tax-exempt 501(c)(3) entities, including religious organizations, are not allowed to engage in partisan political activities. That is different from expressing views on public policy issues, or voter education and registration, for example.

            The IRS has previously revoked the tax-exempt status of at least one church, and the revocation was upheld on appeal. You might find this article to be instructive:

            http://www.alliance1.org/magazine/spring06/nonprofit-law/mixing-politics-with-nonprofits#5.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • Salvor Hardin

            I actually read several articles on the subject before I posted. The IRS was successful in a 1995 case but they lost a case in 2009 and haven’t pursued a single case since then.

            I suspect as long as the endorsements and opposition stay strictly speech and don’t involve paying for things like newspaper ads and other very public spending for or against a candidate as in the 1995 case the IRS will simply ignore the rule.

          • hennorama

            Salvor Hardin — TY again FYR.

            Difficulty in, or lack of, enforcement does not make the law and related regulations unconstitutional. Partisan politicking by tax-exempt 501(c)(3) entities (and 501(c)(4)s as well IMO) should not be subsidized by taxpayers.

            Thanks again for this thoughtful exchange.

          • Salvor Hardin

            You are conflating tax exempt entities which cannot engage in partisan political activities and employees of tax exempt organizations who pay taxes like everyone else and can engage in partisan political activities. So if a church bought a newspaper ad or TV commercial endorsing or opposing a candidate then the church could and should lose its tax exempt status.

            A pastor is an employee of a church who pays taxes on his income and does not lose his free speech rights by being employed by a tax exempt entity. A pastor clearly has a right to speak about whatever political position or candidate as long as they are taxed as a normal individual.

  • Ray in VT

    Retired General Jerry Boykin and Family Research Council Executive Vice President at Frank Gaffney sponsored event: “the Jews are the cause of all the problems in the world” and Obama using subliminal messages to convey his support to Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood. He says that we was joking about the former. I haven’t heard that he has said the same about the latter.

    • HonestDebate1

      Well that’s a new one, you have a negative up vote.

      Do you have a link. Frank Gaffney is highly respected. I tend to believe him.

      • Ray in VT

        That is odd. I guess that someone found out how to do a down vote in a round about way. Of course I have a link. Would you like it? It was at an event pushing more Benghazi myths.

      • Seth DeKooters

        Gaffney is a vlack and tool of Richard Perle. He deserves neither respect or credence.

      • Ray in VT

        “Frank Gaffney is highly respected.” That’s pretty subjective. I’m sure that the Muslims in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where he testified in support of a lawsuit blocking them from building on their own private land, would disagree, as wouldm likely, members of CPAC, where he accused that group of being influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood.

      • Don_B1

        You believe all the misinformation of the “Obama haters,” NeoCons, and other disreputable people of the rightwing crazies.

    • hennorama

      Ray in VT — it’s good that he’s retired.

      That he might think there can be subliminal messages in a speech makes one glad that he no longer has any military power or influence.

  • John Cedar

    Once again, the autocratic president has usurped congress. (or as Senator Schumer calls them, the other two branches of government) This time by directing the labor department to attempt to force overtime pay to salaried workers. This stunt would of course simply result in the reclassification of those employees to a lower hourly wage status and likely end up costing the employee hours.

    • MrNutso

      Is this the same stunt GWB pulled in the opposite direction?

    • Ray in VT

      How has he “usurped congress” on this issue?

    • lobstahbisque

      So is Obama a usurper, or weak ?
      Choose.
      Oh I know, he’s weak because he’s strong.
      Makes sense…

      • John Cedar

        He is both.
        He fights like a girl.

        • OnPointComments

          Just don’t call him a bully bossy. Girls hate that.

          • OnPointComments

            Oops, I meant bossy.

        • lobstahbisque

          Misogyny anyone?

          • John Cedar

            None for me, but thanks for the offer.

        • jefe68

          What are you, a 10 year old kid?
          Because you sound like one.

          • John Cedar

            Have you been eating cake?
            Because your face is all crumby.

  • Ed75

    The problem is we don’t have enough young people, so medical costs are high and unaffordable. Any solution would be hard to find. But Obamacare, supporting and expanding abortion and putting healthcare under government control, is a particularly bad one. The big winner in Obamacare is Planned Parenthood, the abortion provider, and they are out promoting it.

    • anamaria23

      Planned Parenthood has prevented more abortions that any other endeavor.
      Making abortion illegal and harder to obtain will not stop abortion which has been going on for the ages. It will only drive more into the alleys and self inducement leading often to the demise of the mother. The wealthy will always find ways to obtain safe abortions.
      Abortion should be rare and legal. What is needed is family planning and failsafe contraception. The days of 8 children is over. Sexual activity between species is not.

      • HonestDebate1

        Planned Parenthood was designed for eugenics by Margaret Sanger. She was a racist. In 2012 there were more black babies aborted than born in NYC. She’s loving it from below.

        • anamaria23

          The abortion rates are dispiriting. Margaret Sanger is long dead. I hope you are not suggesting that PP practices genocide. 3% of their work entails abortion. 71% involves preventing unplanned pregnancies for all races.
          I do not know of anybody who loves abortion, Margaret Sanger be damned.

          • HonestDebate1

            I am merely saying Margaret Sanger’s dreams are coming true.

    • J__o__h__n

      Will these hypothetical young people have a higher employment rate than their existing counterparts?

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

    FTA:
    The source of Reed’s troubles: gold-plated pensions that guarantee retired city workers as much as 90 percent of their former salaries. Retirement costs are eating up nearly a quarter of the city’s budget, forcing Reed (D) to skimp on everything else.

    “This is one of the dichotomies of California: I am cutting services to my low- and moderate-income people . . . to pay really generous benefits for public employees who make a good living and have an even better retirement,” he said in an interview in his office overlooking downtown.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/in-san-jose-generous-pensions-for-city-workers-come-at-expense-of-nearly-all-else/2014/02/25/3526cd28-9be7-11e3-ad71-e03637a299c0_story.html?hpid=z3

  • lobstahbisque

    Go Bernie. Love that Vermont accent…..

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

      LOL
      Warn people when you post something so funny I almost split my coffee.

      • lobstahbisque

        I think humor should be bipartisan. Plus, it’s part of his appeal to be a flawed fighter.

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

          Bravo

    • Bigtruck

      Substance over style.
      Passion and character are two things that so many of his peers as well as the population are lacking.

  • John Cedar

    Congratulations to David Jolly on his win to represent folks in Florida.
    When it is a special election, it is a lot harder for the democrats to take advantage of no voter ID laws and steal the election.

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

    …Paging IRS Auditors…

    FTA:
    Regardless of how anyone feels about gun control, the mayors’ organization is hardly beyond reproach. Despite Bloomberg’s billions, the mayor used New York City tax dollars and city staff to advance MAIG’s national ambitions. The MAIG domain name was registered in 2006 by the New York City Department of Information and Technology and has remained on city web servers ever since (Politico, June 21, 2013). Bloomberg’s city hall aides were quick to defend the arrangement, asserting a distinction between the actual MAIG coalition which falls within the mayor’s priorities for legislation in the city, and the MAIG Action Fund, a nonprofit advocacy group recognized under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, which spends money on advertising and lobbying.

    http://capitalresearch.org/2014/03/dubious-mayors-against-legal-guns-the-not-so-pretty-story-behind-michael-bloombergs-mayors-against-illegal-guns/

  • lobstahbisque

    “Crimea River, Crimea river, I cried a river over you…..”

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Regarding the explosion in New York City this week due to a leaking gas line, I saw on the news this morning that we have something like 90,000 miles of natural gas pipelines throughout our country. Many of these pipelines were installed decades or even as much as a century ago. I certainly understand that the lines need to be buried, but I am curious as to what the thinking was when they initially installed them in terms of what they would do decades later in terms of check for leaks, replacing pipe, etc..

    • jefe68

      You do know that the pipes are checked for leaks.
      The one that blew up in Harlem was inspected in February, or so ConEd says.

      That said I doubt the 120 plus year old cast iron pipe that was under this building was designed to be used for that long.

      We have a infrastructure crisis in this country, and the only way to fix it is to, fix it. You want to keep on harking on about low taxes, and demand that we have lower ones, then expect things to fall apart.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        I assumed that there is a way to check leaks.I was wondering more about replacing miles of pipe at a time rather just patching leaks as they are found, which is more of a band aid approach. What were they thinking in terms of an overall macro plan?

        We were able to build our infrastructure decades ago without going trillions of dollars into debt. When I drive by a road crew and see 6 guys leaning on shovels watching 1 person working, I have to be skeptical of government’s ability to do infrastructure with any kind of efficiency anymore. When we were initially building our infrastructure, we didn’t have the greedy labor unions holding America hostage for obscene wages, pension benefits, anti-productive work rules, etc. That is why we were able to build our infrastructure using the taxes that were collected rather than going head over heels into debt.

        • Steve__T

          Yes, assumptions will leave you with the wrong ideas. I’m sure you have never heard of on the job training, or job safety instruction. If you have never worked as a laborer, un-point your finger and stick it in your own face.

          • JS

            Amen

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

    FTA:
    Is there some kind of epidemic of that word being used to keep girls from achieving? Many of the surveys cited by the Ban Bossy campaign are decades old, and a more recent survey by the Girl Scouts of America found that girls are more likely than boys to see themselves as a leader or have the desire to be a leader.

    So, why start a national campaign?

    For starters, Sandberg is an ally of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/ban-bossy-campaign-started-by-hillary-clinton-donor-ahead-of-2016-run/article/2545552

  • Jay

    Obama DOJ Asks Court to Grant Immunity to George W. Bush for Iraq War

    http://warisacrime.org/content/obama-doj-asks-court-grant-immunity-george-w-bush-iraq-war

    Could it be that Barack Obama, is getting worried about his own use of illegal drone strikes over Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Pakistan, and Yemen, which have killed many innocent civilians?

    • Bigtruck

      Misguided I’ll give you that but that’s probably not the reason.

      • Jay

        Perhaps Obama is hoping that his successor will return the favor after they are inaugurated.

        • Bigtruck

          I get your point but I don’t think that is why he wants to give immunity to those responsible for so much death and carnage.

    • StilllHere

      I didn’t think we had a DOJ anymore, seems like they’ve been quiet the last 5 years.

  • toc1234

    I think we can all agree that Obama is way out his league with respect to foreign policy.

    • lobstahbisque

      Ah, no.

    • StilllHere

      The facts suggest so.

      • Don_B1

        What facts?

        Don’t just list the trumped-up charges of the Republican rightwing crazies.

        • StilllHere

          How about the charges from Democrat leftwing crazies? Are those to your liking?

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Did Obama take his overtime ideas to congress? I must have missed that step.

    • Ray in VT

      Does he have to?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        I would think so. I’m waiting with baited breath for the media report that points to the existing law that justifies this action.

        It would have been much better if he did take it congress because then the pluses and minuses would be debated in the light of day.

        • Ray in VT

          You would think so based upon what?

          “Experts said the president had
          authority to revise overtime standards without congressional support.
          The Fair Labor Standards Act, the country’s wage-and-hour law, gave the
          U.S. labor secretary the power to revise and update overtime
          regulations.

          “There is no
          question that they have the power through rulemaking to do this,” said
          Ross Eisenbrey, vice president at the liberal-leaning Economic Policy
          Institute in Washington, D.C.”

          I doubt that there would be much in the way of honest or productive debate in Congress, given how the GOP is trying to weaken overtime rules that would cost people overtime wages.

          • Don_B1

            The trolls here ignore it when President Obama has legislation that allows him to make adjustments, from the Fair Labor Standards Act to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, because they have adopted a mantra of making the President the most law-breaking president ever, despite the lack of much substance for those claims, at least in the ones they want to emphasize.

            But it sure riles up their base.

          • Ray in VT

            Haters gonna hate. Some people just need to be outraged I guess, even when there isn’t a good reason.

        • anamaria23

          What is the minus for a worker not contributing free hours to his employer?
          A well run business should not have to depend on free labor. Additionally, more money in workers pockets means more business across the economy.

    • OnPointComments

      One of the persistent fantasies in liberal world is that every business has an unlimited pile of hoarded money that could be given to its employees. President Obama believes that he can mandate higher pay and there won’t be any repercussions.

      My prediction: The business owner will cut the pay rate of employees who were previously exempt so that their annual compensation, including overtime, comes out to the salary that the employer and employee agreed to when the employee was hired.

      If President Obama spent as much time removing the government shackles from private enterprise as he does dreaming up ways to spend other people’s money, everyone would be better off.

      • Bigtruck

        Just have corporations pay their taxes and a living wage. The rich will still be rich, maybe one or two less paintings in the Museum in Bentonville. We will all be better off. Who is going to Bentonville to see art anyway?

  • MrNutso

    Fantasy Island?

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Tom, could you get Nancy to comment on the embarrassing actions by CBS news on their most aggressive government watchdog reporter, Sharyl Attikson?

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2014/03/10/the-medias-obama-protection-society-liberal-bias-sharyl-attkisson/

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Gin em’ up!

  • toc1234

    I think we can all agree that Obama is way out his league with respect to comedy (and heathcare policy).

    • StilllHere

      I believe it’s rspcet.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    What a propoganda tool that interview was. What was hilarious, was not the content of that set up sham, but how it actually got all these interviews by the director on morning shows etc in a serious way…..

    Shame on the media tools who perpetuate this nonsense.

    Then again, the youngsters don’t even know what the term “sold out” means.

  • Jay

    Since July 2013, Turkish citizens have been protesting against the corrupt, authoritarian government of Recep Erdogan. Why isn’t the US getting involved in Turkey, like it has in Libya, Syria, and Ukraine? Oh, that’s right, Turkey is a US puppet-state, and Libya, Syria, and Ukraine refused to give up their sovereignty to the war-mongering kleptocrats in DC.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    I am not an Obama fan with regard to his policies (I like him personally), but I think that the guy that interviewed the president was a rude idiot. I don’t know what his politics or motivation are. No matter how one feels about the person in the office, I think that there is still a respect that should be shown for the office itself. Plus just some common decency in interacting with another human being. Perhaps he thought that he would get more publicity by being off the scale in terms of belligerence.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      The entire thing was scripted and approved by the WH. Don’t feel so bad for Obama.

    • Ray in VT

      You know that it is a comedy series, right?

      • HonestDebate1

        For comedy to work there must be an element of truth.

        • Don_B1

          Except when you are part of it, or attempt to be a part of it.

  • MrNutso

    Jack,

    4000 votes separated the two candidates, less than the Libertarian candidate drew. Jolly campaigned on repeal AND replace.

    • StilllHere

      America has spoken but is Obama listening.

      • Ray in VT

        If by America you mean one Republican leaning district in a special election in March.

        • StilllHere

          That’s not what Democrat strategists were saying going in.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup. They felt like they had a shot. I don’t put too much stock in such events, given the size of America and the various factors at play in each state and district.

      • MrNutso

        183,000 votes cast in a district out of a population of over 700,000.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      And the lobbyist won.

  • J__o__h__n

    Nancy Cordes , why would a seat in a district that Obama narrowly won because of the youth vote be expected to go Democratic in a non-presidential year election when young people historically have low voting rates?

    • MrNutso

      Because nothing ever changes.

    • HonestDebate1

      Jolly was out spent 4 to 1. The election was referendum on Obamacare. It matters.

      • Ray in VT

        Like the last referendum, when Obama won by millions of votes and Democratic candidates for Congress also took in more votes nationally?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          But that was when you could “keep your plan and doctor” and the attack was “a spontaneous uprising caused by a youtube video”.

          This is now. The truth has set in.

          • Ray in VT

            One of your talking points was out of date by the election, and Chrysler was supposedly sending all Jeep production to China.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            We already debunked the jeep story. Keep trying.

          • Ray in VT

            Romney said it. If you want to believe the lie that he didn’t, then feel free.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who is Romney?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Exactly. Just some guy with car elevators.

          • Ray in VT

            So are you conceding that he said it?

          • HonestDebate1

            NO! He did not say that!

            He said this:

            “I saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China. I will fight for every good job in America. I’m going to fight to make sure trade is fair.”

            His ad said this:

            “Who will do more for the auto industry? Not Barack Obama. Fact checkers confirm that his attacks on Mitt Romney are false. The truth? Mitt Romney has a plan to help the auto industry. He is supported by Lee Iacocca and the Detroit News. Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China. Mitt Romney will fight for every American job.”

            They are now making Jeeps in China.

          • Steve__T

            You never fail to amuse.

          • HonestDebate1

            Thank you.

          • Ray in VT

            So he did say that they were thinking of moving all Jeep production to China? It’s just too bad that reports were not that the company was going to move all production to China, as he said. Thank you for agreeing with me. I think that the real lie was that he would fight for American jobs.

          • HonestDebate1

            You moved the goalpost. First you said he said, “One of your talking points was out of date by the election, and Chrysler was supposedly sending all Jeep production to China.” and then, “Romney said it”

            He said he read a story that said they were thinking about it. That is a world away from your claim. They make jeeps in China, Politifact had to correct their lie of the year.

            How is Obama’s Labor Force Participation Rate looking? Is he fighting for American jobs by mandating arbitrary wages, imposing Obamacare regulations and defining overtime? Are higher taxes creating jobs?

          • Ray in VT

            Not at all. Yeah, he said that he read it. It is just too bad that the article didn’t say that they were moving all Jeep production to China. The ad, not containing those exact words is just misleading, while his statement upon which it is built is a lie.
            I’ll stick with majority of Americans who support the minimum wage and think that it should be higher and not the nutball fringe who call it an “abomination”. It must really suck for those people who can’t get kicked off of their insurance if they get sick or get their rates run up. Why would Obama be so heartless? I don’t think that higher taxes on certain top earners is hurting job creation too much, and my federal taxes, like those of most Americans, are not any higher now than when Obama came in, and I got a nice break for a while. Care to run a bunch more layoff numbers from right after the election in order to show the doom and gloom that was supposed to occur. Maybe you can make some wildly idiotic claims about the administration doctoring employment numbers. I’m sure that that plays well in your circles.

          • HonestDebate1

            Where do they make jeeps Ray?

          • Ray in VT

            All over the place. Are they moving all Jeep production to China?

          • HonestDebate1

            Maybe they will but Romney didn’t sday what you claim. This is what he referenced:

            “Fiat SpA (F), majority owner of Chrysler Group LLC, plans to return Jeep output to China and may eventually make all of its models in that country, according to the head of both automakers’ operations in the region.”

            http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-21/fiat-says-china-may-build-all-jeep-models-as-suv-demand-climbs.html

            And here is the latest update I could find:

            http://wot.motortrend.com/1403_chrysler_close_china_jeep_manufacturing_deal.html

          • Ray in VT

            So, when he said that Jeep was going to move all production to China, which is not the media were reporting at all, then he didn’t really say it? Good to know.

            The latest that I could find:

            http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-03-14/the-jeep-plant-mitt-romney-said-was-moving-to-china-is-hiring-1-000-workers-in-ohio

            The plant has been going so hard that it’s bringing in 1,000 part time people so that the regular workers can take a break from 60 hour work weeks. I bet that all of those people are glad that the government didn’t let Detroit go under, as Romney said it should have done.

          • HonestDebate1

            Thanks for saving me the trouble.

          • anamaria23

            A reliable report was given by David Kirkpatrick Cairo Bureau Chief of the NYTIMEs who was on the scene in Benghazi the day after and has conducted an extensive investigation thereafter.
            It is online.

  • Jay

    Cornel West: ‘Obama Is A Global George Zimmerman’ (VIDEO)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/22/cornel-west-barack-obama_n_3635614.html

  • Emily4HL

    I hope you’ll devote a future show to “Rape Insurance” in Michigan.

  • Cory Heaton

    Ask your guests about senate deal renewing UI benefits.

  • Coastghost

    Oh I missed that: just what did Edward Snowden have to say at SXSW about the turmoil he himself may’ve had a hand in generating in Ukraine? Anything at all, any clarifications, admissions, confessions?

    • J__o__h__n

      Why would he generate turmoil in the Ukraine as he can’t antagonize the Russians too much or he will be on the first plane back to the US?

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

    Boehner is unbelievable. Overtime pay means that people who have jobs have more money to spend, and this boosts the economy *immediately*.

    • MrNutso

      Or, employers hire more workers so current workers don’t have to be paid over time.

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

      No it means that the barriers to having two 20 hr/week co-managers have been reduced.

    • HonestDebate1

      No it doesn’t, it just means less overtime and fewer jobs.

      • Ray in VT

        So they have a set amount of work that needs to be done, and they don’t want to pay someone overtime, so they aren’t going to hire someone to do that work if they don’t want to pay someone the overtime?

        • MrNutso

          That’s right, because they get the work done for free now.

        • HonestDebate1

          If it’s cost prohibitive then it is what it is.

  • Allen Horner

    Tom, you made the statement in answer to Craig’s comment on elminating overtime, “But those people need the OT pay or how are they going to make ends meet?” Well how the heck are those long-term unemployed (no pay) people going to make ends meet? I agree with Craig’s comment, have agreed with it and written countless times to my representatives on this.

    Craig, you’re right on the money!

  • J__o__h__n

    The Republican minimum wage claim is not “a strong argument.” I don’t think much of Nancy Cordes as an analyst as evidenced by her performance this morning.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    With a fresh 2 feet of snow in northern New England and some great spring skiiing it looks like mother nature has left the alarmists silent (actually they aren’t silent, they just look stupid).

    “CBS Predicts Climate Change Means the End of Snow: ‘Winter Sports Could Be Doomed’

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2014/02/27/cbs-predicts-climate-change-means-end-snow-winter-sports-could-be-do

    • Ray in VT

      It’s cold today, so there must be no global warming.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Go skiiing. It ain’t gonna be any better than now.

        • Ray in VT

          I don’t ski, but don’t skiers like snow that’s a bit packed? It seems like it is hard to move in 12-20 inches of fluff.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Powder skiing is just another skill. Usually you have to go out west to hone that skill.

            This new snow should extend the season into bikini skiiing territory. Always popular when conditions are right.

          • Ray in VT

            I just want people to come here, spend their money, and then go home.

          • HonestDebate1

            Here in NC its mostly icy. I once played a gig in Sun Valley, Idaho. It was a whole different ball game.

            But you’re missing the point. AGW causes snow and not snow. It causes heat and cold. It causes droughts and floods.

          • Ray in VT

            You seem to be implying that there would be a contradiction there, which people who study the science would not.

          • HonestDebate1

            I still have not had anyone explain how AGW can cause mild hurricane seasons.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Remember a Christmas Story and the tongue fusing to the metal pole? We now have algore’s latest ‘inconvenient truth’

            http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/gore_tongue.jpg

          • northeaster17

            Algore. A term bestowed upon us by Rush the addict and consumant B.S.er. Terms like that may sound quant to Dittoheads, I perfer the term Divothead (think I’ll copywrite that one).
            But to most people stuff like that comes out as plain ignorant.

          • Ray in VT

            There are many factors at play. Try reading some research. It may enlighten you.

      • MrNutso

        It’s warmer today than yesterday. There must be some explanation.

      • HonestDebate1

        I have never seen anyone make that argument. I don’t even know anyone who says there is no global warming. However, I have seen the opposite claims from the weather deniers.

        • Ray in VT

          Do you hold that telescope up to your blind eye, Nelson?

          • HonestDebate1

            Straw men are silly.

          • jefe68

            Really? Do tell…

      • pete18

        Live by the claims of weather being signs of Global Warming die by the ………

        • Ray in VT

          It is cold today, so there can’t be global warming. I wonder how that record heat is working out in Australia. Edit: or Alaska for that matter.

          • pete18

            I’m not claiming weather to be a measure,
            I’m just noting that the warmists have been using weather trends to make wild claims about Global Warming for a long time. Goose, Gander.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Goose Gander doesn’t work with these guys. They are the chosen ones, not fowl.

          • jefe68

            Well, it seems mendacity works with the righty tighty gang.

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, and a big March snow storm or a cold eastern U.S. winter isn’t a trend. However, string weather together for long enough and you do get a trend that shows a changing climate.

          • pete18

            Oh, then weather does count?

          • Ray in VT

            When there is enough of it. One storm or one cold winter in one part of the world does not a trend or the climate make.

          • pete18

            So what exactly is the trend that we should be worrying about?
            http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/DecJan-USA48-temps-1973-2014.png

          • Ray in VT

            The one that is showed by the research, and not the cherry picking of one scientist who thinks that there can’t be climate change because man can’t destroy god’s creation. Note that his graph is based upon approximately 350 U.S. based stations. Would it be his, and therefore your, assertion, then, that temperatures have not increased in the contiguous U.S. over the past 40 years?

          • anamaria23

            The Great Lakes are frozen solid affecting commerce.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m sure that it is affecting any traffic via the water. It has certainly been a quite unusual winter in a number of places.

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

          Actually, the broken down jet stream *is* probably what has made it so cold in places and times outside of the norm.

          The melting Arctic ice is probably what is weakening the jet stream.

          • Ray in VT

            I’ve seen that suggested. I would like more research before forming a solid opinion on the matter.

      • jefe68

        And it will be warm on Monday… then maybe cold again…

        Let George tell it:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2HpB5CGfLQ

    • lobstahbisque

      Yup. Scrape the bottom of that barrel. I really expect more from you, you’re slipping.

    • jefe68

      No, all the stupid is on you pal. As you don’t seem to know the difference between weather and climate.

    • hennorama

      WftC — I still think On Point should have a separate AGW forum where these arguments could go on without distraction.

      One also must note that the first paragraph of the linked item demonstrates how misleading the headline is (emphasis added):

      In another attempt to promote global warming activism, CBS This Morning journalists on Thursday warned viewers that climate change could lead to the end of snow and skiing. Co-host Charlie Rose informed viewers that “the author of a controversial book believes winter sports could be doomed.”

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        See, it is such a compelling topic you had to weigh in. :)

        “could” — Glad you picked up on that. Of course that is how the propaganda is spread by the alarmists and also why the public ain’t buying.

        • hennorama

          WftC — TYFYR.

          CBS was reporting not predicting, and there were numerous caveats in their reporting. If you wish to view that as “propaganda,” so be it.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “CBS was reporting not predicting”

            Well they were reporting an alarmists dire predictions. At least this time they interviewed a ski operator who was somewhat skeptical of the doomsday predictions.

            CBS doesn’t have a good record on this. Scott Pelley wasn’t interested in interviewing any one skeptical about his view of the science, explaining himself as thus:
            “If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?“ SP 2006

          • hennorama

            WftC — TYFYR, and for the admission of the linked item’s false headline.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Wrong. The headline OK. You are nitpicking.

  • MrNutso

    Bring back President Ford’s wage and price controls. That’s Republican Gerald Ford. Republican.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      I thought it was Nixon. But it just shows you that stupidity has no party boundary.

      • MrNutso

        I see that Nixon started. I just remember Ford talking about it. Difference between a 9-year old and a 14-year olds attention.

        • jefe68

          You mean President Ford who told NY City to go screw itself?

          By the way neither he nor Nixon could ever be nominated (for a presidential run) in todays’ ultra right wing GOP.
          I doubt Ford could even run for the senate today.

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

            Are you saying that “Trick Dix” Nixon would be a good president today?

          • Ray in VT

            I would be willing to bet that he meant his policy stances.

    • hennorama

      MrNutso — you are recalling Pres. Ford’s voluntary WIN (Whip Inflation Now) program. As WftC points out below, it was Pres. Nixon who put a 90-day price freeze in place, on Aug. 15, 1971.

      • MrNutso

        Corrected myself below.

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

        I remember WIN pins and LOSE Buttons

        L ay
        O ff
        S omeone
        E lse

  • kaybee63

    I like how Mr. Military can get by on minimum wage – but doesn’t he receive government benefits that your typical minimum wage earner doesn’t – a pension, etc.? That’s part of the difficulty.

    • lobstahbisque

      Make allowances for the poor man— he’s from the south.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        You should have been an ethnic cleanser. They may pay overtime.

        • Ray in VT

          Southerners are a race?

          • lobstahbisque

            Make allowances for the poor man—– he’s a fascist. Also, he edits his posts with out telling anyone.

          • Ray in VT

            For minor stuff (word choice for example) I don’t or if I make the change within moments of posting. I did just note an edit a minute ago because it added a point.

        • lobstahbisque

          Your original comment, “You are a racist.”, was snappy. Also, a major solecism….

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Yes, but not technically accurate, while effectively the same. It is these arrogant attitudes and willingness to disenfranchise that cause civil conflict.

            Disenfranchisement and ad hominems vs debate.

          • lobstahbisque

            And you’re ugly too!

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Quick, to the other show thread, a libertarian leaning republican with a southern sounding accent!

    • jefe68

      Well, it was clear that chap left out a lot of the benefits he received in the military. Free health care, free meals, and if I’m not mistaken free housing or subsides for housing.

      the thing is this guy is either a fool of a lier. Because you can’t survive on one minimum wage job. He could be both.

  • StilllHere

    The small- and mid-sized businesses affected by Obama’s overtime move will likely shift to more part-timers or exempt status or pass costs onto customers. This could contribute to inflation.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    What about the economy is holding back job creation and thus a more competitive labor market that leads to increased wages?

    All this micromanaging and mandating of economic activity. It never has, never will work.

    Print money, micromanage, skim profits and political capital by being a micromanager of well positions crony capitalist, and let everyone else suffer the inevitable unintended consequences.

  • Ed75

    Pope Francis has named Cardinal Pell the head of the Secretariat of the Economy, to study economic issues exclusively, and has set up an eight person group to work on economic issues. The head of the group is a cardinal from Germany, Cardinal Marx (no kidding!).

    • lobstahbisque

      Better than Cardinal Sin, remember him?

      • Ed75

        Yes, I think he’s retired now. I think he was in the Philippines (or was it Hong Kong?). They just made the archbishop of Soeul the first cardinal of Soeul, and the pope plans to visit there for a national young day, in October, I think. South Korea is very Catholic.

        • lobstahbisque

          Pretty sure he was in the Philippines. Also a pal of the Marcoses?

          • Ed75

            That’s right, he was the cardinal at the center of that, tried to keep civil order when Aquino took over. Probably helped his cause. But the Church works for the salvation of everyone, rich and poor.

          • lobstahbisque

            Poor Imelda. I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes…. yuk ,yuk.

          • Ed75

            Pretty good! Of course there are different kinds of poverty, some lack material possessions, some lack any relationship with God. Mother Teresa said that the second, which we have in the West, was the harder one to deal with.

    • Ray in VT

      That’s amusing (his name being Marx and being from Germany that is).

      • jefe68

        Is his first name Groucho?

        • northeaster17

          Karl would be amused

      • lobstahbisque

        Yuk. Yuk.

  • OnPointComments

    It looks like Tom is not going to take advantage of having the Congressional correspondent for CBS News as a guest to ask about Sharyl Attkisson leaving CBS News.

    • jimino

      Likely because she figures to make more money selling whatever it is she sells to the right-wing nutosphere. I expect a position with Fox news and a book that you and other like-minded will certainly buy to reinforce what you already know is the real truth about the Obama administration that everyone else is hiding.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        She was a stalwart investigator during Bush just as the media watchdog should be. The only difference is CBS opted to rarely air her work under Obama.

    • HonestDebate1

      Evidently she considered quitting a year ago but was talked into waiting. She also had her personal computer hacked.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Ok “liberals”, who does inflation hurt?

    The ONLY logical solution to fighting the job loss and inflation that all this money printing and mandating in the economy creates, is to COMPLETELY manage and centrally plan the economy to have a chance of chasing the tail and trying to come up with a fix for every unintended consequence.

    That is what you really believe we should/could do. But that is the height of naiveté and arrogance and has never ever worked. Instead everyone suffers with each repeat of the experiment.

    Good lord, establish the basic rules of the game, no cheating, no stealing, no collusion, no false advertising, basic anti-trust principles, no dumping toxins into the water, then just get the hell out of the way and let people supply and demand things.

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

      “History repeats … first as tragedy, then as farce”

      • jimino

        And then as a speech delivered to CPAP.

        • StilllHere

          Your comments put me to sleep.

    • jimino

      For some bizarre reason you single out “liberals” as needing to be advised: “Good lord, establish the basic rules of the game, no cheating, no
      stealing, no collusion, no false advertising, basic anti-trust
      principles, no dumping toxins into the water, then just get the hell out
      of the way and let people supply and demand things.”

      In the real world, ONLY a government with authority over the economic activity within its borders has ever achieved what you suggest as necessary. Left to their own devices we get rivers and tap water that can be lit on fire and widespread fraud and thievery from economic actors.

      In your world, what entity makes and enforces the necessary rules of the game?

      • hennorama

        jimino — Enforcement? We’d don’t got no enforcement. We don’t need no enforcement. [We] don’t need to show you any stinkin’ enforcement!

        (apologies to John Huston)
        http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VqomZQMZQCQ

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Are we talking about illegal immigration now?

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        A limited government doing those things. I know you guys aren’t this dense. Libertarian ideas are not Anarchy. How does “Rule of Law” not include laws?

        Go study Rule of Law Not Men for a month.

        Think about Laws, as basic, predictable, non-discretionary, rules of the game, covering the basic tenants of Classically liberal civilization. No killing, stealing, corruption. Constitutional rights to equal access to justice, etc.

        Then think about Central Planning, or Technocratic Management, by a small group of elites.

        Then think about Iraq, the Fed-created Bubble and Crash, Too big to fail bailout of Clinton/Bush cronies, NSA abuse etc etc.

        Its not that complicated.

        Putting too much power, trust and discretion in the hands of the central government, any more than necessary, is a very bad idea, as shown by history. Ours, and the worlds.

        The Central Government is not the place to play games trying out our latest social justice theories or economic models. We have courts and Constitutional protections for justice. We have a marketplace to try economic ideas, short of stealing and cheating and fixing, and let them succeed or fail.

        • jimino

          Do you get all dreamy-eyed and seem to others to be in a trance when reciting this gibberish? Just when has any society, EVER implemented what you call for without being f’ing forced to do so by a governmental entity? EVER?

          And when has any elected official ever gone to the mat to implement what you apparently see as the natural order of things?

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    The new generation is/will be more secular populist libertarian whether they realize it or not.

    http://reason.com/reasontv/2013/08/09/what-is-libertarian-populism

    I actually fell for Obama and thought there was that streak.

    Rorshacht test

    (wrong show thread)

  • lobstahbisque

    The conservatives seems to be more than usually incretinated this morning.

    • tbphkm33

      What’s that saying that doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity. That in itself proves that the Nopublican’s and Tea Bagger’s are insane. Same old propaganda day-in and day-out. Heck, Voodoo Economics has been touted for over 30 years now.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Haven’t you said that over and over now?

        • pete18

          It’s his only shtick. So clever.

        • tbphkm33

          It must sting, since you clowns are still responding.

    • OnPointComments

      A criticism that lacks sting coming from a prolific incretinater.

  • Blue_To_Shoe

    I think this segment would have been a lot better without the ‘talking heads’ – focusing more on caller opinions.

    What I’ve noticed about discussions – no matter the issue – these talking heads filter EVERYTHING through their critiques of Obama!

    These issues are FAR MORE IMPORTANT than the Obama (even as President); and the larger concerns always seem to fall by the side in favor of the standard political talking points pushed by these talking heads.

  • northeaster17

    On economy and living wages and overtime.
    When the free market is manipulated to drive down wages it is supoosedly a good thing. When the free market is manipulated to increase wages, in the face of undeniable increased productivity, it is portrayed as an economic wrecking ball. Bring it on.

    • HonestDebate1

      Market manipulation is bad.

      • jimino

        Not for the manipulators who benefit from it and those officials taking orders and money from them.

      • northeaster17

        Markets are manipulated all time. In my opinion the term free market is not possible. Over the long run there is to much at stake for participants to let it go on faith or chance.

        • HonestDebate1

          Sure they are, that doesn’t make it good.

  • Lector

    Jack Beatty expressed dismay that the portion of GDP going to labor (wages) has declined over time. Isn’t that the essence of technological progress? If I used to pay six people a total of $200 ($33 each) to dig a ditch for which I charged $1000, 20% went to labor. Now, I pay one person $75 to dig the ditch with a Bobcat, and I charge $1500 (inflation, you know), so 5% goes to labor. Is that a bad thing?

    • jimino

      Did you build your Bobcat, or did some labor-type human being have some role in producing it? How about the fuel needed to run it? You have your own oil well and refinery?

      Maybe you should think about your dismayingly simplistic critique a bit more.

      • Lector

        Allow me to connect the dots for you. Back in the day, labor was also employed to forge the steel and cut the wood to make the shovels (and build and fuel and operate the trucks and trains that transported the shovels to market). And yes, labor is employed to make the Bobcat and produce the fuel to run it.

        If, however, each of the steps involved in producing the Bobcat and the fuel to run it has been affected (improved?) by the introduction of technology, then labor’s share of those activities has also been reduced.

        Take it one step further: back in the day, the steel for those shovels was probably produced in a US mill. The shovels were probably assembled and sold by a US tool company. Now, my Bobcat might well be made in Korea, so even the (reduced) labor required is not employed in the US. If all of that allows me to dig a ditch with one person and a Bobcat, even though a smaller percentage of the $1500 I charge goes to US labor, is that a bad thing?

        If we’re not going to pay the prices required to support steel mills, tool companies, and Bobcat manufacturers in the US (and why should we if they’re produced more efficiently elsewhere?), then we need to find other ways to employ US labor. That’s the real challenge.

        The days of taking your high school diploma and going to work in a factory for 30 years in order to retire with a lifetime pension and health insurance are gone, and for the right reasons.

        In the short term, you can transfer wealth to cover up the problem, but to paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, “eventually you run out of other people’s money.” We have a tremendous amount of work to do to revamp our education system to prepare people for the kind of jobs that will allow them to support themselves in the 21st century. Our current system worked fairly well for a brief period of time (40-50 years after WWII), but it’s not working anymore.

        • jimino

          You are correct that the rules governing our and the world’s economy have come to greatly favor globally deployed capital at the expense of labor. But that was the intended result of policy decisions. And it can be changed, but I don’t think that’s likely.

      • HonestDebate1

        I’m guessing he bought the bobcat with his hard earned and taxed money.

    • HonestDebate1

      I think it’s a good thing.

      I have a bobcat 440b to clean stalls. It needs a new engine, the rings are shot. It turns out the EPA has outlawed the motor. The only option is to let the factory rebuild it and bring it up to specs for $4000. There are no parts available and a mechanic can be heavily fined if they rebuild it as is. The motor is basically a 2 cylinder 18hp lawn mower engine and should cost about $700. We can’t afford to replace the engine without significant hardship. The motor still runs and I will run it until it won’t go anymore. So now, thanks to the EPA, it bellows white smoke big time. We have big fans in the barn to keep from being suffocated. This has been going on once a week for several months.

      No point really.

      • Ray in VT

        I’ve got a used wheelbarrow that I can sell you.

        • HonestDebate1

          I’ve got plenty.

          • Steve__T

            Yeah we know, you keep shoveling it in here from your barn.

          • HonestDebate1

            It builds character.

          • Steve__T

            No it builds stench.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s just recycled grass. One night I’ll be on stage in front of thousands of adoring fans and the next morning I’m shoveling poo. It keeps me real.

          • Steve__T

            Real as a 3 dollar bill and an elixir that cures all ills.

        • hennorama

          Ray in VT — wheelbarrows are really not viable replacements, but one must call into question the management ability of any business that doesn’t plan for mechanical breakdowns or unforeseen contingencies.

          Especially a business that hasn’t resolved an issue that they’ve been aware of since at least Sept. 2012.

          See:
          http://onpoint.wbur.org/2012/09/21/week-in-the-news-214#comment-663503975

          • HonestDebate1

            Yea, our business sucks. We have no vision. It’s too bad you haven’t a clue.

            We bought another Bobcat after that year and a half old post. We resolved it. We got 12 years out of the first one, this one will not last as long. We got it for $5200 and will be fine even after having to replace the motor when it goes. It’s not an expense we need but a year and a half ago we were looking at $20K. Instead we paid a quarter of that and have had a year and a half to save for the pending replacement motor. We’ll have an essentially brand new Bobcat plus a spare for parts if the hydraulic pumps, chains, cylinders or anything else breaks down.

            Last year we went to the pitchfork for a couple for months, it’s harder but not too bad. We can clean the entire barn in about 5 hours. It’s good honest work.

            The file you keep on me is creepy and the lengths you will go just to make ridiculous nasty accusations is truly something you should reflect on. It is not becoming.

          • Ray in VT

            Whether or not something is a viable replacement depends upon the situation. I cleaned our 2 heifer barns, which tied about 60 head each, with a shovel and a wheelbarrow throughout my high school years. Now, it’s not a great alternative for my brother’s barn, where he has some 400 head, but he did do it last year when his ram clogged and while he had a new auger on order. He certainly resolved it in less than 2 years.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — TYFYR.

            Yes, of course a wheelbarrow and hand tools arean option (been there, done that, too) in the short term, but is not a cost-efficient long-term solution without free labor.

            What I found curious about the circumstances referred to was what appears to be a stubborn refusal to deal with the realities of regulation, and to perpetuate the issue. It would be similar to your brother deciding that the dairy sanitation and pasteurization regulations were too burdensome.

            Anyhoo … thanks again for your response.

          • Ray in VT

            Some just won’t be cowed by the evil oppression coming out of D.C., with its demands for clean air and water.

    • hennorama

      Lector — for a long time (mid-1940s to mid-1970s), “Compensation of Employees: Wages & Salary Accruals (WASCUR)” (this is Federal Reserve-speak) as a percentage of GDP, stayed in a very narrow range, right around 50 percent. In this same period, “Corporate Profits After Tax (CP)” as a percentage of GDP stayed mostly in the range of 5 to 8 percent.

      Since that time, WASCUR (employee compensation) has fallen to about 42 percent, and CP (corporate profits after tax) have risen to 11 percent.

      All of this is coincident with the decline in labor union membership, especially in private enterprise.

      The chart below uses FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data), and shows WASCUR (employee comp.) in red, and CP (corporate profits after tax) in blue, for the period from Jan. 1, 1947 through Oct. 1, 2013.

      • OnPointComments

        I agree that “all of this is coincident with the decline in labor union membership, especially in private enterprise,” but it is also coincident with increased globalization and rapid technological change. I wonder what the wage to GDP ratio was in 1900 when 40% of American workers worked in agriculture; I bet it was really high.

        • hennorama

          OPC — TYFYR, and apologies for the delayed reply.

          Both globalization and technological change are important factors. I’ll leave it to you to satisfy your wonder.

          TY again FYR.

      • Lector

        Yes, wages as a percentage of output have gone down. I don’t think that any of those commenting are disagreeing with that.

        The change might be coincident with the decline in union membership, but it’s also coincident with an increased portion of women in the workforce, an increased portion of Americans with college degrees, an increase in average global temperature, and the expansion of major league baseball from 18 to 30 teams. Correlation is not causality.

        Union membership is down (in the private sector) for good reason. Unions stopped being a productive part of enterprises and became self-interested institutions protecting their own power. As American industry faced stronger and stronger competition, they pushed for unsustainable wages and benefits until the jobs went away.

        Now, unions are public-employee political machines which should be banned. They are a method of requiring legally that Americans donate to the Democrat party.

        • lobstahbisque

          You made all that up all by your lonesome? Who’s a good boy!!!!!
          Now sit. That’s a gooboy!

          • Lector

            ???

          • lobstahbisque

            Wait for it…….”Look for the Union label…”

        • anamaria23

          Most of my family votes Republican. Many are in unions, including private and public, teachers, nurses, iron workers etc .

          • Lector

            The discrepancy is between the percentage of union members who vote Republican and percentage of union political donations that goes to Democrats. I’m sure that a significant portion of union members vote for Republicans with regularity, yet more than 95% of union political donations go to Democrats. If I were a union member, especially one who voted for Republicans, I’d be bothered by that.

          • anamaria23

            Republicans would try to dismantle the union which secures their benefits. They will not bite that hand that feeds them.
            They want it both ways.

          • HonestDebate1

            Republicans, like FDR, are opposed to public sector unions. Private sector unions are fine if that’s what you want.

        • hennorama

          Lector — thank you for your response.

          Unlike you, I made no claim as to causation of anything, and offered neither conclusions nor criticisms.

          Unlike you, I presented only factual information, and made no politcial statement of any kind.

          Unlike you, I am neither kettle nor pot.

          Thank you again for your response.

          • pete18

            Oh come on Hen, you implied causation with this,”All of this is coincident with the decline in labor union membership, especially in private enterprise.” Don’t hide behind the “nothing but the facts, mam” facade.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — TYFYR.

            I’ve posted this chart multiple times before, along with a statement regarding the coincident decine in union membership. At no time have I made any claims as to any linkage or causation.

            I simply find the coincidence to be interesting.

            You are free to utilize the information as you wish, of course, including drawing inferences from it.

            Perhaps in the future a specific disclaimer, such as “Presented as information only,” will be helpful as a prophylactic anti-inference preventative measure.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • pete18

            Context is everything Hen. Even that you’d find that fact “interesting” suggests a point of view in light of the facts and the discussion. I don’t think, “Presented as information only,”would necessarily serve as an effective prophylactic under those conditions. It’s still likely that you’d get infected with the glow of an opinion.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — TYFYR.

            Do you have a suggestion as to a more appropriate disclaimer?

          • HonestDebate1

            How about just stating your opinion and defending it? No disclaimer needed.

          • OnPointComments

            In the spirit of your chiding when I presented some facts, but not every single fact, about minimum wage workers: “Failing to mention these other wage/GDP factors at all, while including only the decline in union membership as a factor, is at best misleading, as it does not present the entire picture.”

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFYR.

            I don’t recall the specifics of your reference. In addition to presenting some facts, did your comment make any claims, draw any conclusions, or express any political views?

            A link would be appreciated, if one is at hand.

            TY again FYR.

          • HonestDebate1

            Sure, but you never take a position on anything. That’s the way you roll.

        • jimino

          “unions are public-employee political machines which should be banned.
          They are a method of requiring legally that Americans donate to the
          Democrat party”

          You apparently don’t discuss politics with any cops and firefighters.

          • Lector

            It is my OPINION that public employee unions should be banned.

            It is FACT that very close to 100% of union political donations go to Democrats.

            I am legally required to pay taxes (yes, I’m part of the 50% of Americans who pay taxes). Tax revenue is used to pay public employee wages. Public employees are legally required to pay union dues. Union dues are used for political donations, 95%+ to Democrats. Hence my shorthand comment that public employee unions are a method of legally requiring donations to the Democrat party.

            As liberal as he was and as much as he supported private sector unions, even FDR opposed public employee unions.

            One of the biggest financial problems we face is unfunded retirement benefits for public employees. The self-reinforcing cycle of Democrat (and some Republican) politicians kowtowing to public unions who then contribute to their political campaigns has created an entire overpaid class of public employees, including police, firefighters, and teachers, who are free to retire at 55 with the equivalent of multi-million dollar annuities in the form of lifetime pensions and health care.

            It’s not a question of supporting or not supporting the work that these employees do. It simply that we have made and continue to make financial promises that we can’t afford to keep.

    • StilllHere

      More of the economy is service-based exports, requiring little in the way of traditional labor. Moreover wages have become a smaller portion of compensation as non-wage benefits have grown significantly.

      Don’t be fooled by those comparing domestic-only (wages) variables with global ones (profits.)

    • OnPointComments

      Things that took me hours and hours to accomplish twenty years ago can now be done in minutes. Jack probably laments that all those people who collected the coins from pay phones don’t have that job any more.

      • jimino

        Nothing has become more mechanized and taken over by computers and technology than trading securities and other financial transactions. Now a valued difference between trades is measured in milliseconds. Yet those in that line of “work” have never been better compensated. So much for your hypothesis.

        • Lector

          That’s not a good example. What happened to all those wages that were paid to people to keep ledgers, record transactions, prepare reports? All their wages are gone. The people who remain might be paid better than before, but that doesn’t mean wages as a percentage of the financial industry’s output haven’t gone down,

        • OnPointComments

          “Operator.”
          “Mabel, connect me to Sycamore 739.”
          “Just a moment please.”

          As much as you’d like to, we’re not going back.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Tired of long lift lines and rubbing shoulders with the hoi polloi while taking advantage of the 2 feet of fresh snow in VT?

    No worries. Join the Hermitage Club in West Dover, VT. For a payment of $65K and $5K per year you are in. Only 300 families in line. And a 5000 bottle wine cellar to boot.

    http://www.fastcompany.com/3026560/the-75-million-ski-resort-thats-changing-the-way-east-coasters-hit-the-slopes

  • HonestDebate1
  • HonestDebate1

    John Kerry has given Putin until Monday to change course in Ukraine. He said there will be serious repercussions. He has said all options are on the table.

    Why is he doing this? Nothing of significance will happen Monday. He is speaking loudly with no stick.

    • brettearle

      What dio you expect him to DO?

      Ramp it up to DEFCON #1?

      Is that what you want?

      What else can they DO–other than what they have already pledged?

      You expect the Pentagon to implement sanctions–but possibly locate, or relocate, strategic positions?

      To Putin, THAT, I think would be especially provocative.

      If you don’t think that the Specter of 1963 doesn’t play some sort of subtle, BUT significant, EGO-PRIDE role in the outcome of this matter, my friend, then you would be in perilous danger of….

      ….Self-Destructive Naivete.

      That’s it Greg, keep ramping it up, when even by ACCIDENT and MISCALCULATION, if both sides AREN’T CAREFUL, then WWIII could be around the corner.

      NOT sayin’ it’s gonna happen, but it COULD.

      The best way to handle this is to be as strong as possible without provoking the other side to go across a certain line.

      Much, much better to err on the side of CAUTION.

      Cooler heads are better than no heads at all.

      This time the Russians are NOT going to blink–regardless whether they can, or cannot, capture the moral part of the argument.

      • HonestDebate1

        What a completely bizarre response. I don’t expect him to do anything. I am talking about what he shouldn’t do. Kerry said all options are on the table. Do you for a minute believe that? It’s self-destructive naiveté. All options are NOT on the table and he should not lie about it. Ramping up with empty rhetoric is not a good idea. So now we have a red line on Monday. Kerry and Obama should just shut up. They should just let Putin have his way if that’s what is going to be the result. There is nothing cautious about making empty threats.

  • pete18
    • HonestDebate1

      It just amazes me that so many look at the election as validation of Obamacare. He got elected because the people want it. That’s that, shut up and deal with it.

      Fine but it was a lie. Nobody voted to lose their doctor, lose their plan, pay higher premiums and get knocked back to part time.

      I don’t see any way to assume he did not know exactly what he was lying about.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfl55GgHr5E#t=52

    • OnPointComments

      “The White House announced a change to Obamacare. They keep making adjustments. They say people can now keep their insurance plans for two more years. When asked what would happen after two years, Obama said, ‘After two years, I don’t give a damn.’ ” –Conan O’Brien

  • OnPointComments

    A new Inspector General report on EPA government credit cards and convenience checks
    http://www.epa.gov/oig/reports/2014/20140304-14-P-0128.pdf

    “For fiscal year (FY) 2012, the EPA’s 1,370 active cardholders transacted more than $29 million in purchases. In addition, the EPA’s 309 convenience check writers wrote more than 1,000 checks totaling more than $500,000.

    “The EPA did not provide effective oversight to ensure that purchase card holders and approving officials comply with internal control procedures…Of $152,602 in transactions we sampled, we found $79,254 [52%] of prohibited, improper and erroneous purchases were not detected.

    Items purchased included gym memberships (including family memberships), food, gift cards, and multiple purchases designed to stay below the $3,000 threshold that requires acquisition professionals to handle the transactions. The EPA has agreed to hold individuals accountable and recover the funds used for the prohibited, improper or erroneous purchases of $79,254 identified in this audit.

    The question that immediately comes to mind is: if nearly $80,000 of improper purchases were detected in a tiny sample, how much of the $29 million in total purchases is fraudulent?

    Do you want to guess how many of those EPA employees who fraudulently used government credit cards will lose their jobs, much less go to jail, as they should? My guess is none. Remember, the EPA is the agency that allowed an employee to claim he was a CIA spy and steal nearly $1 million dollars. The punishment for this spy employee’s direct supervisor? She was promoted to head of the EPA.

    • OnPointComments

      One of the articles I read about this EPA audit had a link to five interesting articles from October 2013 about the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and the profligate spending that goes on at the agency (http://washingtonexaminer.com/watchdog/just-sign-here). Some of the spending items were:

      • lease of a $53,000 BMW
      • family members’ cell phones
      • Director George Cohen purchased artwork by his wife
      • high-end TV packages and Internet at home — and even at second homes
      • furniture for a “home office”
      • $30,000 on picture frames mostly purchased at a jewelry store
      • the 233-person agency bought at least 38 LCD projectors costing up to $9,500 each
      • $37,000 over 10 years for a storage facility near the house of Charles Burton, a top official. When officials finally gained access to the facility, they found that it was filled with his fiance’s organ, a lawnmower, children’s toys, and a photo album of his dog titled “Buster 2004.”
      • $85,000 over a two-year period to a company owned by top official Charles Burton
      • employee James C. Donnen ordered tens of thousands of dollars worth of high-end electronics and had it shipped to his West Virginia home

      FMCS Director George Cohen, appointed by President Obama in 2009, resigned in December 2013 after the spending was exposed. I didn’t see where any other employees were forced to quit or were prosecuted.

      “Let me give you the honest truth: A lot of FMCS employees don’t do a hell of a lot, including myself. Personally, the reason that I’ve stayed is that I just don’t feel like working that hard, plus the location on K Street is great, plus we all have these oversized offices with windows, plus management doesn’t seem to care if we stay out at lunch a long time. Can you blame me?” said an FMCS employee who asked for anonymity.

      The median annual salary at the FMCS is $120,000.

  • OnPointComments

    DEMOCRATS’ IPAD PROTEST OF DARRELL ISSA ON HOUSE FLOOR IS SHUT DOWN
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/house-democrats-protest-darrell-issa-ipads-article-1.1721547#ixzz2vzEeWIzl

    Excerpt:

    Democrats faced off with Republicans on the House floor, protesting GOP Rep. Darrell Issa’s diss of Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings last week.

    Cummings’ colleagues stood on the House floor on Thursday, holding up tablets, iPhones and iPads with screen showing images of Issa shutting down Cummings during a committee hearing a week ago.

    But the show of solidarity was closed down, with the presiding officer, Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), deeming the display of electronic devices a violation of house rules.

    An unsubstantiated rumor has it that Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said house rules will not prevent them from holding up tablets, iPhones and iPads just as our forefathers did 400 years ago when they wrote the Constitution.

    • TFRX

      Cut off his mike! Cut off his mike!

      From your “class act”:, Darrell Issa.

  • OnPointComments

    Troubling, but not surprising, news:

    WHY IS OBAMA’S DOJ SHIELDING REID FROM CORRUPTION PROBE?
    http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/031414-693395-is-obama-doj-protecting-harry-reid-from-a-federal-corruption-investigation.htm

    Excerpt:
    Corruption: While the Justice Department was busy compiling a case against Obama critic Dinesh D’Souza for minor campaign-law violations, it was blocking a more troubling probe involving the Senate’s top Democrat.

    On Thursday, ABC News and the Washington Times reported that local Utah prosecutors had found evidence pointing to possible illegal campaign contributions and other questionable financial deals involving both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Utah’s junior Republican senator, Mike Lee.

    But despite working with the FBI, they’ve been blocked from moving that case forward by a Justice Department that has sat on it for months, refusing to let the FBI empanel a federal grand jury or issue subpoenas to determine if Reid or Lee broke any federal laws.

    • Reid allegedly switched sides and sponsored an online gambling bill after he allegedly received money from the industry
    • Reid had been doing yeoman’s work on behalf of a Chinese energy firm, ENN, that wanted to build a $5 billion solar panel plant in Nevada. Turns out Reid’s son Rory worked at the law firm representing that very same company
    • Reid earmarked $21.5 million for a bridge linking a gambling resort town in Nevada with a city in Arizona where Reid just happened to own 160 acres of undeveloped land
    • Reid also reportedly funneled some $47 million in earmarks that directly benefited organizations his son Key was affiliated with

    • TFRX

      More IBD editorial crap.

      • OnPointComments

        UTAH OFFICIALS CALL ON FEDS TO INVESTIGATE SENATORS REID, LEE
        http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/utah-officials-call-feds-investigate-senators-reid-lee/story?id=22905068

        Excerpt:
        Two local prosecutors in Utah say a corruption investigation looking at state politicians and online gambling interests has yielded evidence that could implicate Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah.

        The two district attorneys – one Democrat and one Republican – already working with a team of FBI agents, are urging federal prosecutors to pick up the case and investigate – something the Department of Justice has thus far declined to do.

        The Utah officials say the evidence relates to suspect campaign contributions and other financial transactions.

        Both prosecutors expressed disappointment that the Department of Justice had declined last year to embrace the investigation into what the local officials considered “serious allegations.”

        “They already made the decision that the Department of Justice is going to run away on this case. That’s done,” said [District Attorney] Rawlings. “So I guess unless they change their mind about that for some reason there will be no federal prosecution.”

  • HonestDebate1

    Okay, this flight 370 thing is getting creepy. It seems clear now it was no accident. Someone did it. The altitude fluctuations certainly seem to point to a deliberate attempt to kill the passengers. The only other possibility that makes sense to me is the cargo. Was is lithium batteries or some such toxic cocktail that could have poisoned the passengers? Who knows? No one. Could it really be a terrorist organization (maybe the decimated Al Qaeda) stole a 777 for a future weapon?

    9/11 was a sophisticated attack. It was over 12 years ago but it would be foolish to dismiss the resourcefulness of the enemy. Stealing a 777 is not easy. If it somehow landed somewhere then where? They say the average runway is not long enough. If the goal was to steal the plane then landing is only half the equation. They need to take off and that requires even more runway.

    So here’s the question: Is 12 years long enough for a determined, caliphate driven enemy to plan, build a runway on a remote island and put the people in place to pull it off? Of course it is. The route now seems convoluted, could it be a ruse? Nothing is out of the question. We don’t know if the other signal that is said to be from flight 370 was in fact flight 370. Could that have been a purposeful distraction. Who knows?

    How sophisticated will the next terrorist attack be?

    This is all admittedly speculation… big time. But it’s a week in, that’s what happens.

    • tbphkm33

      There are all sorts of runways to land a plane like that – old WWII strips do not require that much work to make them useful again. After all, you are just landing once and taking off once.

      There is the possibility of some sort of explosion, that should have brought down the plane, but instead knocked out the communications bay, which is in front of the cargo hold under the cockpit. Leaving the plane still flying. Could maybe explain the drops in altitude and turns.

      Other option is on purpose. A week later, that plane could be anywhere. It be easy enough to bring it into Africa or South America. If you know what you are doing, you can avoid military and civilian radar – drug smugglers do it every day. Even into the Empire (USA), they could fly it behind and below a business jet and it would just show up as a larger radar blip.

      Until this plane is found, I would expect that western countries will start responding to unusual radar blips and even increase military patrols of major cities. Where there is a will, there is a way – could very well be that terrorists have found a way.

      • tbphkm33

        Given the slight chance that this is a hijacking to steal an airliner, satellites should be pointed toward any old, WWII or other, runways within the range of the jet. Be that on deserted atolls out in the Pacific or old jungle strips in Thailand, Myanmar and other countries. Would not expect to find the plane still there, but if it is hijacking, there might be 239 stranded passengers and crew.

    • OnPointComments

      I could be wrong, but my bet is that the disappearance of the Malaysian jet involves the Religion of Peace.

  • Bruce94

    Lyin’ Ryan at it again. On the Bill Bennett Radio show this week, fiscal-conservative-in-name-only, Paul Ryan, added to his credentials as “culture warrior” by arguing that “inner city” men (code for urban blacks) are lazy, that is, that they suffer from a “culture of not working.” He cited noted white nationalist author, Charles Murray, for his bogus assertion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9x6VcMQ1y7Q

    • HonestDebate1

      Paul Ryan is absolutely correct. There is no code language. There are more whites on welfare than blacks. Barbara Lee should be ashamed of herself.

      • Don_B1

        There is no way in which Rep. Ryan’s comments are correct in the real world rather than his (and your) fantasy world.

        No “code language”? See Bill Moyers’ interview (two parts) with Ian Haney López on “The Dog Whistle of Race”:

        http://billmoyers.com/series/moyers-and-company/

        and then see:

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/opinion/krugman-that-old-time-whistle.html?rref=opinion

        I recognize that you will simply ignore the reality of this and make your usual nonsense response, but maybe others will benefit from seeing your points so thoroughly refuted.

        • HonestDebate1

          ..

          • Steve__T

            I find that it’s not what he said, it’s how he said it.

            He may not be a racist, but you have certainly proven over the years that you are.

    • hennorama

      Bruce94 — for those unfamiliar with Charles Murray, autor of The Bell Curve, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has a profile on their website:

      http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/profiles/Charles-Murray

      • Bruce94

        Thanks. I’ll take a look when I have a chance. Did you see this article that ran in a college newspaper by a student protesting the appearance of Murray on his campus? Murray spoke at a school in an area I’m familiar with, and the author nails it describing the nexus between Murray’s ideas, the Koch Brothers propaganda machine and Tea Party takeover of states like North Carolina.

        http://www.dukechronicle.com/articles/2013/10/23/walk-out-charles-murray

        • JONBOSTON

          Rather than engage in smear tactics typical of the left , why not explain to this board all of the policies, programs , etc associated with the Koch Bros, the Tea Party and Charles Murray that you find so objectionable. Debate their ideas, if you’re capable of doing so.

        • hennorama

          Bruce94 — TYFYR.

          No, I wasn’t aware of the opinion piece in the Duke newspaper. It’s interesting, but might have been more successful without the Koch/TPM/NC govt. linkage.

          That aside, one notes that Rep. Ryan walked back his comments in a statement emailed to the press (in part):

          “After reading the transcript of yesterday morning’s interview, it is clear that I was inarticulate about the point I was trying to make.”

          “…I was inarticulate…” reminds one of Mr.Romney’s statement that his infamous ’47 percent’ screed was “inarticulately stated.”

          Mr. Ryan is not stupid, and one would have hoped that he would learn from the past. In addition to his subject remarks, claiming that he “was inarticulate” indicates that he has much more to learn.

          For more on Rep. Ryan’s press statement, and his “inarticulate” remarks, see:

          http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/paul-ryan-poverty-comments-were-inarticulate-104637.htmlhttp://www.nationalreview.com/corner/373289/ryan-comments-about-inner-city-poverty-inarticulate-patrick-brennan

          • Don_B1

            You might want to add “attempted to” in front of “walk]ed[ back his comment” as many have pointed out that changing “inner city” to the whole culture makes the revised sentence meaningless.

          • hennorama

            Don_B1 — good point, thanks.

        • JONBOSTON

          Still waiting for your brilliant insights. When asked to defend your smears just radio silence. You should check On Points archives and listen to an interview Tom Ashbrook had with Charles Murray on February 14, 2012 to discuss his latest book, Coming Apart. You might actually learn something about Murray rather than rely on some link by a 19-year old left wing student..What a farce.

          • Bruce94

            I was more interested in his earlier book, “The Bell Curve” with all its footnotes, kudos, acknowledgements to far-right, pseudoscientific “researchers” in the service of anti-immigration, anti-government paranoia. BTW, if the author of that column was a 19-year old as your smear states, that would probably mean his IQ dwarfs yours and mine–he would be a 19-year old senior at the prestigious “Harvard of the South”–another student whose right to vote is now probably in jeopardy thanks to voter suppression laws passed by NC’s Tea Party-dominated legislature.

            And as for your invitation to “debate the ideas or policies” of the Tea Party et al., how ludicrous. Everyone knows that the Tea Party is composed of nihilistic, Know-Nothing nativists; States’ Rights laissez-faire libertarians; and flat earth religious zealots who are making a living by opposing and obstructing nearly every bipartisan proposal, program or policy that has come down the pike since Obama took office including, but not limited to, the following:

            -healthcare reform including Medicaid
            expansion
            -comprehensive immigration reform
            -tax reform
            -gun control
            -American Jobs Act and Infrastructure
            Bank
            -Vets. Job Corp
            -Raising Fed. Min. Wage
            -Employment Non-Discrimination Act
            -extension of long-term Unemployment
            Ins. benefits
            -full funding of Food Stamps

          • JONBOSTON

            Based on Obama’s track record of unparalleled incompetence , divisiveness, impotence , vacillation and lack of leadership on domestic and foreign affairs, kudos to any individual, group or party that oppose his policies. Obama is nothing more than a far left ideologue whose policies have failed miserably. Many of the programs you’ve outlined are nothing more than government welfare programs. We already spend nearly $3.6 trillion . And he wants to spend more? How do you think any of this gets paid? And by whom? If you happen to be under 35 ( my guess) , it’s your generation that will be paying for all of this in the form of higher taxes , less future benefits, less quality of life and fewer opportunities, and fewer good job prospects. That’s economic reality –there is no such thing , as Milton Friedman once said, of a free lunch. Obamacare is a joke; Medicaid is nothing but a welfare program that offers poor quality healthcare; raising the minimum wage benefits few at the expense of many ( unless you happen to be a union member whose collective bargaining agreement is tied to the minimum wage); extending unemployment sounds good so long as it’s paid for and doesn’t delay one’s re-entry into the labor force; reasonable gun control I’d support ; pro-growth tax reform is great but I don’t believe Obama has a clue on what incentivizes the private sector or economic growth; Vets job corps is great; food stamps funding- we already have 50.0m on food stamps. I’m sorry but enough is enough . There is so much fraud and abuse it’s sickening; comprehensive immigration reform — tighten the borders first, no amnesty or pathway to citizenship, increase legal immigration of qualified would-be immigrants, guest worker entries should be extended.

            As far as Murray is concerned , listen to Ashbrook’s interview with him on Feb 14, 2014. He is not a racist or white nationalist. He just espouses political incorrect views. Rather than demonize him , challenge his views after reading the Bell curve. Don’t just rely on the left wing blogs for your information. Finally , voter ID. For the life of many, I can’t think of a single argument against it. You need photo ID’s for everything. Frankly , the Dems use it to throw out the race card and motivate their minority base of supporters. It’s shameful that they’ve made this into an issue since the US Supreme Court has already validated photo Id’s.

          • Bruce94

            You definitely have more time and energy than I do for this discussion. And thank you for delivering your points in a manner that is clearly more articulate than, say, Ryan’s musings on the culture of work and poverty in the inner city.

            Each one of your points could probably be dealt with as a topic of future one hour segments of this show. Suffice it to say, that the majority if not all of the proposals I raised USED to receive bipartisan support following severe recessions of the kind we endured in 2008-09, that is, a “balance sheet recession” that is likely to cause a Depression unless fiscal stimulus is applied.

            I did lol when I noticed you mischaracterized Obama as a “far left ideologue.” I would put him him center left as many of his proposals (e.g. the ACA, Dodd-Frank, Cap and Trade) rely on, leave intact, or expand existing markets, competition and individual choice at least in theory.

            BTW, I’m a baby-boomer whose concern for my children and grandchildren is motivating me. And I agree there is no such thing as a free lunch–the right-wing version of the free lunch offers a painless, cost-free path to prosperity consisting of tax relief for the wealthy, deregulation and globalization for the corporate elite. That prescription based on bogus Supply-Side theory has been discredited by most nonpartisan economists and by our experience of skyrocketing debt and growing income inequality under Reagan/Bush era policies that have amounted to unmitigated disasters from which we are still trying to recover. The Tea Party and there ilk have only succeeded in slowing the rate of our recovery.

          • JONBOSTON

            You too easily dismiss the nearly 25-30 years of solid economic growth generated by Reagan’s pro-growth policies. Exploding deficits during Reagan’s presidency had much to do with the refusal of the Congress to deal with uncontrolled spending and entitlements. The programs you’ve cited all have a significant impact on parts of the US economy. You are also guilty of assuming that these laws and regulations are “painless” as far as impacting the economy. They are not..
            Obama is probably best described as a European Socialist. He is far outside mainstream America as far as policies and programs. As an ideologue, he refuses to accept the fact that his prolicies have failed.

          • Bruce94

            I guess I wasn’t as articulate as I could have been in my description of the “right-wing” free lunch based on Reagan’s false promise of a painless, cost free path to prosperity with tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation and globalization (euphemistically called free trade) for the corporate elites. I absolutely reject Reagan’s regime which he adopted after he being influenced by that economic Einstein, Jack Kemp. And history has shown that the Supply Side theory on which it was based, was largely a crackpot notion pushed by economists occupying the fringes of the profession well outside the mainstream.

            And the notion that Obama resembles a European-style socialist is preposterous. His plan for healthcare reform, for example, was anything but a govt. takeover or socialized medicine of the kind we see in Europe. Single-payer and even a public option were off the table almost from the get-go. What alternate reality do you inhabit?

            Obama is no socialist; rather he is squarely in the tradition of liberalism (like JFK)–liberalism being the option we Americans choose when conservatism fails; it’s also the option preferred in Europe when socialism fails. Your false equivalence of liberalism and socialism may be indicative of confusion or, more likely, an attempt to spread fear in order to rev up your uneducated base against “the Dreaded Other,” Obama.

            No! Tighter regulations and public investments do not equal creeping socialism. Take, for example, the history of the New Deal. Most historians credit the reforms, recovery and relief programs established by FDR (including social insurance and welfare/safety-net) with preventing socialist/anarchist forces from taking root in our country during the Great Depression and from destabilizing or threatening our capitalist system. Contrary to the rhetoric and fear-mongering spewed by you and others suffering from Obama Derangement, strong social insurance and safety-net programs back then (and now) contributed greatly to our success in fending off socialism.

          • JONBOSTON

            There is no such thing as a free lunch , be it for those on right or for liberals who espouse soak the rich tax policies, endless expansion of welfare programs, refusal to rein in entitlement programs, or expansion of universal healthcare to the uninsured, those with pre-existing conditions, etc. That’s why when Obama claimed that the ACA would reduce premiums on average by $2500 and newly insure 30.0million , my initial reaction was, ” how dumb does he think we are”. Based on the number of people who bought that argument and voted for that serial liar, plenty dumb.
            I, like you , am a baby boomer with children and hopefully grandchildren in the near future. As much as you focus on the right , you should look at the Democrat. It is NOT the Democrat party of JFK, Scoop Jackson, or even Hubert Humphrey. Today’s Democrat has moved further to the left , is less supportive of capitalism, does not believe in strong military, and is firmly committed to expanding the size and scope of the federal government.
            From personal experience, the ever increasing taxation and regulation of everything by the Feds is strangling American business , discouraging investment in the US , and preventing this country from growing our economy and increasing jobs.
            Finally , Reagan’s tax cuts did spur susutained economic growth , employment gains and increase tax revenue. It’s just that the increased revenues were overwhelmed by the big defense buildup and increased domestic spending.

          • JONBOSTON

            BTW , you failed to mention the Koch Bros . They are private US citizens. Are you troubled at all that the Democrat party has decided to attack private US citizens who happen to support policies and programs they oppose. I personally find it disgusting, un-American, and contrary to democratic principles and ideals.

      • Bruce94

        So you’re buying the “inarticulate” remark excuse to condone evoking Charles Murray? I’ve got another link that extrapolates from the footnotes, bibliography and acknowledgments found in his The Bell Curve. After reading this, you still don’t think the connections with Koch-funded, Tea Party takeovers of state legislators and governorships in Red States (including the disastrous consequences for millions of people dependent on Medicaid, Unemployment Ins., or Head Start) are at least plausible?

        http://fair.org/extra-online-articles/racism-resurgent/

        • hennorama

          Bruce94 — TYFYR.

          No, I’m not buying Rep. Ryan’s “I was inarticulate” nonsense, nor am I condoning the invocation of Murray. And certainly there is a case to be made for the connections laid out in the Duke opinion piece and elsewhere.

          Rep. Ryan may be suffering from intellectual overload, as he invoked both Charles Murray and Robert Putman, whose works and views definitely do not align. This mishmash of references suggests a recent dive into the topic of poverty on the part of Rep. Ryan, and perhaps a lack of complete comprehension, absorption, and integration of what he has read, seen, and heard.

          Rep. Ryan was no doubt keenly aware of his audience. After all, he was on noted “culture warrior” Bill Bennett’s radio show when he made these tone-deaf and insensitive remarks. Ryan is now in the midst of damage control, however, and will pay a price for these remarks if he has any future ambitions for higher office, especially a national office.

          Thanks again for your response.

          • Bruce94

            Thanks for your thoughtful response. I guess I view Ryan’s “inarticulate” remarks on poverty as indicative of a more sinister and menacing attitude based on his admitted adulation of Goddess of Greed, Ayn Rand, and now his embrace of Charles Murray whose book features footnotes and acknowledgements that read like a Who’s Who of discredited crackpots, bigots and pioneers in eugenics. Perhaps, it’s less sinister than that, and Paul Ryan is just another representative from a lily-white district that in no way reflects the current demographic reality of the U.S.–another politician whose life experience (and that of the majority of his constituents) has contributed to an ignorance and denial of the harm caused by “implicit bias” and “white privilege.”

          • hennorama

            Bruce94 — one can definitely make such an argument regarding Rep. Ryan’s life experiences, and some sources suggest his recent quiet tours of impoverished areas, and interaction with residents and activists, was “eye-opening.”

            He deserves credit, however, for devoting time and attention to the often-ignored topic of poverty, regardless of whether one agrees with his words and proposals. Perhaps Rep. Ryan and President Obama will publicly support some of each other’s ideas, as both endorse the larger involvement of society at large, and a more unified effort to reduce poverty in the U.S., regardless of where it may be found, and who is experiencing it.

          • Bruce94

            It was a “Rainy Night in GA” last night, and this am it’s nice to encounter someone with such an obviously sunny disposition as yourself who can see the possible good that can come out of Ryan’s curiosity about poverty. Let’s hope it spills over to his plan(s) to reform Medicare and Social Security in ways that don’t impoverish millions of current or future beneficiaries.

          • hennorama

            Bruce94 — thank you for your kind words.

            I understand your views regarding Rep. Ryan and his policy ideas, as well as the other connections previously mentioned. I generally agree in spirit, but perhaps not in degree.

            You might get a bit of a different view of this particular interview, the transcript and complete audio of which is unfortunately behind Bill Bennett’s paywall, from politifact.com. They quoted the interview extensively, including the context of Rep. Ryan’s controversial remarks, here:

            http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/article/2014/mar/14/context-paul-ryans-poverty-comments-racial-attack/

            Thanks again for your very kind words.

          • Don_B1

            I strongly disagree that Rep. Ryan deserves any credit for his “work” on poverty. It is a collection of Republican talking points, otherwise known as myths, with a lot of literature citations apparently intended to impress the innumerate, as they are not actually relevant to his hypotheses and often directly contradict them. See:

            http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/04/the-real-poverty-trap/

            and then the CPAC speech where he totally distorts the tale (from a 20-year-old story?) of a child being offered either a weekly money gift or a daily lunch from a woman who was mentoring him into a government program:

            http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/06/let-them-eat-dignity/

            which he again “gets out of” by blaming someone else for his “failure to investigate it.”

          • hennorama

            Don_B1 — TYFYR.

            I too strongly disagree with much of Rep. Ryan’s approach to the issue of poverty.

            Regardless, the fact that he is publicly discussing poverty draws sorely needed attention to, and coverage of, this often-ignored topic.

            That was my point.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • HonestDebate1

            Is Paul Ryan a racist? Just say it.

    • Geheran1958

      The reasons aside, stats don’t lie. Maybe if there was a more politically incorrect dialogue as to the root causes for the disproportionate numbers reflected in Congressman Ryan’s view some real progress might be in the offing.

      • hennorama

        Geheran1958 — please feel free to expound on “the root causes for the disproportionate numbers reflected in Congressman Ryan’s view,” assuming you feel that you know what “the root causes” are, of course.

        • Geheran1958

          Many experts believe that the widespread absence of fathers, high drop-out rates and rampant substance abuse are key factors that contribute to the “disproportionality” of black men’s incarceration. What experts have difficulty agreeing on is how best to address this sad waste of human potential.

          • hennorama

            Geheran1958 — TYFYR.

            Your comment about “black men’s incarceration” implies that you neither read nor listened to Rep. Ryan’s interview, and instead have your own particular pet topic.

            FYI, Rep. Ryan did not specify any particular race [or ethnicity], and certainly did not discuss “black men’s incarceration.”

            According to “many experts” (you can look it up), this is the subject quote that has received considerable attention:

            “[W]e want people to reach their potential and so the dignity of work is very valuable and important and we have to re-emphasize work and reform our welfare programs, like we did in 1996,” Ryan told Bennett. “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”

            Better luck next time.

          • Geheran1958

            Point taken. The “inner city” problem is not soley the domain of inner city Blacks. It is a shared tragedy. That said, the Black community stands out by virtue of the grossly disproportionate number of young Black males who engage in criminal activities. While government programs can help their effectiveness thus far has been elusive. The likes of the Revs Jesse and Al have only served to exacerbate the problem. Need more Black leaders like Bill Cosby, Dr. Ben Carlson, et al.

          • hennorama

            Geheran1958 — TYFYR.

            Again, your focus on “inner city Blacks … the Black community … young Black males who engage in criminal activity” seems to be simply a particular personal pet topic, rather than the topic at hand.

            It’s also interesting that you do not cite poverty, which is the topic at hand, as a possible “key [factor] that contribute[s] to the “disproportionality” of black men’s incarceration.”

            Curious, that.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • HonestDebate1

            No, evidently the topic at hand is drinking all night, grilling, coffee, rolls and a dog.

          • Steve__T

            Jealous? Hen has a life, maybe you should try it.

          • HonestDebate1

            Non-sequitur, I don’t chid people for going off topic as if I’m the schoolmarm.

            I’m leaving the country Tuesday for a week in the tropics. I’m dreading it, I hate vacations.

          • Steve__T

            I love how you don’t do XYZ then do it.
            Yeah You hate vacations bla bla BS.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m not here to be a schoolmarm posting rules and scolding commenters for being off topic as I break the rules and go off topic. Did you mean to reply to the Henpecker? That was my exact message to her.

            Yea, I like accomplishing things . Vacations drive me nuts. I’ll make the best of it and even have a good time but it’s is not my idea of fun.

          • JGC

            Have a great holiday. We are getting another snowstorm here on Wednesday, so you will not be missing anything. Try not to wear a gigantic souvenir sombrero on your way back home next week – it will only annoy your seat-mates.

          • HonestDebate1

            Thank you JGC but no promises on the sombrero.

          • hennorama

            Steve_T — thanks for the mention and the support.

            What’s at play here is a fisherman who dislikes his bait not being risen to and mostly ignored. That he would complain about what is a rare personal anecdote, despite his frequent mentions of specifics of his own life, including comments that end in his writing “No point really,” is just free entertainment, and nothing to worry about.

            Still, the support is appreciated. Thanks again.

          • HonestDebate1

            First, I absolutely LOVE your surrendering. I have no problem at all with your not replying. It demonstrates your lack of concern for honest debate. It illustrates your unseriousness. This blog is to debate the issues. Not doing so illustrates your pettiness… as if that’s not abundantly clear already. And when you reply to me through others that’s just gravy. I am a fisherman but I am not baiting you. I am taking advantage of the ability to nail you to the wall unrefuted. Add to that debating you is pointless and ridiculous. This is better but not my decision.

            Please carry on with your charade as it outs you for who you are. If you do ever decide to reply again as you usually do after these adolescent hissy fits then I will most likely not read it. I just don’t care what you think. As a side note that truly saddens me because I am a true believer in honest debate.

            And to be clear, I don’t care about no stinkin’ rules because I know the moderators love me. I have no problem going off topic as you regularly do. I don’t scold people for it like a schoolmarm. Having said that, it is not my style. I generally stay on topic. I add a great deal to the debate. I make good points and defend them as demonstrated by your (and others) inability to ignore me even if you don’t reply. I am civil, I give my honest informed opinions. I generate many many replies. If I didn’t have a leg to stand on then I could be dismissed. I cannot be dismissed because I speak the truth, ideology be damned.

            No point really.

          • Steve__T

            Truly, you are an enigma wrapped stupidity.

          • Geheran1958

            Point taken. In my humble view Education and Poverty are linked. Lack of family cohesion is also a contributing factor to keeping people poor. Again, my focus on inner-city Blacks may be misguided, but taken together, they should be a priority given the magnitude of the issue.

          • hennorama

            Geheran1958 — TY again FYR.

            Poverty is not limited to any racial or ethnic group, nor to any geographic area, so focusing solely on any one particular geographic and demographic group is unwise.

            Thank you for the thoughtful exchange.

        • brettearle

          Henn–

          Wake up….

          Your country needs you at the top of the Thread!

          Pronto, Tonto…..

          • HonestDebate1

            Oh please, she can’t handle the truth and certainly isn’t going to come to your aid to debate me.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — sorry I missed your merry discourse.

            Alas, I was occupied with guests, food, and fun, as the idea of “let’s grill!” presented to two co-hangers out somehow turned into a party with about fifty people. I suspect the early rise of the full moon had something to do with it, as well as the four establishments that sell alcohol that are within 500 feet of this residence. Of course the weather was a factor, as were those most magical of devices — patio heaters.

            Now I’m on the lovingly littered lanai, with the setting full moon on one hand and the not-yet-fully-risen sun on the other, in that space between dark and light (both physically and psychically).

            With any luck, the sun will stay down a bit longer, and I won’t need to look too closely at the post-party reality quite yet.

          • brettearle

            Henn–

            Really enjoyed your comment above. Truly did.

            Nevertheless, I could use your advocacy. This is a VERY big crisis–at least, potentially.

            Obviously, I don’t expect you to agree with everything I say.

            But, too, I’m disappointed that others–whose views are similar to ours–aren’t also speaking up.

            I don’t understand that. And it’s beginning to bother me.

            Even if they don’t fully agree with my position, I’d like to hear what they have to say–rather than having to listen to “The Usual Suspects”…..

            In recent days, I’ve been out of commission–because of the Flu and because of PC problems…

          • hennorama

            brettearle — thank you for your very kind words.

            One suspects that many would prefer to focus on the perfectly timed distraction of “da plane, da plane!” or some other more pleasant topic rather than employ any brainspacetime to the far more weighty topic of the Russian invasion and likely annexation of Crimea, and the implications thereof.

            Or they may be like me, someone whose dog is lobbying for an excursion, and who is therefore going to pour the contents of a French press into a Thermos, grab some rolls, leftover tri-tip and cheeses, throw them all into a picnic carrier, and decamp to a sunny secluded spot while “the crew” cleans up.

            Life is good, despite all facts to the contrary.

            Thanks again for your kind words

          • HonestDebate1

            Your stated position is to let Putin have all of Ukraine and rest assured he will stop there. Don’t expect much support.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — BTW, hope you (and your PC) are feeling better.

    • JONBOSTON

      Charles Murray is not a racist or white nationalist . I doubt you’ve ever heard him interviewed .Just a sick commentary

      • HonestDebate1

        It is no longer possible to have an honest discussion about race. Obama has made things much worse and now his minions fall in line to scream racism when there is none. The headlines from the liberal sites are astonishing. Here’s one:

        “Paul Ryan Claims Black Men Are Lazy And The Cause Of Poverty In This Country”

        He didn’t say anything about blacks and he didn’t say lazy even though the word is in quotes on many articles.

        I read what he said about his grandmother, and his words left me in no doubt about two things: He really loves his grandmother, and he was saying something important about race that I recognized from my own experience. I bet many of the people who have slammed him recognize it from their own experience too. The guy was being honest, and he was being right. What the hell more do you want? -Charles Murray

        http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/160667/my-last-word-obama-i-promise/charles-murray

        • JONBOSTON

          You’re right Greg. The left is so insecure about their inability to defend their beliefs that they resort to personal attacks, demonizing their opposition, and stifling any real debate on the issues. Take the Koch Bros. I doubt any of these fools could even identify these people out of a line up , much less articulate their views and positions. Koch Bros has become this generation’s Halliburton. It’s outrageous that Harry Reid could stand in the well of the US Senate and demonize private US citizen. He is a despicable and vile human being who has done permanent damage to the Senate. He’s the epitome of sleaze. That he leads his party in the US Senate says legions about the state of this Democratic party.
          As far as Charles Murray is concerned, it’s obvious that some of the posters on this board know absolutely nothing about him other than what others have said. Charles Murray was interviewed by Tom Ashbrook on February14, 2012. Does anyone seriously believe Asbrook ( or NPR) would give airtime to a racist or white supremacist?….Murray happens to be a very bright articulate spokesmen of politically incorrect points of views that many people wish to avoid discussing.He relies heavily on empirical studies and rationale thought. It’s unfortunate because new and different thinking like Murray’s is necessary if we’re ever going to solve this country’s intractable poverty issues. More money has not been the answer.

          • brettearle

            “On Point” gave air time to Watson of Watson-Crick.

      • Bruce94

        What’s sick or, at the very least, highly suspicious is the fact that most of the pseudoscientific research that was the basis for Murray’s book, The Bell Curve, was apparently funded by the neo-Nazi Pioneer
        Fund, whose founder was known for such extremist views as sending American blacks back to Africa. I think even Lyin’ Ryan admits his comments on the Bennett show were over-the-top and has communicated as much by characterizing them as regrettably “inarticulate.” However, the language he employed and the homage to Murray, while regrettable from a strictly political point of view since Ryan has/had national office aspirations, are typical of someone who is an avowed Ayn Rand devotee and who worships at the feet of the Goddess of Greed. It’s also the language (not so much inarticulate, but rather unmistakable in its stereotypical worldview) employed by a congressman from a small district practically devoid of ethnic and racial minorities as compared with the national demographic norm.

        It reminds me of Rand Paul’s association with
        the Southern Avenger, a neo-confederate pro-secessionist who was on the Senator’s payroll and co-authored a book with him. Rand Paul–another Ayn Rand acolyte. Just a coincidence, I guess.

        Anyway, if you’re really interested in “debating” the flawed assumptions and faulty data contained in Murray’s book, try turning off the noise from the far-right, paranoid libertarian echo chamber. I suggest starting with the following two sources, one of which posits that Murray got it exactly backwards: Low IQ doesn’t cause poverty; poverty causes low IQ. In addition, Murray offers no credible reason or evidence why supposed racial differences in IQ cannot be overcome with appropriate intervention that helps facilitate the convergence that has already been observed.

        http://fair.org/extra-online-articles/racism-resurgent/

        http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/profiles/Charles-Murray

    • OnPointComments

      Much ado about nothing, the usual liberal faux hysteria. Here’s the entire context of Ryan’s statement:

      “And so, that’s this tailspin or spiral that we’re looking at in our communities. You know your buddy [radio host Bill Bennett's buddy] Charles Murray or Bob Putnam over at Harvard, those guys have written books on this, which is we have got this tailspin of culture in our inner cities, in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work; and so there’s a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”

      Ryan made reference to two authors known by radio host Bill Bennett. Big deal.

    • hennorama

      Anyone looking for more extensive quoting of the interview of Rep. Ryan by Bill Bennett should go to politifact.com, which presented a much fuller quotation and context of Rep. Ryan’s remarks, here:

      http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/article/2014/mar/14/context-paul-ryans-poverty-comments-racial-attack/

  • Geheran1958

    Absent a claim that Flight 370 was hijacked coupled with the tech savvy tactics and altitude changes, isn’t it possible that the perps expelled passengers and cargo to extend the flight range for a landing in a place not currently under scrutiny? The question then becomes: “What do the perps have in mind”?

    • tbphkm33

      Impossible – can’t open a door on an airliner like that in mid-flight.

      • HonestDebate1

        They could have killed everyone by disabling the oxygen masks and climbing to 45,000 ft.

        • tbphkm33

          First of all, 45,000 ft is above the operating ceiling of the 777. Secondly, these hijackers would not kill everyone. Too sophisticated an operation to carry out, not done by the grunts who will aimlessly kill. Plus, how would you even go about killing 239 people on an airliner while in flight – short of crashing the plane?

          No, if the plane was hijacked and landed somewhere, probabilities are that most of the passengers are alive. It takes a lot to kill, the average person has problems killing any sort of animal. It takes truly demented individuals to massacre 239 people. Especially strangers from different cultures. Much harder to rationalize that they are not human.

          If it is a sophisticated stealing of the airplane, it is a big difference between killing passengers face-to-fact as opposed to flying the plane into a target. Same thing faced by the military, difficult to brainwash soldiers into killing face-to-face, but not when you put them in planes to drop bombs.

          • HonestDebate1

            I understand that, it is over a mile above the ceiling but data shows it did climb that high before going down to 26,000 which is well below normal. As I understand it, at that altitude the oxygen masks would deploy and if not the passengers would be dead in minutes from hypoxia. That’s how.

            Once again, I am speculating. I have no idea and hope for a simple explanation. We also don’t know what was in the cargo bay. These jets haul all kinds of hazardous materials.

            If this was terrorist related then I will not for a minute underestimate the capability for a sophisticated attack. I do not for a minute believe the perpetrators were not truly demented people. Even if this wasn’t terror related those facts remain. It is a grave error to dismiss the cunning of the enemy.

          • brettearle

            Realisitcally, how could they have landed a plane of that magnitude, without an airport runway that could accommodate it?

            If it were landed on such a runway, we would have known about it, by now.

            What’s more how many people, in the world, could possible be well trained enough to successfully land such a craft, in jungle terrain or other kinds of terrain.

            Can’t we assume that even commercial airline pilots would find this to be, possibly, a daunting task.

          • notafeminista

            You’re saying the presumed hijackers would have a more difficult time eliminating passengers from other cultures,correct?
            If so, doesn’t that significantly fly in the in the face of the leftists’ history books for pretty much everything? The whole idea of white Western colonialism?
            Dang. You really must think people don’t pay attention.

  • OnPointComments

    David E. Wright, director of the Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity (ORI), resigned on February 25, 2014. A small excerpt from his resignation letter (http://news.sciencemag.org/people-events/2014/03/top-u.s.-scientific-misconduct-official-quits-frustration-bureaucracy):

    “…The rest of my role as ORI Director has been the very worst job I have ever had and it occupies up to 65% of my time. That part of the job is spent navigating the remarkably dysfunctional HHS bureaucracy to secure resources and, yes, get permission for ORI to serve the research community…What I was able to do in a day or two as an academic administrator takes weeks or months in the federal government…

    “…the organizational culture of OASH’s [Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health] immediate office is seriously flawed, in my opinion. The academic literature over the last twenty-five years on successful organizations highlights several characteristics: transparency, power-sharing or shared decision-making and accountability. If you invert these principles, you have an organization (OASH in this instance), which is secretive, autocratic and unaccountable.

    “I’m offended as an American taxpayer that the federal bureaucracy—at least the part I’ve labored in—is so profoundly dysfunctional. I’m hardly the first person to have made that discovery, but I’m saddened by the fact that there is so little discussion, much less outrage, regarding the problem.”

    The preceding is a small part of his letter, which is worth reading. If Mr. Wright’s assessment of HHS is correct, and I bet it is, is it any wonder that HHS’s creation of the Obamacare website has been so flawed and incompetent?

    • Don_B1

      The dysfunction of the HHS bureaucracy was implicit in the reorganization that occurred in the Bush administration following the path led by Senator Joseph Lieberman (I/D, CT) in creating it from existing units of the government.

      Changing that organization will require action from Congress, and in the current dysfunction of that body(ies) that has been viewed as so impossible that no one has been willing to even try. Maybe the current imbroglio with the C.I.A. might change that, but it is unlikely.

  • John Cedar

    Just because some people do no bother to get their required voter ID, does not mean they were disfranchised. It means they voluntarily gave up their vote.

    Many people are very passionate about politics. One would have to be naive beyond comprehension, to believe that people do not readily cheat when given the opportunity to cheat. No Id requirement means great opportunity to cheat.

    Not so much of a problem in my neighborhood, where you can leave the keys in your car and your home unlocked with no worries. But certainly a problem in the neighborhoods where everything not nailed down gets stolen.

    Only a fool would believe ladies such as this one are too rare to effect elections:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX6E2Ucv7S8

  • Dave C

    Tom: Love the show; I listen to it every week, usually while I’m out running. Often great, thoughtful guests and you seem to screen the callers carefully (which I appreciate).

    Sometime I worry that you give your guests a little too much leeway with inside the beltway, somewhat lazy analysis. I think you should have challenged one of your guests on two things this week:

    1. Josh Lederman referred to “red lines” (plural) President Obama had created and let others cross. Yet all the discussion about red lines has been about one red line, in Syria. The press corps has hashed that through myriad times (lots of sturm and drang, ok, I get it). But, it’s lazy to refer to red lines plural and contribute to a larger narrative about foreign policy weakness promoted by those who disagree with President Obama. Argue the point about the issues with the President’s foreign policy with Syria–there is much to discuss–but don’t let your guest suggest the President has made this mistake multiple times.

    2. Later in the show, the same guest regretted a “cynical” interpretation of the President’s interest in overtime and deportation policy changes and tied them to politics. Is that “cynical”? Politics often drives policy. Does Josh Lederman think that other policy initiatives are not political? We elect politicians with the expectation they will be responsive to issues of concern to voters and President Obama has encouraged his supporters to be advocates for the policy changes they want. The President has argued that this kind of advocacy is essential to creating policy change. Nothing “cynical” about it.

    I’m all for robust debate and analysis of our political leaders’ actions, but please call your guests on the kind of lazy analysis Josh Lederman engaged in on this week’s show; it contributes to the dumbing down of policy debates.

    • HonestDebate1

      Obama issued a couple of red lines in Syria. We have a red line in the Ukraine right now and will see what happens Monday. He issued a red line to China over Snowden. He issues a red line to Karzai in Afghanistan to sign the BSA. Obama just keeps extending the deadline. Morsi in Egypt also ignored his red line.

      • Dave C

        Guess it depends on what the meaning of “red line” is. Not sure I’d call each of those examples “red lines”; they did not carry the direct threat of military action implied by the comments on Syria. In each of the other cases, the President identified (non-military)steps he would take in response to the actions, and he has taken actions. Already, on Ukraine he has taken punitive steps in response to Russian regression.

        Nonetheless, the guest on the show, only referred to Syria, and my point is that I’d like Tom to hold panelists to an expectation that they make better arguments, rather than, at best, abbreviated ones.

      • brettearle

        Sure Gregg….

        That’s it Gregg…just go to WAR? Is that it Gregg?

        Far better to pound one’s chest and mean it so that you have a better chance of retaliation that, potentially, turns into Global Thermonuclear War.

        Yeah, good thinkin’ Greg.

        “We’ll meet again, don’t know win”, said Slim Pickens.

        You just keep thinkin’ that way, Mr. Curtis Lemay of the “On Point” thread….

        Very, very good, Mr. Cooler-Heads-Prevail Smith!

        Yes, Sir!

        • HonestDebate1

          I didn’t say anything of the sort. Where do you get this stuff?

          • brettearle

            My point is that there is VERY little middle ground.

            WHAT do you expect him to do, at this point, other than TO REPEL THE INVASION?

            We do that, and it could be, “Duck and Cover” time, very shortly, thereafter.

            So, I ask you again, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT HIM TO DO?

            And like Stevenson said to the Russian Ambassador, at the UN,

            “I ‘ll sit here and wait UNTIL Hell freezes over, for an answer…..

          • HonestDebate1

            I expect him to mean what he says or not say it.

          • brettearle

            THAT could be the most pathetic comment that I have ever heard you make.

            What bearing does THAT have on the crisis at hand?

            In any case, saying what you mean could be a strategic BLUFF, sir….

          • HonestDebate1

            It has everything to do with the current situation. This is far to serious to bluff.

            Just to clarify, you just wrote that the notion of meaning what you say is pathetic. You are not serious.

          • brettearle

            I am talking about SAYING WHAT YOU MEAN OR DON’T MEAN IN INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS.

            Stop personalizing this.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yea, that’s what I said you said. I can’t believe you believe that. This isn’t a game.

          • brettearle

            I WAS TALKING ABOUT POTENTIAL BLUFFS IN INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS…..NOT ABOUT WHAT I AM CONDONING, YOU MANIPULATIVE INCORRIGIBLE.

            YOU’RE ASCRIBING POSITIONS TO ME THAT I DON’T SUPPORT AND THEN YOU ARE ATTACKING THEM.

            THAT IS THE LOWEST AND CHEAPEST METHOD OF MANIPULATION, KNOWN TO ANYONE WHO,

            DEBATES DECEITFULLY

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t manipulate squat. I wrote: “I expect him to mean what he says or not say it” and you called that pathetic. You wrote it, I didn’t ascribe it to you.

            The President must have credibility. Imperialist dictators must believe he will do what he says he will do. If he gives a deadline it must be meaningful.

            Walk me through what you describe as a strategic bluff. How does that work? You seem to be confirming with caps and all your heart what I am saying. Namely that he is saying what he doesn’t mean in hopes Putin will blink because of the threat. Please correct me. The ONLY reason Putin would feel threatened is if he believe Obama means what he says. That dynamic does not exist. The examples are legion. At this point another “bluff” is dangerous, foolish and deadly.

            As pathetic as it is, I actually agree with you if this is the most we can expect from our disgrace of a President then we may as well just let Putin have it.

          • brettearle

            CAN’T AND WON’T ANSWER,

            AIN’T IT TRUE, GREGG?

            You can’t and won’t ANSWER because YOU KNOW that there is NOTHING that we can do to stop it–UNLESS we initiate military action?

            And guess what?

            YOU DON’T HAVE THE GUTS TO SAY THAT MILITARY ACTION COULD, POSSIBLY TURN INTO A GLOBAL HOLOCAUST.

            Therefore, I ask you, again, Gregg, if you would like to only think of criticizing the President, at a time like this–rather than to offer a reasonable alternative that might increase our chances for

            survival, then hand the solution, over to us.

            The President is fuc**d–no matter what he does.

            But if he blinks, we have a BETTER chance of not being scorched to death.

            1963 is VERY MUCH in play, here.

            And we have lost a great deal of POLITICAL CAPITAL–because of Bush’s invasion of Iraq….

          • HonestDebate1

            BS. There is a ton we can do short of military action. The problem is Obama has played his hand. Putin knows he can act with impunity.

            We can reject the ruble. We can supply Eastern Europe with Natural Gas. We can re-employ the missile defense for Poland. We can rescind visas for oligarchs making billions in America. We can isolate. We can do many things but there isn’t the will and Putin knows that.

            America is no longer a stabilizing force. The world is running amok.

          • brettearle

            Those things ARE on the table.

            But Putin’s invading, it would appear.

            You LITERALLY think those measures would stop him?

            We are receiving distinct signals that Putin thinks he can weather the storm.

            I’m sure Kerry issued the threat to his counterpart.

            You think Russia was going to call their bluff?

            You think if the US takes those measures that Putin will withdraw?

            Staunch Measures are taken one step at a time.

            HOWEVER, you may turn out to be right that the US may have miscalculated–by not getting more aggressive sooner.

            It’s possible that Lavrov lulled Washington into complacency.

            But it’s ALSO possible that such strong measures could have provoked the Russians EVEN MORE.

          • HonestDebate1

            So our policy should be not to provoke imperialist dictators because they will get mad? Let him have what he wants because the world can’t stop him? It’s ridiculous.

    • brettearle

      Your comments are excellent.

      I wish more people thought like you.

    • JONBOSTON

      The problem with Obama is that it seems all of his decisions are driven by political considerations and the country be damned. When does he ever put country ahead of party?

      • brettearle

        Your prism is so jaded it is blackened with a stench.

        Big Time.

        • JONBOSTON

          LOL

          • brettearle

            If you’re laughing out loud, why are you so amused by your own stinkbomb?

          • HonestDebate1

            What has Obama made better?

          • brettearle

            Did I SAY he made things better?

            Did I say THAT?

            I just don’t want him to make things WORSE.

          • HonestDebate1

            He is a failure. A total and complete failure. Things were bad when he was elected all those years ago. Is the best you can say is he didn’t make things worse? You’re wrong about that too. It’s pathetic.

          • brettearle

            We’re NOT talking, ultimately, about the criticism of the President.

            THAT’S ALL YOU CAN THINK OF AT A TIME LIKE THIS.

            We’re talking about a solution–so as to decrease the chances of all of us being blown to smithereens.

            It is utter FERTILIZER that Putin is going to march into Balrus, etc.

            He is going to stop with Ukraine.

            Let him have it and increase the chances of saving the friggin’ world.

            WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE?

            If we back down, we all are still eligible to live in New Hampshire

            We are NOT talking about the Obama Presidency.

            We are, much more importantly, talking about preventing two Superpowers from blowing each other to kingdom come.

          • HonestDebate1

            “He is going to stop with Ukraine.”

            So now you’ve surrendered all of Ukraine instead of just the Crimean Peninsula? Moldova anyone? He already invaded Georgia. Where is the line? Are you really serious?

          • brettearle

            Of course, he’s not going to take any other territory. I have already said that.

            If he tries that, then ABSOLUTELY we will need to repel Russian forces.

            ABSOLUTELY.

            But he will NEVER do that. He lacks the political resolve and military means.

            He knows that we would NEVER stand for it.

            NOR SHOULD WE.

            But what do you want to do, possibly DIE over Ukraine?

            Putin knows damn well that we would NEVER let him get away with such aggression into the Balkan states.

            I am quite sure Kerry has made that ultimatum, abundantly clear.

          • HonestDebate1

            “He is going to stop with Ukraine.

            Let him have it and save the friggin’ world.”

            Putin hasn’t taken Ukraine… yet. Kerry’s ultimatums mean nothing. Absolutely nothing. He should not make them.

          • brettearle

            Threats may not cut it for Putin, is the point.

            But HE IS NOT GOING TO MAKE WHAT WILL LOOK LIKE A 100% ARBITRARY POWER GRAB to the West…where puppet governments aren’t dissolving.

            Putin’s rationale for action in the Ukraine may be weak but it would be better than any other action he might try to take.

            AND HE KNOWS IT.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — one might suspect that Putin was upset over the loss of his Ukrainian puppet, and his response options being restricted due to the ongoing Olympics, felt a need to respond in a more dramatic fashion once the Olympics ended. Of course, the Russian hockey team’s poor performance didn’t help Putin’s mood.

            These actions seem more aimed toward Russians at home than the world at large.

            If the intent was to split Europe, or to garner support from China due to its own territorial ambitions, it appears to be an abject failure.

            Certainly Putin can annex Crimea if he is willing to pay the price. In the short term, the price will not be great, but over the long term, the price may be a more unified Europe looking for alternative energy sources, and much more pro-Western Russian neighbors who would justifiably fear similar treatment. Even China might well lean away.

            Not to mention the pain from economic and other sanctions that would be implemented.

            At this point, I think there’s at least a 20 percent chance that Putin will be satisfied with this demonstration of his power, and rather than annexing Crimea, will negotiate with Ukraine for long-term alliances and peaceful co-existence.

            Hope that helped, despite the delay.

          • brettearle

            I can’t comment on China, vis a vis this situation–because I don’t know enough about Sino-Russian relations.

            I like your nuanced analysis of Putin’s position.

            HOWEVER, I think Putin is spoilin’ for a fight, more than you think:

            I think his strong centralized/nationalistic instincts, to consolidate power, would, in Putin’s mind, be symbolic (though in an extremely meager way) of the re-emergence of Geopolitical Russian influence.

            I think that Putin is likely to move to annex Crimea as a separate and autonomous part of Russia–so as to declare a victory, moral or otherwise.

            However, I think if we interfered in Ukraine–should the unrest grow and the new temporary government does not hold– Putin would go to war:

            At that point, I think that 1963, and the Invasion of Iraq, would loom as 2 very strong factors….much less Putin’s rage at Western Interference and Putin’s belief that he holds the cradle of his country’s Pride in his custody.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — TYFYR.

            One thing that hasn’t been mentioned — because the Russian economy is highly dependent on commodity exports (oil, nat. gas, metals), Putin needs oil prices to stay high. This means global geopolitical unrest of any sort benefits the non-privatized energy sector (and the non-privatized defense sector as well). Did you notice that Russian forces reportedly took over a gas facility near the northern border of Crimea?

            If Crimea is annexed, this will be a further drain on the already slow Russian economy. For example, Crimea has no fresh water to speak of, and imports about 80 percent of its electricity from Ukraine. All sorts of infrastructure goes through Ukraine, and virtually none directly from Russia. There’s no land connection between Russia and Crimea, and the bridge under construction won’t be finished for years.

            Crimea’s economy is highy dependent on tourism, which has all but dried up.

            All of the above implies two things if Russia annexes Crimea:

            1. Putin will need to foment unrest in eastern Ukraine, especially near the Crimean border, then repeat the Crimean takeover process, in order to gain land access and infrastructure to supply Crimea.

            2. Putin will need to negotiate with Ukraine to work out how to supply Crimea until Russia can work out (and pay for) new infrastucture.

            There are myriad details to be worked out if annexation happens.

          • HonestDebate1

            One step at a time by any means necessary. As they inch towards their goal, tyrants will worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.

            It’s late so I won’t make a parallel to Obamcare at this time.

          • pete18

            “He is going to stop with Ukraine.”

            He’s going to stop with Austria.

          • HonestDebate1

            If then.

          • brettearle

            When the medication for your Global Geopolitical paranoia kicks in, let us know.

            Then we can take what you have to say, seriously.

            Otherwise, the comments belong in the local Waste Transfer Station.

            And you’d better get them there soon, because the stench, from them, are becoming a serious Health Hazard.

          • pete18

            Doth do protest too much.

          • brettearle

            History’s full of examples that took place before

            MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION

            is THE Obvious Point

          • pete18

            Does that mean that you think Putin couldn’t possibly have his eyes on more expansion because of MAD or that we just shouldn’t do anything about it?

          • brettearle

            Pete–

            I made it clear–in my comments, for the last day and a half, on this particular thread–that the Ukraine would be the one area for compromise.

            Indeed, only just above, I made my position, against aggression, clear

            Otherwise, we would need to go to war, with any other type of raw or arbitrary aggression.

            Putin’s grab for power has weak justification, from his own point of view.

            To the degree that there is justification from his own garbled viewpoint, we would need to be acutely aware of that.

            But Putin would know that any other action would have no basis. [Unless he does something behind-the-scenes to provoke an action--which is, I suppose, possible.]

            But I am troubled by your question, to me, personally–and I’ll tell you why.

            Your question carries, within it, a built-in knee-jerk belief that as a Liberal I would let Putin get away with anything he wanted.

            On behalf of most Liberals, unless you’re goading me, I find your need for clarification–as to whether we, as Liberals, would defend Freedom, at all– to be almost malicious, in intent, if not blindly biased and ignorant.

          • pete18

            I draw my inference from your assertion
            that you believe there is no reason to fear that Putin would do anything beyond Ukraine. It isn’t your will to defend freedom that is under question, it is your measure of Putin, which seems to share a certain measure of naiveté that has plagued liberals for a long time. That is why I brought up the Austria example, because that has so many parallels in terms of how people estimated Hitler based on wishful thinking or on a logic that appealed to themselves rather than to Hitler’s mind.

            I’m not saying that Putin is Hitler but to underestimate his nationalistic desires and the role the West’s weakness plays in his actions is dangerous.

          • JONBOSTON

            As president, foreign affairs is the total responsibility of Obama. I can’t think of a single situation overseas where our adversaries or our allies respect us more than when Bush was president. Unfortunately Obama’s incompetence has now become a problem not just for Americans , but the entire free world. He is, as Greg has said, a total and complete failure who in my opinion, should resign if he cared one whit about this country. Simply mind boggling that he would announce significant cuts in defense spending on the eve of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Don’t you think that sent signals to Russia, Iran, North Korea, China and Syria that the US was not serious about protecting its global interests? If you’re concerned about Putin and events in the Ukraine , how can you divorce any responsibility from Obama? To make matters worse, he’s assembled a national security team of Rice, Hagel and Kerry that is simply not up to the challenge.

          • brettearle

            Sir, your jingoistic paranoia of assuming that every enemy is going to destroy America–because of our own weakness, is stupid, ridiculous, inane, ignorant, and even salacious.

            Your REAL interest is not to lose a single victory–whether it be moral, propagandistic, political, or otherwise.

            Your inability to see that ANY President wouldn’t repel Russian, Chinese, or any other superior forces–EVEN with use of nuclear weapons–is Disgusting.

            You cannot understand that SOMETIMES COMPROMISE IS NECESSARY.

            BECAUSE WITHOUT COMPROMISE

            YOU STAND TO POSSIBLY LOSE EVERYTHING.

            AND THAT MEANS EVEN IF COMPROMISE IS SOMETHING WHERE YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO SAVE FACE….

            OR EVEN SOMETIMES DEFEND THE FREEDOMS OF EVERYBODY.

            WHY IS CRIMEA SO DIFFERENT THAN KOSOVO?????

            WHY?

            You….don’t….what…..you….are…..talking….about

      • HonestDebate1

        Never. I can’t think of a single example.

  • Lusitan75

    In yet another example of pro-Obama bias . . .

    On a regular basis, Obama’s role as Commander-in-Chief, head of the Executive branch of government, etc. is played up whenever the Executive branch wants to take credit for something seen as “good” — for example, all the talk about Obama and his “gutsy” decision as Commander-in-Chief to initiate the raid that got Bin Laden. But Obama is barely mentioned when the Executive branch does something “bad” — for example, listening to this week’s Week int the News episode, during all the talk about the out-of-control CIA spying on our own members of Congress, one would be forgiven for thinking that the CIA was not under the control of the Executive branch. It’s Obama’s CIA that is out of control, violating the constitutional rights of American citizens, spying on members of Congress (remember all the hype about the “Bush administration” and CIA torture/interrogation techniques?). But the media treats the Executive-run intelligence behemoth as if it’s got nothing to do with Obama. At the very least, it’s Obama’s responsibility, and he’s been a feckless Executive at best. But Obama isn’t tarred with the misdeeds of his CIA and intelligence-industrial lackeys.

    Ditto the IRS.

    Obama has been in office since 2009; the buck is supposed to stop at him.

    • lobstahbisque

      WITH, not at.
      So he’s not “the Magic Black Man”.
      Stop whining.

    • brettearle

      The stupidest and most inane criticism of one President is to `force’ that President to accept full responsibility for all the dysfunctional qualities of the prior administration:

      Above and beyond the actual event of 9/11, it was BUSH II, who ENCOURAGED an abuse of power by NSA.

      And, yes, it has been Obama who has screwed up, royally, for not reining in NSA.

      But for you not to blame BOTH Administrations, only shows up your own bias and lack of analytical skills.

      Your comment is 50% propaganda Drivel.

      • JONBOSTON

        Implied in your comment is the notion that all of Obama’s problems stem from the prior administration. Is that so? If not , what problems are totally the responsibility of Obama? BTW , great leaders accept responsibility rather than look to blame others. Obama has never accepted responsibility for anything.

        • brettearle

          What you implied is false.

          What you implied came from YOUR own bias.

          NOT true what you say….

          NOT true what you say, at all….

          Indeed, It is almost an indignity to have to refute that claim to its author….

      • Lusitan75

        “The stupidest and most inane criticism of one President is to `force’ that President to accept full responsibility for all the dysfunctional qualities of the prior administration”

        Obama is well into his second term as President. It’s his administration. The military and intelligence operators are carrying out his policies. The tired act of blaming Bush for everything wrong with Obama’s administration is just sad at this point. Will Obama ever take responsibility for what’s being done on his watch?

        “But for you not to blame BOTH Administrations, only shows up your own bias and lack of analytical skills.”

        I actually didn’t blame either administration in my original post, I only pointed out the media hypocrisy (OnPoint included, sadly) in consistently linking Bush to what transpired during his administration, while pretending as if Obama is not part of the same universe as his military and intelligence lackeys, much less that he’s responsible for their actions.

        As for blame, we can blame Bush for what transpired during his administration, and we can perhaps give 6 months worth of slack or so for Obama’s new administration coming into power and needing time to change things. But now, in the midst of Obama’s second term in office, it’s time to Obama to bear responsibility for his own administration.

        • brettearle

          My comments clearly point to blaming both.

          You apparently still can’t see that.

          That tells me something troubling about your Prism.

          Your comments also point to the lack of an appreciation for how difficult it is to reverse policies, and their consequences, from prior Administrations.

          • Lusitan75

            “how difficult it is–both time-wise and logistically–to reverse policies, and their consequences, from prior Administrations”

            Another Obam-apologist. Apparently, at least according to the media-driven narrative, it wasn’t too difficult for Bush to implement “his” CIA/intelligence policies in favor of Clinton’s. Why the low expectations as to what Obama can do about implementing “his” (supposed) policies?

            Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. What’s scary is the media changes from a watchdog to a lapdog when the Blue Team is in power.

    • John Cedar

      The media is forgiven for this.
      They have to be worried about being charged with treason by Obama.

      Another defense for the MSN…Bush did actually defend enhanced interrogations. Obama has yet to defend spying on senate. Bush should have done what Obama did after Obama directed the IRS to harass conservative groups. He should have denied it and said he does not approve of anything like that and pretend he would investigate the allegations. Then ultimately call them bone headed decisions, but not a scandal.

  • jimino

    Re Putin and Russian involvement in Crimea, it just looks like a softer implementation of the “Bush doctrine” by another country. Can we really be surprised that others are emulating our exceptional country? I always though imitation was the sincerest form of flattery.

    • HonestDebate1

      C’mon Jimino, there’s not even a smidgeon of an analogy there. You’re smarter than that.

      • jimino

        So why is Russia involving itself in Crimea if not to protect what it sees as its own sphere of influence? And the area is a lot more like Florida is to the USA than Iraq or Afghanistan, which makes it an even more appropriate use of the doctrine.

        • HonestDebate1

          Annexing is quite a bit different than involving oneself.

          The Bush Doctrine had to do with terrorist and harboring them. It was not an imperialistic manifesto.

          • jimino

            The claimed target are those who forcibly removed the elected leader of the country. How much more terroristic can you get?

            The area’s citizens are going to vote to determine their outcome. You certainly don’t oppose the spread of democracy this exemplifies, do you?

            And invading and occupying a country, then telling it how to run itself, isn’t “imperialist”? I guess we don’t speak the same language

          • HonestDebate1

            Are you saying Hussein was the freely elected leader of Iraq? Surely I misunderstand you.

            So if Vermont holds a vote and decides to be Canadian then thats that? It’s not how it works as nice as it sounds.

            Imperialist don’t tell countries how to run themselves (a false premise, we didn’t either) they capture territory and claim it for their own. We liberated Iraq. Iraqis don’t say the Pledge of Allegiance or pay taxes to America.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Not even Charlie Gibson was that confused about the meaning of the Bush doctrine.

        • John Cedar

          Actually, according to the man who coined the phrase, Gibson was every bit as confused about the meaning of the “Bush Doctrine” as jimino is:
          http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/12/AR2008091202457.html

          • jimino

            Hilarious if not so ridiculously sad. They just changed the definition to suit whatever it is they wanted it to mean at the time. I wonder who Putin’s “Krauthammer” is. All good authoritarians need someone like him in this day and age.

          • John Cedar

            The fact is that the Bush Doctrine had no specific accepted meaning when Gibson pulled his stunt.

            “In psychiatry, the term neologism is used to describe the use of words that have meaning only to the person who uses them, independent of their common meaning. This tendency is considered normal in children, but in adults it can be a symptom of psychopathy or a thought disorder (indicative of a psychotic mental illness, such as schizophrenia)”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neologism

          • jimino

            Your hero Krauthammer is the one who first used the term, then kept changing its meaning to suit his point at the time.. So he’s the one guilty of being a neologizing neocon. I think you calling him schizophrenic is a bit much.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who’s definition do you use? I’ve never seen it.

    • notafeminista

      Why on earth would anyone want to imitate former President Bush? After all, wasn’t he single-handedly responsible for destroying any semblance of any respect that any country might have had for the US, completely and entirely shredding due process, controlling the weather to a localized point, not to mention the heartbreak of psoriasis?
      Make up your mind.

    • hennorama

      jimino — whether or not Putin’s aim is to spread totalitinarianism via military invasion, occupation and “elections,” or if the invasion and occupation of Crimea is is a nod to Pres. Bush II’s aim to spread democracy via military invasion, occupation and elections, it’s clear that Putin fed inaccurate information to the Russian public prior to the invasion, which certainly can be considered somewhat comparable to public proclamations made by members of the Bush II administration.

  • OnPointComments

    Monday, March 26, 2012

    “This is my last election…after my election I have more flexibility.” –President Obama to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

    “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.” –Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

    • HonestDebate1

      The press and the apologist here tried very hard to dismiss those comments but they set the stage for weakness. Obama was talking about missile defense and made good on the promise. He got nothing in return.

      Imagine being a citizen of Eastern Europe and the betrayal they must feel. Putin is on a rampage and has them by the gonads. They are dependent on Russian natural gas and Putin is more than willing to shut it off.

      How different would things have been if Obama had gone forward with missile defense shields in Poland? And exploited our natural gas for export? And not ceded leadership to France regarding Libya? And backed up his empty threats in Syria? And not handed Fallujah back to Al Qaeda? And not supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt? Hell, this debacle of a leader announced a withdrawal date (surrender) on the same day he escalated in Afghanistan! WTF! Iran will get it’s nukes unabated. North Korea is flexing her muscles as we speak.

      This is awful.

  • Jay

    The good people of the Ukraine just gave the finger to the war-mongering Neo-Cons: Obama, Kerry, and Nuland.

    • hennorama

      Jay — “[t]he good people of the Ukraine” did no such thing, as only those in Crimea (about 6 percent of the overall population of Ukraine) were presented with this referendum.

      BTW, how’s your research into the Greater Fool Theory coming along?

  • HonestDebate1

    I just heard two points of fact about flight 370 that I have not considered (h/t Justice with Judge Jeanine). Gen. McInerney pointed out that if the 777 was traveling west for 6 or 7 hours it could have gone through 3 time zones. That means it takes a whole lot longer for the sun to rise, think Superman and that episode we all remember. IF the jet landed and the General believes then it very well landed on the dark. That means it’s not a given that is was seen.

    Another Guest informed me of a couple of thing I did not know (you may) and also revealed a tactical and logistical reality. If this was (as seems more and more likely) a deliberate effort to hijack an airliner and land it, for whatever future use, then it would have been necessary to eliminate the passengers.

    Stop: that’s cold and weird to write. I mean no disrespect to the anguished families. Really, I’m sincere. I’m speculating wildly on a stupid blog but I don’t want to waltz over the very real tragedy.

    If the goal was to crash the plane then the passengers were never a consideration. Logistically I did not know that the cabin pressure could be bypassed from the cockpit. The pilot can depressurize the cabin and kill the passengers at will. And why not? The pilot can kill the passengers at will either way. He’s flying the plane. He also has an oxygen bottle. Once the cockpit door is locked no one, who is not inside, can do anything.

  • John Cedar

    I’m not sure what a “political fanatic” is, but it doesn’t sound like a good thing to be.
    https://www.google.com/#q=fanatic+pilot+missing
    Maybe it means he frequently made online comments about politics?

    Malaysia opposition leader gets five years for sodomy (homosexuality)?
    It’s hard to tell if Anwar Bin Ibrahim is a Muslim extremist, but since he has “Bin” in his name I will assume he is and any pilot that supports him also must be an extremist.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anwar_Ibrahim

  • HonestDebate1

    MOSCOW – Russia’s deputy prime minister laughed off President Obama’s sanction against him today asking “Comrade @BarackObama” if “some prankster” came up with the list.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/03/russian-deputy-pm-laughs-at-obamas-sanctions/

    http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014/03/14/flight-370-cia-senate-overtime#comment-1284908566

    • pete18

      Shakur, Ginsberg, and Pollock, who knew the extent of our influence?

      “Another Russian on the sanctions list, Vladislav Surkov, also seemed unconcerned.

      Surkov, a top Putin ideologue often called the Kremlin’s grey cardinal, reportedly told a Russian newspaper, “It’s a big honor for me. I don’t have accounts abroad. The only things that interest me in the U.S. are Tupac Shakur, Allen Ginsberg, and Jackson Pollock. I don’t need
      a visa to access their work. I lose nothing.”

      http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/03/russian-deputy-pm-laughs-at-obamas-sanctions/

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