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Week In The News: Putin On Ukraine And A ‘New Russia,’ A Ferry Down, Economic Questions

Deadly clashes in Eastern Ukraine.  A white supremacist rocks Kansas City. The Marathon bombing anniversary.  And Bloomberg on guns. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there. (AP)

There’s a deal over Ukraine, or maybe there’s not this week.  Vladimir Putin’s talking about a bigger “new Russia.”  There’s a deal in Geneva.  Resistance to it on the ground.  Stand by.  In South Korea, heart-wrenching tragedy at a big ferry sinking.  Outside Kansas City, a shocking anti-Semitic shooting.  Mike Bloomberg says he’s ready to spend $50 million pushing gun control.  In the US and abroad, some economic jitters this week.  The White House celebrates eight million Obamacare sign-ups.  And the Boston Marathon bombing at one year.  This hour On Point:  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David Ignatius, columnist at the Washington Post. Author of “Bloodmoney,” “Body of Lies,” “A Firing Offense” and “Agents of Innocence.” (@IgnatiusPost)

Diane Brady, editor and content chief for Bloomberg Businessweek. (@dianebrady)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Reuters: China economic growth slows to 18-month low in first-quarter — “China’s economy grew at its slowest pace in 18 months at the start of 2014, but did a touch better than expected and showed some improvement in March, suggesting Beijing will not rush to follow up recent steps to support activity. Authorities have ruled out major stimulus to fight short-term dips in growth, signaling the slowdown was an expected consequence of their reform drive, even as some analysts think the economy will lose further momentum.”

POLITICO: President Obama, Eric Cantor talk immigration — sort of –”President Barack Obama spoke with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor about immigration reform on Wednesday, hours after the president sharply criticized House Republicans for stalling an overhaul this year. But the White House says Obama was just trying to wish Cantor, who is Jewish, a happy Passover.”

Washington Post: The cost of Putin’s adventurism in Ukraine – “Here’s the risk for Putin: If he doesn’t move to de-escalate the crisis soon, by negotiating with the Ukrainians at a meeting in Geneva Thursday, he could begin to suffer significant long-term consequences. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will oppose Russia’s use of force, and even the Chinese, who normally don’t mind bullying of neighbors, are uneasy.”

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  • hennorama

    From the Good News Dept.:

    Relief in Afghanistan after largely peaceful landmark election FTA:

    (Reuters) – Afghanistan’s presidential election closed on Saturday amid relief that attacks by Taliban fighters were fewer than feared for a vote that will bring the first-ever democratic transfer of power in a country plagued by conflict for decades.

    It will take six weeks for results to come in from across Afghanistan’s rugged terrain and a final result to be declared in the race to succeed President Hamid Karzai.

    AND

    The Taliban threat to wreck the vote through bombings and assassination failed to materialize, and violent incidents were on a far smaller scale than feared.

    Turnout was seven million out of 12 million eligible voters, or about 58 percent, according to preliminary estimates, election commission chief Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani told reporters.

    That was well above the 4.5 million who voted at the last election in 2009 which was marred by widespread fraud.

    See:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/05/us-afghanistan-election-idUSBREA331N920140405
    ==========

    Not from this week, but rather recent, via the Stanford Report, April 9, 2014:

    Stanford scientists discover a novel way to make ethanol without corn or other plants FTA:

    Stanford University scientists have found a new, highly efficient way to produce liquid ethanol from carbon monoxide gas. This promising discovery could provide an eco-friendly alternative to conventional ethanol production from corn and other crops, say the scientists. Their results are published in the April 9 advanced online edition of the journal Nature.

    “We have discovered the first metal catalyst that can produce appreciable amounts of ethanol from carbon monoxide at room temperature and pressure – a notoriously difficult electrochemical reaction,” said Matthew Kanan, an assistant professor of chemistry at Stanford and coauthor of the Nature study.

    Most ethanol today is produced at high-temperature fermentation facilities that chemically convert corn, sugarcane and other plants into liquid fuel. But growing crops for biofuel requires thousands of acres of land and vast quantities of fertilizer and water. In some parts of the United States, it takes more than 800 gallons of water to grow a bushel of corn, which, in turn, yields about 3 gallons of ethanol.

    The new technique developed by Kanan and Stanford graduate student Christina Li requires no fermentation and, if scaled up, could help address many of the land- and water-use issues surrounding ethanol production today. “Our study demonstrates the feasibility of making ethanol by electrocatalysis,” Kanan said. “But we have a lot more work to do to make a device that is practical.”

    See:
    http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/april/ethanol-without-plants-040914.html

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature13249.html#figures (full article is behind a paywall)

  • SteveTheTeacher

    Some of our best has been shone in the outpouring of love and support for all those affected by the marathon bombings.

    Sadly, at the same time that Boston was marking the anniversary of the Boston Marathon, a US plane dropped bombs in the underdeveloped village of Nadir Shah Kot, Afghanistan, killing a women and two children camped in a tent.

    Sad also is the fact that none of the US mainstream media have reflected on the similarities between the shock, horror, and loss are felt by the survivors, families, friends, and communities affected by the marathon bombings and the survivors, families, friends, and communities affected by US airstrikes, unmanned drone attacks, and crowd killing (computer algorithm targeting) in Pakistan, Aghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, etc.

    Although some have claimed that Boston was attacked because of “our freedom”, from all that has been disclosed about the Tsarnaev’s it appears that their attack was motivated by the sociopathic belief that one can promote political ideology by killing people.

    Hasn’t a similar ideology been behind the US “Shock and Awe” terrorism wars, drone and crowd killing campaigns?

    How about rejecting this ideology as individuals and as a nation?

    Boston is strong. But Boston is also a prosperous city with a strong infrastructure, world class hospitals, and a high density of top universities. What happens when a drone attacks a poor village which lacks, hospitals and schools?

    Are those victims nothing more than “Bug Splats” as some drone operators callously call them?

    Boston strong. But here’s my question: Are we strong enough to stand up for our brothers and sisters in remote parts of this world who are under attack by our government’s practice of extra-judicial killing?

    • hennorama

      SteveTheTeacher — without comment, a point of correction, per the NYT (emphasis added):

      Afghanistan Says NATO Airstrike in East Killed Civilians

      See:
      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/16/world/asia/nato-airstrike-in-afghanistan-is-said-to-kill-civilians.html?ref=asia&_r=0

      • SteveTheTeacher

        “According to primary reports, a US-led airstrike in Nadershah Kot district of Khost province killed a women along with her two children and injured her husband.” – Afghanistan Times
        (http://www.afghanistantimes.af/news_details.php?id=6630&&cid=1)

        The US mainstream, including the New York Times, often adopts the Washington consensus regarding the US terrorism wars. While the Bush administration was able to get others, including NATO, involved in the US attack on Afghanistan, it would be a deception to consider this anything other than a US-led operation.

        • hennorama

          SteveTheTeacher — Thank you for your response.

          It would not be a surprise if the aircraft was American, but “a US-led airstrike” still does not indicate that the aircraft was in fact “a US plane,” as you wrote.

          FYI, I am in general agreement with your original post, especially the implications in your ultimate question.

          • SteveTheTeacher

            You are right. That was poor phraseology on my part. Thank you for the correction.

          • hennorama

            SteveTheTeacher — allow me to rephrase my original post, from “a point of correction,” to “a point of clarification.

            Clarification was my only goal.

  • HonestDebate1

    Al Qaeda is not decimated as was claimed over and over and over again.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2014/04/15/world/al-qaeda-meeting-video/

    • Ray in VT

      This is an Al Qaeda offshoot, which we have also been battling in Yemen, and not the core Al Qaeda group, to which the President has generally referred. The core group has been hit pretty hard, with a reasonably large number of its higher operators having been killed. Others, of course, have taken up the fight. Your willful misrepresentation of the President’s words and positions is telling.

      • HonestDebate1

        It is Al Qaeda, the same one the President referred to.

        • Ray in VT

          Nope. More distortion. Typical. Not honest debate at all.

          • HonestDebate1

            The highly coordinated pre-planned terrorist attack in Benghazi was carried out by Ansar Al-Sharia. That is an “offshoot” of Al Qaeda although it’s a distinction without a difference. The meeting in Yemen was Al Qaeda. AQAP is Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula. That is not an offshoot, it’s Al Qaeda. The #2 leader of Al Qaeda globally, known as Al Qaeda’s crown prince, is the leader of AQAP. He was there but the drone was not.

            Please don’t make such lame excuses to defend the indefensible. Obama was not just mistaken about Al Qaeda. He most certainly had an intent to deceive. He lied.

          • Ray in VT

            Just keep on being wrong. It suits your M.O. and your agenda of lies.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qaeda_in_the_Arabian_Peninsula

          • HonestDebate1

            That was convincing.

          • Ray in VT

            More convincing than your twaddle. At least their sources aren’t from racist groups or loaded with inaccurate quotes.

          • Don_B1

            There you go again, putting your thoughts into someone else’s.

            How do you know what President Obama’s “intent” was?

            Anytime you speculate on someone else’s motivations, that speculation always reinforces your argument to the detriment of the person being speculated about, without any basis in fact. Of course, your “facts” are usually just your opinions.

          • Ray in VT

            Uh, duh. Intent must be clearly shown or proved with hard evidence, unless it suits Greggggg to infer intent, regardless of the merits.

          • Steve__T

            Look Don he knows what happened, he knows what happened on both sides. He knows who, when, where and how it was done on both sides. AND he KNOWS the President was passed out drunk at the time. So don’t tell him what he thinks.
            It’s not about him.

          • HonestDebate1

            Okay maybe he’s just stupid as hell.

          • Ray in VT

            Or he wasn’t talking about what you say that he was talking about. It’s easy to criticize someone when you’re putting words into their mouths. That is a tactic that I seem to recall you not favoring, at least when it suits you of course.

      • hennorama

        Ray in VT — this phenomenon is a sort of “al-Qaeda’s Six Degrees of Separation,” with AQAP being one or two degrees away.

        But that doesn’t matter to those seeking a bogeyman, dangerous or not.

        • Ray in VT

          Haters gonna hate.

  • John Cedar

    Why is the incident in Kansas city described by the politics of the murder while the incident in Boston is described by the event that was happening at the time of the murders?

    • jefe68

      Because they are two different events.

      I don’t know, maybe it’s because there are decades of evidence that shows the politics of Frazier Glenn Cross, AKA Frazier Glenn Miller is an anti-Semitic and was grand dragon in the KKK.

      • John Cedar

        You don’t know? Really?
        You are not aware of the politics and the roll that religion played forf the Boston bombers?
        You were not aware that there is a concerted effort by the MSN, to purge all reference to “Muslim” and “Muslim extremist” from terrorism coverage? They purposely do this in an effort to prevent further tarnishing of the image of the religion in the minds of the American audience. In a similar fasion, very often the race of criminals is purposely left out of the coverage of crimes reported in the MSN, if the race of the perpetrator is a minority,

        Of course, we will not see the same effort put forth when reporting on catholic priests or the reporting on white supremacists. When in fact it is obvious that most Catholic priests are not practicing pedophiles, and most white supremacists do not resort to violence. (Instead they merely write books such as the Bell Curve or utter comments like Harry Reid did about Obama having no negro dietetic).

  • Ed75

    Two phrases from the movie Noah might apply to current situations:

    1. Now it begins.
    2. The time of mercy is over.

    While it’s still the time of mercy (St. Faustyna), we all have to seek to be reconciled with God and the Church. (Good Friday note.)

  • John Cedar

    I am sure any time now, the people who were outraged about lifting limits on political donations, will be loudly objecting to Bloomberg spending $50mm on anti second amendment propaganda.

    • pete18

      Waiting….waiting….anyone?

    • Ray in VT

      “anti second amendment propaganda”? How extremely telling and typical. Someone has to fight the NRA and the gun industry money, and that industry has a huge head start.

      • John Cedar

        Democracy hypocrisy.

        • Ray in VT

          Woozle wazzle.

    • OnPointComments

      When liberals propose solutions to assuage their outrage, such as limits on political spending, there’s almost always the subtext “I meant for you, not for me.”

      The liberals at Media Matters love unions, but Media Matters is lawyering up to resist SEIU’s effort to unionize MM’s staff. Unions are great, but MM meant great for you, not for us.

      • Don_B1

        So liberals are supposed to just not spend any money in their effort to change the politics of the 2nd Amendment discussion?

        That would seem to also deny that money has any influence over convincing people of the correctness of any one position on an issue. Of course, if one side cannot even get presented to the people, are they just supposed to figure it out for themselves?

        How many will take the time to do that?

      • John Cedar

        Truthier words have never been spoken.

  • HonestDebate1

    “the entire North Polarized cap will disappear in 5 years.” -Algore Dec. 2008

    • northeaster17

      In wonderfully ironic fashion last September a cargo ship has passed through the fabled Northwest passage. It was the 2nd bulk carrier able to accomoplish this feat. The irony is that the ship was carrying 15,000 tons of coal. The fact is that we are losing Artic Sea ice. Your Limbaughesque description of Al Gore points to your sources and a lack of credibility.

      http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/danish-owned-coal-cargo-ship-sails-through-northwest-passage-1.1474487

      • HonestDebate1

        Speaking of coal:

        “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 19th annual report of overall U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions today, showing a 3.4 percent decrease in 2012 from 2011…. The major contributors to the decrease in emissions from 2011-2012 were the decrease in energy consumption across all sectors in the U.S. economy, and the decrease in carbon intensity for electricity generation due to fuel switching from coal to natural gas.

        AKA fracking.

        http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/2cb21f3348459b2c85257cbb006041a0%21OpenDocument

        I don’t think the irony compares to the ship with a group of global warming scientists getting trapped in the ice in Antarctica… and then the rescue ship got iced in too.

        But really, don’t you recognize how spectacularly wrong Algore was?

        • northeaster17

          I’m not here to defend Gore. But by taking one of his statements and using it to imply that climate science concerning global warming is a fraud, that’s my problem. As for your Antartic analogy. Boats are trapped every year down there. No matter who is aboard. The Artic being open for freight passage as well as the moves by many to expliot resources previously unavailable is more telling as to what is really happening.

          • Don_B1

            Unfortunately [Dis]HonestDebate1 is not at all concerned with what is really happening.

            He just wants people to think that something, or rather nothing, is happening that they need to worry or do anything about.

          • northeaster17

            Understood. Thks

        • nj_v2

          Al Gore! Booga booga!

          • northeaster17

            Benghazi!!!!!

          • Ray in VT

            I’m sure that that conspiracy is on the verge of collapsing, if only Darrell pushes a bit harder, surely it will all come tumbling down.

        • Don_B1

          No, but I do recognize how spectacularly YOU are wrong !

    • Ray in VT

      More distortion. What a surprise:

      http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/18941-arctic-sea-ice-and-al-gores-prediction-2013

      Any news on when it was that Obama said that he would forgive all federal student loans by E.O.?

      • HonestDebate1
        • Ray in VT

          First one is hard to hear. Second video is no longer available. Take a look at what he has said in broader contexts. It’s very easy to paint someone in a certain light when taking only short snips of speech. It’s an easy tactic to use, and it fools many fools.

        • nj_v2

          In the first video, his comment began with “The entire north polar ice cap…” The rest of it is muddled behind translation cross talk.

          DishonestMisDebatorGreggg early stated the quote as, “the entire North Polarized cap will disappear in 5 years.” -Algore Dec. 2008″

          So there’s that.

          The larger point is that ice extent trend continues downward which denial dissemblers would have us believe isn’t happening because Mr Gore once agreed with a particular prediction made by a few researchers that may not have been entirely accurate.

          • HonestDebate1

            Is it gone? I don’t get you guys at all. What in the world do you think the objection is? Here’s a hint, it has nothing to do with denial and everything to do with gross and absurd exaggerations.

    • nj_v2

      Wherein “honest debate” entails GDS* sufferer Greggg posting no source for bogus quotes. And there’s a mistake there, that should be “Al Gore, inventor of the Internet.

      (*Gore Derangement Syndrome)

      I believe this is the salient story:

      http://www.wthr.com/story/11676881/gore-polar-ice-may-vanish-in-5-7-years

      Gore cited particular research. Note the qualifications in the predictions. Other scientists disagreed with the time frame.

      Actual Arctic sea-ice trend continues downward:

      http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

      Arctic sea ice at fifth lowest annual maximum

      … In the Arctic, the maximum extent for the year is reached on average around March 9. However, the timing varies considerably from year to year. This winter the ice cover continued to expand until March 21, reaching 14.91 million square kilometers (5.76 million square miles), making it both the fifth lowest maximum and the fifth latest timing of the maximum since 1979. The latest timing of the maximum extent was on March 31, 2010 and the lowest maximum extent occurred in 2011 (14.63 million square kilometers or 5.65 million square miles).…

      (excerpt)

      http://phys.org/news/2014-03-arctic-ice-trends-sea-lost.html

      New data confirms Arctic ice trends: Sea ice being lost at a rate of five days per decade

      (Phys.org) —The ice-free season across the Arctic is getting longer by five days per decade, according to new research from a team including Prof Julienne Stroeve (UCL Earth Sciences). New analysis of satellite data shows the Arctic Ocean absorbing ever more of the sun’s energy in summer, leading to an ever later appearance of sea ice in the autumn. In some regions, autumn freeze-up is occurring up to 11 days per decade later than it used to.…

      The research, published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters, has implications for tracking climate change, as well as having practical applications for shipping and the resource industry in the Arctic regions.

      “The extent of sea ice in the Arctic has been declining for the last four decades,” says Julienne Stroeve, “and the timing of when melt begins and ends has a large impact on the amount if ice lost each summer. With the Arctic region becoming more accessible for long periods of time, there is a growing need for improved prediction of when the ice retreats and reforms in winter.”…

      (excerpts)

      • HonestDebate1

        See below for the video of Algore saying what you don’t deny he said. This, along with the news that fracking has reduced GHG and the IPCC admitting how wrong the predictions of the fourth assessment was, is incredibly good news. What’s with you guys? Why are you so invested in the notion of an apocalypse?

    • jefe68

      From 2012: NASA Finds Thickest Parts of Arctic Ice Cap Melting Faster

      http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/thick-melt.html

  • nj_v2

    Selected political regression, corporate kow-towing, hypocrisy, abuse of power, money whoring, inanity, and general jacka**ery of the week…

    http://consortiumnews.com/2014/04/09/reagan-bush-ties-to-iran-hostage-crisis/

    Reagan-Bush Ties to Iran-Hostage Crisis

    U.S. government officials are in high dudgeon again – this time over Iran’s audacity in naming an ambassador to the United Nations who allegedly played a minor role in the 1979-81 crisis in which 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days in Iran. But the same U.S. officials ignore the now overwhelming evidence that Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush helped extend the hostages’ suffering to gain an edge in the 1980 election.

    The double standard – getting worked up over the allegations about Iranian Ambassador Hamid Aboutalebi and going silent over the evidence implicating Reagan and Bush – is just the latest in a long series of examples of the U.S. government’s hypocrisy.…

    (snipped)

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/senate-judiciary-comcast-time-warner-money

    Most Senators Overseeing the Comcast-Time Warner Deal Have Taken Money From Both

    …But Leahy and most of his colleagues have already “heard” from both Comcast and Time Warner—in the form of generous campaign contributions. Out of the committee’s 18 members, 15 have accepted donations from at least one of the two media giants since the 2010 election cycle; 12 have received money from both. The average contribution over that time: $16,285. Democrats were the biggest recipients, taking an average of $18,531 from the two cable and internet giants, nearly twice as much as their Republican counterparts. Here’s the breakdown:…

    (excerpt)

    http://grist.org/news/gmo-labeling-would-be-outlawed-by-new-bill-in-congress/

    GMO labeling would be outlawed by new bill in Congress

    …So a band of corporate-friendly members of Congress has come riding in to try to save the day for their donors. A bipartisan group led by Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) has signed onto legislation introduced Wednesday that would run roughshod over states’ rules on GMO labels. Reuters reports:

    The bill, dubbed the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act,” was drafted by U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo from Kansas, and is aimed at overriding bills in roughly two dozen states that would require foods made with genetically engineered crops to be labeled as such.

    The bill specifically prohibits any mandatory labeling of foods developed using bioengineering.…

    (excerpt)

    http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/04/post_558.html

    Louisiana House votes 27-67 to keep unconstitutional anti-sodomy law on the books

    The Louisiana House of Representatives rejectedlegislation, on Tuesday, that would remove the state’s symbolic ban on certain kinds of sodomy. The bill failed by a wide margin on a vote of 27-67, with 11 members not voting.

    Louisiana’s anti-sodomy law was overturned and declared unconstitutional in 2003, with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling such state statutes could not be enforced. Still, the Legislature has been unwilling to officially strike the measure from state law, even though it can’t be used as a cause for arrest.…

    (snipped)

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/ron-paul-paul-broun-gun-giveaway

    The Hottest Conservative Campaign Gimmick of 2014: Free Guns
    You get a carbine! You get a carbine! You get a carbine!

    Ron Paul announced recently that he is giving away a gun because “there can be no liberty without the ability to defend it.” As part of its “Defend Liberty Gun Giveaway,” one lucky donor to the former Texas congressman’s organization, Campaign for Liberty, will receive a DDM4 AR-15. But Paul isn’t alone. More than a dozen candidates for national and local office have offered up free firearms to their supporters during the 2014 election cycle, with gifts ranging from pistols to shotguns to an AR-15 customized by the gubernatorial candidate himself. It’s the year’s hottest conservative campaign gimmick.…

    (snipped)

    And what’s with Oklahoma?

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/04/15/beer-and-bullets-oklahoma-gun-range-applies-to-sell-liquor-to-shooters/

    Beer and bullets: Oklahoma gun range applies to sell liquor to shooters

    A gun range in Oklahoma is thought be the first in the state to apply for a liquor license.

    “As a group we wanted to build a place, the first one in Oklahoma, where you could go in, shoot, enjoy the retail area and then go to the café,” Jeff Swanson, owner of the Wilshire Gun Club recently told KOKH.

    (snipped)

    http://crooksandliars.com/2014/04/oklahoma-governor-signs-bill-banning?utm_source=Crooks+and+Liars+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=8cf9822605-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d4904be7bc-8cf9822605-330135349

    Oklahoma Governor Signs Bill Banning Mandatory Minimum Wage, Vacation & Sick Leave

    Raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, overtime and unemployment insurance has dominated the political landscape which has conservative politicians and talking heads making all kinds of asinine analogies to try to bloody the nose of the working class. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin stepped forward and dwarfed her talk show dummies by taking extraordinary measures to thwart the will of the voters and any progress for her constituents. Fallin made a nonsensical case for signing a bill which blocks mandatory minimum wage, vacation and sick-day requirements.…

    (snipped)

  • nj_v2

    Weekly jacka**ery, media/Fox So-called News addendum…

    http://www.salon.com/2014/04/16/o’reilly’s_racial_fear_mongering_how_a_dangerous_tired_shtick_got_worse/?source=newsletter

    O’Reilly’s racial fear-mongering: How a dangerous, tired shtick got worse
    He hectors a basketball coach about the horrors of players raised on “hip-hop stuff.” The coach sets him straight

    It took me a day to catch Bill O’Reilly’s dreadful interview with University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari, which mainly consists of O’Reilly hectoring Calipari to tell him what it’s like to coach those people – you know, the ones raised on “hip-hop stuff.” Can we finally conclude, together, that O’Reilly no longer deserves the “presumption of innocence” when it comes to race? Can we all acknowledge that the essence of his show is racial fear-mongering? It’s been clear to me for a long time, but not to others. It ought to be now.

    Poor Calipari was on the show to promote his book, “Players First: Coaching From the Inside Out,” which O’Reilly clearly didn’t read, since he set out to stigmatize the very players Calipari puts first. “I mean, you are a good guy, coach, but, hey, now the culture has coarsened,” said O’Reilly. “I don’t know if you listen to this rap stuff and the hip-hop stuff. Has that changed their attitude? I mean, how do you impose discipline on kids who are pretty much gonna do what they want to do?”…

    (snipped)

    http://www.salon.com/2014/04/17/fox_news_demented_poster_boy_why_angry_rancher_cliven_bundy_is_no_patriot/?source=newsletter

    Fox News’ demented poster boy: Why angry rancher Cliven Bundy is no patriot
    The right’s new fixation: An angry old white man who thinks freedom means not having to follow the law

    The latest right-wing media poster-victim, Cliven Bundy, is just the latest in a long line of desert dwellers who thinks he or she should not have to follow the law and has a god-given right to unlimited use of public resources, in this case, rangeland. I know the mentality well, because I grew up in rural Nevada and clung desperately to such beliefs until only a few years ago.

    Bundy has not paid grazing fees in close to 20 years, while the federal government has, with painful, stupid moves, tried to somehow deal with him. Bundy also faced restrictions because he continued to graze cattle on a slice of public land reserved for the endangered desert tortoise. He was invited to talk to Sean Hannity (of course) about the “standoff.”…

    (snipped)

    http://www.salon.com/2014/04/12/the_dangerous_pitfalls_of_scientific_celebrity_authority_alone_cant_be_trusted/?source=newsletter

    Fox News hates science: How the media misrepresents “authority”

    …Scientific accuracy isn’t decided by fiat, and just because a scientist is involved doesn’t say anything meaningful about the veracity of a claim. In the case of someone like Bill Nye, who has spent much of his career working to broaden the appeal of scientific literacy, it might seem like a benign offense. But the imprimatur of “authority” can also be used to advance much more dangerous agendas; for example, to create the pervasive sense of a two-sided debate, when one side has little in the way of compelling data to back it up — as in the case of the current excruciating struggle to educate the public on the dangers of climate change.

    Exhibit A: Fox News, which, according to new data released this week, only presents accurate information on climate change 28 percent of the time. The rest of the time, the network’s hosts are prone to offer a misleading characterization of scientific authority in order to create a false narrative of doubt around global warming.…

    (excerpt)

    • HonestDebate1

      What in the world does hip hop have to do with race? Or for that matter what does the Nevada incident have to do with race. The despicable Harry Reid called them domestic terrorist.

      • Ray in VT

        Domestic terrorists? Maybe not. Armed crackpots supporting a family who are breaking the law and stealing from the American taxpayers? Definitely. One wonders why elements of the conservative media are falling in line with a man who is breaking the law and defying court orders. I guess that they have managed to find a guy who they don’t mind taking a bunch of free stuff from the government, even if it is against the law for him to do what he is doing.

        • HonestDebate1

          Falling in line? Who? Not me, I have not taken a position on the blog. I don’t know enough about it. I have certainly seen many on the left outraged at the Feds and many on the right outraged at the ranchers. Where do you get this stuff? Calling them domestic terrorist is despicable, that’s all.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, so you’re “conservative media” now? Where do I get this stuff? Why, I just look for the choicest idiocy from the right wing:

            http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/04/14/after-slamming-obama-as-lawless-right-wing-crit/198877

            http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/right-wing-loves-militia-rancher-cliven-bundy-except-glenn-beck

            http://mediamatters.org/search/index?qstring=bundy&x=0&y=0

            Armed dolts threatening action against federal agents in support of a lawbreaker is pretty despicable. Based upon the FBI’s consideration of motive and/or ideology in classifying an act as terrorist, then these anti-government crackpots could well earn that label should things go down. Calling a cleared man a terrorist is also pretty despicable, yet you support those who do that and do it yourself.

          • JONBOSTON

            So Media matters and Mother Jones are your sources for information. Unbiased respectable sources for “news”! What a farce.

          • Ray in VT

            What is that I hear? Some attacking of the messenger? They provide links, often to videos, of the sort of right wing nonsense to which I am referring. They are merely providing a service. With some digging I could provide the direct links to Fox et al, but it is far easier to cite those who monitor such things for me.

          • TFRX

            Ray, you can just say “I’m not free-diving in that outhouse for a quarter!”

          • nj_v2

            What factual inaccuracies or reporting errors did you find in those stories? Go ahead, we’ll wait…

          • nj_v2

            The Final Jeopardy jingle tape is wearing out…

        • northeaster17

          One main reason the consevative media is falling in line….The man in the White House, who will trample the freedom of us all to graze our cattle, if he is not stopped. My question is what the heck are we doing grazing cattle in the desert? As Ed Abby once said…We could take all our cattle that we graze all over the vast west and move them all to North Carolina. Plenty of food and water there.

          • nj_v2

            Where is this “freedom” articulated to graze cattle on public land for private profit while avoiding paying the established fees?

          • northeaster17

            It’s an implied freedom these days but grazing cattle, after the buffalo were slaughtered, was a important way to “open up” the west. It was free and low low cost land to farm and graze. Not so much these days considering the damage that has been done. But since Bundy’s ancesters were there from the 19th century paying anything for what they have been doing for so long must be bothersome. I don’t feel their pain but I think maybe I understand it.

          • nj_v2

            The ancestors of the Washoe, Paiute and Western Shoshone were there a lot longer. Maybe they should bring their cattle onto “Bundy’s property” and see what happens. I bet they’re “bothered,” too.

          • northeaster17

            That’s part of my point. Once the previous owners were removed the land suddenly became free. That’s when all this new land needed to be put to use and was “awarded” to those who intended to do so. After a century and a half some folks think nothing has changed.

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

        Timothy McVeigh and the shooter at the Jewish center are white supremacist homegrown terrorists. So is the KKK. And a lot of those folks popped up in Nevada.

    • Ray in VT

      I heard some clips from the O’Reilly/Calipari interview and discussion of it on ESPN radio. It was pretty strange.

  • Matt MC

    “Hey, Ukraine. Thanks for giving up your trump card and getting rid of those nukes for us!” –NATO. “No, problem. We know you’ll have our back!” –Poor Naive Ukraine

  • Shag_Wevera

    I’m starting to think that Vladimir Putin is over-rated.

  • Shag_Wevera

    A question… The right wing posters who give us absurd observations on a daily basis… Are they participating in the dialogue, or trying to destroy it? On many occasions I have considered abandoning the site because of these usual suspects.

    • brettearle

      They are definitely driving people away.

    • HonestDebate1

      I would love it if the left would lose the accusations of racism, silly insults and distraction. I prefer honest debate.

      But I have to hand it to you. I have never seen you suggest the entire South is all about lynching and I approve because I live here. I haven’t seen you laughably yell liar liar as a rebuttal to a comment offered with evidence and reason. Maybe I missed it.

      • Ray in VT

        Aww. Do I read a veiled reference to myself? I’m flattered, but get me out of your head. If you prefer honest debate, then why do you never engage in it? Perhaps honest and debate are also words with which you struggle with the definitions.

        It must be tough living in an area with a long history of extra-judicial killings. Perhaps that is what motivates you to say things like “why even bother with a trail?” or whatever you said the other day. Perhaps that also leads you to insist that people cleared by law enforcement are terrorists.

        • HonestDebate1

          I didn’t mention names, it’s not my nature, I can’t believe you copped to it. Sorry I hurt your feelings, carry on.

          BTW I did not write what you said I wrote. Not even close. Why do you carry on Like this. Shag is right… he (or she) just has the ideologies backwards.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure. I’ll recognize that I am the source of this distortion. Maybe in your mind what you claim rings true, but considering the other many lies and distortions in which you believe, I think that such a claim would speak for itself.

            For my feelings to be hurt I would have to care about your opinions, and I do not. Liars such as yourself concern me very little.

          • HonestDebate1

            Any sense of decency would dictate an apology but I don’t expect, want or really care about one. You are on record for all to see. Have a nice day.

          • Ray in VT

            Why should I apologize for your lies and distortions? You owe the facts an apology, but you seem to rarely, if ever, be able to recognize them.

          • Ray in VT

            I also see no need to apologize for your call to carry out some “justice” without the need for a trial, as you suggested recently.

          • HonestDebate1

            You have a wild imagination. You should at least try to have a basis for you accusations. Why do you make up such garbage?

          • Ray in VT

            Your comment history is all right there for everyone to see, in all of it’s lying, distorted, misquoting glory. I treasure some of those moments, like when you told me that GM was never going to collapse.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes it is, so it makes it very easy to prove unequivocally not only are you lying (I never advocated anything of the sort) but how nasty and shallow your response was.

            I guess that it comes with the historical territory down there. Caroliney knows somethings about lynchings, right?

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014/04/15/boston-marathon-terrorism#comment-1338317972

            What is worse is that you seem to be proud of it. So again, I ask, why do you make up such garbage?

          • Ray in VT

            Hey man, you’re the one asking if we should go ahead and hang people now, before a trial. I just thought that maybe such a view has been informed by the long history of such actions in your state. You get awfully worked up when people call out your heroes for their disgraceful comments and actions.

            I don’t need to make up garbage. You dump all that I can handle onto my screen and into my inbox daily.

          • HonestDebate1

            Hey everybody, get a load of Ray cornered, flailing and doubling down! Please I’m begging read what actually was said and how he rewrote it. He even seems to thinks I’m a Beck fan. Hilarious!

          • Ray in VT

            Putting it in italics makes it very convincing. Did they teach you that in college?

          • HonestDebate1

            Tilt!

          • Ray in VT

            You’re all over the place. Again, it makes it very convincing. Perhaps you could give me some anti-Obama conspiracy rant. What’s ole O’Bummer up to today? Voiding all federal student loans by E.O.?

          • HonestDebate1

            I can do bold too.

          • Ray in VT

            Yet another debate team tactic? Very convincing as well. But can you accurately tell me what is in the dictionary? I do not think that you can, as you have previously proved.

          • HonestDebate1
          • Ray in VT

            And you can cut and paste a URL. You never cease to amaze me. Of course you still can’t tell me what FBI source you are claiming to cite when you’ve engaged in your race-baiting about African Americans and crime.

      • Shag_Wevera

        Thank you. I try not to be bombastic. Such a delicate art to disagree without being disagreeable. I’m way to the left, but I have respect.

        • HonestDebate1

          I really think most of us do or at least strive for it.

    • JONBOSTON

      I look forward to reading your penetrating thoughtful commentary when responding to comments made by the various “right wing posters”.

      • Shag_Wevera

        Much love.

    • malkneil

      I agree that these message boards always turn into bedlam. Would be cool if every user only got one post per topic so it would require them to put some thought into what they write. Not realistic, but I can dream.

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

      Are you in the Boston Area?
      Then you may find this event at the Kennedy School interesting.
      http://www.ash.harvard.edu/Home/Challenges-to-Democracy/Events/The-Tea-Party-and-MoveOn-Finding-Common-Ground

      FTA:
      There are some who argue that the gridlock and partisanship affecting Washington is simply a reflection of the polarizing discourse and growing divide within the American public. Can we engage in more civil conversations and find common ground between the political left and right in the US? Two great American leaders representing the left and the right, Joan Blades, co-founder of Momsrising.org and Moveon.org, and Mark Meckler, co-founder of Citizens for Self Governance and Tea Party Patriots, have come together to promote and encourage a safe format to build trust, appreciation for other views, and relationships.

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

        No takers? I am disappointed but not surprised.

    • Don_B1

      There is no question in my mind but that they are trying to destroy this blog associated to the political topics often discussed here.

      It is the same as negative political advertising: by using negative ads, the politicians turn off the independent and not strongly partisan voters who then do not go to the polls, which works to their advantage in that process, and they expect by getting them turned off here, they will act like the typical low-information voter and, if they vote at all, will vote “conservative.”

      • TFRX

        Yep.

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

        Your are indulging in what the pop psychiatrist call projection, you try to defend yourself against sins by denying its existence in yourself, while attributing all sins to others. On any topic I can demonstrate that the faulty you find in others is more commonly practiced by your fellow travelers. Let us examine this example:

        “What some didn’t like is the fact that I mentioned Rick Hasen’s blog, and how it is used to advance the left-wing narrative on election law. As one professor told me by email:

        One of the Left’s tricks is to make calling them out seem like a breach of etiquette.

        Yesterday, instead of joining in the rightful criticism of what occurred at the IRS, Hasen spent his energy rounding up notes of support from a smattering of conservatives who use his blog.”

        Read the whole post and we can dialogue on it as civilized people.

        http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/04/18/irs-scandal-one-way-civility-in-academia/?singlepage=true

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

      Dialogue and Civility are buzzwords for that you have twisted to mean Group-think and Self-Censorship. I can share countless examples of how surprised people from your political persuasion are to find out that those they disagree with are not evil monsters. I am surprised that people who are obviously intelligent and educated can be un-self-aware to such a degree.

      If you opinions are so indefensible that you can not stand up to what is typed here, then how much real value do they have?

      If you can not stand the commentators here in this warm bath of Big Government Paternalism, how will you ever be able to slings and arrows that will be hurled at you in the cold and stormy sea that is the rest of the world?

  • JONBOSTON

    Tom Ashbrook–

    Here’s hoping you discuss the latest revelations in the IRS scandal . Apparently Lois Lerner , at the urging of Democrats Senator Whitehouse , Senator Levin , and Congressmen Cumming’s office, was encouraging the DOJ to bring criminal action against various Tea party groups when , lo and behold, the IRS Inspector General (“unfortunately ” for her) issued his critical report of her and her office’s targeting of conservative groups. Not a scintilla of evidence quoted our serial liar -in- chief!

    • HonestDebate1

      That really is an astonishing revelation. I actually had a modicum off respect for Mr.Cummings and thought he was partisan but attempting to be fair. How wrong I was.

    • OnPointComments

      There should be a special prosecutor, independent of the DOJ, appointed to investigate the IRS targeting scandal. The DOJ was in cahoots with the IRS.

      May 8, 2013: Lois Lerner email to Nikole C. Flax, Chief of Staff to Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller

      I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ … He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who “lied” on their 1024s –saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures. DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs.

      I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS…

      May 9, 2013: Nikole C. Flax email to Lois Lerner

      I think we should do it – also need to include CI [Criminal Investigation Division], which we can help coordinate. Also, we need to reach out to FEC. Does it make sense to consider including them in this or keep it separate?

      The preceding emails are dated May 8 and May 9, 2013. On May 10, 2013, Lois Lerner said the targeting was caused by low-level employees in Cincinnati, when two days before she personally had been scheming with the DOJ, Federal Election Commission, and Democrats.

      • pete18

        Smoking gun.

        • Don_B1

          Less of a “smoking gun” than the stuff that Republicans dismiss out of hand when it implicates another Republican.

          It appears to be the usual Rep, Darrell Issa overblown, cherry-picked sets of words that only he can put a twist to turn the prosecution of real crimes (the actions of political groups trying to get tax-deductibility and non-transparency for their contributors) turned into “crimes” by the prosecutors.

          TOTAL BULL-PUCKY as usual!

    • Ray in VT

      The DOJ contacted Lerner. Not the other way around.

      • JONBOSTON

        Thanks for confirming this likely criminal conspiracy was driven by just a bunch of rogue yahoos in the IRS Cincinnati office ! LOL

        • Ray in VT

          Sure. DOJ investigations into fraud are now criminal conspiracies, just like when conservatives break the law and get caught. It’s just a conspiracy against them.

          • JONBOSTON

            IRS abuse of power is a criminal violation. IRS disclosing confidential taxpayer information outside its organization is a criminal violation. In the case of Richard Nixon , his failed effort to target the IRS against his enemies was a separate impeachment count. Having the DOJ initiate a baseless fraud investigation lacking a scintilla of evidence against Tea Party groups exercising their First Amendment rights is arguably furtherance of a criminal conspiracy against conservative groups.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup. Just a bunch of politically-motivated conspiracies to get conservatives. Good thing that that is settled.

          • JONBOSTON

            Yup. you got that right.

          • Ray in VT

            I know, and O’Bummer and Co. almost got away with it. They would have if it hadn’t been for those damned kids and their stupid dog.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            So now we are to believe kids and a dog were running things in Cincy?

          • Ray in VT

            It’s about as believable as a rational market.

          • TFRX

            That’s “meddling” kids.

          • Ray in VT

            Damned Saturday morning censors! I bet that they’re in cahoots with Obama too.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Yes, conspiracies acted upon. Materially worse than Watergate.

          • Ray in VT

            Indeed. Now, if only there was some sort of evidence.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Ignored by the MSM.

      Face the Nation had Cummings as a guest last week and Bob S didn’t bother to ask any questions. Journalism is dead. Tim Russert is spinning in his grave.

      • OnPointComments

        During the previous week, Rep. Cummings had been proven to be a liar. Seems like the revelation would at least warrant one question.

  • AnneDH

    Okay. I need to say this as a parent of one 2013 college grad and one junior in college. I graduated college in 1980. That was the point at which interest started accruing on my student loan. A friend of my was going to Med school; interest on her loans started accruing the day she started. Sometime since then it was decided that interest should start accruing on the first day of freshman year for everyone. What a difference it would make if this were repealed.
    Plus incredibly unfair interest rates.
    I am home full time on disability and not a day goes by that I don’t feel tremendous guilt & depression that my daughters are facing such debt. I called my former employer to see about working part-time on a trial basis. That’s what these loans are doing to my family.

    • adks12020

      I understand you’re in a rough spot but there are ways to deal with the issues you describe. It’s allowable to pay the interest on some or all of the loans while in school. Interest payments are usually low enough to pay with a part time job. That’s what I did. Also, the interest rates for federal loans are pretty reasonable (between 6-8%). Private loans can be higher though. If your daughters are having difficulty paying they can most likely lower their payments based on income. That will extend the life of the loans making for more interest but it will help free up cash in the short term and if, or hopefully when, they are on better financial footing they can start paying more again.

      • AnneDH

        I object to 6-8% interest rates being reasonable for loans for education. In my opinion, they should be in the 2-4% range. Earning power for fresh out of college people doesn’t cope well with 6-8%.

        • adks12020

          I understand what you’re saying. I’m only 32 and just finished a masters degree a little over a year ago….with 36K in debt at 6.8-7.9% interest. The interest rates may seem high but, let’s face it, loans aren’t gifts, they are a way for the lender to make money. I don’t think it’s the interest rates that are a problem; it’s the ridiculously high cost of tuition that’s the real problem. 6-8% wouldn’t be so bad if kids graduated with much less debt but even state schools cost around 20K/year (at least in my state) and that is insane. That’s up several thousand dollars per year since I finished my undergrad and that was only in 2004.

          • AnneDH

            Oh I absolutely agree with you on that. The rate that college tuition has been outpacing the economy’s inflation rate is outrageous. If this country wants an educated population, something should be done to constrain tuition growth rates.

          • TFRX

            Not being facetious: I actually wonder if you’re among the last middle class Americans who were able to spend the cliched (yet truthful) “junior year abroad” *. I hope that you will get to regale your kids with stories of that–it sounds wonderful.

            (*Without going into a lifetime of debt that is.)

            (I don’t have kids, so I don’t have any dog in this fight.)

          • AnneDH

            It was wonderful & yes I did tell my kids of my experiences. I was on a program sponsored by my school- a student from another college was with our group as well and found it $2000 cheaper to go to France for a year than to attend her college.

          • AnneDH

            Another response: my elder daughter attended Goucher, which was the 1st college in the U.S. to REQUIRE at least a semester abroad for all its students, regardless of major. Other colleges are starting to do the same, so this valuable experience is alive & well & growing.

    • hennorama

      AnneDH – this is no comfort, but you are far from alone. Some info from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as of 4th Quarter 2012:

      Student loan debt is the only form of consumer debt that has grown since the peak of consumer debt in 2008. Balances of student loans have eclipsed both auto loans and credit cards, making student loan debt the largest form of consumer debt outside of mortgages.

      Student Debt almost tripled between 2004 and 2012 and stands at $966B as of 2012:Q4

       70% Increase in the number of borrowers

       70% increase [in the] average balance per person

      About 44% of borrowers are not yet in repayment due to deferments and forbearances. Excluding those, the effective 90 [day]+ delinquency rate rises to more than 30%.

      See:
      http://www.newyorkfed.org/studentloandebt/ (interactive, Student Loan Debt by Age Group)

      http://www.newyorkfed.org/newsevents/mediaadvisory/2013/Lee022813.pdf (includes many good charts)

      Hang in there, AnneDH.

      • Charles

        It really is burdensome.
        I graduated with about $40k in debt, and I’m keeping up, but it’s close, and I’ve got a good job. The folks who don’t get good jobs are going to become a huge drag on our economy in the next two decades.

        From where I sit, it looks like massive student loan debt forgiveness is going to be coming down the pike in the years to come…It’s too easy of a political buy-off for some enterprising candidates to pass up.

        • hennorama

          Charles – thank you for your response.

          You might be right about SL debt forgiveness, but I think it’s more likely that bankruptcy laws will be loosened a bit.

          It’s not impossible to get SL debt relief, but it sure isn’t routine. The sources below give more details:

          http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation

          http://www.studentloanborrowerassistance.org/bankruptcy/

          • TFRX

            “Bankruptcy laws will be loosened a bit”?

            Can’t we just undo the crap bankruptcy reform from the last go-around?

            (As someone without kids I don’t have a dog in this fight.)

          • Charles

            I agree that bankruptcy reform will be the first step, but I think it’s unlikely to solve the problem.

            After all, the point of forgiveness is going to be to stimulate the economy by facilitating purchases of homes, cars, etc., which is pretty tough to do with a bankruptcy on your record.

            As to the existing routes for forgiveness, they are a start, but a major issue is that most of the positions qualifying for forgiveness are public sector jobs, which (with the exception of poorly paid teaching positions), are difficult to obtain (nobody quits these jobs), and I expect increasingly so as the Right continues to vilify and seek to outsource government employees.

          • AnneDH

            Bankruptcy??? Can you see the insult in that? NO ONE should have to face bankruptcy because they happened to attend an American college.

          • hennorama

            AnneDH — thank you for your response.

            No offense was intended in my comment. It was merely a dispassionate response and supposition, which also included information on how to obtain SL debt relief.

            My sincere apologies for any offense you felt as a result of my comment.

          • AnneDH

            Thank you, hennorama.

          • hennorama

            AnneDH — you are most certainly welcome.

    • TFRX

      As someone who’s closer to your age than your kids’ it dismays me that there are a lot of people managing the media’s direction on this issue who are not like you.

      You (and I) realize that college was a bunch cheaper in the era when we were there than now.

      There’s a certain disconnectedness in much of the media about that when picking up the various threads of college and value and paying for it. On Point and NPR does a better job than most.

      • AnneDH

        You bet it was a bunch cheaper. One year cost my parents – ready for this? $3,000.00. I was a French major, spent junior year in France; cost them the SAME, air-fare included. University of Vermont. My parents paid for seven children’s college costs. At one point, 3 of us were attending at the same time, one at New England Conservatory.

      • hennorama

        TFRX — backing up your point, the FRBNY (Fed. Res. Bank of NY) says this:

        Student Debt almost tripled between 2004 and 2012 and stands at $966B as of 2012:Q4

         70% Increase in the number of borrowers
         70% increase [in the] average balance per person

        See:
        http://www.newyorkfed.org/newsevents/mediaadvisory/2013/Lee022813.pdf

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Vladimir Putin is turning out to be the man of the year. Will TIME put him on its cover this year, if Ukraine stays the hot topic through December?

    • AnneDH

      Heh, I’ve been thinking that, too.

  • hennorama

    Two figures, from foxbusiness.com:

    8 million people have enrolled in private insurance plans in the federal and state marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act.

    35 percent of those who signed up for coverage were under 35.

    Source:
    http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2014/04/17/aca-enrollment-update-8-million-americans-have-signed-up/

    • northeaster17

      Not to mention the millions more who would sign up if red states would simply sign up for the medicade extention. But then that would imply that the ACA may actually work for some Americans,

      • hennorama

        northeaster17 — Good point. Here’s more, from whitehouse.gov

        FACT SHEET: Affordable Care Act by the Numbers

        The Affordable Care Act is working. It is giving millions of middle class Americans the health care security they deserve, it is slowing the growth of health care costs and it has brought transparency and competition to the Health Insurance Marketplace.

        HEALTH CARE BY THE NUMBERS

        8 million people signed up for private insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace. For states that have Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces, 35 percent of those who signed up are under 35 years old and 28 percent are between 18 and 34 years old, virtually the same youth percentage that signed up in Massachusetts in their first year of health reform.

        3 million young adults gained coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act by being able to stay on their parents plan.

        3 million more people were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of February, compared to before the Marketplaces opened. Medicaid and CHIP enrollment continues year-round.

        5 million people are enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards outside the Marketplace, according to a CBO estimate. When insurers set premiums for next year, they are required to look at everyone who enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards, both on and off the Marketplace.

        5.7 million people will be uninsured in 2016 because 24 States have not expanded Medicaid.

        See:
        http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/17/fact-sheet-affordable-care-act-numbers

    • M S

      8 million. Really? Is that gross or net? lulz

      • Ray in VT

        Some of them are likely to be at least a little gross.

      • hennorama

        M S — thank you for your response.

        Many more details will be available as the states release detailed enrollment info, which should happen before the end of this month.

        Hope that answers your imprecise question.

        • M S

          Sorry, I do not see the imprecision. Gross and Net are very well-defined terms.

          • hennorama

            M S — TYFYR, and sorry for your objection.

            Perhaps you might expand your question to make its “very well-defined terms” more clear, in an effort to avoid any misunderstanding, of course.

          • pete18

            How many of those had lost their coverage intiailly due to Obamacare (it is estimated that 5-million have) and how many are people who have never had insurance before? This is the important measure because the stated goal of Obamacare was to help provide insurance for the uninsured not switch around a bunch of people from insurance they liked to an exchange which they may not like and cost them more.

          • Ray in VT

            What is the percentage of people reporting that they do not have health care? Gallup’s survey showed 18% at one point last year. Currently it stands at 15.6%. Seems like a pretty substantially lower number of people without insurance. The lowest in fact reported since 2008.

          • pete18

            Still doesn’t answer the question about the new sign ups. Isn’t it interesting that more people had health care under Bush pre-ACA than under Obama post ACA.

          • Ray in VT

            Not exactly, however the drop certainly suggests that far more have gained access. And where was that number headed as Bush was headed for the door?

          • pete18

            I gave it a 5-10 year time frame (although I hope to god it’s not around that long). Wouldn’t a stretch like that before and after be a fair way to measure it’s success?

          • Ray in VT

            Sure. 5-10 years from implementation, which was not 2008 or 2009.

          • pete18

            Yes, I know. I’m just clarifying a measuring system because you were mentioning all the changing factors, which implied you were suggesting there would never be a concrete way to measure its success. I’m saying that it would be perfectly legitimate to compare coverage from the Bush years as a contrast to post ACA results over a period of years.

          • Ray in VT

            You were incorrectly inferring that I was suggesting that “there would never be a concrete way to measure its success”. A legitimate comparison needs to take into account a variety of factors, and to simply compare 2008 rates to later rates without taking the variety of factors that are in play would not, I think, hold up to rigorous examination.

          • pete18

            That sounds pretty mushy. What set of factors would you have in mind?

          • Ray in VT

            It’s a real shame when reality goes and makes things a bit murky.

            All of the relevant ones.

          • pete18

            No, it’s really a shame when people let their ability to evaluate things in the real world fall to political murkiness to give them cover for a measurable failure of a policy or idea.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — given the fact that health insurance coverage in the US is predominantly employer-based, it’s not surprising “that more people had health care under Bush pre-ACA than under Obama post ACA.”

            Whether it is “interesting” depends on one’s interests, of course.

            No doubt you remember “the 8.7 million jobs lost between the start of the recession in December 2007 and early 2010.”

            Source:
            http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3252

          • pete18

            Right, so if Obamacare doesn’t get us above the peak years in the Bush era than it hasn’t improved anything or succeeded in its intended goals.

          • Ray in VT

            Of course, because conditions that existed previously (2008) are exactly comparable to those after the onset of the recession, and it is not like there are changes that are always going on that affect things like whether or not people have health insurance.

          • pete18

            It either succeeds in its goals or it doesn’t. That’s how you measure things. If we have as large a percentage of the population uninsured in the 5-10 years after Obamacare has passed as in the 5-10 years before it was implemented then it was a waste of time and money. It would have to be considered a failure. No?

          • Ray in VT

            Not necessarily, because conditions change, and the number of those without insurance has dropped substantially when compared to implementation. It was passed some time ago, but it wasn’t in anything close to full affect until recently.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — these are early days, and only the initial enrollment period has passed. It’s far too soon to judge success or failure.

          • Don_B1

            A “little thing” designated the Great Recession intervened with a Lesser Depression following and continuing because of fiscal austerity policies forced by Tea/Republicans in the House of Representatives and a Republican minority but large enough to prevent action by filibuster in the Senate.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — TYFYR.

            I dunno, but as indicated in my reply to [M S], (who I suspect intended the subject imprecise question to imply all of yours);

            “Many more details will be available as the states release detailed enrollment info, which should happen before the end of this month.”

            Thanks again for your response.

          • HonestDebate1

            Are you sure?

            “That’s not a data point we are really collecting in any sort of systematic way,”

            http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/06/obama-administration-not-keeping-track-of-how-many-uninsured-people-are-signing-up-for-obamacare/#ixzz2zFtlzHQn

            It seems to me they should at least keep track of the status of their number one concern.

          • pete18

            So in other words, nothing to celebrate yet.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — TYFYR.

            The term “celebrate” is not an accurate description of my comments, unless you feel that the original source — foxbusiness.com — was “celebrating” this information, of course.

          • pete18

            OK, let’s call it “happy sharing.”

          • hennorama

            pete18 — TYFYR.

            I understand your perspective on assumed motivations, but would remove the word “happy” from your description.

            My opinion about the PPACA is as follows:

            -it’s better than the prior system

            -it’s far from perfect

            -it’s a reasonable alternative, given the political and other realities of our time

            Exceeding its enrollment targets means the PPACA is more likely than not to continue for a number of years. To me, that is preferable to a reversion to the past, or some nebulous alternative to be named later.

            Now that it’s law and millions are enrolled, we should work to improve it.

            It’s too early to know whether it is a success or a failure, but we will be getting more data on which to judge it relatively soon.

            One also must point out that, as a recent Wonkblog piece in the Washington Post declared as its headline,

            “Obamacare’s special enrollment period could help youth signups” FTA:

            The health-care law allows for special enrollment periods between open enrollment for people within 60 days of experiencing a certain life event, such as having a baby, getting married, losing insurance coverage, moving to a different coverage area, getting released from jail and others. An analysis from Young Invincibles, a group supporting the Affordable Care Act, points out why young adults — a demographic crucial to the law’s success — could benefit more from the special enrollment window. Reasons include:

            People ages 18 to 39 are twice as likely to be uninsured at some point during the year (34 percent) compared to those between 40-years-old and 64-years-old (17.9 percent), according to a 2009 Mathematica study.

            83 percent of new mothers are between 18 and 34 years old, according to the CDC.

            An estimated 1.4 million marriages, mostly between young adults, will take place in the 7.5 months between April 1 and the Nov. 15 start of open enrollment.

            Adults ages 20 to 29 moved at twice the national rate between 2011 and 2012.

            About half of people leaving prison, based on 2012 data, are between 18 and 34.

            See:
            http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/04/16/obamacares-special-enrollment-period-could-help-youth-signups/

            FYI, I posted this quote and link as supplemental information, that might add to the knowledge of you and the group at large. I find it interesting, and its premise supports my earlier statement that “Exceeding its enrollment targets means the PPACA is more likely than not to continue for a number of years.”

            Thanks again for your response.

          • pete18

            “it’s better than the prior system”

            Pleased with the current progress, happy that the odds have improved (in your eyes) for it to stick around.

            “-it’s better than the prior system”

            I completely disagree.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — TYAFYR.

            I would edit your comment as follows:

            [Because I view the PPACA as better than the prior system, I am satisfied by] the [enrollment numbers], [and modestly encouraged] that the odds have [increased, obviously, that the PPACA will] stick around [for the foreseeable future].

            Otherwise, you expressed my feelings perfectly.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • pete18

            Edit to my original post, which was framed by the unknowns as to how many new net enrollees we actually have via Obamacare… nothing to be “modestly encouraged” and “satisfied by” yet.

          • HonestDebate1

            I think it’s safe to assume that if the number of uninsured were decreasing we would hear about it.

          • Ray in VT

            And we are.

          • M S

            Hm, perhaps next time I should footnote the Oxford English Dictionary.

    • nj_v2

      Whoohoo! Only 42 million to go before the “health” insurance industry can have their full windfall [o-r-g] a-s-m. (Sorry if this becomes a duplicate; apparently got filtered by the naughty-word filter.)

      • hennorama

        nj_v2 — I saw your earlier “moderated” comment.

        Extending your point: this is just foreplay.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Russia will stop its westward consolidation of Russian peoples when we get back to Unter den Linden & the Brandenburg Gate. Have a nice day.
    –Vladimir Putin, a savior to my peeps

  • Coastghost

    “In less than three months the US and the Iranians and the Syrians will all be able to celebrate a clear-eyed diplomatic victory with close Russian assistance.” –News of the improbable.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I will play golf until the Ukrainian incursions by the Russian empire are over.
    –Barack H. Obama, no savior to any peeps

  • SteveTheTeacher

    As this Patriots Day approaches Kudos to the US mainstream media.

    With the turmoil in the Ukraine, their is no need to reflect on the ongoing US support for the overthrow of the Cuban government over the last 5 decades. No reason to reflect on the US military/CIA interventions in of the Dominican Republic, Chile, Nicaraguan, El Salvador, Greneda, and Venezuela. No reason to reflect on the US overthrow if the governments of Afghanistan, Iraq, or Lybia.

    The US was forced to take these actions in support of democracy and human right$. And, despite the nay-sayers citing international law, US government lawyers and judges ruled all these actions legal. – Shout out to Former President Nixon: “If the US President does it, it IS legal.”

    Bravo for reporting on the fact that the eastern Ukrainian uprisings were entirely composed of foreign Russian agents.

    No need to ask for the opinions of the eastern Ukrainians. No need to follow the European media in reporting on those eastern Ukrainians who want closer ties to Russia or who want independence from Russia, Europe, and Kiev. No need to listen to the NPR interviews of those eastern Ukrainians supporting the uprisings.

    Why seek evidence that a well know Russian military official was identified as leading the eastern Ukrainian uprisings?

    The US was as right to support the overthrow of the elected government in Kiev as it is now to oppose the popular uprisings in eastern Ukraine.

    We get a media that supports the consensus of our government without the cost of a state run media. What a deal!

    • Ray in VT

      Our continued policy to attempt to isolate Cuba just doesn’t make any sense, except for the angle, suggested by some, that politicians want to court the Cuban vote in Florida. We have had an embargo against Cuba for decades, and Castro persists. It seems like engagement, as we did with China, and later Vietnam, might be a far better way, longer term, to undermine the Castro government, if that is our intent.

  • M S

    Someone, tell Ignatius, that we live in a police state as well.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    I just heard Jack describing a leader espousing a view of reality that is 180 degrees from the facts on the ground, with the media repeating the spin?

    Which country was he talking about, I missed it….

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

      Russia.

  • TFRX

    “How many who have signed up have paid up?” per Jack.

    Yes, Jack, the Republicans will not accept anything as the success of the ACA.

    Now only if your buddies at the NPR mothership and hourly briefs realize that fact. So every time some right-wing stamps his little foot NPR doesn’t go pretending that it’s news, it’s surprising, and it’s indicative of anythining except they’re stamping their little feet in anger like a kid who has two fudgecicles and wants two more.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    How about that Snowden? Cajones and consistency in his push for liberty.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    JOBS!
    You can talk and talk till your face is blue!
    JOBS!
    They don’t pop up like they used to do!
    Why can’t they be like they were,
    Perfect in every way?
    What’s the matter with jobs today?

    {apologies to Lee Adams, Bye Bye Birdie}

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    I fear that at this point in our history/apathy/ignorance, if a vote was put to the American people that suggested we close up shop on the American experiment, void our current Constitution, join a One world Government/Community with a new constitution, that removed the second amendment and willingly traded “security” for liberty, and gave control of economic affairs to a Central Panel of Technocrats to dole out work and benefits, in the name of efficiency and fairness, they would vote yes.

    Agree or Disagree?

    • hdesignr

      If they were not too busy watching television or attending a sporting event they would vote yes.

      • Charles

        Yeah, I don’t have time for that!
        President Camacho is on Ultimate Smackdown Wrestling!

    • HonestDebate1

      That is an excellent question that makes a terrific point. And it certainly would seem so if you spend much time here. However, I am not ready to assume the worst. Maybe Obama’s Alinsky tactics have me right where he wants me. But still…. disagree.

    • dale_dale

      Well this is a more elaborate straw man than the usual, I’ll give you that.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        So, what do you think?

        Do you not see that as a possibility within 25 years, when all the dollars and euros have collapsed, and the excuse is made to “start over” with a bigger, better Central Bank and more fair, well-meaning Democratic Socialist Elite we can trust? People are pretty distracted/gullible these days. Let alone the order they will be clamoring for when the shizzle hits the fanizzle.

        • dale_dale

          Too little information to extrapolate what American citizens would do based off your example. Specific reasons for the ‘collapse’, for starters? Extent and nature of the damage?

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            The collapse is a dollar crash when the mathematical impossibility of paying back our debt hits the wall and everyone from bond investors to pensioners get screwed, market trust implodes and the last crash looks like a hiccup. Panic, chaos, unemployment and a demand that “something be done”. In walk the solution crew. If you thought secret bailout meetings that bred the Tea Party and Occupy were distasteful, wait for this.

          • dale_dale

            Seeing as how we would have to ‘pay back’ most of the debt to ourselves if it ever came to a head (and right-wing economists’ calculation of a hard debt ‘point of no return’ have proven spurious) this isn’t what I’d worry about in relation to societal collapse. However any collapse manifests itself (a job collapse hardly needs to involve a debt crisis or hyperinflation or the like) the nature of Americans’ response will depend on whether they correctly diagnose who’s screwing them, as always. I suspect we fundamentally differ on who’s usually doing the screwing but knowing Americans, your diagnosis has as good a shot as mine at taking hold.

  • 65noname

    once again this show demonstrates what a joke it is. snowden may or may not be acting as a stooge for putin. but to complain because he asked putin an open ended question while ignoring the fact that coprorate radio and TV do that all the time, including this show. it is standard fare to simply ask politicans and supposed guest “experts” open ended questions. then, when the answer is an obvious general denial of ever doing anything improper there are never any follow ups. this includes everything from phoney interviews of people such as kissinger to interviews of phoney biographers to news converage of things such as the recent chemical spill in w. virginia where state officals and industry spin dudes are permitted to simply say that they are acting properly, doing everything possible to ensure safety and that the deregulation of the industry did affect safety and helped create jobs. and corporate broadcasting simply allows these claims to go unchallenged.

    • northeaster17

      Questions are allowed. Getting uppity and pushing for answers. That gets dangerous.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Joe Biden is ubiquitous. He’s popping up at auto dealerships like Greasy the Clown, handing out balloons.

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

    What does the phrase “let them eat cake” mean, specifically, to someone at an elementary school meeting?

  • Government_Banking_Serf
  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    So who owns Hopkinton?

  • http://www.laugh-eat.com/ kyron

    your female guest just stated unemployment in New Orleans is good. not so — at 8% we’re higher than NYC and the US average.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=unemployment+rate+new+orleans&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb

  • M S

    The government promotes the purchase of U.S. homes by rich foreigners hence pushing out American home buyers…especially in the Boston area. Way to look out for us guys.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    OnPoint ignored the Biden “It was worth it” awkward gaffe. Somehow, if this was Cheney why do I think the gaffe would have been the lead.

    • HonestDebate1

      In a sense I understand the “It’s just ol’ Joe” attitude but Boston is On Point’s home. It was a really insensitive and stupid comment.

    • northeaster17

      Biden has not started and become enriched by wars he drumed up. Nor has he shout anyone…..Yet

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Whoosh….I was highlighting media bias. Use Dan Quayle instead of Cheney if you prefer.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The Smithsonian has asked Joe Biden for his toothy smile.. when he passes on.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Can I herd my 6 cats on public lands?

  • OnPointComments

    If someone owed you $1,000, would you spend $3,000 to collect the debt? The government spent $3,000,000, including personnel, SWAT teams, vehicles, helicopters, attack dogs, snipers, and tasers to try to collect $1,000,000 from Cliven Bundy. Ask yourself: why are Harry Reid and his son Rory Reid involved in this? Follow the money.

    HARRY REID: THE DESERT FOX OF CORRUPTION
    http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/041514-697268-bundy-ranch-harry-reid-rory-reid.htm?ref=mp

    Sunlight is said to be the best disinfectant, and the end, at least temporarily, to the Bureau of Land Management’s armed standoff with Cliven Bundy may be due in part to the exposure given to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s role in the attempt to confiscate Bundy’s cattle and shut down his ranch.

    In a March 14 press release, the BLM announced support for “the Western Solar Energy Plan, a two-year planning effort conducted on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Energy to expand domestic energy production and spur development of solar energy on public lands in six western states.”

    Coincidentally, part of that solar energy expansion includes a plan by China’s ENN Energy Group to build what would be America’s largest solar energy complex. The site chosen with the guidance of Reid’s son, Rory, is in Laughlin, Nev. Laughlin is in Clark County, where Bundy’s ranch is, and where Rory Reid formerly chaired the county commission. Rory is currently a lawyer with the firm of Lionel Sawyer & Collins and is representing ENN.

    Reid, who just weeks ago was forced to return campaign money funneled to his granddaughter, has been one of the project’s most prominent advocates, helping recruit the company during a 2011 trip to China and using his political clout on behalf of the project in Nevada.

    The BLM wanted Cliven Bundy out of the 600,000-acre Gold Butte area so the agency could use the land for future solar projects, including one represented by Reid’s son, and de facto buffer zones surrounding the solar farms, an energy source favored by the Obama administration.

    As usual, follow the money, even if the mainstream media won’t.

    • Ray in VT

      Yet another conspiracy dutifully uncovered.

    • hennorama

      OPC — a few of the claims and implications in your selected quote are, to be as polite as possible, inaccurate.

      1. The “plan by China’s ENN Energy Group to build what would be America’s largest solar energy complex” was cancelled in 2013.

      See:
      http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/solar/photovoltaic-pv/nevada-solar-factory-canceled.html

      2. The quote you selected says “The BLM wanted Cliven Bundy out of the 600,000-acre Gold Butte area so the agency could use the land for future solar projects…,” which implies that “future solar projects” would be built on the land. This is not the case. Again, per kcet.org :

      “Gold Butte has indeed been mentioned as mitigation land to allow companies to build solar projects on other tortoise habitat, just as Clark County bought out and retired the local grazing permits to excuse its building sprawling suburbs on tortoise habitat in Vegas.”

      AND

      “Bundy’s cattle are in Bunkerville, Nevada which is here, and the proposed ENN plant would have been sited in Laughlin Nevada, which is here, and the two places are almost 180 miles apart. [(links to Google Maps are in the original article. See link below.)]

      Even if ENN’s project was still a going concern, alleging that Bundy’s cattle are being moved because of ENN is about like saying you got kicked out of your apartment in Los Angeles because your landlord wants to build a new building in Fresno. When the real reason is you haven’t paid rent since the first year of the Clinton Administration.

      The other little problem? The idea of land being used as mitigation for habitat destroyed elsewhere pretty much depends on the habitat being protected. Which means not building solar on it, whether by a Chinese-owned firm or an all-American crew like First Solar.”

      See:
      http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/commentary/sorting-fact-from-fiction-on-chinese-solar-in-nevada.html

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Remember, Votes always trump Debt.

  • Ray in VT

    Apparently some in the GOP are outraged by changes to the Census’ Current Population Survey. To some these long planned and research driven changes are merely an attempt by the Obama administration to cover up something about the ACA:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/census-change-obamacare-105757.html

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Reading Michael Lewis’ new book this weekend. Flash Boys. Hope it turns out with the general public winning one. For a change.

    • Ray in VT

      Let us know how it is. I have generally heard good things about his work.

  • TFRX

    Good for Tom to actually say that Ranchy McRuggedo is actually fighting for his right to graze his cattle on your and my land without paying.

    Can I get my property taxes renamed “gummint land grazing fees” and ignore them for 20 years?

    • hennorama

      TFRX — it is rather bizarre that some are supporting this scofflaw.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        What are they supporting? Don’t ruin your decent reputation by implying most people think he is right on the grazing payment issue.

        • hennorama

          G_B_S — TYFYR.

          No such implication was intended.

          I infer that you agree that Mr. Bundy is indeed a scofflaw. Please correct any misinterpretation.

          Thanks again for your response.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            I agree he is in violation of the law/grazing fees.

            That does not mean I think he should be goaded into a slaughter for political gain by people like Harry Reid and the Democratic party as a 2014 election issue distracting from real issues.

          • Ray in VT

            “Goaded into a slaughter”?

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Yep. What better way to show how dangerous people with small government views are than an armed resistance. That’ll get out the vote in 2014!

          • Ray in VT

            Well, they could always stay home instead of showing up armed to support a criminal. Surely militia types don’t have a record of being involved in any sort of seedy activity.

          • TFRX

            What better way to say “lawless” than to send government employees unarmed to a bunch of armed people.

            Nice to hear from yet another “small gummint libertarian” who has no idea what the real world is like. Whocoodanode there were so many?

          • northeaster17

            Goated

          • Ray in VT

            Is that the one where the feds force people to wear goat costumes?

          • nj_v2

            That’s it! Agents could dress in goat costumes, spread themselves out amongst the cattle, and quietly herd them off the property. Genius!

          • Ray in VT

            I like to think outside of the box.

          • HonestDebate1

            Bingo.

          • hennorama

            G_B_S — TYFYR.

            Enforcing court orders is now interpreted as “be[ing] goaded into a slaughter for political gain by people like Harry Reid and the Democratic party as a 2014 election issue…”?

            Curious, that.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            With this Bundy character and our current political moment? Yes, clear as day.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Who is arguing he isn’t wrong on his grazing fees?

      Nice straw man.

      Nice to know you support armed municipal tax authorities showing up when you fail to file your new shed.

      • creaker

        umm – all those folks who showed up with guns were arguing he wasn’t wrong

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          ummm, they showed up in response to the BLM showing up with assault weapons to stop illegal grass eating.

          • Ray in VT

            So they showed up to intervene in an attempt to halt law-breaking that has been going on for 20 years? What a bunch of stand up guys.

          • nj_v2

            He has defied two court orders to remove the cattle. What do you suggest as appropriate enforcement?

          • creaker

            Really, at that point they should have seized him and not the cattle.

      • TFRX

        Nice to know you support the right of angry white men to draw a bead on a BLM employee with a gun.

        Without being threatening, of course.

    • Emily4HL

      Meanwhile, federally protected mustangs are removed from the lands so ranchers can underpay grazing fees that are already heavily subsidized below market price.

      While I don’t think we need to get rid of all the cattle, the situation is very out of balance when the horses are rounded up and killed and ranchers refuse to pay the ridiculously low rates.

    • HonestDebate1

      I thought he paid the State but still the federal law does not seem to be on his side.

      • Ray in VT

        Seeing as how it is Federal land, he needs to pay the feds.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Eastern Ukraine. The train trips are back.

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

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Awkward!! Allegation of phony registration of Jews: “performance art”?

    Tom asks for a mulligan.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    “What’s the Matter with Kansas City?” – the sequel to the Thomas Frank book.

  • TFRX

    Where are all these “discontented veterans who know a thing or two about guns” (nice turn of phrase by Beatty) when a Republican is in the White House?

    The last time this “white guys with guns getting too big for their britches stuff” came around, Bill Clinton was in the White House.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      They came out for Clinton? Well at least they aren’t racists…

      • TFRX

        Hahahaha.

        Oh, you’re serious?

        I’d love to see our media reaction if a Sikh or such hit the White House with a plane when GWB or Saint Ronnie were in office.

        Frank Corder’s name would be right up there with John Hinckley.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    It’s open! It’s free! It’s mine!

    This seems to be in conflict with Mother Nature’s way of doing things.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    All for gun control unload at the ceiling!
    –Dead Eye

  • M S

    Violent crime is at record lows and the Liberal Stazi is talking about gun control…laughable.

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

      More than 1,000,000 New Yorkers ignore the draconian attack on their civil rights and Bloomberg still argues for more.

  • Emily4HL

    Cattle ranchers get to graze their stock far below market prices when the do pay, causing a far amount of ecological damage, and most grazing is not reduced to account for drought

    Meanwhile federally protected mustangs are rounded up, piled in holding facilities, and sold to kill buyers who send them on the horrifying trip to Canada or Mexico where we cannot regulate or monitor slaughter houses. During drought, more federally protected horses are pulled off federal lands.

    I’m not against all stock grazing, or even all horse slaughter–but there are no slaughter houses in the US, so conditions are terrible.

    The horses are protected by law and the cows are protected by $$$, discounted though they are. I believe we should reduce grazing, especially in times of drought, and use fertility control to keep mustang populations in check, instead of helicopter roundups and eventual, unregulated, slaughter.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Do you know the Bundy fees were ‘below” market prices? $1M in grazing fees seems like it could purchase a large quantity of feed.

      • Emily4HL

        I don’t know much about the Bundy case in particular, but one of the main issues with the BLM is that provides the absolute cheapest way to feed cows, which makes money, but is a huge disincentive for better stewardship. Unfortunately, the BLM’s stated mission is stewardship and environmental protection.

        Likely, just a ton of cows. And, it is 11 years of fees. Bundy’s 160 acre ranch can’t support 1000s of head of cattle.Cheap grass is much cheaper than grain.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Thanks for the response.
          From the news coverage — the land being used for grazing could be characterized as “poor”. Not really the “fruited plains”. I could be wrong but I thought I heard that Bundy is the last rancher left with grazing rights on federal lands in that area.

          • Ray in VT

            Except that he doesn’t really having grazing rights, as he has refused to pay the fees for 20 years, but I have also heard that he is the only rancher left in the county.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Perhaps, but what is the “market value” when there isn’t a market.

          • Ray in VT

            That should probably be determined by the value of what Mr. Bundy has been getting from the use, as well as by comparing that area to similar lands. More than the 0 that he has paid for over 20 years is my initial guess, though.

          • nj_v2

            An interesting tidbit is that it was a Reagan executive order that established grazing fees on federal land.

          • Ray in VT

            Really? What a freedom-hating, big government tyrant.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Who is arguing against grazing fees or defending Bundy on those grounds?

          • nj_v2

            Seriously?

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Yes, who is arguing he is legally in the right on the grazing fee situation on this board or even on Faux?

            Some of the actual protesters may believe the Nevada sovereignty stuff, but the main issue being argued now is why the jack-booted response and why now?

            Using this easy target to elicit resistance from, in order to shift the news cycle to crazy, “limited-government” types, as 2014 midterms come doesn’t fool you does it?

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          The land would be better served by some political ally of Reid installing a solar farm. With a “Green subsidy” of course.

          Not a green grass subsidy, a green solar panel subsidy.

          • hennorama

            G_B_S — sorry, but “installing a solar farm” is not part of any plan for the area in question. This is a misimpression, possibly intentional, from some of the “reporting” on this matter. The Gold Butte area has been mentioned as a possible off-site mitigation area, to mitigate the various environmental impacts for development planned (now canceled) that are nearly 180 miles away.

            See my reply to OPC, below, or these sources:

            http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/commentary/sorting-fact-from-fiction-on-chinese-solar-in-nevada.html

            http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/solar/photovoltaic-pv/nevada-solar-factory-canceled.html

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            I have absolutely no idea if there is any truth to the matter, but I also wouldn’t put it past any modern political machine, DNC or RNC.

          • hennorama

            G_B_S — TYFYR.

            There are many sources that you can peruse regarding any possible linkage between the area on which the Bundy family has been grazing their cattle, Sen. Reid, his son, “Chinese energy companies,” etc., if you are interested in more factual information, including the links in my comment above.

            In my view, this issue has been poorly and inaccurately reported, leaving many false impressions on viewers, listeners and readers.

            My sole aim has been to provide information to anyone interested. The info provided calls many of the reports on this matter into question.

            Draw your own conclusions.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Your efforts and digging are appreciated. I still think you are too forgiving with a partisan tilt as far as the abuses of power and bad precedents being set everyday by the Dems. The Repubs, as in the Bush era, are easy picking.

          • hennorama

            G_B_S — TYFYR, and your very kind words.

            There are legitimate differences and views on policy and politics, but despite, and also because of them, we all need to make an effort to get the facts on the table. This is not always possible, of course, but in this case, it seems quite clear that many who have and/or express an opinion, on all sides, have done so without all the facts.

            Thanks again for your very kind words.

          • OnPointComments

            As reported by Investors Business Daily
            http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/041514-697268-bundy-ranch-harry-reid-rory-reid.htm?ref=mp

            In a March 14 [2014] press release, the BLM announced support for “the Western Solar Energy Plan, a two-year planning effort conducted on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Energy to expand domestic energy production and spur development of solar energy on public lands in six western states.”

            From the 03/14/2014 Press Release from the Bureau of Land Management
            http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/March/BLM_Seeks_Public_Interest_for_Solar_Energy_Development_in_the_Dry_Lake_Solar_Energy_Zone.html

            The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced that it is accepting preliminary right-of-way (ROW) applications and expressions of interest from interested parties for conducting a solar competitive auction on the 5,717–acre Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone in Clark County, Nevada.

            Is the Bundy ranch in the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone? No; the Bundy Ranch is located in Clark County, as is the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone, but his cattle are grazed in Gold Butte, which is not part of the solar energy zone. What are the BLM’s plans for environmental mitigation for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone? Gold Butte will be utilized for offsite mitigation for impacts from solar development. Does Bundy’s cattle present a problem for the mitigation? Yes, according to the BLM: “…Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone utilizes Gold Butte as the location for offsite mitigation… restoration activities are not durable with the presence of trespass cattle.”
            http://archive.today/nvlzr#selection-213.63-213.126

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFYR.

            I seriously doubt that if you and I were excluded, that more than a handful (if that) of people participating in this forum understand that the construction of any solar facilities that might occur sometime in the future would not be built on the disputed grazing land.

            The erroneous impression that many have been left with is something along the lines of:

            “Harry Reid, his son, and the Chinese want to take the land the Bundys graze their cattle on, so they can build a solar power plant there, and Reid, his son, and the Chinese will get rich as a result.”

            That misimpression is false, and that is my point.

            Do you disagree?

          • OnPointComments

            While there is a lot of misinformation, some things are certain: the goal of the Western Solar Energy Plan is to use land in Clark County, Nevada for solar energy production, and to use the land at Gold Butte, where Cliven Bundy grazes his cattle, for mitigation. Why is Harry Reid interested in the project? He is a Nevada senator, so perhaps that is enough reason. But why the interest from his son, Rory Reid, a lawyer?

            We’ll have to wait and see which companies express an interest in building on the site. Wouldn’t it be interesting if China’s ENN Energy Group is a bidder, or there is a bid from some other company connected to Rory Reid. But that’s speculation on my part.

          • Jill122

            You’re a week behind on the info. Reid’s son’s connection to NV land is miles (over 100) away from this property; the deal went down the toilet when NV utility wouldn’t contract for the electricity; Reid himself had nothing to do with the deal except to promote solar energy in general, which is something that everyone who understands global warming is doing.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Yes, as I’ve said, I had no idea if its true, but I surely would not put it past them.

      • Emily4HL

        http://wildhorsepreservation.org/commercial-interests

        According to this link, in 2011 ranchers pay 1.35 per head on BLM land compared to $16.80 per head on private land. Although this organization is pro wild horse preservation, obviously, they cite valid sources for their numbers.

  • creaker

    On the Bundy issue they should have just pursued the issue like they do with many people that owe the government money – collections agencies, garnishment, liens, etc. Although I would expect the sheriff who eventually delivered the order to evict would not want to show up alone or unarmed.

    OTOH – instituting a short cattle hunting season would have resolved the issue quickly.

    • Jill122

      They did. They went after his assets. And no they would not have brought guns to a knife fight IF: he hadn’t vowed that he would do ANYTHING, and if his wife hadn’t threatened all out war. BLM didn’t bring the guns. They hired contractors to protect BLM rangers so they could round up the cows in order to sell them to pay the fees that have been owing for 20 plus years.

      WHY oh why are republicans defending a welfare queen? Why is the government the bad guy for going after a scofflaw? Think of this guy exactly like you would if a black woman named Linda Taylor had stolen $150K per year in benefits from the government. Would she be getting this kind of support from you guys? Reagan told you she was typical — it’s what “they” all do!

      http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history/2013/12/linda_taylor_welfare_queen_ronald_reagan_made_her_a_notorious_american_villain.html

      and you believed him. We know Bundy is not typical. He’s one crook and does not represent honest cattlemen all over this country using public lands.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Harry Reid and his Nevada political machine is a disgrace.

    Mix Reid rhetoric, Cummings, IRS reality, Arming of Fed agencies with assault rifles, and you just don’t need conspiracists anymore.

    Everyone knows the rancher is wrong on the grazing fees/who owns the land issue.

    Militarizing against grass eating and making examples of those with small government views is lame and dangerous.

    Reminds me more of Putin setting up conflicts to cover for longer term moves.

    • OnPointComments

      Imagine the government reaction if I mobilized a SWAT team to collect debts owed to me.

      • notafeminista

        Maybe defaulted student loans should be considered with the same vigor.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          EBT Card Fraud?

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Ah, once again the media elites just don’t get. The Bundy issue isn’t so much about support of Bundy not paying grazing fees but excessive use of government force by the BLM (100 men armed with automatic weapons and destruction of private property). Spending over a $million in a failed attempt to collect a $million?

    There were much simpler remedies such as putting a lien on Bundy’s property.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Yes but that wouldn’t fire up a campaign of conflation against “small government” types for 2014.

      What’s a little slaughter of tea-party types when the political gains could be so rich?

    • nj_v2

      He has ignored two court orders to remove the cattle. What do you suggest as appropriate enforcement?

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        “putting a lien on Bundy’s property.”

        He suggested it, as opposed to instigating a slaughter for political gain.

        What better issue to use, the guy, Bundy is wrong, legally, so we just had to enforce the law, and look how nutty the smaller government types are.

        Interesting time for this administration to be supporting Rule of Law.

        • nj_v2

          Okay, so he ignores the lien. Then what?

          • Ray in VT

            Take him to court again?

      • OnPointComments

        If Clive Bundy was allowing his cattle to graze on the land of another private citizen, do you think the government would have sent in SWAT teams, vehicles, helicopters, attack dogs, snipers, and tasers, to remedy the situation?

        • Ray in VT

          If it was on my land, then I would have given him a warning, and taken action myself long before 20 years had passed. It might not have involved helicopters, but it might have involved a firearm, and perhaps a cookout later.

        • nj_v2

          An answer to a question isn’t another question, but thanks for playing.

    • Jill122

      Are you forgetting that his wife was the one who called for a “range war?” BLM was going to round up the cattle. It was going to be easy. Instead, Bundy threatened he would go to any lengths and then she said, “range war.”

      What I don’t get is why republicans are defending this guy. He’s a welfare queen. Sure he doesn’t look like the criminal that Reagan described, but he’s no different. He’s a scofflaw.

      Please remember as you pick up your guns, this guy is cheating everyone on this board. Those are our lands. We barely have anything left after the Kochs and Popes and Roves get finished with us. But we do have some land. And you seem to love the fact that one of your own queens is screwing you out of money which is raised to support the BLM which manages the land for all of us.

      What do you believe this place would look like if all our public lands were turned over to cattlemen, frackers, oil developers, loggers? Would it be anything like Republican Teddy Roosevelt imagined?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        You raise an interesting point. What is the Federal interest in those lands? Wouldn’t they be better handled with state control?

        I know it is almost impossible for the Feds to give up power and control…

        I don’t see this as a ‘republican’/’democrat’ issue. And btw – I’m not affiliated the the GOP in any way.

    • hennorama

      WftC — the lien idea might be practical if there was no ongoing grazing, but the Bundy cattle are still grazing on Federal land.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        So? They aren’t impacting anyone as best as I can tell. Keep upping the lien to account for the additional grazing.

        • hennorama

          WftC — Thank you for your response.

          My point is a lien does not stop the illegal activity.

          The Bundys have had their permits revoked, and have lost all legal decisions, over more than 15 years. Per WaPo (h/t: nj_v2):

          “1998: A federal judge issues a permanent injunction against Bundy, ordering him to remove his cattle from the federal lands. He lost an appeal to the San Francisco 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. He represented himself.”

          One wonders, given his protestations that he is not subject to Federal law in this case, and despite this, he himself appealed to the Federal 9th Circuit, would he have felt the government would be bound by the decision had he won his appeal?

          All inconsistency aside, Mr. Bundy and his family have ignored all legal efforts to resolve this matter, and are scofflaws. The rule of law has no meaning if breaking the law, and then ignoring the decisions of the courts, have no consequences.

          Thanks again for your response.

  • TFRX

    Hey, nothing about the Kissing Congressman, Vance McAllister?

    I guess he’s resigning, or will stop telling women not to be such tawdry trollops want real health care in a timely manner.

    Oh, wait…

    • hennorama

      TFRX — no surprise there, as it’s nearly always the less powerful person who has to leave the organization in such cases.

      • TFRX

        Yeah. But I don’t mean what happened to his “kissee”. I just want someone to rub his flucking nose in his behavior compared to what he wants to regulate in us.

        But I expect it not to happen. This is, after all, an honorable conservative sex scandal.

        What makes it so?

        No prostitutes, abortions, secret love children, or cabana boys.

        • HonestDebate1

          There are no “honorable” sex scandals.

          Who does your last sentence refer to? John Edwards? Algore? Weiner? Spitzer? Or maybe Bob Menendez, it’s a good thing they ran him out of town…. oh wait!

          • TFRX

            Here’s a dollar. Buy a sense of facetiousness.

            And when your side stops telling people what to do in their bedrooms and doctors offices, I’ll give a crap about your opinion.

          • pete18

            No you won’t.

          • HonestDebate1

            “And when your side stops telling people what to do in their bedrooms and doctors offices…”

            Who made up that bunk and told you to parrot it?

          • Ray in VT

            So, what “side” is it that continues to support, in some instances, the criminalization of “unnatural” sexual acts or is trying to overtly or surreptitiously ban access to abortion? That stuff is made up, right?

          • pete18

            Banning abortion has nothing to do with telling you what you can do in your bedroom. Abortion policy addresses the actions that come after the bedroom activitiy and involve the rights of another living being.

          • TFRX

            Hahahaha.

            “Doctors offices” is right there.

            Reading comprehension fail much?

          • pete18

            Edit: Policy on abortion has nothing to do with telling what they can do in their doctor’s offices, anymore than telling people that they can’t beat their children is telling them what they can do in their houses.

            It’s good geniuses like you are here to focus on the important things.

          • HonestDebate1

            That one drives me nuts. Do they actually believe it?

          • Ray in VT

            Perhaps you missed my comment about continued attempts to criminalize “unnatural” sex acts, which often, but not exclusively occur, in a bedroom. Issues regarding abortion, though, do generally take place between a woman and a doctor, so that covers the other aspect. I do not think that the existence of a zygote or a fetus in the early stages of development should veto the ability of a woman to make choices about her body.

          • Ray in VT

            You forgot Diaper Dave Vitter and Mark “hiking the Appalachian Trail” Sanford, among others.

          • Jill122

            sorry — I didn’t see your post til after I wrote mine.

          • Ray in VT

            That’s okay. You covered some territory that I didn’t, and I’m sure that there are more examples that could be mentioned.

          • Jill122

            No, he’s means Mark Sanford and the young “soul mate” waiting for him at the end of the Appalachian Trail. Or he could mean Diaper Dave. Oh wait, there was a prostitute. But Ms Vitter was able to over look it so why can’t we? Perhaps he means Mr. Foley. They did shoo him out but like the man said, “anything goes unless you get caught with a dead girl or a live boy”. Once again, LA teaches us valuable life lessons.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Oh boy …. OR he could mean John Edwards or perhaps the Teddy Kennedy/ Chris Dodd waitress sandwich or then again the Slick Willy groping or state trooper pimping…..

          • HonestDebate1

            A sleazeball is a sleazeball, it has nothing to do with party as TFRX suggests. The notion Conservatives are given a pass is laughable.

            Barney Frank did alright after the gay brothel thing, Menendez is still around. Sanford is history, ditto Foley. Vitter made it. McCain and Cain were vilified relentlessly on allegations. Bill Clinton is a hero to many despite being a sexual predator and serial abuser. So, if anything it’s Dems who are more likely to skate but that’s just an observation not a tried and true fact of life.

          • TFRX

            Bullshat.

            A sleazeball doesn’t vote to legislate other people how to live their private lives after being in a sex scandal.

          • HonestDebate1

            Oh please. The ol’ “legislate how people live their lives” is meaningless. Obama legislated, some without the legislature, all kind of thing about the way I live my life. We have Dodd/Frank and both are sleazeballs and legislated my finances. Should Bill Clinton have been disqualified from signing legislation that forced 6 million off of welfare because he has a few dozen affairs? You are not making sense. Ooo Ooo, I know, Newt had no business as Speaker of the House being involved with impeachment because he had an affair. I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard that idiocy.

            No, Legislators legislate, sleazeballs screw around on their wives. One has nothing to do with tho other.

          • TFRX

            “The party of one” is heard from again.

            The agnostic conservative who won’t tell all his bible-thumping compatriots to ixnay on inserting their God into my doctor’s office or bedroom.

            Jagoff, fake purity troll.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m working on a song called “My fishing buddy found Jesus”. It’s a true story. Poor fella’, he has had it rough lately with aging parents and nasty siblings fighting over the estate. It’s a sordid tale. The church has really helped him. It starts like this:

            When my fishin’ buddy found Jesus
            I wasn’t sure what to think
            Now the fish, they won’t stop bitin’
            No matter how much we drink
            He’s not worried ’bout purgatory
            Nor the fiery pit within
            Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
            They ain’t got nothin on him.

            Whatcha’ think?

          • TFRX

            Please, try being either a better purity troll or just stop all the righties who’re peddling that “I sinned but God forgave me” shat.

            Or go to all your conservative friends and tell them you’re not gonna vote for any RW sex scandalee.

        • hennorama

          TFRX — that’s me next to you in the choir.

    • HonestDebate1

      Infidelity sucks.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    But really, I think the Obama administration pulled this oversized Bundy stunt to really show Putin who’s boss.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    The “War on Government” being stoked by Harry Reid and the administration via the Bundy issue for the 2014 midterms is going to make the War on Women and Race Card issues look like child’s play.

  • art525

    Bundy thinks he should be allowed to graze his cattle on government land and at no cost. I’m guessing that Bund and his ilk would be the first to condemn welfare and those who are “getting a free ride”.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Probably, good thing nobody is defending any of that.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    OK. Harry Reid has called Bundy’s supporters “domestic terrorists”. Of course that is outrageous.

    “Well, it’s not over,” Reid, D-Nev., told KRNV-TV in Reno on Monday. “We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over.”

    The irony in this statement is Harry Reid is directly complicit in violation of US law vis a vis the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mt., NV.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2013/aug/13/nation/la-na-nn-yucca-mountain-nuclear-waste-20130813

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Laws are only broken by little people. Harry and the bankers are in a different class. Remember, for them, its Rule of Men, not Law. That way they can pardon each other and keep us in line.

      Too bad there’s not a remedy for that Rule of Men not Law trouble…..

  • HonestDebate1

    It looks more and more like Putin will take Ukraine, I am dubious about the last deal. At least Canada is outraged. Obama, sent some helmets. That’ll help. As for commenters here, at least one is on record for letting him have Ukraine in the name of peace.

    He is going to stop with Ukraine. Let him have it and increase the chances of saving the friggin’ world.”

  • nj_v2
    • WorriedfortheCountry

      “Americans will spend more on taxes in 2014 than they will on food, clothing and housing combined.”

      http://taxfoundation.org/article/tax-freedom-day-2014-april-21-three-days-later-last-year

    • hennorama

      nj_v2 — It seems pretty obvious that the combined 16.4 percent of spending on Government, Housing & Community, Energy & Environment, International Affairs, Transportation, and Science all need to be eliminated. No one needs any of those things, after all.

    • OnPointComments

      I wonder why National Priorities Project chose that presentation for spending. I like this one better.

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

      It is telling that you choose only to show discretionary spending and not the complete Federal Budget.

      In the last five years we have paid an average of about $412 Billion per year as interest on the Federal Debt.
      The Average yearly budget of the Russian Federation was $410 Billion. And they are launching rockets into space.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Can I eat blueberries in Acadia or will the National Guard show up? I mean I would understand if I was leaving patties, but…….

    • Ray in VT

      Totally analogous.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        True, first we need to implement blueberry grazing permits.

        • Ray in VT

          And you need to be collecting masses of them (tons possibly) in order to make a profit by selling them, or some product of them.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Didn’t your mother tell you. “Well, if everyone did that…..”

            BTW I’m not really serious on this, and of course support grazing or land use fees in a transparent and equally applied system.

          • Ray in VT

            She never talked to me about harvesting goods from public lands, either with or without the required permits, in order to make a profit.

    • northeaster17

      You can but when you bring your herd of goats then ya gotta pay.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Hey, my kids are well behaved.

        • HonestDebate1

          Now that’s punny!

    • hennorama

      G_B_S — a new show Down East Dickering, set in “down east” Maine, has an episode in which a young man sets out to pick 5 gallons of wild blueberries, and failing spectacularly.

      No mention of any permits was made.

      If interested, here’s a link to the episode:

      http://www.history.com/shows/down-east-dickering/videos/not-so-fast?m=5189717d404fa&s=All&f=1&free=false

    • HonestDebate1

      Wouldn’t it be cool if all the trees (mostly ornamental) planted on municipal properties were fruit and nut trees? They are trying to get that done in nearby Boone, NC. The trees would be taxpayer funded (as they already are) and the food free for the picking. I loved the idea but now you’ve gone and popped my bubble. I forgot about the permits.

      • Emily4HL

        I’m so inspired by programs that do that. Also, some programs that contact owners who can’t or don’t pick their own fruit and split the crop with the owners and food assistance organizations. We need more of them!

        • HonestDebate1

          Count me in.

      • northeaster17

        I know a few pear trees like that. Secret location. About an hour from my house. Get there on the right weekend in Sept and bushels are for the taking.

        • HonestDebate1

          I try to plant a few trees every year. This year I planted peach trees. Last year it was hazelnuts. We have tons and tons of blackberries and raspberries in the summer. One of my favorites things is coming in from the secret lake with a stringer of fish, then grabbing a sack of vegetables out of the garden, some berries for dessert, having some friends over and eating like king for free. I might have to start making my own wine. I’m not sure it could get any better.

          • northeaster17

            Sounds like you’ve got a good thing going there.

          • HonestDebate1

            I do and I just scratch the surface. There is so much life to live and so little time to live it.

      • nj_v2

        One doesn’t plant a tree and come back later to pick fruit. With most fruit trees in most places, there’s near continuous maintenance needed during parts of the growing season, or insects, diseases, and other animals eat or destroy the fruit. Pruning, fruit thinning, spraying, cleaning up drops… Someone has to be trained and paid to do all that.

        And locations near buildings, parking, or pedestrian ways may not be compatible with the needed maintenance.

        “Free for the taking” Who gets how much, and how is that controlled? What if two people come and pick a tree clean?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          “early bird get the worm”?

          • nj_v2

            The neoconservative, corporate model: Private benefit, public subsidy.

        • hennorama

          nj_v2 — there have been some semi-subversive independent efforts to do this “free for all” planting, without regard for the potential downsides.

          This has most commonly occurred in the parkway strips between sidewalks and roadways, with predictable negative consequences for pedestrians and vehicles.

          To be practical, such plantings would need to be away from streets and parking areas, with some sort of funding for water and the maintenance you described.

          Perhaps a non-profit with a cadre of volunteers, and a sizable endowment that would kick off sufficient income for the necessary expenses.

          • nj_v2

            SInce this is part of what i do for a living, i know exactly what’s involved, so when I see proposals for these kind of “let’s grow food everywhere” projects, i find that they rarely consider the maintenance and other ramifications.

            Aside from the maintenance and “harvest management” issues mentioned above, soils on many urban sites have varying degrees of contamination which often need remediation before food can be grown with an acceptable level of risk.

          • hennorama

            nj_v2 — another excellent point (again, as usual).

            The asbestos from brake linings alone would obviate parkway strips as good places for food production.

            Still, the underlying idea has some merit, if it could be given full consideration and prudent adoption.

            Thanks again.

          • nj_v2

            The typical contaminants are heavy metals—lead, cadmium, arsenic, etc.—which could have come from fuels, manufacturing, paint, and other sources.

            These are a problem not only because some plants take these up in significant amounts, but also because of people’s direct contact with the soil and the chance for incidental ingestion, which can be significant.

            Apparently, not much work has been done on asbestos’ effect on plants, but there’s the obvious issue of dust inhalation for anyone working with the soil.

            I’m not against the idea of urban gardening, and there are plenty of examples of it being done well and successfully, but it’s not as easy or cheap as some seem to think.

          • hennorama

            nj_v2 — thanks for the “tech talk,” and for pointing out the better arguments. Your expertise is abundantly clear, [and greatly appreciated].

          • HonestDebate1

            Nothing is easy, it’s my mantra. The only exception is complaining.

          • HonestDebate1

            Dude, I’m not talking about for-profit commercial fruit farming, As a matter of fact I wasn’t suggesting anything at all.

            I have a friend in Boone who is a hard core Conservative. He lives off the grid. He forages for greens, his wife makes their clothes and soap. They grow a big garden and can much of it. He rides a bike and has no car, he collects and stores morels every year, he is very big into plums and filberts. Last year he planted four twenty foot rows of asparagus which should keep him in the veg for a gazillion years. He is the person at the city council meetings in Boone pushing this effort and people are listening. It might just happen. I think it’s cool, thats all.

            I’m always amazed at which threads catch fire. All I said was wouldn’t it be cool if…

          • nj_v2

            This is typical of your disingenuousness.

            I said nothing about commercial growing. I was addressing growing fruit trees on municipal property. You know, in the way you suggested.

            You were clearly suggesting that fruit trees could be planted with a level of maintenance similar to most other ornamental trees, which is clearly not the case.

            “Wouldn’t it be cool? Yes, and it would be cool if my dinners magically cooked themselves and appeared on the counter every night and if every little child got a pony for Christmas.

            Now you’re talking about asparagus.

            Whatever.

          • hennorama

            nj_v2 — careful.

            You might get a Congressional upbraiding, for “casting aspersions on my asparagus,” à la “Loopy” Louie Gohmert (R-Tex), who in the past has accused AG Holder of attacking his integrity and “casting aspersions on my asparagus.”

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s not Gomert’s line. It’s a half century old quip from a very liberal criminal defense attorney named Percy Foreman. I’m glad to enlighten you… again.

            BTW, I wasn’t even talking about asparagus, I was talking about the person spearheading the effort in Boone. You guys are so funny!

          • HonestDebate1

            And I didn’t say you did. I can do this all day. And for the second time today I notice the Hennorama like instead of the usual precision. Please define “fruit tree”. I mean you wrote: “… it’s variable with region, but, in general…”

            Really? Ya’ think?

            You libs are amazing with your defeatism. Here’s a clue, it can work and does. It takes some common sense like don’t try to grow tangerines in New York City. Use your own logic and advocate scraping Obamacare.

            It seems you went straight to concluding it will take onerous regulation, government oversight, unionized staff and socialized distribution. Typical.

          • nj_v2

            This

            “It seems you went straight to concluding it will take onerous regulation, government oversight, unionized staff and socialized distribution. Typical. The fruit never falls far from the tree.”

            from someone forever saying, “Don’t tell me what I think.”

            Honest debate, yep.

          • HonestDebate1

            Key word “seems”. Do you deny it?

            No need to define fruit, I’ve made my point.

          • nj_v2

            No need to deny your bullsh*t, intellectual dishonesty.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

        • HonestDebate1

          Sure NJ, I get that but that is also the case two some degree with every tree planted on municipal property. They need pruning, fertilizing, etc. When they are first planted they may need staking up or watering. We already do that, we already have staff trained for that. My neighbor works for the city and is in charge of the recreational dept, That’s what he does. He has people who tend to the trees in the ball parks or even the azaleas in the parking lot meridians. That’s the point, we do it already. We pay for it already. We have the trained personnel already. Why not get a little fruit to boot?

          What if someone comes by and chops down the tree? It happens. Again there are systems in place. The last thing we need is to apply socialism and get all weird about someone getting an extra apple. Or regulate it out the wazoo. No, just have some fruit, that’s all, Maybe it wouldn’t work everywhere but if they get it done in Boone I think it would work. We have a place down the road called Sim’s Barbecue. They grow apples and sugar cane. Every year little old ladies get together and make apple butter. They have a molasses festival. They serve both in the restaurant, the meat is local and there’s clogging. What’s not to like? A city could do the same thing. It brings people together.

          • nj_v2

            No, it’s variable with region, but, in general, the maintenance for tree fruit is an order of magnitude more than for ornamental trees.

            Here’s a typical, annual care regimen for tree fruit in my region:

            Dormant-season structural pruning

            Dormant-season or delayed dormant spray for disease and overwintering insects.

            Follow up for early season insects.

            Pre-blossom disease spray or two.

            Public trees in most urban settings would face the same problem.

            Three to four sprays immediately post-petal fall for various insects and diseases.

            Fruit thinning spray and/or hand-thinning.

            Two to four late-season sprays for late-season diseases.

            Mid-summer water sprout pruning.

            Mulching

            Possible disease spray at leaf abscission.

            Even more sprays if one is working organically.

            I know people who stopped growing fruit because some of their trees hung over their property fence and were stripped clean on that side.

          • HonestDebate1

            Ornamentals need mulching and pruning. They are subject to disease. The Chestnut trees in NC all died of blight over 70 years ago. As I was just telling Jeffe Citrus trees in Florida were everywhere, no one did all that. I get your point and you’re right to a degree but it depends on the tree. Nut trees are cool too. I have many huge Black walnut trees probably close to a century old (I didn’t plant them), I’ve never done anything to them, nothing. The closest to pruning is my bush hogging under them and breaking off branches with my tractor roll bar. There are millions of nuts. Hazel nuts (filberts) are easy enough, they’re more like a bush though. I have a plum tree I’ve never done squat to. I have plums.

            I have a Bradford pear tree which is essentially an ornamental. It gives me fits. I still like it because a little girl planted it as a 4H project 25 years ago. It was a twig then.
            Now it’s big and she has kids.

            It is always easy to find reasons not to do things.

      • ExcellentNews

        Fruit trees require a lot of expensive maintenance year-round, and then you have a week or so to pick the fruit. Of course, we can still plant the fruit trees on public land, and have the TAXPAYER pay subsidies for it, and have slave labor pick up the fruit, while the TAXPAYER pays for their policing and basic hygiene. Oh wait … we ALREADY do that, it is called corporate farming and it is a big Republican revenue source…

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Republican?

          You’re halfway there……

        • HonestDebate1

          Okay, forget the whole thing.

      • jefe68

        My mother lives in Phoenix and the apartment complex has orange and grapefruit trees all over the place. I asked her how come she was buying oranges when they were there for the picking.
        She informed me that tenants were not allowed to pick them. The good thing though, the maintenance and grounds workers were going home with bags of fruit.

        • HonestDebate1

          At least someone got the fruit. The rules seem silly to me. I grew up in Florida and everybody had citrus trees in their yard. I remember lemon trees with lemons as big as grapefruits. They really didn’t take a lot of maintenance. There were also a lot of cumquat trees that seemed to grow wild. They were everywhere. I love looking at trees, ornamentals are fine but I just think if we are going to go to the trouble to nurture them then there is more potential than beauty.

        • hennorama

          jefe68 — many property owners in one of the areas in which I reside have fruit trees as well. Many do not pick the fruit, and having observed this, I encourage these owners to contact the local Food Bank, which has volunteers ready and equipped to pick the fruit to benefit those whose needs are greater.

          It’s a win-win, as the property owners don’t have to deal with the fruit when it eventually falls to the ground (or the animals and insects it attracts), and hungry people get to eat a little better.

          Plus, the volunteers get to feel like they are making a difference.

    • Emily4HL

      We did once get stopped by a park ranger for picking wild cranberries to make sauce on Thanksgiving and having a unleashed dog. Granted, my future inlaws decided to ignore several “no trespassing” signs to get on the game reserve in the first place, but it was the only time they’ve ever seen a ranger in numerous times ignoring those signs.

      The ranger let us keep the berries since animals wouldn’t want them if we dumped them–human smell, but told us off quite effectively. Nevertheless, my future father-in-law: “We’re American citizens!” …Park ranger don’t care.

      • TFRX

        I think the all-purpose phrase is the same as when stopped by a traffic cop: “Don’t you know MY taxes pay YOUR salary?”

        It works every time. Well, never.

  • Emily4HL

    With 2011 numbers, BLM grazing 1.35 per head on compared to $16.80 per head on private land. So the government is heavily subsidizing ranchers instead of doing the conservation and protection of endangered species its supposed to. Only 11% of BLM land is set aside for Mustangs, and ranchers still get to graze on it. I think Bundy can pay up.

    http://wildhorsepreservation.org/commercial-interests
    See the PDFs at the bottom for the congressional report.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      The $16.80 figure is not relevant to Bundy’s situation since there is no FMV for the land Bundy is using.

      Also, if Bundy’s fee is $1M then that should purchase 740K+ AUMs or ‘grazing months’ at $1.35/per AUM. Reports say that Bundy’s herd is only 1000 head. Therefore the $1M fee must be for MUCH more than grazing rights.

      • Jill122

        times 20 years?? really? It’s been going on for 20 years. And I’m certain there are fees and penalties involved.

      • Emily4HL

        My concern is with the HUGE subsidy given to ranchers, not so much Bundy himself. I think the system is badly skewed in favor of ranchers even if the ranchers do pay.

  • Ray in VT

    I didn’t realize it, but the War on Easter really snuck up on me this year.

    • jefe68

      And the war on Passover…

  • OnPointComments

    U.S. EXTENDS COMMENT PERIOD FOR KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE, LIKELY POSTPONING DECISION UNTIL AFTER NOV. 4 MIDTERM ELECTIONS -SOURCE
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/04/18/us-extends-comment-period-for-keystone-x-idUKL2N0NA0KN20140418

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Unbelievable. They have no shame.

      • OnPointComments

        Looks like President Obama’s strategy of having a pen and having a phone doesn’t pertain to Keystone.

    • pete18

      Insert quote from Captain Renault here.

    • dale_dale

      Kill it

    • Fredlinskip

      I say that they should extend the comment period at least until GOP supports meaningful legislation to curb climate change.

  • OnPointComments

    My favorite thing I read today:

    Turning the tables remains the first refuge of liars called on their mendacity.

    “I was hurt,” Elizabeth Warren relays in her new autobiography, “and I was angry.” The second-year senator speaks of her 2012 political opponent using her claims of Native American ancestry against her during the campaign. Elizabeth Warren could pass for Bull Connor’s sister. She couldn’t pass for Sitting Bull’s second cousin five times removed…

    Alas, a blue-eyed blonde who can convince herself that she belongs to Sequoia’s tribe can convince herself that her popularity at Harvard College will translate to popularity in the Electoral College.

    LAST OF THE MOHICANS, FIRST OF THE CANTABRIGIANS
    Elizabeth Warren couldn’t leave her Big Lie alone.

    http://spectator.org/articles/58793/last-mohicans-first-cantabrigians

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      As the US Senate’s only serving “native American” senator why didn’t Mrs. Warren join the Senate Committee of Indian Affairs? Hmmm.

  • hennorama

    The Bundy family vs. the Federal Bureau of Land Management issue is somewhat analogous to a landlord-tenant dispute, thusly:

    Let’s say you own a parking lot next to a restaurant, which you rent to the owner of the restaurant. Things go smoothly for a time, but conditions change, and the restaurant owner stops paying rent.

    You discuss the situation with the restauranteur, but are unable to come to an agreement whereby rent will be paid, including all arrearages, late fees, interest, etc. The restauranteur continues to park there, as do the restaurant’s employees and customers.

    You escalate a bit, have your attorney draw up a demand letter for payment, and have a Pay Rent or Quit notice served and posted. Nothing changes, so you begin legal eviction proceedings, all the time continuing to communicate with the restauranteur.

    You get a monetary judgment in your favor, but the restauranteur has few assets you can attach, in order to enforce the monetary judgment.

    Nothing changes, and things continue as before. The restauranteur refuses to pay, and makes veiled threats, which you take very seriously, since he has a history of brandishing weapons.

    Eventually, the case gets elevated further, and you get a judgment and court orders that allows for removal of all vehicles on your parking lot, and the seizing of the contents of the restaurant’s cash register. Due to the veiled threats, you decide to have local law enforcement enforce the court orders.

    The restauranteur tells all his friends and neighbors about this. They tell others, many show up with weapons, and they occupy the parking lot and restaurant.

    The local law enforcement decides that discretion is the better part of valor, and decides to hold off on the seizures and towing of the vehicles.

    You are still unpaid, with a parking lot that you can’t allow anyone else to use for any purpose.

    • dale_dale

      but hey they’re white guys waving flags and they say ‘liburty’ a lot, nothing to be done.

      • hennorama

        dale_dale — Thank you for your response.

        The firearms being displayed likely had far more to do with the BLM’s prudent de-escalation and withdrawal, rather than anyone’s race/ethnicity, or the appearance of any symbols.

        • dale_dale

          In a counterfactual sense I’m afraid race has everything to do with who gets put down with extreme prejudice when they point guns (and much less) at law enforcement and who gets some extra time to remit their 20 years overdue payment after an armed standoff, sorry.

          Black Panthers and other left radicals get murdered in their beds but every kid glove is afforded self-described ‘patriots’ anguished about ‘losing’ ‘their’ country when asked to submit to the same rules as everyone else (even back to Ruby Ridge and Waco). With Fox egging them on no less. It’s a disgusting microcosm that goes well beyond a grazing dispute unfortunately.

          • hennorama

            dale_dale — TYFYR.

            Your overarching perspective is interesting, but I was referring only to this specific case. You might be right, and there certainly is a case to be made, but I prefer to give the benefit of the doubt.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • dale_dale

            Understood. I’m saying if you’re asking me about the national implications of the incident this aspect screams out to me.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Pretty good, but that arid land is nowhere near as valuable as a city parking lot (unless you’re a solar panel developer).

      Also equating citizens with serfs…er, renters, doesn’t go over so well, particularly when the government works for us.

      Please recall, I have yet to hear a soul try and claim Bundy is in the right with regards to not owing the grazing fees.

      This is about dealing with it in a way that predictably inflamed a group of people who are political enemies and would make a useful case study to showcase in a tough election cycle. Divide and conquer as usual.

      • hennorama

        G_B_S — thank you for your response.

        The analogy is not perfect, of course, but much more relatable than grazing fees, Federal lands, etc. It really comes down to a tenant not paying his landlord.

        If you want to believe that there some sort of conspiracy involved, or some big principle, or that this is election year politics (how this makes anyone look good is beyond me, but “whatevs”), that is certainly OK by me, but let’s all agree that the Bundys need to pay the back rent, etc., and get their cattle off the land if their landlord doesn’t want them there.

        • HonestDebate1

          Can you rework your analogy using illegal aliens ignoring the law and getting a free ride at tax payer expense? I look forward to your response.

          • John Cedar

            Yesterday I heard a few minutes of RUSH and guest host Mark Steyn tried to to make a case using logic almost as weak as a libruls. That the Bundy family had been enticed to move to that God forsaken land at the turn of the century with the promise of free grazing land. And that the new exorbitant fees was a change in that promise.

            That the borough of land management regulates 264mm acres of land and the fees charged are mucho dineros more than is reasonable, because the law only calls for a fee large enough to offset the management costs. The the BLM has the 20th largest military and is the 26th largest country if you rated by acres.

            The whole issue does call attention to how far out of hand our federal government is.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Well you know it does take mucho dineros to support 100s of snipers and helicopters to keep the sheeple in check.

          • HonestDebate1

            I missed Steyn the other day but your last sentence, IMHO, is the key issue.

          • jimino

            You mean the free ride they have gotten back to Mexico as one of the millions we have deported in the past few years? You want them to grab a Tijuana taxi instead?

          • HonestDebate1

            I just think it would be a good analogy, that’s all.

            Now, to your (parroted talking) point. First, there’s nothing like trashing the economy to the point Mexico seems like Disneyland in comparison but that’s just my cheap shot at Obama. you know how I am.

            And forgive me for naming names but Hennorama weight in with a like which I find extremely disingenuous given her penchant for precision when it suits liberal dogma. So, since she treated your comment in the polar opposite fashion as she just did WftC’s above, I will do it for her. Please define “deportation.

            “The key is how you define the term ‘deport’—and what you think about a broad change in policy that started during the Bush administration and has continued under Obama.”

            http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117412/deportations-under-obama-vs-bush-who-deported-more-immigrants

          • jimino

            You don’t need an analogy to understand the issue. Don’t you understand the concepts of “ownership”, “landlord”, “tenant”, “rent”?

            As far as parroting anything, you’re definitely the one who seems to need a cracker.

          • HonestDebate1

            Okay, I’ll admit that was funny. Touche.

            And you may even have a point with the substance of your first paragraph but I was just illustrating the double standard. I have not condemned nor defended the rancher.

            And you certainly did not refute the numbers I provided. You certainly cannot defend the bogus talking point in any meaningful way. It seems you swallowed it whole and I am happy to set the record straight for you. You’re welcome.

          • hennorama

            jimino — thank you for the entertaining merry discourse. I particularly enjoyed your riff on “free ride” earlier.

    • nj_v2

      Pretty good summary of the background and history of this case:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/04/15/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-long-fight-between-cliven-bundy-and-the-federal-government/

      Everything you need to know about the long fight between Cliven Bundy and the federal government

      The case of cattle rancher Cliven Bundy burst into the national news cycle over the past week, captivating conservative media outlets with its protagonist, a firm believer of states’ right with an armed group of supporters backing him. The stand-off between Nevada rancher and federal government officials trying to push cattle off of protected federal land has paused for now, but officials plan to renew their efforts soon.

      This most-recent skirmish is only the latest in a decades-long fight between the federal government and Cliven Bundy, however. Here’s a timeline that proves just how complicated this case is — as well as the power that the media still retains to elevate a local political issue into a national one.…

      (snipped)

      • hennorama

        nj_v2 — thanks for sharing (as usual).

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Our criminal problem is people stealing bread? Give us a break. Plenty of welfare to stave off starvation.

  • JeffEwener

    US media coverage of the Ukrainian situation is astonishing. The assumption that “whatever we do is right, whatever you do is wrong” is unquestioned and pervasive.

    The panel’s howls of contempt over Snowden’s asking a question of the Russian President at a press conference — to which the President gave a vapidly political response — came just a few minutes after Major McGarrett (a reporter I respect) is credited with asking a question of the American President — to which the President gave a vapidly political response — which was received with respect, and basically accepted. I don’t get it.

    Another case in point: the repetition of the word “alleged” (with heavy irony) with regard to the persecution of Russian-speaking Ukrainians, as reported on by the Russian media. Yet the next sentence is an excerpt, easily found online, from the US government’s own reporters at Radio Free Europe:

    Prague, 16 April 2004 (RFE/RL) — Ukraine’s broadcasting regulators this
    week (15 April) introduced a requirement making it mandatory for
    national television and radio broadcasters to use the Ukrainian
    language.

    30% of Ukrainians speak Russian, but it’s now illegal for their own national TV stations to provide them with programming in their own language.

    I’d say this was a pretty well-substantiated allegation, frankly.

    Russia’s media exaggerate the facts, distort the relative importance of different events, run with stories that confirm their prejudices without stopping to check their facts — all in support of their country’s political goals, world view, and self-image.

    A truly balanced response to that from a US media which considers itself to be the chief exponents of press freedom in the world, would be to admit that they have often behaved in exactly the same way — and may well be prone to doing it again, right now.

    That would be the beginning — and just the beginning — of truly informed and informing journalism. And it would be very different from what we get today, even from such generally excellent sources as On Point.

    • dale_dale

      Uh sure, U.S. media mendacity is the air we breathe but Russian mendacity is on the frontburner because they’re currently using it to annex parts of another sovereign nation. If McGarrett agreed to lobbing questions to our president without followup wouldn’t you consider that rather tool-like? At any rate anyone interested in civil liberties should see the folly of making Snowden ‘the story’ in perpetuity, including Snowden himself at this point.

  • davecm

    The Bundy Mess
    I just wonder how much money the Govt. spent trying to collect?
    Lets send in the military to eradicate the bunch, seeing Harry Reid has now labeled them all as “Domestic Terrorist”. Poor Harry!

    • Fredlinskip

      Drone strikes may be in order.

      • Alchemical Reaction

        Bundy needs to win this one.

    • jimino

      Mooching off the gubmint (that’s us) and justifying it as some sort of act of individual freedom, is a tenet of the self-identified conservative right. Just ask teaparty Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska, who gets more in free federal grazing benefits every year than a welfare recipient gets in 25 years.

      Maybe I can demand to and physically move my office in to the local federal building, rent free, and see how much support I get from all the Bundyites when I get evicted and arrested.

      • JONBOSTON

        You ought to check out Democrat Charlie Rangel . While owning vacation resort property in the Dominican Republic , he was living in NYC rent controlled property and enjoying other largesse as a NYC Democrat kingpin.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          You expect ole Charlie to know the tax laws? He’s only the ranking member on the committee that writes the tax laws. Clearly you are asking too much.

  • Antisthenes

    Oh my God! Are these so called experts? Intelligent discussion? Ashbrook is a total dolt!

  • pete18

    Break out the Balloon Juice blog, that will put him in his place.

  • OnPointComments

    Who knew Lara Ingraham was funny? She talks about the Bundy showdown, and then does her Kathleen Sebelius impression at about 2:20.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcPMaaWJ-EA

    • nj_v2

      Who knew Laura Ingraham is a vile racist homophobe?

      http://www.salon.com/2014/04/15/abcs_new_right_wing_hack_why_a_network_is_paying_for_laura_ingrahams_vile_racism/

      ABC’s new right-wing hack: Why a network is paying for Laura Ingraham’s vile racism
      In apparent effort to counter non-existent “liberal media bias,” here’s what ABC News will get from Laura Ingraham

      Nobody has been more of a vociferous critic of the news media’s alleged liberal bias than talk radio host and conservative commentator Laura Ingraham. Going all the way back to her years as a notorious campus activist making her name as a vicious homophobe (since partially recanted,) she has been hitting the mainstream media for its so-called liberal bias. This “Reliable Sources” exchange with E.J. Dionne from early 2003 is an amusing example of how the best of them get the job done:…

      …The Associated Press reported that if Snyder’s plan is approved, “Detroit would be allocated 5,000 visas in the first year, 10,000 each of the next three years and 15,000 in the fifth year.” Immigrants would be allowed to live and work in the city for five years, but could apply for a green card after that time.On her Tuesday radio show, Ingraham said the idea was “the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of. The people of this country, they’re smart enough to know that they don’t want to go anywhere near Detroit. Right?” she explained. “But we need to get these people from other countries to live and work in Detroit to save us because we can then wall off Detroit, apparently, so they can’t then move to other parts of the country.”

      “Is that what Rick Snyder is gonna do?” Ingraham asked. “Is there gonna be, you know, is there gonna be finally a border enforced in our country? Except it’s going to be around Detroit.”

      (excerpts)

      • pete18

        Oh yeah, a regular George Wallace that Laura Ingraham.

      • JONBOSTON

        Thank you you for illustrating how vile, disgusting and despicable left wing commentary has become.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          An Ed Schultz protege?

          And has Shag weighed in yet?

          • JONBOSTON

            Still waiting for his thoughtful insightful commentary..

      • HonestDebate1

        Is this the only song you guys have? You should be ashamed of yourself.

        • pete18

          Song, book, screenplay, movie and licensed action figure.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s truly disgusting.

    • HonestDebate1

      She does a terrific Susan Estrich too. She even does a good John Conyers.

      I got hip to her when she had a show on MSNBC. After that she got her radio show. We got into a heated email exchange one time over her “lie of the day”.She gave the award to Scott McClellen for saying Harriet Meyers was qualified for the Supreme Court. was not a Harriet Meyers fan but I thought the word “Lie” as she applied t to McClellen was not appropriate and told her so. She replied and I refuted her point by point. then it was on. In the end McClellen did indeed turn out to be a schmuck.

  • JONBOSTON

    David Ignatius’ commentary on Ukraine was vapid and antiseptic. How can this program discuss the Ukraine situation without discussing the Budapest Memorandum and “guarantees” by Russia , UK , and the US of Ukrainian sovereignty in exchange for Ukraine abandoning the world’s third largest nuclear stockpile. The failure of the US and UK to do anything sends a dangerous signal to countries with nuclear weapons not to abandon them and for non-nuclear countries to quickly gain such weapons. And what are Poland, Hungary , the Czech Republic and the Baltic nations now thinking? And what is the future of NATO with a feckless, impotent US president at its helm for three more years?Today’s editorial in the WSJ nails it correctly: ” The problem with diplomacy as practiced by President Obama is that it too often is a mask to disguise bad outcomes.”

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    A San Francisco crony capitalist buys Obama and the Dems by ‘promising’ to spend $100M. Tom Steyer has the gall to openly pat himself on the back and announce “mission accomplished” on the late Friday announcement of the NEW delay of Keystone.

    Will the press hold Obama accountable or will they continue to obsess about the Koch bros.?

    http://www.ijreview.com/2014/04/130940-san-francisco-billionaire-just-bought-obama-delayed-keystone-xl-pipeline/

    • OnPointComments

      With the delay of the Keystone pipeline yet again, at least we know what the price of the Democratic party is: Tom Steyer vows to spend $100 million dollars in the 2014 election, and Steyer gets to call the shots with the Democrats.

      “There’s one name to remember in all this: Tom Steyer, the billionaire Democrat donor who really is what Dems love to rail against the Koch Brothers for being. Steyer will not permit the Keystone pipeline to be built; the Democrat Party will do whatever he demands, to get his campaign contributions.”
      http://www.humanevents.com/2014/04/18/obama-administration-delays-keystone-xl-again/

      • JONBOSTON

        The real tragedy of today’s Democrat party is that they place party ahead of country. Frankly, how is this any different from the former Soviet Union’s Communist party when ideology and party loyalty were regarded as synonymous with country.

    • HonestDebate1
    • hennorama

      WftC — you have expressed a legitimate concern, but what’s wrong with Mr. Steyer also expressing his views?

      And to be accurate and not misleading, this is the actual tweet from Mr. Steyer, from your source:

      Tom Steyer @TomSteyerFollow

      Good news on Good Friday: the comment period for #KeystoneXL has been extended. Now @StateDept can address inherent flaws in its past work.

      12:42 PM – 18 Apr 2014

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

        • hennorama

          WftC — TYFYR.

          Was that your answer to my question, “what’s wrong with Mr. Steyer also expressing his views?”

          Or was that some sort of clarification of your misleading original post?

          Or were you just quoting the sign that was behind Pres. Bush II on May 2, 2003, when he gave a speech while aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln?

          Just trying to come to a more clear understanding of your words.

          Thanks again for your response.

  • HonestDebate1
  • hennorama

    More from the Good News Dept., this time including some Bad News:

    “Chances of getting audited by IRS lowest in years” FTA:

    WASHINGTON — As millions of Americans race to meet Tuesday’s tax deadline, their chances of getting audited are lower than they have been in years.

    Budget cuts and new responsibilities are straining the Internal Revenue Service’s ability to police tax returns. This year, the IRS will have fewer agents auditing returns than at any time since at least the 1980s.

    AND

    Last year, the IRS audited less than 1 percent of all returns from individuals, the lowest rate since 2005. This year, Koskinen said, “The numbers will go down.”

    Now, the Bad News:

    Taxpayer services are suffering, too, with millions of phone calls to the IRS going unanswered.

    AND

    Last year, only 61 percent of taxpayers calling the IRS for help got it. This year, Koskinen said he expects the numbers to be similar. To help free up operators, callers with complicated tax questions are directed to the agency’s website.

    “The problem with complicated questions is they take longer,” Koskinen said.

    AND

    “We keep going after the people who look like the worst of the bad guys,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in an interview. “But there are going to be some people that we should catch, either in terms of collecting the revenue from them or prosecuting them, that we’re not going to catch.”

    AND

    The IRS also is implementing large parts of President Barack Obama’s health law, including enforcing the mandate that most people get health insurance. Republicans in Congress abhor the law, putting another bull’s-eye on the agency’s back.

    The animosity is reflected in the IRS budget, which has declined from $12.1 billion in 2010 to $11.3 billion in the current budget year.

    Obama has proposed a 10 percent increase for next year; Republicans are balking.

    AND

    Koskinen said he suspects some people think that if they cut funds to the IRS, the agency won’t be able to implement the health law. They’re wrong, he said.

    The IRS is legally obligated to enforce the health law, Koskinen said. That means budget savings will have to be found elsewhere.

    Koskinen said he can cut spending in three areas: enforcement, taxpayer services and technology. Technology upgrades can only be put off for so long, he said, so enforcement and taxpayer services are suffering.

    AND

    Only 0.6 percent of business returns were audited, but the rate varied greatly depending on the size of the business. About 16 percent of corporations with more than $10 million in assets were audited.

    Your chances of getting audited vary greatly, based on your income. The more you make, the more likely you are to get a letter from the IRS.

    AND

    Koskinen said the IRS could scrutinize more returns — and collect billions more in revenue — with more resources. The president’s budget proposal says the IRS would collect an additional $6 for every $1 increase in the agency’s enforcement budget.

    Koskinen said he makes that argument all the time, but for some reason, it’s not playing well in Congress.

    “I say that and everybody shrugs and goes on about their business,” Koskinen said. “I have not figured out either philosophically or psychologically why nobody seems to care whether we collect the revenue or not.”

    See:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congress/chances-of-getting-audited-by-irs-lowest-in-years/2014/04/14/79a3fe98-c3a7-11e3-9ee7-02c1e10a03f0_story.html

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      But the % of Tea Party and Obama ‘enemy’ audits has gone waaaaaay up.

      • hennorama

        WftC — TYFYR.

        Please present some data to back up your assertions, and please also include your definitions of the terms “Tea Party” and “Obama ‘enemy’ .”

        • HonestDebate1

          I looked up “Tea Party” and the definition is “Obama enemy”. I looked up “Obama enemy” and and there were way to many pages to cite but they were all Americans.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Just ask Dr. Ben Carson or Mr. and Mrs. Engelbrecht.

          http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB124260113149028331

          • hennorama

            WftC — TYFYR.

            I infer from your reply that you have neither any data nor any definitions.

            Please correct any misinferences.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Apparently you aren’t interested in the facts. Like the IRS office in Houston with Obama campaign propaganda in clear view.

          • hennorama

            WftC — TYFYR.

            I again infer from your reply that you have neither any data nor any definitions.

            I further infer that you do not understand the meaning of the word “data.”

            Please correct any misinferences.

          • HonestDebate1

            Key word, “infer” (AKA invent my own conclusion).

          • HonestDebate1

            If you don’t hand in your homework assignment, she’ll make you stay after class.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            LOL!!!

            What she doesn’t get (and apparently the media) is the burden is on the government to prove there isn’t political retribution. AND there doesn’t have to be a smoking gun directly linking the WH. There are PLENTY of Dem bureaucrats willing to do the political bidding.

          • HonestDebate1

            I agree whole-heartedly. When someone makes a bogus comment I simply prove them wrong. I don’t demand they prove it right and then if they don’t sit back secure in the fantasy I have made a substantive point with my demand. To each his own I suppose.

          • hennorama

            WftC — TYFY now-edited R, which added “Like the IRS office in Houston with Obama campaign propaganda in clear view.”

            Your attempt at a change of the subject only further detracts from your argument, and adds to the reasonable inferences that you have neither any data nor any definitions.

          • hennorama

            WftC — TYFY now-edited R.

            Please let me know when you have stopped editing, and when you might be presenting some data to back up your assertions, and your definitions of the terms “Tea Party” and “Obama ‘enemy’ .”

      • HonestDebate1

        Evidently you struck a nerve. Does she remind you of Tom Cruise?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXoNE14U_zM

        My apologies for having fun with this. I just think it’s hilarious.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Bravo!

    • Steve__T

      Bad News continues.

      9/11 Tribunal Adjourns amid Claims of FBI Spying on Defense Team

      The military tribunal for five men accused of planning the 9/11 attacks has been adjourned until June following reports the FBI tried to infiltrate the defense team. The judge, Army Colonel James Pohl, acknowledged an apparent FBI investigation on Thursday. Defense attorneys say the FBI recruited a contractor on their team as a secret informant. Agents apparently approached the contractor as part of a probe into how journalists obtained a document written by one of the defendants, alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

      http://www.democracynow.org/

      • hennorama

        Steve__T — TYFYR.

        The quote does not make it clear whether the FBI was successful in their attempt to “[recruit] a contractor on their team as a secret informant.”

        The lack of details makes response problematic, but this is a troubling matter.

        Thanks again for your response.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    “If free speech is only for polite persons of mild temperament within government-policed parameters, it isn’t free at all. So screw that.” — Mark Steyn

    “Because the more topics you rule out of discussion — immigration, Islam, ‘gender fluidity’ — the more you delegitimise the political system. . . A culture that can’t bear a dissenting word on race or religion or gender fluidity or carbon offsets is a society that will cease to innovate, and then stagnate, and then decline, very fast.” — Mark Steyn

    Amazing coverage of the free speech issue on a university climate science blog:
    “In defense of free speech”
    http://judithcurry.com/2014/04/19/in-defense-of-free-speech/#more-15302

    • hennorama

      WftC — please allow a reminder of your own words, from below (emphasis added):

      WorriedfortheCountry • 4 hours ago

      A San Francisco crony capitalist buys Obama and the Dems by ‘promising’ to spend $100M. Tom Steyer has the gall to openly pat himself on the back and announce “mission accomplished” on the late Friday announcement of the NEW delay of Keystone.

      Putting aside the misleading “mission accomplished,” which Mr. Steyer did not write, a question, which is now being asked of you a third time:

      What’s wrong with Mr. Steyer also expressing his views?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Apparently you just don’t get it.
        There is absolutely nothing wrong with Steyer expressing his views. He should be commended for his blatant honesty. However, don’t you see the hypocrisy in those decrying money in politics when it is the Kochs happily accepting Steyer cash?

        • hennorama

          WftC – TYFYR.

          You’re correct in that I do not understand your comments.

          First, you wrote, without any explicit foundation, that “A San Francisco crony capitalist buys Obama and the Dems by ‘promising’ to spend $100M.”

          In the very next sentence, you wrote, “Tom Steyer has the gall to openly pat himself on the back and announce “mission accomplished” on the late Friday announcement of the NEW delay of Keystone.”

          When challenged, you then wrote “There is absolutely nothing wrong with Steyer expressing his views. He should be commended for his blatant honesty.”

          So which is it? Are Mr. Steyer’s words (which are below, and which notably do not include the words “mission accomplished”) galling or commendable?

          Tom Steyer @TomSteyerFollow

          Good news on Good Friday: the comment period for #KeystoneXL has been extended. Now @StateDept can address inherent flaws in its past work.

          ==========

          I infer from your comments, and please correct any misinferences, the following:

          1. You believe that Mr. Steyer’s plans to spend money to promote environmental issues and, as Mr. Steyer himself wrote on April 17, 2014, in an open letter, “to support those members who have been threatened because they had the courage to stand up for our children and oppose the Keystone XL pipeline,” somehow “buys Obama and the Dems”.

          2. You believe that extending the comment period for the Keystone XL pipeline proposal is a quid pro quo for Mr. Steyer’s announced plans.

          3. You believe that some unnamed persons have been “decrying money in politics when it is the Kochs [who are spending the money],” and that these unnamed persons are hypocritical, because these unnamed persons are “happily accepting Steyer['s] cash.”

          Again, please correct any misinferences.

          Please also name the unnamed persons, and show how they are “happily accepting Steyer['s] cash.”

          Here’s how the NYT reported about Mr. Steyer’s plans:

          [Tom Steyer] is forging plans to spend as much as $100 million during the 2014 election, seeking to pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change measures through a hard-edge campaign of attack ads against governors and lawmakers.

          AND

          Unlike some on the left, Mr. Steyer has embraced the political toolbox that was opened to wealthy donors and other interests in the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which made it easier for businesses, unions and rich individuals to pour unlimited money into elections.

          “We have a democratic system, there are parts we would want to reform or change, and Citizens United is prominent in that,” Mr. Steyer said. “But we’ve accepted the world as it is.”

          Mr. Steyer said there was no fixed budget for his group and declined to confirm his fund-raising target.

          “Is it going to take $100 million? I have no idea,” he said, before suggesting that might be a lowball number. “I think that would be a really cheap price to answer the generational challenge of the world.”

          Sources:
          http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/us/politics/financier-plans-big-ad-campaign-on-environment.html (Feb. 17, 2014 article titled Financier Plans Big Ad Campaign on Climate Change

          http://action.nextgenclimate.org/page/-/Courage.pdf (from April 17, 2014, An Open Letter from Thomas F. Steyer

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “You’re correct”

            OK

          • hennorama

            WftC — TYFYR.

            For what it’s worth, I try very hard to take you seriously, and to pose serious questions to you. [Responses such as the one above], however, make that increasingly difficult.

            [PS: please note the minor edits, made about 7 minutes after the original posting, contained in brackets, above.]

      • OnPointComments

        Get back to us when Harry Reid makes a speech from the Senate floor about the evil Tom Steyer.

        • hennorama

          OPC — thank you for your response.

          What’s wrong with Sen. Reid exercising his free speech rights on the floor of the Senate?

          • HonestDebate1

            Wow, you cannot be serious.

          • OnPointComments

            Harry Reid is free to make whatever speech he chooses. However, when he rails against only certain big money in politics that is different from his point of view, and gives a pass to other big money in politics (Tom Steyer and Michel Bloomberg come to mind) with which he agrees, it exposes him for the hypocrite that he is.

          • HonestDebate1

            I did not want to weigh in with this until you replied but I would remind Hennorama the Westboro clan are exercising their free speech rights as confirmed by the SCOTUS. That certainly doesn’t mean there is nothing wrong with their vile message.

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFYR.

            As [WorriedfortheCountry]‘s topic seems to be free speech, unlike yours, my comments have been limited to free speech.

            The topic of hypocrisy and inconsistency in politics is rather large, with plenty of practitioners across the political spectrum.

            The topic of money and its influence on politics is also rather large. Given recent SCOTUS decisions, it will only increase in US politics, with no prospect for unilateral reduction by any political party, group, or individual.

            That one political party, group, or individual would criticize any particular donor or donors is hardly surprising on any level.

            What is surprising is the feigned outrage about this phenomenon.

            Thanks again for your response.

  • pete18

    For those who have been “encouraged” and “satisfied” by the ACA enrollment numbers that the White House used to declare that the “Debate was over,” some other information that hopefully will act as a constructive cold shower for those upright poles waving the government health care flags:

    “An Expansion of Spending Commitments Comparable to Enacting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid: Our biggest fiscal problems today stem from Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security costs rising well beyond original projections. The ACA was enacted even though these longstanding
    financing challenges have still not been met, and represents an additional expansion of federal commitments comparable to these other programs’ creations. CBO now estimates that the gross costs of the ACA’s coverage expansion will be $92 billion in FY2015, or about 0.5% of our total GDP of roughly $18 trillion. This far exceeds, even relative to today’s larger economy, the initial costs associated with the entirety of Social Security and Medicaid, and is comparable to the startup costs for all original parts of Medicare combined. Consider
    this: just five years after enactment the ACA will absorb more of our total economic output than Social Security did fully sixteen years after it was enacted.

    A Worse Fiscal Environment: The ACA was enacted when
    legislators knew, or should have known, that they inhabited a fiscal environment in which such extravagance was unaffordable. Deficits (and debt) are far higher today
    than when the other major entitlement programs were created; millions of baby boomer retirements are swelling expenditures arising from previously-enacted Social Security and Medicare law. Someday historians will puzzle over the thinking that induced legislators to embark on a vast new spending program at the very moment it could least be afforded.”

    http://mercatus.org/expert_commentary/unfolding-fiscal-disaster-behind-aca-enrollment-figures

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      “the Debate is over”
      “the science is settled”
      “settled law”

      Statements designed to shut down all dissent and disagreement.

    • brettearle

      http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/04/09/official-sources-agree-affordable-care-act-reduces-deficit

      “Official Sources Agree: The Affordable Care Act Reduces the Deficit

      Today, we are reading about another brand of “new math” in describing how the Affordable Care Act will affect our nation’s Federal budget deficit. In another attempt to refight the battles of the past, one
      former Bush Administration official…

      >>>>> [Blahous/mercatus.org] <<<<<

      ….is wrongly claiming that some of the
      savings in the Affordable Care Act are “double-counted” and that the law actually increases the deficit.

      This claim is false.

      According to the official Administration and Congressional scorekeepers, the Affordable Care Act will reduce the deficit: its costs are more than fully paid for. The Office of Management and Budget and
      Congressional Budget Office project lower Federal budget deficits as a result of the law. The Congressional Budget Office is charged with
      assessing how legislation would affect the deficit. When the health care bill was passed by Congress, CBO wrote:

      “CBO and JCT estimate that enacting both pieces of legislation—H.R 3590 and the reconciliation proposal—would produce a net reduction in
      federal deficits of $143 billion over the 2010–2019 period as result of changes in direct spending and revenues.”

      When Congressional Republicans sought to repeal the law, CBO found that eliminating the law would increase the deficit. CBO wrote:

      “[T]he effect of H.R. 2 on federal deficits as a result of changes in direct spending and revenues is likely to be an increase in the vicinity of $230 billion, plus or minus the effects of technical and economic changes to CBO’s and JCT’s projections for that period.”

      And just last month, in updating its estimates of key parts of the law, CBO estimated that the insurance coverage provisions of the health care law would, compared to last year’s estimates for the same time period, cost $50 billion less. Assuming no change to the rest of the estimates, this means $50 billion more in deficit reduction.

      OMB and CBO have never given a discount in deficit reduction due to a “double counting” of Medicare savings in an estimate of the impact of legislation. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explained:

      "Claims that the Medicare savings in the ACA have somehow been “double counted” are without merit… Deficit-reduction legislation that includes Medicare provisions has been accounted for in exactly the same way in previous Congresses under both political parties. For example, both the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (both
      of which were passed by Republican Congresses) included Medicare savings that reduced the federal deficit and improved the solvency of Medicare’s HI trust fund. No claims of double-counting were raised when
      these bills were enacted. Similarly, the Social Security Amendments of 1983 reduced the budget deficit at the same time as they improved the solvency of the Social Security trust funds."

      As such, this new math fits the old pattern of mischaracterizations about the Affordable Care Act when official estimates show the health
      care law reduces the deficit."

      Jeanne Lambrew is Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy

      • HonestDebate1

        Evidently, according to her sworn testimony, Secretary Sebelius disagrees.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukaIZ7pmabo

        I guess it’s better to listen to the White House spin machine.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        You don’t want to go there, Buddy.

        You start out by quoting a regime report disputing ‘double-counting’. Is that in response to Pete? I saw no reference to ‘double counting’ in the mercatus essay. Maybe I missed it?

        However, the real truth is they have no clue about future deficits. Just as the climate modelers have no clue what the Earth’s Goldilocks temperature will be in 2020. Way too many variables and unknowns. However, we can be certain that Obamacare is costly, disruptive and vastly under-performing the original goals (lower costs $2500 per family, keep your plan, keep your doctor, cost under $1T for 10 years, reduce uninsured by 19 million in 2014, etc.).

        http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/17/obamacare-deficits-and-empirics/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        One other minor point. The regime analysis does not include unintended consequences and negative impacts to the economy. As usual it is a STATIC analysis.

    • hennorama

      pete18 — if you’re going to quote me, at least have the courtesy to identify me, and give some context.

      This was the exchange to which you refer (and please correct any misimpression if you were not, in fact, quoting me):

      pete18 hennorama • 20 hours ago

      “it’s better than the prior system”

      Pleased with the current progress, happy that the odds have improved (in your eyes) for it to stick around.

      “-it’s better than the prior system”

      I completely disagree.

      To which I replied as follows (emphasis added):

      hennorama pete18 • 19 hours ago

      pete18 — TYAFYR.

      I would edit your comment as follows:

      [Because I view the PPACA as better than the prior system, I am satisfied by] the [enrollment numbers], [and modestly encouraged] that the odds have [increased, obviously, that the PPACA will] stick around [for the foreseeable future].

      Otherwise, you expressed my feelings perfectly.

      Thanks again for your response.

      As the ESPN football analysts are fond of saying, “C’mon, man!”

      • pete18

        Relax, i’m just having some fun. Your quotes are a symbolic stand in for your side’s positive outlook on the enrollment numbers.

        • hennorama

          pete18 –TYFYR.

          I am perfectly relaxed, but TY for your concern.

          “Your side”?

          I neither represent nor speak for any “side,” so perhaps you should consider another “symbolic stand in.”

          • HonestDebate1

            I neither represent nor speak for any “side,”

            Alrighty then.

  • Alchemical Reaction

    Even if Bundy is wrong, he still deserves to win this one. The american people need this win in order to trust the government. I am proud of these rednecks.

    • hennorama

      Alchemical Reaction — you seem to be among those impacted by some of the poor, incomplete, and misleading “reporting” of this issue.

      No “solar farm”of any sort has been proposed for construction on the land where the Bundy family is illegally grazing cattle.

      The proposed so-called “Chinese solar farm” was canceled in 2013.

      • jefe68

        The misinformation campaign is working, up to a point. Bundy is breaking the law, has been doing it for decades and the right wing anti-government types will applaud and cry victory. The question I have for the right wing extremist, what about the ranchers who play by the rules?

        • hennorama

          jefe868 — Thank you for your response.

          Whether it is actually a “misinformation campaign” or not, many have latched onto the idea that the BLM is “suddenly” enforcing court orders; that this some sort of nefarious conspiracy; and/or that some sort of higher principle is involved.

          Mr. Bundy is a scofflaw. His activities have been judged to be illegal on multiple occasions, including an appeal to the Federal 9th Circuit, in which he defended himself despite claiming that he does not recognize Federal authority.

          One wonders if he thought the Federal government would be bound by the decision had he won the appeal.

          It’s Bizarro World.

          Perhaps the laissez-faire capitalists think he’s justified in having an unfair competitive advantage by not paying grazing fees, or having to otherwise provide sustenance for his cattle.

          Regardless, many seem to buy into the “little guy vs. the Feds” meme, and view Mr. Bundy as an heroic figure, who is righteously standing up for (as [Ray in VT] would say) “state’s rats.”

          Or something.

      • HonestDebate1

        The problem is, we can’t trust the government and we sure can’t trust Harry Reid. As I understand it the proposed solar farm was not on that land. It was cancelled last June. Evidently they couldn’t secure enough customers. Maybe Reid told the Chinese, wink wink nod nod, I’ll get your customers through legislation. I’ve got a better place but there’s a little cattle problem I need to take care of first. Of course I’ll need few shekels but I can do this. Cancel the deal and go through me, check back after I take care of the cattle problem.

        Yea yea, I know conspiracy theories. I’m not saying that’s what happened, I couldn’t prove it if I thought it was the case. I would ask if you can prove something like this didn’t happen. So you say, “Smith, you can’t prove a negative”. True that, here’s the thing: We know Reid is powerful enough, corrupt enough and sleazy enough to do it. Ditto Obama who would certainly turn a blind eye as he has proven regarding “green” energy.

        Harry Reid and Barrack Obama have made their beds. They have defined themselves. I wouldn’t put anything passed them. I wouldn’t trust either as far as I could throw them. I don’t really believe the above hypothetical at all but it is stupid as hell to say there is nothing to the solar farm deal. We have no idea.

        • OnPointComments

          My gut feeling is that Harry Reid and Rory Reid are in this up to their eyeballs.

          • hennorama

            OPC – my gut feeling is that I want some more grilled salmon over arugula and rice, with a little balsamic vinegar and Kalamati olive oil.

            My gut feeling is as relevant to this issue as is yours, meaning not in the slightest.

          • OnPointComments

            I doubt that Harry Reid and Rory Reid will intervene or make public statements about your choices for dinner. If your dining selections are thwarted, will there be SWAT teams, vehicles, helicopters, attack dogs, snipers, tasers, and a free-speech zone?

          • hennorama

            OPC — thank you for your response.

            Indeed, since my meal choice is perfectly legal, in marked contrast to the activities of the Bundy family, I would expect no one would be interested in it.

            This obviates your question.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • HonestDebate1

            Harry Reid says it is not over but it appears to be. The cattle have been returned (except for those that were killed) and the troops have withdrawn. If it is over then the feds have tacitly admitted he is innocent. If not then hopefully it will go to the SCOTUS to decide the legality of the Fed’s actions over the State’s. I don’t think the illegality is as cut and dried as your gut seems to tell you. We’ll see.

          • HonestDebate1

            Me too but it really is more common sense than gut. It is not prudent to think otherwise with this bunch. It’s amazing how many are so eager to circle the wagons.

      • Alchemical Reaction

        What are you talking about? Do you mean the Dry Lake solar farm?

  • HonestDebate1

    I am still not ready to take a firm stand one way or another regarding the Nevada mess. What it is clear is that there was an over reaction, there is misinformation and there are still things we don’t know. Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore struck a chord.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2014/04/19/msnbc-host-debates-michele-fiore-on-bundy-ranch-does-not-fare-well/

    • jefe68

      Put yourself in the boots of his neighbors and other ranchers who play by the rules. This guy has decided to flaunt the law all because he lost his court battle multiple times. Instead of being an adult and paying his fines he acts like a adolescent who is not getting his way.

      • HonestDebate1

        So send in the calvary! You are entitled to your opinion.

  • davecm

    The Bundy mess.
    I read comments here about Bundy is breaking the law, doing so for decades. How the Govt. is right in going after this man.
    We talk about his actions having already been judged several times and yet Bundy has claimed he does not recognize Federal authority.
    I must give you lefties this one, you may be right for a change.
    Now that you have this renewed reverence for the law and the enforcement of it, lets see if you will apply it equally?????
    How about those who cross our borders illegally and snub their noses at our so-called laws.
    Who come here and take jobs from my American friends?
    Who suppress our wages with their cheap labor?
    Who dump their kids into our schools, having never paid a dime into them?
    Who find a way, and they do, get on our welfare system?
    Who boast of their illegal status by protesting in our streets?
    Who DEMAND they get equal treatment?
    Who loot our economy of it’s wealth and send that wealth back to Mexico?
    Okay, if we demand our laws be enforced on one law breaking American, then we must all agree that our laws should be enforced on a whole bunch of law breakers!
    I am glad we solved the problem on immigration.

    • hennorama

      davecm – Since you seem to have directed your comments to “you lefties,” let me preface my comments by noting that I neither represent nor speak for any group, despite what [pete18] and others might believe or infer.

      Neither the scofflaw Bundys, nor the issues surrounding immigration (both legal and illegal), are partisan issues.

      Refuting/disputing your various points would be more time-consuming than it is worth to me, so I’ll refer you to a variety of websites that might do so:

      Cost of Illegal Immigrants Posted on April 6, 2009:
      http://www.factcheck.org/2009/04/cost-of-illegal-immigrants/

      The Minimum-Wage Cure for Illegal Immigration By BRUCE BARTLETT DECEMBER 3, 2013:
      http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/the-minimum-wage-cure-for-illegal-immigration/

      Illegal Immigration: The Impact on Wages and Employment of Black Workers by Vernon M. Briggs Jr, 8-1-2010:
      http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1025&context=briggstestimonies

      Q&A: Illegal Immigrants and the U.S. Economy by ADAM DAVIDSON March 30, 2006:
      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5312900

      ProCon.org, “Is Illegal Immigration an Economic Burden to America?,” ProCon.org. Last modified October 20, 2011:
      http://immigration.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=000788

      Could a $9 Minimum Wage Reduce Illegal Immigration? By Peter Coy February 13, 2013:
      http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-02-13/could-a-9-minimum-wage-reduce-illegal-immigration

      • pete18

        Just a note. It was your views that represented a side not you. You haven’t won the job of spokes person yet but I’m guessing a few of your cohorts ( the other people her that share your views) would give you a vote.

        • hennorama

          pete18 — thank you for your response.

          My views represent [hennorama] and no one else. I speak only for myself and no one else.

          If you judge my words to be representative of anyone other than myself, that is your judgment alone, sir.

          Thanks again for your response, and your expansion and clarification of your comments, as it is appreciated.

          • pete18

            No problem. I believe that is the assumption we make with all posters, but
            we certainly find shared thinking from people who hold similar points of view and that becomes a “side” when compared to other perspectives. It is just a method of categorization that we all do. The assumption of your individual nuances and disagreements within that side is still there.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — TYFYR.

            A bit of pushback, as to “we all do” it.

            As you may have observed, I direct my responses to individuals, and treat those to whom I respond as individuals, rather than as part of some monolithic group. Rarely will you read “you conservatives … Republicans … right-wingers … Tea Partiers/Shindiggers … libertarians … liberals …Democrats … Progressives … moderates … Northerners … Southerners … Easterners … Westerners … , etc.” under my moniker.

            I will admit to having mixed up [JONBOSTON] and [John Cedar] on at least one occasion, however.

            We’re all in this together, here on the inside.

            Thanks again for your response.

      • jefe68

        So much for the so called honest debate and intelligent discourse. The above right wing comment is nothing short of a belligerent screed.

        • hennorama

          jefe68 — TYFYR.

          [davecm]‘s implied views on illegal immigration are legitimate to hold and express. The accuracy of these implied views is certainly widely disputed, as one can easily discover by reading some of the sources in my post.

          The main thrust of [davecm]‘s post seems to be along the lines of “You have a great point about this topic, but ….. what about this other, unrelated topic?”

          This is also a legitimate, if perhaps purposely distracting, way of viewing the world, but as you imply, is reasonably viewed as not a part of “so called honest debate and intelligent discourse.”

          Thanks again for your response.

      • davecm

        Are illegal immigrates breaking the law, yes or no???? If yes, then apply the same law to them as to Bundy. If no, then what is your definition of breaking the law. That was the main point of my comment.

        • hennorama

          davecm — hank you for your response, and your ever-enthusiastic punctuation (that’s not a dig, BTW; I truly appreciate your enthusiasm as communicated via punctuation, and miss it when it’s not present.)

          You posed 7 questions, 5 of which were economic. Pardon my mistaking your focus as one of economics rather than law enforcement. Please also pardon my having inferred that your focus was primarily to criticize illegal immigrants via your 7 questions about them.

          Please also excuse a lack of response to what I view as a rhetorical question (the new one ending “…yes or no????”), as by definition, “an alien (non-citizen) who has entered the United States without government permission or stayed beyond the termination date of a visa,” i.e., an “illegal immigrate [sic]” has broken US law, and by continued presence in the US is here illegally.

          Is it your suggestion that the US government should file legal proceedings against each of the millions of persons not authorized to be in the US, win multiple court decisions against each and every one of them while they both ignore and appeal said decisions, and wait more than 20 years from the beginning of the process to take any enforcement action? Because that would be an equal application of law compared to the Bundys, would it not?

          In addition, one notes the complete lack of ayd communicated interest on your part in enforcing US law regarding the employment of unauthorized workers. Why have you expressed no such interest about those who employ unauthorized workers, since you profess an interest in equal application of US law?

          Thanks again for your response.

          Definition source:
          http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/_/dict.aspx?rd=1&word=illegal+immigrant

  • HonestDebate1

    Tragedy has put Mt. Everest in the news and it reminded me about what Hillary’s informal biography, as well as Bill’s book “My Life”, claimed. She was named after Sir Edmund Hillary who became famous in 1953. Hillary was born in 1947. That’s the way she rolls.

    • jefe68

      Man, are you really this bored that you have to post these memes every day?

      • HonestDebate1

        Bored? I’ve already fed and turned out 58 horses, distributed a few round bales with my Ford 4000, flushed out a rat for my dog to kill, fixed a gate and had lunch. I can bash Hillary in my sleep.

        She’s frontrunner, it’s my duty to remind you what a liar she is.

        Here she is recounting her trip to Bosnia juxtaposed with the reality.

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

      • hennorama

        jefe68 — I wonder how many family stories would fall apart under close examination. For example, on PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow,” the “family history” of a piece is often shown to be incorrect.

        Anyhoo … Happy Easter!

  • OnPointComments

    As one columnist suggested, Cliven Bundy should rename his ranch “Benghazi,” then the Feds would never show up. Ever.

    • hennorama

      OPC — thank you for sharing that example of mature, thoughtful commentary.

      Is this columnist also part of the “Chinese solar farm” conspiracy theory gang?

      • pete18

        I think we call what OPC did, “a joke that makes a point.”

        A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.

        -William James

        • hennorama

          pete18 — TYFYR.

          OPC quoted an actual person, about whom I asked a relevant question.

          Who questions much, shall learn much, and retain much.

          – Sir Francis Bacon

          Knowledge is power.
          (Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est)

          –Sir Francis Bacon

          Sources:
          http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/questions_2.html#oV9WUJWLDK6lFswB.99
          http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/28976.html

          • pete18

            Thou parseth too much!

            —Sir Eggs and Bacon

          • hennorama

            pete18 — man … I was this close to spewing my coffee upon reading that. Well done, sir.

          • brettearle

            Green Eggs, the Feds
            Bundy’s, Ham

            Are Free Range fees
            A total Sham?

            You like Green Eggs, don’t like Ham?
            Harry Reid-I-Am

            Don’t like Green Eggs, want honey Ham?
            Cliven Bundy-I-Am

            You don’t like Harry as your Spouse?
            Or maybe Bundy is the Louse

            I don’t want either in my house

            If “The Trouble’s With Harry”
            And not with Ham
            Then Alex Jones could be Your Man

            Would you eat Harry in a Box?
            Or have Bundy appear on Network Fox?

            No I don’t want Green Ham and Eggs
            I have things switched!
            This Quip has Legs:

            Wrongly so, for Easter Sunday?
            What if this Rancher’s,
            The real Ted Bundy?

          • hennorama

            brettearle — Very well done, sir.

            “I meant what I said and I said what I meant. [hennorama]‘s faithful one-hundred percent!”

          • brettearle

            Glad you liked it

          • hennorama

            brettearle — Grahamma lamma dingaling dingdong!

          • HonestDebate1

            Ted Bundy!? Gee wiz.

      • OnPointComments

        Mention of the “Chinese solar farm” is a diversion. There is a federal plan to build a solar farm in Dry Lake and to use Gold Butte, the area where the Bundy cattle graze, as a mitigation site.

        • hennorama

          OPC — TYFYR, which is completely unresponsive to my very simple question.

          I agree completely that the “Chinese solar farm” is a diversion, but not in the way you mean.

          I renew the original question: Is this columnist also part of the “Chinese solar farm” conspiracy theory gang?

          • OnPointComments

            I have no way of knowing whether the columnist is part of the Chinese solar farm conspiracy theory gang, nor of knowing whether the columnist is part of the Dry Lake solar farm reality gang.

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFYR.

            If it’s not too much of a burden, please point to the column and the columnist. That way, others might be better able to answer the question posed, since you “have no way of knowing.”

          • OnPointComments

            The columnist makes no mention of a Chinese solar farm. He does have a humorous prelude to his column though: “Rancher Cliven Bundy looks like he could still be in a heap of trouble for having thoroughly ticked off Fedzilla and the Keebler elf himself, Harry Reid.” Personally, I’ve envisioned Harry Reid as more of a Uriah Heep character than a Keebler elf, but either description is apt.
            http://townhall.com/columnists/douggiles/2014/04/20/obamaland–where-cowboys-are-villains-and-racebaiters-gay-radicals-and-marxists-are-heroes-n1826555

          • hennorama

            OPC — thank you for your indulgence.

          • hennorama

            OPC — FYI, the columnist you initially quoted without attribution, Mr. Doug Giles, has a Twitter feed, and various other online outlets, including his own website clashdaily.com. This website says this on its “About Us” page, in part:

            “ClashDaily.com is a mosh pit of breaking news, edgy opinion, lots of attitude, and a call to action for God- and country-loving patriots.”

            See:
            http://clashdaily.com/about-us/

            So far, so good.

            Mr. Giles has posted links to this site on his Twitter feed, including the following, all of which mention solar panels/farms, and Sen. Reid. This might allow one to conclude the answer to the question I posed to you is “Yes.”

            http://clashdaily.com/2014/04/whoa-bundy-ranch-incident-dont-need-civil-war/

            http://clashdaily.com/2014/04/usual-suspects-clinton-gore-obama-behind-ranch-showdown/ (This article links to one on wnd.com, which both pictures and mentions Sen. Reid. This is the next link, immediately below.)

            http://www.wnd.com/2014/04/clintonobama-cronies-behind-bundy-showdown/#OSYZ1cy3ZrUyRa73.99

            http://clashdaily.com/2014/04/inconvenient-rancher-blm-docs-show-feds-solar-plan-targets-bundy-elimination/

            Here’s Mr. Giles’ Twitter feed, the initial source for all of the links above:

            https://twitter.com/Doug_Giles

            OPC, perhaps you might now have “have [some] way of knowing.”

          • OnPointComments

            I was merely relaying a humorous item I read this morning on Townhall.com, not researching a scholarly dissertation on the opinions of Doug Giles. Did you really think that Mr. Giles was seriously proposing that the solution to the Bundy problem was renaming the ranch? Are you satire impaired?

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFYR.

            No.

            In response to your OP, I was merely asking a question about the author of the “humorous item” referenced. Since you quoted Mr. Giles without attribution, you possessed superior knowledge, including but not limited to, the identity of the author.

            Rather than share some of that superior knowledge, you intead called part of my question “a diversion.”

            I realize that questioning the source of one’s comments can be vexing at times, but responding to questions is part of the nature of participation in this forum. If the “humorous item” cannot stand up to some scrutiny, the fault is not mine, sir.

    • HonestDebate1

      Dr. Krauthammer is now saying Obama has won the Benghazi issue by running out the clock. Obviously that was the strategery all along. Krauthammer may be correct but if he is then it’s an outrage. Susan Rice has her promotion and is now National Security Advisor which is a travesty. Hillary is the frontrunner for President which is obnoxious. And we still don’t know where Obama was on the night the act of war was committed.

      • JONBOSTON

        Greg, I couldn’t agree with you more. For me the real story about Obamacare , our serial liar in chief and much of his imperial presidency is the complete failure of the mainstream media to challenge this incompetent president and hold him accountable. Why anyone would watch the evening news on CBS, NBC or ABC or read the NYT ( and to a lesser extent the WaPo) is beyond me. And just look at On Point. Besides having a Democrat flack like Beatty each week , the stories they highlight always have a decided Obama edge. How could Ashbrook not discus the latest revelations in the IRS scandals is beyond me and I feel he owes an explanation to those listeners who don’t drink the Obama Kool Aid. And the real shame is that much of the American public that no longer is dazzled by the false hopes and broken promises of this president must begin to question the value of the First Amendment’s freedom of press. Investigative journalism is dead.

      • John Cedar

        Krauthammer says one idiotic thing for every smart hing he says. Obama didn’t win the Benghazi issue by running out the clock. he won the issue because the MSN gave him a pass on it and ran out the clock for him. Hillary has never won a national election and her polling is meaningless at this time.

        • JONBOSTON

          Sorry. I strongly disagree with your thoughts about Dr. Krauthammer. I think he’s a brilliant analyst of today’s events with great insights.

        • HonestDebate1

          Even when I disagree with him, and I sometimes do but it’s rare, I don’t chalk it up as idiotic. And I don’t argue the media is complicit. They work for Obama. No one has even asked where he was that night.

          My fear here is that Krauthammer is right.

          • Ray in VT

            Hahaha. You guys still pushing the Benghazi “conspiracies”? How adorable. Of course one thing that your comments do not mention is that perhaps all of the smoke churned up the the GOP and conservative media on this issue is just that. There must be a conspiracy afoot of course. It is believed in, so it must exist.

  • nytw

    Bundy is nothing more than another liberal wanting his free federal handout. He probably talks to reporters on his Obama iPhone.

  • hennorama

    Happy Easter to all who observe this holiday, and Happy 102nd Anniversary of the 1st Red Sox game at Fenway Park to everyone else!

    Source:
    http://www.infoplease.com/dayinhistory

  • OnPointComments

    A column about what “free expression” means to liberal college faculties.

    THE STUPID HOUNDING OF CONDI RICE
    The first black woman to be secretary of state is unfit to talk about civil rights, complain the leftists.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/376049/stupid-hounding-condi-rice-rich-lowry

    Excerpt:
    If Condoleezza Rice were as self-pitying and politically crass as Attorney General Eric Holder, she would be wondering aloud what it is about her race and gender that accounts for the hostility to her.

    When the University of Minnesota invited her to give a lecture as part of a series marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, the school’s faculty roused itself. Roughly 200 of them demanded that the invitation be revoked, partly because she is unfit, they say, to be part of a civil-rights lecture series.

    What would give anyone the idea that a woman who was the nation’s first female African-American secretary of state, who experienced Jim Crow firsthand during her childhood in Alabama, who was friends with one of the girls killed in the Birmingham church bombing would have anything relevant to say about civil rights?

    The Minnesota professors say that it is in a “spirit of free expression” that they ask for the reversal of Rice’s invitation. Because nothing says free expression like shutting down someone’s lecture.

    Just imagine what Eric Holder would say if his opponents embarked on a concerted campaign to silence and shun him.

    • hennorama

      OPC — isn’t it wonderful to live in a country where one is free to criticize one’s employer’s decisions, and where one’s criticism of one’s employer’s decisions can also be freely criticized?

      • HonestDebate1

        Non-sequitur. If Universities are hostile to diversity of thought then it’s a real problem. When civil rights are viewed through an ideological lens the debate ceases to be about civil rights. And when the opportunity to hear someone as accomplished, distinguished and eloquent as Dr. Rice is missed it’s a crying shame.

        Pointing out that we are free to be ideological, politically discriminating idiots does not make it honorable.

        • jefe68

          Some ideas are not worth even considering. For instance, creationism.

  • HonestDebate1
  • HonestDebate1

    I am hearing ads on my radical right-wing AM radio petitioning Dr. Ben Carson to run in 2016. I like him a lot. He is certainly well qualified to rescue us from the disaster that is Obamacare. However, I don’t know if that’s enough. Then, in replying to another comment, it came to me. Let me be the first to endorse a 2016 Condolezza Rice/Ben Carson ticket.

  • HonestDebate1

    What is the hang up with citing sources? I see it a lot lately. Someone will make a claim and someone else will demand a source. Why? I mean I get it when it comes to citing data but many times it’s just a shallow dodge. Honest debate is about taking a stand and defending it. I am happy to do that. Sometimes I prefer to test pre-conceived notions and not give a source. If I say something bogus then I will be put in my place. If I say something that goes against conventional wisdom but is true then I am prepared to defend it. I am not impressed by anyone who cannot make a coherent argument beyond demanding a source. It’s even more shallow when that person tacitly declares victory by avoiding that coherent argument if there is no source given. Just shred the argument in the arena of honest debate… if you can.

    • Ray in VT

      Citing sources are an integral part of research, as it shows where one is getting one’s information. Without valid sources one may just be pushing a load of bunk (think 39 to 1).

      Honest debate is not merely about taking a stand and defending it. One can easily defend the factually indefensible. Without the ability to back something up with facts, one easily falls into the realm of backing a belief, and there is no way to engage in a real debate with someone who is defending a belief.

      • HonestDebate1
        • Ray in VT

          Indeed. I sometimes find it to be an interesting exercise. I have them at hand, but I want to see what the reaction will be. I have done my research, and I have attempted to get to the root of the question. I’m not just chucking a bunch of stuff against the wall to see what sticks. Sometimes I also ask a question when I have the answer already, as I want to see what the responses are. That can also be very enlightening.

    • jefe68

      I’m not impressed by people who post a lot of propaganda about topics without factual information.
      You can believe in what you want too. However if you say the earth is flat you had better be able to back that up. If not, then it’s a vacuous statement.

      It;s interesting how you fein moral indignation and that somehow you’re above scrutiny for some reason.
      Here’s the deal: if you post falsehoods and someone calls you on it and you go off, as you do here, that’s called avoiding the issue. Some people do this and try to change the subject. Which is a tactic ones sees a lot on the right. Which some folks on the right do on this forum. Go figure…

      “Is it political if I tell you that if we burn coal, you’re
      going to warm the atmosphere?
      Or is that a statement of fact that you’ve made political?
      It’s a scientific statement.
      The fact that there are elements of society that have made it political, that’s a whole other thing.”

      – Neil deGrasse Tyson

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

        And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
        Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
        Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
        Matthew 7:3-5

    • jimino

      Isn’t citing sources an integral part of real honest debate?

      • HonestDebate1

        It can be or it can’t, it depends but in a vacuum, no. We sure get bogged down and distracted by shooting the messenger. I think it starts with being able to make a coherent argument. There may not be a single source. And the source could be wrong. Even data sources may require an examination of methods. I just don’t like the idea of thinking a link can make your argument for you. And I like to less when someone screams victory because of a lack of a link instead of refuting the claim.

        There are cases like if I say someone said this or that. I can give a youtube video to prove it. But even then they may say,”I can’t hear it very well”. Or they might start parsing beyond all credulity.

  • Guest

    Bundy need to win the cattle rights thing.

  • Alchemical Reaction

    It was really hilarious that Tom didn’t bring up climate change until the last minute of the program – reflecting the general attitude about climate change, a footnote and afterthought.

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